Educational Materials

Cultural Training: Life of an Afghan Villager

This presentation exposes soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to the 'typical' Afghan villager they are likely to encounter in eastern and southern Afghanistan. Although this villager is a fictional character, his life experiences are by no means unusual for his age group and this part of the country. The guiding principle behind the presentation is to offer a perspective, an explanation for the behavior of many Afghan villagers toward foreign military personnel and the Taliban. Rather than the top-down, 'big picture' history of modern Afghanistan, this presentation focuses on how an individual's life history can tell us many things about his people and the country he lives in.

Afghan Women: A Guide to Understanding An Afghan Woman’s Role in Her Society.

The curriculum is based on the personal knowledge of the Afghan instructors at the DCLCP, all of whom have experienced the social and cultural changes in Afghanistan during three decades of war and poverty. It reflects their and their family’s experiences both in the rural and urban settings. The booklet is in no way meant to represent all the experiences of Afghan women but only to serve as a guide to assist US military personnel when interacting with Afghan women. The sole purpose of this training material is to help build better relations between Afghans and the US military.

Cultural Training: Life of an Afghan Army Soldier

Training the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) has become one of the most important missions of US military personnel in Afghanistan, and the emphasis on this area will only increase over the next two years. This presentation offers the perspective of an individual, fictional Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier with regard to the challenges of cooperating with foreign counterparts as well as the 'don'ts' of Afghan culture that are sometimes inadvertently committed by foreign soldiers. The overall idea behind this presentation is to offer a view point of an educated young Afghan man who has volunteered for the ANA as a committed nationalist and seeks to defeat the 'enemies of Afghanistan.'

Afghanistan Provinces

An interactive map with information about Afghanistan Provinces.

Iraqi Cultural Training

This course module introduces you to the cultures of Iraq as seen through the lenses of ethnicity (Arab, Kurd, Turkoman, etc.), religion (Muslim, Christian, and Sunni Muslim vs Shia Muslim), common customs, negotiating behavior, entertainment, acceptable and unacceptable hand gestures, etc. Additional topics include the security situation in Iraq, the nature of conflict in Iraqi society, and history. Each section is accompanied by a quiz that enables the student to determine how much he/she absorbed in the lesson and areas for improvement.

Practical Pashto

One of the challenges of teaching a foreign language is how to best enable students to interact effectively outside the classroom with native speakers in situations that are different from those experienced in class. One helpful learning tool that can immerse students into the language is role playing. When simulating real-life experiences, students learn necessary life skills in a fun and productive manner. Practical Pashto is a collection of simulations based on real-life experiences in Afghanistan. The skills taught in this book are aimed at equipping students with the expertise needed to function in the world outside their classroom. This book is primarily designed to familiarize students of Pashto with the basic terms and vocabulary needed in interacting with Afghans and to give students opportunities to develop effective speaking skills for situations related to daily life in Afghanistan.

Practical Dari

One of the challenges of teaching a foreign language is how to best enable students to interact effectively outside the classroom with native speakers in situations that are different from those experienced in class. One helpful learning tool that can immerse students into the language is role playing. Practical Dari is a collection of simulations based on real-life experiences. This book is primarily designed to familiarize students of Dari with the basic terms and vocabulary needed for every day conversations. Practical Dari was created based on the initial creation of Practical Pashto. Although both books are identical in many ways, Practical Dari, which was developed after Practical Pashto, is different in terms of format and some lessons. Some lessons are a translation of the Practical Pashto content. For the purpose of more effective communications, all of the conversations have been developed using conversational Dari, rather than standard formal Dari.

Cultural Training: Caliphate reborn? The Rise of ISIS 

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization has garnered considerable attention in recent months as it has swept across much of northern Syria and Iraq. It has also become notorious for its numerous human rights violations including abductions, beheadings, and wholesale massacres of civilians. This presentation examines the ‘mindset’ behind these actions. It also places the group within the broader context of the recent history of Syria and Iraq.

Cultural Training: History Lessons from a North Korean General

This unique presentation offers the North Korean military perspective on recent history as seen through the eyes of a fictional North Korean general. It is intended to increase our understanding of how the senior military leadership in Pyongyang sees the world especially in terms of perceived threats and dangers. Students will notice obvious examples of ‘contrived history’ in this presentation; however, these are meant to highlight the North Korean regime’s careful manipulation of history for its own legitimacy in the eyes of its citizens.