THE CULTURE AND CONFLICT REVIEW
The Culture & Conflict Review is an online peer-review journal produced by the Program for Culture & Conflict Studies, bringing you analysis of current events, policy, operations, and human terrain in South and Central Asia as well as other regions of the world. Premised on the belief that the United States must understand the culture and human terrain of other nations and peoples, we offer
commentary and 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 The Culture & Conflict Review are published on a quarterly
Welcome to The Culture & Conflict Review
Welcome to the Fall 2010 edition of The Culture & Conflict Review! We are pleased to present you with an engaging selection of new articles on several timely and important topics.
In this edition of the Review, we present the following new articles:
We are also pleased to share with you the following student theses:
Lastly, we are pleased to share with you some recent news coverage of CCS and its Director, Thomas H. Johnson:
“We are pretty much stuck with Pakistan,” says Thomas Johnson of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, who has advised the Canadian and U.S. governments. “The Central Asian states are completely landlocked. It is a very dire situation.” The dependence on Pakistan includes more than geography, says Ontario-based defence analyst Sunil Ram of the American Military University. “About 80 per cent of (NATO) fuel requirements are from refineries in Karachi,” he said. “It’s strategically easy for the Taliban to stop the convoys. Even if they cut off 15 to 20 per cent of the fuel it has a large impact on the war because it reduces the ability to operate.” And, he points out, a number of international media reports contend the U.S. has reverted to paying the Taliban to stay away from the convoys.
An even more sobering assessment comes from Brig.-Gen. Vance's handpicked political aide and counterinsurgency advisor, an American scholar named Thomas Johnson. He writes scathingly of most coalition attempts to pacify and befriend the Afghan population, and compares the counterinsurgency to U.S. efforts four decades ago in Vietnam. "In Vietnam, the enemy was monolithic; the insurgency in Afghanistan is a complex network of networks, and that is bad news," Prof. Johnson wrote a year ago in the journal Military Review. "Afghanistan is not one insurgency but several connected ones, and generalizations about U.S. enemies in Afghanistan are misleading and often counterproductive.... We are fighting a counterinsurgency; the enemy is fighting a jihad.... By misunderstanding the basic nature of the enemy, the United States is fighting the wrong war again, just as we did in Vietnam. It is hard to defeat an enemy you do not understand." Canadians may have a more sophisticated understanding of the enemy but we have made mistakes, too. Such as wishful thinking.
On behalf of all of us at the Program for Culture and Conflict Studies (CCS), please enjoy our latest edition of the The Culture and Conflict Review. As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions and articles for future editions.
We'll see you again when we present our Winter edition!
The Culture & Conflict Review is produced by:
- CCS Founder & Executive Director
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