(Re)Defining the Long War: Toward a New Vocabulary of International Terrorism

by Aaron Hess & Z. S. Justus As the fight against terrorism continues, language plays a pivotal role. In current policies, the language of war continues to dominate. Based on an analysis of President Bush’s September 11th anniversary campaign speeches, we propose that war metaphors and language, such as victory, enemies, and allies, occlude the reality of counterterrorism efforts. It is difficult to pinpoint victory in this conflict, a requisite of the vocabulary of war […] Read more »

Mapping Acts of Terror

by Robert D. McPhee Despite many clear differences in motivation and process, there seems also to be a continuity between the isolated nut who commits terrorific murder as at Virginia Tech and the terrorism campaigns of organizations like al-Qaeda. The fanatic who sees injustice and disrespect in his/her life is the sole actor as murderer, but among an army of similarly organized true believers is merely cannon-fodder in the global army of radical Islamists. In […] Read more »

Islam, Pluralism and Democracy

by Mark Woodward It is now common in both academic and policy circles to ask the question “Where are the liberal Muslims?” Abrurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, leads the world’s largest Muslim organization and advocates for human rights, democracy and religious pluralism. In 1990 he wrote a paper, translated here by Mark Woodward, which was strongly critical of the Suharto regime. When that regime collapsed in 1997, Wahid worked to ensure that the political […] Read more »

A 21st Century Model for Communication in the Global War of Ideas

by Steven R. Corman, Angela Trethewey, & Bud Goodall In the global war of ideas, the United States finds itself facing a systems problem that cannot be solved by simply delivering the right message. The question is not “how can we construct a more persuasive message?” Rather it is “what kind of reality has this particular system [that we are trying to influence] constructed for itself?” The present strategic communication efforts by the U.S. and […] Read more »