An opinion piece published in the Washington Times yesterday made the case that Yale, along with the rest of America’s institutions of higher education, should teach students basic geography — not just for general knowledge, but for national security.

David Keeling, a member of the American Geographical Society Writers’ Circle, writes:

A very substantial number of the country’s policymaking elite graduate from top-flight universities where geography is not taught. This embarrassing list of elite institutions includes Harvard, Tufts, Columbia, Wellesley, Princeton and Yale.

Would the recent course of history have been different if George W. Bush had taken classes in regional or human geography at Yale or the Harvard Business School, or if Donald H. Rumsfeld had studied political geography at Princeton? Would President Obama be better prepared to handle the Afghanistan and Iran challenges if he had studied geography at Occidental, Columbia or Harvard? How can the United States take a leading role in a global society when so many public policymakers head to Washington with such a geographically challenged background?

Click here to read Keeling’s full opinion, “Geographic Awareness Needed.”