August 29, 2011
Sen. Jack Reed Photo: Ryan Lester '12
US Sen. Jack Reed spoke to secondary school teachers gathered for the Choices Program’s annual Summer Leadership Institute last month about what he sees as areas of improvement in US strategy in Afghanistan.
The revised US approach is to help build an ethnically-neutral security force, Reed said. Another recent change is the addition of literacy training, which not only helps soldiers to interpret information, commands, and dangers in the field, but can improve national literacy skills. And, the security force is being re-tailored to focus more on delivering services than performing tactical strikes, he added, which should expand the influence of the central government.
Reed closed the four-day institute, in which 23 secondary school teachers selected from across the country learned about Afghanistan and Pakistan from university scholars and foreign policy experts. The teachers, who are now designated Choices Teaching Fellows, have returned to their states to conduct professional development and outreach to other educators, using the Choices curriculum unit, The US in Afghanistan, which is forthcoming in September. The unit, one in Choices’ library of 40, explores the culture and history of the country as well as multiple options for US foreign policy in the region.