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Learning the Lessons of Afghanistan – Part 1
Mon August 30 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
What lessons should the United States learn from its debacle in Afghanistan?
Cole Harrison suggested seven of them in an August 18 article.
In the first of two sessions, we present three speakers who will give their response to these themes and their suggested lessons. Moderated by David Borris of Chicago Area Peace Action.
Erik Edstrom grew up in Stoughton, Massachusetts and graduated from West Point in 2007. He was then deployed to Afghanistan, where he served as an infantry platoon leader. Erik spent the remainder of his service as the Presidential Escort Platoon Leader during the Obama administration. He is a graduate of U.S. Army Ranger School, recipient of the Rippetoe Trophy during The Best Ranger Competition, was selected for the U.S. Special Forces (SFAS), and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
After the military, Erik went on to earn both an MBA and a Master of Science, studying climate change, from Oxford University. After graduate school, Erik moved to Australia for five years, where he worked as a management consultant for both Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey & Company. He lives in Boston and is a member of Massachusetts Peace Action. In his book, Un-American: A Soldier’s Reckoning of our Longest War, he explains how blind support for war exacerbates the problems it’s intended to resolve, devastates the people allegedly being helped, and diverts assets from far larger threats like climate change. He spoke with Massachusetts Peace Action in June 2020.
Valentine M. Moghadam is Professor of International Affairs and Sociology. She is the author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (2013, third edition), Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism, and the Global Justice Movement (2012, second edition), and other books and journal articles. Her research areas include globalization and development; transnational movements; the political economy of gender in MENA; revolutions and social movements; and citizenship. A native of Tehran, Iran, she is a member of MAPA’s board of directors and of its Middle East Working Group. Her article “Afghanistan’s Tragedy” was written in May 2021.
Fahima Gaheez grew up in Afghanistan and from an early age was involved with the women’s rights movement there. After immigrating to the U.S., she continued her work for the people of Afghanistan from afar. In 2001, she founded the Afghan Women’s Fund in collaboration with another group, and in 2011 it was incorporated as an independent charity. Fahima continues today as its president, raising money to support schools for girls, cooperatives for women, clinics in rural areas, and more. She has addressed the United Nations, has traveled widely to speak at university-based conferences, and has appeared on many national and international television and radio stations, including BBC and NPR. She has been featured in various publications, including the Washington Post. Many members of her family still live in Afghanistan, and she travels there often to oversee the work of the foundation.
Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action, Maryland Peace Action, Chicago Area Peace Action, Peace Action Maine, and New Hampshire Peace Action
Part 2 of our program will be held on September 2.