Category Archives: Taliban

Hilary Clinton’s Aggressive Overkill

Evan N. Resnick, Courtesy of Eurasia Review … at http://www.eurasiareview.com/22062016-hillary-clintons-foreign-policy-paradox-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29, where the title runs thus: “Hilary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Dilemmas”

 CLINTON DoD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, Wikipedia Commons.

Paradoxically, although US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is relying on her extensive foreign policy experience to bolster her electoral appeal, her actual track record as a foreign policy decision maker is worrisome. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama waded into the rough and tumble 2016 US presidential contest by endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee. In his videotaped announcement, Obama declared: “I don’t think there has ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.” Continue reading

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Where Mind-Space subsumes Battle-Space: ISIS and Al-Qaida Terrain

Peter Leahy, courtesy of The Australian,  31 May 2016, where the title is “We need a political plan on the war on terror” and where there are 28 comments so far

An increasing range of reports suggest that Iraqi and Syrian forces and their respective coalition partners are closing in on Islamic State and its caliphate and that it will soon be ejected from the territory it has occupied for the past few years. The destruction of the caliphate will not be easy, nor will it signal victory in the so-called war on terror. The caliphate may go but the ideology behind it will remain. Victory against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will be only a small gain in a much larger, more extensive and lengthy war. Nor will it do much to calm the maelstrom enveloping the broader Middle East.

JIHADISTS 22 JIHADISTS

Modern military theorists tell us that we have entered the era of Fourth Generation War. In this type of war, the state has lost its monopoly on war and violence and conflicts are between cultures, not states. In addition, the legitimacy of states is challenged, wars are undeclared, the rules of war are dispensed with and the battle of ideas is more important than the battle for territory. Sound familiar? Continue reading

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Amidst the Taliban in Jalalabad: Anoja of the UNICEF

Anoja Wijeyesekera, in The Sunday Island, 8 May 2016, where the title is “Jalalabad”

Excerpted here is a chapter from Anoja Wijeyesekera’ recent book, Facing the Taliban, providing a fascinating account of the writer braving the challenge of heading the UNICEF office in Jalalabad during the height of Taliban terror. Anoja who retired from UNICEF in 2006, having been the agency’s Country Representative in Bhutan for nearly five years, was picked to be assigned to Jalalabad by the agency which believed that in the face of a woman anathematizing regime, an international woman officer was needed to ensure that its program for Afghani mothers and children actually reached them. The chapter reproduced here with permission from the author, deals with her move to Jalalabad.

ANOJA BookAs we neared Jalalabad, I could see canopies of delicate fir trees on both sides of the road. These trees formed an exquisite natural archway that extended mile after mile. In the good old days before tragedy struck this country, this was the grand entrance to Jalalabad, the winter capital of Afghanistan. The climate of Jalalabad being milder than that of Kabul, the rich retreated to their winter villas there to get away from the freezing temperatures of the capital city. During the golden era of King Zahir Shah, the last king of Afghanistan, Kabul, the administrative and. commercial capital that was modelled on Paris, was known as the “Paris of Asia”. It attracted many visitors from neighbouring countries and was a favourite stop-over for those who undertook the road journey from Europe to India. Continue reading

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Farrer and Roberts discuss War Magic and the Sacrificial Devotion of Tamil Tigers

Q and A reprinted courtesy of Berghahn Press … at … http://ht.ly/VIYQMThis post is the transcript of an electronic interview between D. S. Farrer and Michael Roberts. Farrer is the special issue editor for Social Analysis Volume 58, Issue 1, and Roberts is the author of the article Encompassing Empowerment in Ritual, War, and Assassination: Tantric Principles in Tamil Tiger Instrumentalities” appearing in that issue. Below, Roberts answers a series of questions related to her article in Social Analysis.

This is the seventh in a series of interviews with contributors to this volume. Find the previous contributions on our blog. 

WAR MAGIC doug in fight Doug Farrer in action Continue reading

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Warrior Cults, Shamans and War Machines — Doug Farrer at Work

Q and A with Doug Farrer ……. This post is the transcript of an electronic interview between D. S. Farrer and Berghahn blog editor Lorna Field…….. D. S. Farrer is the co-author of the article Chants of Re-enchantment: Chamorro Spiritual Resistance to Colonial Domination and special issue editor of Social Analysis Volume 58, Issue 1: War Magic and Warrior Religion: Sorcery, Cognition, and Embodiment

img2545_16072011014026 Silat training–Pic from www.greatnewplaces.com

What drew you to the study of War Magic & Warrior Religion? Initially I was drawn to the study of war magic through my doctoral research into a Sufi warrior cult, where the Malay martial art (silat) was employed as a means to attract and secure local and international followers and converts. A wise informant, Dato Penggawa Tua Zaharah Mokhtar, recommended that I start with Winstedt [1925] (1993), Shaw (1976), and Skeat’s [1900] (1993) books on Malay magic to begin my research on silat. At the time I was lecturing on Weber at the National University of Singapore, so the chiasmus between warrior religion and war magic came naturally: of course, the connection also appears in Deleuze and Guattari’s [1987] (2004) Treatise on NomadologyThe War Machine, among other sources. Continue reading

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How to eradicate Islamic Terror?

Varun Ghosh reviewing David Kilcullen: Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State,  Black Inc, 2015 (?), 128pp, $22.99 … in The Weekend Australian, 6/7 June 2015, with the title “Snapping the terror tentacles.”

jihadists -OZA battle-weary West must summon the political will to defeat Islamic State and continue the fight against global terrorism. That is the central message of David Kilcullen’s expansive and ambitious Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State. Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer, develops his thesis by weaving together two distinct but related accounts: an analysis of the policy failures in Iraq that led to the rise of Islamic State and a broader evaluation of the global war on terrorism.

Kilcullen, in addition to his considerable experience as a counter-terrorism strategist and former adviser to US general David Petraeus and secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, is a deft storyteller. The artful combination of his professional experience, insightful analysis and strategic recommendations makes for enthralling reading.

DAVID KILCULLENThe story of Islamic State begins in Iraq. Kilcullen is a severe critic of the decision to open a second front in the war on terrorism by invading Iraq before the conflict in Afghanistan and complex situation in Pakistan were resolved. By 2006, Iraq was mired in a sectarian civil war, led there by the “mindless obstinacy” of US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who “insisted on leaving the absolute minimum force in Iraq” following the defeat of Saddam Hussein. Ambassador Paul Bremer’s “disastrous de-Ba’athification edict and the disbanding of the Iraqi army” only compounded the folly. (Later, one US officer wrote to Kilcullen, “Note to self: consider renaming Camp Victory.”) Continue reading

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US Assassination of Osama Bin Laden involved Pakistan’s ISI

Seymour Hersh and the London Review of Books

OSAMA BIN LUS forces killed Osama bin Laden with the full cooperation of Pakistani intelligence agencies, who had kept the 9/11 mastermind prisoner inside his infamous Abbottabad compound for years before the fatal raid, a new bombshell report claims. The report, a lengthy article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, widely contradicts multiple elements of the original account of the May 2011 raid by U.S. forces provided by the Obama administration and other federal government figures.

“The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account,” Hersh wrote in the 10,000-word expose published online Sunday on the London Review of Books website. Continue reading

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