Explosive devices are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A new study shows that military personnel with brain trauma related to such blasts had outcomes similar to those with brain injury from other causes, according to researchers at the School of Medicine.
Afghan-American journalist and Opium Nation author Fariba Nawa will participate in two Washington University in St. Louis programs exploring the current and future state of Afghanistan: She will give an Assembly Series talk, “Afghanistan, Heroin and Women,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, in Umrath Lounge; and she will lead a panel discussion, “Aftershocks of the Afghanistan War: What’s Next for Those Who Left and for Those Left Behind,” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in Mallinckrodt Center’s Multipurpose Room. Both are free and open to the public. Nawa was born in Afghanistan but later moved to California. She returned after the U.S.-led fight began against the Taliban and al-Qaida in that country, and in 2011 wrote a book about the addictions, violence and other tragedies borne of Afghanistan’s opiate industry.
Mounting casualities in America’s nearly 10-year-old wars in Iraq and Afghanistan might seem to serve as a catalyst for people to denounce the war and demand a way out. But a Washington University in St. Louis study into the psychology of “sunk-costs” finds that highlighting casualties before asking for opinions on these wars actually sways people toward a more pro-war attitude. This sunk-cost mindset may also expain why losers stay in the stock market.
“Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan need to be top foreign policy priorities for President Barack Obama,” says Thomas Schweich, former ambassador for counternarcotics and justice reform in Afghanistan and visiting professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. Schweich, the Special Representative for Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, is available to discuss foreign policy issues facing the next president.
WeidenbaumThe economic power of American businesses is playing a key role in the war on terrorism: helping cut off the flow of money to terrorist groups, producing anti-terrorist equipment, screening employees and visitors entering company facilities, manufacturing the medicines to respond to biological and chemical attacks, and making the weapons used by our armed forces in the fight. Nevertheless, such responses often raise the cost of production and act like a new tax on private enterprise, suggests Washington University in St. Louis economist Murray Weidenbaum.