Quiz: How well do you know Afghanistan?

  • JackU

    Obviously not well (5 of 12). Although there were two questions where I went with the second thought not the first and had I not over analyzed I would have been at 7 of 12 (still not very good.)

  • bsimon

    My experience was similar to Jack’s. Tough quiz.

  • momkat

    7 out of 12–not bad for me as I often use the WAG method.

  • jen

    in a week of endless media coverage of tiger and the reality TV party crashers, this quiz is a good reminder of what we should be paying attention to. thanks newscut!

  • kates

    great quiz, bob! i learned a lot.

  • Alison

    4 of 10. That was really hard. I will have to start paying closer attention to this story. Not having lived through Vietnam, do you suppose Americans generally knew more about Vietnam then than Americans know now about Afghanistan? Were people more engaged? How was the media coverage different?

  • Keith

    3 of 12. Overall, this was a silly quiz. I don’t think that knowing life expectancies, birth rates, etc. is very relevant. I couldn’t even tell you what those are for the US. The price of heroin? Come on! If you know that, maybe the police should pay you a visit!

  • Bob Collins

    Thanks for stopping by, Keith. As the quiz noted, the United Nations tracks the street value of heroin.

    Life expectancy in the U.S. is 74 for men, 80 for women. That’ll become more important to you as you get older. (g)

  • BJ

    7!, but got 2 from radio last night (this morning).

  • Hal

    3-12. I was close on a lot, though. And in the right direction. I agree with Keith, above, that some of the specifics are unnecessary if I’m generally correct.

  • Loyal American


    (1) Do you believe the United States should INCREASE its troop commitment in Afghanistan?

    (a) Yes. (Go to question #2.)

    (b) No (Congratulations. You may stop here. You are a student of history. Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. Ambassador in Kabul (and a retired American Lieutenant-General) agrees with you. So does Barbara Lee, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. And so do the French, where 82 percent of French adults are opposed to more troops in Afghanistan.)

    (c) I don’t know. (Start reading more and take a stand.)

    (2) If President Obama announced tomorrow that he was changing his mind and that he would DECREASE the United States troop commitment in Afghanistan, would you still favor an INCREASE in the United States troop commitment?

    (a) Yes, I believe an increase is the right strategy. (Go to question #3.)

    (b) No, I believe we should support the President, and if he thinks we should decrease our troop commitment, then I support that decision. (Go to question #4.)

    (3) If your support of the troop increase is based on your own view that an increase is the right strategy, why do you believe that the United States will be able to accomplish in two years what it has been unable to do for eight years, and the Soviet Union was unable to do for nine years?

    (a) I believe God is finally on our side now that President Obama is leading us. (End of quiz for you. Have fun in church on Sunday.)

    (b) I trust the military officials who recommend a surge (even though they are the same people who have been running the war effort since its inception). (End of quiz for you. We’ll see you at the start of the next “war.”)

    (c) The United States has a very successful history of supporting corrupt dictators, so why stop now? (Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Fahd bin Abdul Aziz (Saudi Arabia), Reza Pahlevi (Iran), Manuel Noriega (Panama), Roberto Suazo Cordova (Honduras), Idi Amin (Uganda), Ngo Dinh Diem (Vietnam), Jean Claude Duvalier (Haiti), Samuel Doe (Liberia), Ferdinand Marcos (Philippines), Lon Nol (Cambodia), Halie Salassie (Ethiopia), Anastasio Somoza (Nicaragua), etc.) (End of quiz for you. Can’t argue with that “logic.”)

    (d) I don’t know. Maybe Obama or Bush did convince me that it was a good idea. I’ll continue with the quiz. (Go to question #4.)

    (4) If President Obama (or President Bush) told you to jump off of a bridge would you do it?

    (a) Yes, if it was in the country’s best interest. (End of quiz for you.)

    (b) No, that’s silly. I’m not in a position to know all of the facts. We have to trust our leaders. So if President Obama changes his mind, then I would support whatever he thought was right. (Go to question #5.)

    (5) Did you support President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and/or the subsequent troop surge?

    (a) Yes. I’m not in a position to know all of the facts. We have to trust our leaders. (Congratulations. You are intellectually consistent. You may be wrong, but at least you’re consistent. End of quiz for you.)

    (b) No, I thought President Bush was wrong to invade Iraq and/or increase the number of troops in Iraq. (Go to Question #6.)

    (6) Why do you support President Obama’s decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, but you were against President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and/or sent additional troops in the “surge”?

    (a) I am a Democrat, not a Republican, so that’s how I justify having a conflicting view. (Well, at least you now know you are partisan and can’t think for yourself.)

    (b) Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, and Afghanistan did, and that’s why we have to finish the job in Afghanistan. (Go to Question #7.)

    (7) The U.S. Armed Forces toppled the Taliban in 2001. Since then, they have been waging a guerrilla war against the occupying American forces (who are propping up the leader of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, who recently stole the election there). What are you willing to do or sacrifice to continue to fight the war in Afghanistan?

    (a) I’ll sacrifice the lives of more American soldiers and sailors. (Hopefully no one you know, right?)

    (b) Universal health care (You must already have health insurance.)

    (c) I’ll pay higher taxes. (That would be a start.)

    (d) I will join the military. (Even better.)

    (e) I will encourage my child to join the military. (Now you’re talking.)

    (8) How much longer should the United States stay in Afghanistan until we finally realize that we are supporting a corrupt leader with little to no chance of unifying the country?

    (a) 2013. (In other words, until after the next election so President Obama doesn’t look “weak.”)

    (b) It’s not really important that we stay in Afghanistan, per se. We just need a place to spend money on military equipment so we can continue to fuel the military industrial complex. (Bingo!)

    (c) Indefinitely. Our goal should be to make Afghanistan the 51st state and the home of the 2017 Major League Baseball All Star Game. (Will they have an American or National League team?)

    (d) I disagree with your premise. Despite America’s horrible track record of supporting unwanted dictators, this one is going to work out differently. (In the words of Aerosmith, “Dream on, dream until your dreams come true.”)

    End of quiz.

  • the working burka

    Dear LA:

    I was finished at question number 1, but decided to continue and happy to read your slant.

    Thats quite a quiz and I couldn’t agree with you more except that I would like to change item “c” and make Afganistan the fashion capital of the world.

    I wanna keep baseball this side of the pond.

  • Jimbob

    5 out of 12… ouch. But come on, some of the questions require a level or familiarity with trivia that do NOT bear much relationship with one’s familiarity with the big issues facing us and the Afghan people (is the heroin production worth more or less than the MN budget….. huh?…. why not ask me if Karzai is partial to brown or grey hats…. grey).

  • Roy Glover

    This tested knowlege of the US and Minnesota as much as it did Afghanistan. I learned that I need to keep up with local news!