New White Paper: The Narrative Landscape of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb

CSC has released a new white paper: The Narrative Landscape of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Executive Summary This report presents the results of an analysis of the narrative landscape produced in texts by and about al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) from 2007 to 2013. We analyzed invocation of cultural master narrative use by the group, and then performed a detailed thematic study of the texts using Critical Discourse Analysis. This report is timely, […] Read more »

African Development Surge Could Play into AQIM Narrative

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies at the Potomac Institute recently released a report entitled “Terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel in 2012: Global Reach and Implications.” It contains important proposals for addressing some of the humanitarian crises inflicting the region (including in the Western Sahara, which continues to divide our largest allies in the region). But it also recommends moving forward aggressive deregulation and privatization initiatives that could amplify the predominant grievance—and […] Read more »

Toppling Assad in Syria: A Western Plot?

By Chris Lundry Indonesian Islamist site syabab.com featured a story on Syria’s embattled leader Bashar al-Assad which states that his looming demise is the culmination of a “Western Plot.” This “news” is fascinating for those who have paid even just a little attention to events as they unfold in Syria. Didn’t the US and the West equivocate for months as Assad murdered his own people? Was that part of the plan? Was part of the […] Read more »

CSC’s Steve Corman Receives ASU Founder’s Day Award

Professor Steven R. Corman, the Director of the Center for Strategic Communication and the Herberger Professor at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University, received the ASU Alumni Association Founder’s Day Faculty Achievement Service Award yesterday (Thursday, February 21). From the award announcement on the Alumni page: Steven Corman is being honored for his service to the United States military and its allies related to his research on verbal and written […] Read more »

Smith-Mundt Has Been Modernized

by Steven R. Corman I was shocked to see  in a post at bbgstrategy.com that the 2013 Defense Authorization Act had passed and was signed into law over the holidays with Smith-Mundt modernization provisions intact.  I say shocked because of the sh#*tstorm that erupted when these provisions were proposed last summer.  I thought this was a no-go, or would at least require a fight, but the critics seem to have either lost track or lost […] Read more »

Islamists Exploit Burmese Rohingya Conflict

by Chris Lundry Another case of Muslim minority persecution, this time in Burma, has gotten attention in the last several weeks. Islamist extremists are using the incident to incite jihad, stoke religious violence, and criticize the Indonesian government. For the past several weeks, the Muslim minority Rohingya of Burma (Myanmar) has been in the news over reports of renewed oppression and in the context of a reforming Burma. The Rohingya story is long and complex, […] Read more »

The Latest Grossly Exaggerated Taliban Casualty Figures

By Chris Lundry Once again, the Taliban has released comically inflated casualty reports from the conflict in Afghanistan. The latest post (which I accessed through Indonesian extremist site ar Rahmah) claims that 1114 ISAF “crusaders” were killed and 584 wounded in the period June 23 – July 21. The report also claims that 2970 Afghan “puppet” soldiers were killed and 1546 wounded, 915 military vehicles were destroyed, 4 helicopters downed, 2 drones downed, and one […] Read more »

Taliban Casualty Inflation Getting Comical

by Chris Lundry In a blog post last month, I noted how the Taliban have been inflating their counts of American casualties to a ridiculous degree. This month it approaches comedy. As reported by Indonesian extremist site ar Rahmah, in the period May 24 to June 23, the Taliban killed 1384 “Crusader” troops and wounded 662. As reported by icasualties, there were 45 and 39 coalition deaths in the months of May and June. If […] Read more »

New Blog on Behavioral Conflict

by Steven R. Corman Late last year, we reported that Steve Tatham and colleagues had published a new book entitled Behavioural Confict.  Now they have created a new blog to go with the book. Both book and blog pound on the theme that changing attitudes is nice, but changing behavior is the more important (and often more direct) method for accomplishing desired influence outcomes.  This was something of a theme at the recent NATO Strategic […] Read more »

Taliban Threatens to End Polio Vaccinations in Pakistan

By Chris Lundry According to a CNN report Monday, the Taliban in Pakistan released a statement threatening to cut off all polio vaccinations for children in the North Waziristan region if the US continues drone strikes there. From the Taliban statement: Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio… On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while […] Read more »