The Culture & Conflict Review - Vol 2, #2, March 2008
Produced by the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies, The Culture & Conflict Review is an online peer review journal bringing you analysis of current events, policy, operations, and human terrain in South and Central Asia as well as updates on our research. Premised on the belief that the U.S. must understand the culture and human terrain of other nations and people, we offer monthly commentaries and academic analysis on issues of current interest to policy makers, military commanders, academics, and the general public. We are particularly interested in issues addressing culture, anthropology, regional and identity politics, and the contemporary role of U.S. forces in areas of conflict. New issues of Culture & Conflict Review are published on a monthly basis.
Current Issue: Vol. 2, #2, March 2008.
Welcome to the Culture and Conflict Review
I am pleased to welcome you to the 4th edition of our e-journal, the Culture and Conflict Review (CCR). This edition focuses on the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and how they may affect future developments, as well as institutional changes on both sides of the border that give reason for optimism. Specifically the articles address gender equality in Afghanistan, the recent parliamentary elections in Pakistan, the use of suicide terrorism in Afghanistan, and the divide between the Taliban organization in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
M. Ashraf Haidari presents a compelling illustration of the gains developed in gender equality in Afghanistan and at the same time threatened if international support is diminished. He argues that no nation has ever rebuilt itself or become fully developed without the participation of women. While the “Taliban’s gender apartheid” has ended, much work is still needed to bring women out of their vulnerable status – already, 300,000 girls have been deprived of education in south and east Afghanistan.
Our program also provides two analyses in this edition of the CCR. First we examine the recent parliamentary elections in Pakistan and develop some important questions that must be addressed by US foreign policy analysts. With the PPP and PML-N winning most of the seats in the new Parliament, power is now theirs, but a two-thirds majority, necessary for an impeachment of Musharraf, still remains elusive. How long Pakistan’s President Musharraf remains in power depends upon the consensus of the new government. Our second piece looks at the devastating attacks that have impinged upon daily life in Kandahar. The worst attacks to date occurred in February as civilians seemingly became the newest targets for suicide attacks in Afghanistan. We examine the implications of such attacks and how they may ultimately undermine the Taliban’s insurgency.
Finally, Alec Metz and Harold Ingram look at the recent fraction between the Taliban organizations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In their drive for post-9/11 power, they have set aside a number of ideological positions in order to defeat a common enemy. As this month’s actions have shown, even the identity of that common enemy is a subject of debate and friction, and that divide has now spread to the leadership of the Taliban itself. In a brief analysis of the recent split within the Taliban, the history and reasons behind these divisions will be investigated.
The Program for Culture and Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Naval Postgraduate School continues to seek information, criticism, and suggestions from the academic community, personnel in-theater, and the general public. We are always looking for new and exciting opinions and analyses for our journal. To submit an article, please view our Author’s Guide.
Enjoy the journal!
Thomas H. Johnson
Women's Gains at Risk in Afghanistan
M. Ashraf Haidari
The Mother of All Elections
CCS Research Staff
Suicide Attacks on the Rise
CCS Research Staff
The Taliban Divide: Baitullah Mehsud and mission creep
Alec E. Metz & Harold Ingram
CCS Research Staff
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