[11/20/18] – The War on Terror: A Media Retrospective

U.S. President Donald Trump recently accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists and not aiding in the United States’ ongoing “War on Terror.” This, and other factors, have caused the news media to revisit the struggles of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq battling terrorism. This week visits the comments from President Trump, looks at contemporary retrospectives of the war, and challenges the reader to consider how the mass media can support or thwart a political agenda in times of global conflict.


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


Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for The War on Terror: A Media Perspective





The Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs illustrates the human toll of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. While a few years old, this video adds a great deal of perspective to the visualization of the war.



President Trump delivers speech at the White House on providing support to veterans and military families.






Writing: The American people vote for the officials who initiate and perpetuate wars. Are the American people to blame for the hundreds of thousands of deaths from the War on Terrorism?

Debate: Like Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford during the Vietnam War, Trump entered the presidency with a war in progress. For this reason, is he to be held accountable for the ongoing difficulties of the war, to what degree, and why (or why not)?

Poll: How do you personally feel about President Trump criticizing world leaders via Twitter?

  • Very Badly
  • Badly
  • Don’t Care
  • Good
  • Very Good

Short Answer: Have the actions of the United States abroad served as a fair and appropriate response to the terrorist attacks during 9/11? Why or why not?


Current Events Quiz


President Trump accused Pakistan of

  • conducting attacks on the United States.
  • harboring terrorists.
  • supporting Syria.
  • helping too much.


In response, the Pakistani Prime Minister called for the United States to do a serious ___ of its tactics.

  • outline
  • reassessment
  • cleansing
  • escalation


An annual analysis from the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University concluded the United States has

  • spent nearly $6 trillion on the War on Terror.
  • neglected its obligations to NATO.
  • had a negative effect on the Trump family businesses.
  • acted in its best interest.


The numbers from the Watson Institute ___ those of the Pentagon’s estimates.

  • bemoaned
  • muddled
  • downplayed
  • exceeded


America’s top general has admitted that the war in Afghanistan is

  • doing better than ever anticipated.
  • at an impasse.
  • not as good as his previous wars.
  • a precursor to more wars.


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