History Matters commentator Gary Joiner profiles the largest group of people in the world without an officially sanctioned homeland, the Kurds.

Airs Sunday, November 23 at 6 p.m. The disintegration of Iraq, Syria’s ongoing civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promise and peril of the Arab Spring...  What role should America play in the Middle East? For some America’s restraint has been a sign of disciplined leadership. But for others, it has been a sign of diminished strength and influence.  Are we simply recognizing the limitations of our power, or does this embattled region require a bolder, more muscular, American presence? 

Commentator Gary Joiner explains the difference between the acronyms ISIS and ISIL and what the consequences could be in how a terrorist group is referenced.

History Matters is made possible in part by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Louisiana Cultural Vistas Magazine.

The U.S. has entered the war against Islamic State fighters, or ISIS, in Iraq with air strikes. Kurds are one of the main Western allies. Commentator Gary Joiner takes a step back to look at the Kurdish people through history.

Airs Sunday, July 20 at 6 p.m.  The Pentagon has announced plans to shrink the U.S. Military to pre-World War II levels following the end of the war in Iraq and the continued withdrawal from Afghanistan.  On this edition of America Abroad, we hear reaction to a smaller U.S. Military from allies in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East about whether America's ability to advance its interests is compromised. Also, defense experts and military veterans discuss whether a smaller US military would embolden other countries like Russia to test America's willingness to engage.