Jigsaw: us military Presence Abroad



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Jigsaw: US Military Presence Abroad

Choose one of the following options to learn about the role of the us military abroad today. Once becoming an “expert” on your topic, you will join a different group to share your findings and learn from your classmates who focused on another area.

1. US Military Personnel Abroad Group – Number Crunchers

Goal: Gain a sense of how extensive the presence of US military personnel is around the world.

Directions: Using the Department of Defense document, answer the following questions as a group…

  1. How many Americans are on active duty in the US and its territories?



  1. How does this compare to a population that you know (for example, Vermont)?



  1. Approximately how many countries does the US have troops in today?



  1. What % of the 195 countries in the world is that? (Show your math.)



  1. Which countries have more than 5,000 Americans based there? (include #)



  1. How many Americans are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan? (Check the web for updated numbers.)

Individual reflection: What did you find most interesting/surprising about this data? Why?

2. Military Bases Overseas Group – Mappers and Web Browsers

Goal: Gain a sense of where and why there are US military bases around the world

Directions: Using the links below, answer the following questions…

  1. Go to http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_military_bases_in_the_world_2007.svg to open a map. Put a check next to the regions of the world where the US has military bases or facilities:

    • Europe

    • Middle East

    • Central America/Caribbean

    • Asia

    • Australia

    • South America

    • Africa




  2. Now click here to go another website. Click on the maps to visit at least three different bases from each of the four regions. Group may split up into partners to choose one larger base from each region to explore more fully. Complete the information below to give us a snapshot of four different military bases in your own words:

North/Central America

Country:

Base name:



How it got there (basic history):


Why it’s there (basic roles):


Europe

(Choose one in Germany or the UK)

Country:

Base name:



How it got there (basic history):


Why it’s there (basic roles):


Middle East

Country:

Base name:



How it got there (basic history):


Why it’s there (basic roles):


Asia

(Choose either Japan or South Korea)

Country:

Base name:



How it got there (basic history):

Why it’s there (basic roles):


3. “Get this under control!” Group – Readers and Anti-War Leaners

Goal: Understand some of the perspectives of those who would like to close US military bases abroad

Directions: Go to http://www.fpif.org/articles/too_many_overseas_bases to read a short article on why we should close more military bases. Then answer the following questions…

  1. Reading the introduction, what seems to be the thesis (main argument) of this article?



  1. What are 3 examples the author uses to say that US spending is wasteful?

(1)

(2)


(3)

  1. What are 3 examples the author uses of how these bases are damaging the US beyond just how much we spend on them?

(1)

(2)


(3)

  1. Sum up his concluding arguments for the benefits of closing military bases:

Individual reaction: What is your reaction to the arguments made in this article? Are they convincing to you? Why/why not?

4. “C’mon, we’re America!” Group – Strong Readers and Flag-wavers

Goal: Understand some of the perspectives of those who believe America should act as an empire.

Directions: Go to http://www.cfr.org/publication/5934/american_imperialism_no_need_to_run_away_from_label.html?id=5934 to read an article on why we shouldn’t be afraid to act as an imperialist power. Please look up words or terms you don’t understand. Then answer the following questions…

  1. In the 5th paragraph, the authors state that, “…on the whole, U.S. imperialism has been the greatest force for good in the world during the past century.” What examples do they use to back that claim?



  1. Two paragraphs later, they argue that being good imperialists “…means imposing the rule of law, property rights, free speech and other guarantees, at gunpoint if need be.” Why should the US do that?



  1. How do they use Japan and Germany after World War II (in 1945) as examples of why the US should be patient with Iraq?



  1. According to the authors, what is the main reason the US “failed” in helping build democracies in some countries?

Individual reaction: What is your reaction to the arguments made in this article? Are they convincing to you? Why/why not?

Teacher notes and directions:

  • This document can be edited, printed, and then passed out as one stapled packet to each student, or post on moodle as a PDF or Word doc.

  • Use with a computer lab, ideally a mobile one so they can gather in groups.

  • Go over the four options and then have them divide into four groups.

  • Give them 15-20 minutes or so to work on their chosen topic.

  • Once everyone is done, form new groups with a 1/2/3/4 combo in each. Could do groups of 8 with a pair from each as well.

  • Each student should verbally share answers from their original group with their new group, allowing other students to ask questions before answering on their sheets in their own words. Presenters should lead discussion on “Individual reaction” questions before all students write their own answers.

  • Whole class wrap-up: Go over reactions to the different sources.

  • Potential homework response question: “How would you compare US imperialism of 100 years ago to that of today?”


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