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U.S. Defense Secretary Visits Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet with top Afghan, U.S., and NATO leaders in the country. The stop in Afghanistan represents the first time that Austin has set foot into a war zone as Secretary of Defense. The new defense secretary’s visit to Afghanistan is significant considering the U.S. and the Taliban have a tentative agreement for American forces to leave the country by May 1. If that deadline is met, it would conclude America’s longest war. The U.S. has had a continuous military presence in Afghanistan for the last 20 years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

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Afghanistan: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on unannounced Kabul visit

“Defense secretary visits Afghanistan as US considers troop extension

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin makes surprise visit to Afghanistan

“US defense secretary Austin visits Afghanistan as exit deadline looms

In Kabul, Pentagon chief speaks of ‘responsible end’ to war

“Austin Calls for ‘Responsible’ End to Afghan War

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visits Afghanistan as troop withdrawal deadline looms

Defense Secretary Austin Makes Unannounced Visit To Afghanistan


  • Writing: Why have U.S. and coalition forces remained in Afghanistan for 20 years?
  • Debate: Should the U.S. and coalition forces negotiate with the Taliban?
  • Poll: Should U.S. and coalition forces leave Afghanistan?
  • Short Answer: What are the consequences if the Taliban regains control of Afghanistan upon the removal of U.S. and coalition forces?


Current events quiz:

1) Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently met with all the following top leaders in his trip to Afghanistan EXCEPT.

a. Taliban
b.  NATO
c. U.S
d.  Afghan

2) The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001 because of _______. 

a. the assassination of a U.S. Senator
b. terrorist attacks
c. access to natural resources
d. a desire to uphold human rights

3) Which of the following is false concerning U.S. troops in Afghanistan?

a. 3,500 troops remain in the country.
b. At one time there were 100,000 troops.
c. The U.S. removed the last troops in 2020.
d. More than 2,300 troops have died since 2001.

4) The Trump administration agreed to remove all U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan by the spring of 2021. (T/F)

5) The conflict in Afghanistan represents America’s second longest war. (T/F)

6) The Taliban has agreed to disband if U.S. and NATO troops leave Afghanistan. (T/F)


1) A

2) B

3) C

4) True

5) False

6) False


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Featured Image Credit: RandomUserGuy1738U.S. Secretary of Defense

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