News Decoder
Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Is the U.S. superpower decaying as the Roman Empire did?

Primitive tribes helped topple the powerful Roman Empire. Did attacks on the U.S. by Islamist extremists 20 years ago augur the end of a superpower? The Statue of Liberty and New York City’s skyline as smoke rises from the ruins of the Twin Towers, four days...

We often hear that history repeats itself. A core tenet of News Decoder’s mission is to help students place current events in a broader historical context. Correspondent Gene Gibbons looks beyond today’s headlines all the way back to ancient Rome to show how pride, corruption, strategic overreach and other political mistakes have contributed to the decline of superpowers, then and now.

Exercise: Ask students to debate the question in the headline, providing evidence for their position.

As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

Islamist extremists are threatening fragile nations in West Africa. Will Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban yield lessons for France in the Sahel? A soldier guards a Western military base in Gao, Mali on 6 June 2021, days after France announced the end of its...

When it comes to world politics, major news outlets often focus on one place at a time, obscuring important events unfolding elsewhere that can cause geopolitical ripples. In this article, News Decoder’s Jessica Moody shines a light on extremist violence plaguing West African nations in the Sahel, the semi-arid region below the Sahara. She draws parallels between French military involvement in the region and the United States’ recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, highlighting the global challenge of preventing extremist groups from proliferating in fragile states.

Exercise: Ask students to search news sites or newspapers for a global story that is not on the front page, then have them share their findings and explain why we should pay attention.

Tag: Afghanistan