Center for Afghanistan Studies

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The Center for Afghanistan Studies was established in 1972 at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

According to the Center for Public Integrity:

"It wasn't until 1984 that the Center received its first USAID contract to provide educational training programs and facilities to Afghan refugees. The Center continued the educational programs until the mid 1990s, receiving more than $60 million from USAID.
"Although USAID funded the Center's educational and training efforts in Afghanistan, the CIA helped to design and implement the overall program in an effort to strengthen resistance against the Soviet occupation...
"On January 29, 2002, as the U.S. bombing campaign on Afghanistan slowed down, USAID awarded the Center $6.5 million to provide books and training for Afghanistan's interim government to resume schooling. The Center, which has a textbook publishing operation in Pakistan, was to print 8 million books and train 4,000 teachers for an estimated 750,000 students by the schools' starting date, March 23.
"USAID employee Chris Brown told the Omaha World Herald that the Center was uniquely positioned to meet the textbook challenge. After USAID stopped funding the Center in 1994, Thomas E. Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs and director of Afghanistan Studies at UNO, had continued to raise money privately in order to keep the Pakistan publishing operation open. Thus, in 2002, the Center was already prepared and ready to start printing the textbooks.
"However, the content of the books, which UNO developed in the 1980s with USAID funding, had to be censored. Critics contended the books' content, which included drawings of guns, bullets and mines, promoted and strengthened an era of jihad violence. So before distributing any more of the books to Afghan students, workers at the Pakistan operation started a "scrubbing" effort to remove violent pictures and references.




University of Nebraska at Omaha


  1. Staff, Center for Afghanistan Studies, accessed February 2008.

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