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Michael Snarr to Present Annual Quaker Lecture

Prof to Address 'Lessons from Afghanistan, Lessons for Friends'

September 26, 2011

Michael Snarr

Michael Snarr

Michael Snarr will report on his recent trip to Afghanistan and how it relates to Friends’ interests at the 15th annual Wilmington College Quaker Lecture Series Oct. 10, at 7 p.m., in the McCoy Room of Kelly Center.

Snarr, professor of social and political studies, will present “Lessons from Afghanistan, Lessons for Friends.”

He and 2009 WC alumnus Matt Southworth, a legislative associate for foreign policy with the Friends Committee on National Legislation, got a first-hand look at the ravages of war during their weeklong visit in August.

Testimonials from Afghans representing many walks of life in the capital city of Kabul complement his status report.

They were part of a delegation that also included Capitol Hill staffers, journalists and international policy experts. They spent the week meeting with some 20 entities representing “people on the ground” in this global flashpoint.

Southworth organized the trip “under the radar” of the U.S. Department of State, which, Snarr noted, tends to pick and choose with whom American officials meet on fact-finding missions. Without the State Department’s endorsement, the delegation lacked U.S. military protection and was forced to rely on their Afghan hosts.

They met with the very animated mayor of Kabul, Afghan president Hamid Karsai’s Western-educated cousin and a high-ranking Taliban member that was imprisoned by the United States at Guantanamo.

Also, the delegation had dialogue with representatives from a local elections committee and the ministries of Refugees and Women’s Affairs, as well as the nongovernmental organizations CARE, Integrity Watch, Oxfam and the Asia Foundation.

Snarr said they asked each entity what the United States can do to help ensure there’s not intensified violence when the U.S. military leaves in 2014. The Obama Administration’s plan calls for the current 100,000 U.S. troops to be decreased over the next three years until the military has essentially pulled out.

The Quaker Lecture Series is free of charge.