Summaries - Research
Back Developing IED Counter-Narratives
|Division||School of International Graduate Studies|
|Department||National Security Affairs|
|Investigator(s)||Johnson, Thomas H.|
|Sponsor||Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (Joint)|
Presently, 49% of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan are caused by IEDs and EFPs, and that percentage is growing. IEDs and EFPs are a relatively new weapon in Afghanistan. In order to effectively counteract IEDs in Afghanistan, it is essential to understand their human masters and the narratives that drive them, and develop successful counter-narrative techniques.
This study will analyze IED narratives in Afghanistan from a variety of sources, including Taliban press releases and night letters (shabnamah), local media, and, when possible, the messages and accounts of the bombers themselves. While sacrifice and martyrdom are virtue among Afghan jihadi narratives, deliberate suicide (which accounts for approximately ten percent of IED attacks in Afghanistan) is culturally anathema. Traditionally, anonymous attacks, such as roadside bombs, were similarly shunned. Just as anti-coalition militia seek to incorporate these tactics into the culture of war in Afghanistan, those tactics can be disassociated, shamed, and vilified through counter-narratives. This project will identify the insurgent discourses making IEDs culturally acceptable, analyze them, and disassemble them. If the tactics of IEDs and suicide can be effectively demonstrated as being culturally unacceptable, support for these tactics among the rural populations can be substantially reduced.
|Publications||Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal|
|Data||Publications, theses (not shown) and data repositories will be added to the portal record when information is available in FAIRS and brought back to the portal|