Global war on terror blog weekly round-up

Afghanistan Andrew Exum believes that demands for greater power for Afghan forces is good for America’s negotiating position. Freelance consult Jay Ulfelder looks at what anthropologists think about Afghanistan. Counter-insurgency Arda Bilgen compares Mao and David Kilcullen’s thoughts on insurgency and … Continue reading Read more »

Obama’s Trip to Indonesia, Australia

by Chris Lundry President Obama has now made his second trip in office to the land where he spent four years of his youth, Indonesia, while on a trip to Asia and Australia. Although Obama’s time in Indonesia was brief, he was welcomed relatively warmly by most Indonesians, who appreciate his ties to the most populous Muslim country. There are, however, plenty of people who disapproved, including the usual suspects, the Islamist extremists. The trip […] Read more »

The Uproar over PERF: Occupy Controlling the Information Environment

Perception is reality. All sorts of media outlets are going into a low hover today over PERF, the Police Executive Research Forum, a think-tank that serves police chiefs of major cities in the US and apparently Canada.  (See here, here, and here for examples.)  It seems that PERF has, gasp, been in conference calls with […] Read more »

Al Qaeda and Its Apathetic Public

My friend Ryan Evans’ excellent review of Fawaz Gerges’ new book, The Rise and Fall of Al Qaeda got me thinking about conspiracy theorism and its relationship to Al Qaeda’s fortunes. Ryan takes issue with Gerges’ contention that Al Qaeda never really had a “viable social constituency.” I am most decidedly with Ryan on this one, but […] Read more »

Faces of the Arab Spring (IV)

I'm posting an expanded version of the remarks I gave at Newman University in Wichita on November 3, 2011. The linked document consists of the notes, "cleaned up" and organized into something coherent. Download "FacesNotes" (.pdf) I could have talked for hours about jihad, but I wanted to challenge myself in what was my first (hopefully not my last) public talk. Instead, I chose the topic of the Arab Spring. The audience - mostly students, faculty and local residents - asked tough, smart questions afterward. I'm truly blessed to have had an opportunity to speak with them. Read more »

Anonymous vs. the Muslim Brotherhood?

Apparently Anonymous has decided to take on the Ikhwan day after tomorrow.  I’m curious what if anything will come of this.  Probably nothing, but I’m prepared to be wrong.  (I sort of hope I’m wrong, actually, as I’m not an enormous fan of the the Muslim Brotherhood.) One thing about this announcement of impending cyber hostilities got me […] Read more »

New Volume on Countering Violent Extremism

by Steven R. Corman NSI has just released a new edited volume (PDF here) that should be of interest to COMOPS Journal readers.  Entitled Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods and Strategies, it contains the latest thinking on the subject, including a chapter on narrative by yours truly.  The contents are listed below. Foreword (Brig. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan) Preface (Diane DiEuiliis) Executive Summary (Laurie Fenstermacher) Section 1: Current Insights into Violent Extremism Not All […] Read more »