Description : Why has the Taliban been so much more effective in presenting messages that resonate with the Afghan population than the United States, the Afghan government and their allies? This book, based on years of field research and the assessment of hundreds of original source materials, examines the information operations and related narratives of Afghan insurgents, especially the Afghan Taliban, and investigates how the Taliban has won the information war. Taliban messaging, wrapped in the narrative of jihad, is both to the point and in tune with its target audiences. On the other hand, the United States and its Kabul allies committed a basic messaging blunder, failing to present narratives that spoke to or, often, were even understood by their target audiences. Thomas Johnson systematically explains why the United States lost this "battle of the story" in Afghanistan, and argues that this defeat may have cost the US the entire war, despite its conventional and technological superiority.
Description : This book is an account of the emergence and key events related to the origin and expansion of Pakistani Taliban since 2001, with a focus on the role of religion in their actions, policies and worldviews. The author brings to light rare insight into the ideological basis of Pakistani Taliban, drawing upon first-hand research comprising participant observation, interviews, content analysis of organizational literature and Talibani communications, such as recruitment videos, recorded speeches, leaflets and pamphlets, jihadi anthems and press releases to the local media. The book demonstrates how religion simultaneously appears as an object to be defended, as a threat, as the purpose of violence, as the source of rules and limitations on violent action and as the source of motivational imagery and myths. Going into an analysis of just what role religion plays in violent activities of this group and how does it do so, the author shows that Talibani narratives are both secular and religious at the same time, contradicting a clear-cut divide between religious and secular motivations for violence. The book advocates against extreme positions that accord religion either a primary or a negligent position in explaining the raison d’être of Pakistani Taliban. It makes a plea for more informed and empathetic approach instead of the purely militaristic stance towards extremism, which has only helped it grow in the past.
Description : An Intimate War tells the story of the last thirty-four years of conflict in Helmand Province, Afghani- stan as seen through the eyes of the Helmandis. In the West, this period is often defined through different lenses - the Soviet intervention, the civil war, the Taliban, and the post-2001 nation-building era. Yet, as experienced by local inhabitants, the Helmand conflict is a perennial one, involving the same individuals, families and groups, and driven by the same arguments over land, water and power. This book - based on both military and re- search experience in Helmand and 150 inter- views in Pashto - offers a very different view of Helmand from those in the media. It demonstrates how outsiders have most often misunderstood the ongoing struggle in Helmand and how, in doing so, they have exacerbated the conflict, perpetuated it and made it more violent - precisely the opposite of what was intended when their interventions were launched. Mike Martin's oral history of Helmand under- scores the absolute imperative of understanding the highly local, personal, and non-ideological nature of internal conflict in much of the 'third' world.
Description : After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, those in London and Madrid, and the arrest of the “Toronto 18,” Canadians have changed how they think about terrorism and security. As governments respond to the potential threat of homegrown radicalism, many observers have become concerned about the impact of those security measures on the minority groups whose lives are “securitized.” In Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond, Paul Bramadat and Lorne Dawson bring together contributors from a wide range of academic disciplines to examine the challenges created by both religious radicalism and the state’s and society’s response to it. This collection takes a critical look at what is known about religious radicalization, how minorities are affected by radicalization from within and securitization from without, and how the public, media, and government are attempting to cope with the dangers of both radicalization and securitization. Religious Radicalization and Securitization in Canada and Beyond is an ideal guide to the ongoing debates on how best to respond to radicalization without sacrificing the commitments to multiculturalism and social justice that many Canadians hold dear.
Description : With the U.S. war in Afghanistan in its twelfth year, axioms regarding the American national will in war not being able to tolerate anything other than quick and costless adventures have been found useless in understanding why the U.S. continues to persist in that endeavor. This book answers complex questions about modern US intervention abroad.
Description : The twentieth century witnessed not only the devastation of war, conflict, and injustice on a massive scale, but it also saw the emergence of social psychology as a discipline committed to addressing these and other social problems. In the 21st century, however, the promise of social psychology remains incomplete. We have witnessed the reprise of authoritarianism and the endurance of institutionalized forms of oppression such as sexism, racism, and heterosexism across the globe. Edited by Phillip L. Hammack, The Oxford Handbook of Social Psychology and Social Justice reorients social psychology toward the study of social injustice in real-world settings. The volume's contributing authors effectively span the borders between cultures and disciplines to better highlight new and emerging critical paradigms that interrogate the very real consequences of social injustice. United in their belief in the possibility of liberation from oppression, with this Handbook, Hammack and his contributors offer a stirring blueprint for a new, important kind of social psychology today.
Description : Conducting Counterinsurgency uses the personal experiences of officers and soldiers from RTF4 - described in their own words - to illustrate the principles of counterinsurgency operations. The book provides a vivid and personal snapshot of the work of these soldiers, the challenges they faced and their interaction with the local people during their tour of duty. This is a first-hand account of counterinsurgency operations conducted by the contemporary Australian Army in its fight against the Taliban. Conducting Counterinsurgency sheds light on the little- understood operations of the Australian Army in Afghanistan and is a must for military professionals and commentators and
Description : Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize From the award-winning and bestselling author of Directorate S, the explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan To what extent did America’s best intelligence analysts grasp the rising thread of Islamist radicalism? Who tried to stop bin Laden and why did they fail? Comprehensively and for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks. Based on scrupulous research and firsthand accounts by key government, intelligence, and military personnel both foreign and American, Ghost Wars details the secret history of the CIA’s role in Afghanistan (including its covert operations against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989), the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of bin Laden, and the failed efforts by U.S. forces to find and assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.
Description : This volume explores the way governments endeavoured to build and maintain public support for the war in Afghanistan, combining new insights on the effects of strategic narratives with an exhaustive series of case studies. In contemporary wars, with public opinion impacting heavily on outcomes, strategic narratives provide a grid for interpreting the why, what and how of the conflict. This book asks how public support for the deployment of military troops to Afghanistan was garnered, sustained or lost in thirteen contributing nations. Public attitudes in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe towards the use of military force were greatly shaped by the cohesiveness and content of the strategic narratives employed by national policy-makers. Assessing the ability of countries to craft a successful strategic narrative, the book addresses the following key areas: 1) how governments employ strategic narratives to gain public support; 2) how strategic narratives develop during the course of the conflict; 3) how these narratives are disseminated, framed and perceived through various media outlets; 4) how domestic audiences respond to strategic narratives; 5) how this interplay is conditioned by both events on the ground, in Afghanistan, and by structural elements of the domestic political systems. This book will be of much interest to students of international intervention, foreign policy, political communication, international security, strategic studies and IR in general.