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 Reaches a New High

By Chris Lundry We in the CSC have documented the predilection for the Taliban to exaggerate the number of casualties it inflicts on the ISAF in Afghanistan (in this blog post, and in Studies in Conflict in Terrorism). The latest Taliban figures for the Islamic month of Jumadil Akhir (April 24 – May 23), however, are astonishing and unbelievable: 888 Crusaders killed; 418 Crusaders wounded; 616 vehicles destroyed; 1720 Afghan puppet soldiers killed; 1042 Afghan […] Read more »

Extremists Rebrand the Conflict in Afghanistan

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremist site Prisoner of Joy recently posted the announcement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that operations against the United States and its allies will now be named Al Farooq Operations. From the post: The invaders should be made aware that the names of these operations are not merely accidental rather they have a special meaning and interpretation. This new name, however, may carry broader connotations of conflict within the Muslim […] Read more »

Corman speaks at 5th NATO SHAPE Strategic Communication Conference in Izmir, Turkey

CSC Director Steve Corman addressed the 5th NATO SHAPE Strategic Communication conference on June 21st in Izmir, Turhey. The conference gathered over 140 practitioners from NATO member countries.  The conference featured a keynote address by Gen. John Allen, commander of ISAF in Afghanistan. Narrative was a prominent theme at the conference, and Corman was invited to share insights from the CSC’s work on narrative applied both to NATO and extremist groups.  He discussed narrative problems […] Read more »

Ten Years Later, Our Narrative Remains Murky to Afghans

by Steven R. Corman Last Friday the always-excellent PBS Newshour ran a story that left me floored.  It featured interviews with several ordinary Afghans who were handed pictures of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. Of a dozen or so people asked, only one man (a police chief in Marjah) knew the story behind the pictures. All but one person said they had never seen the pictures before and did not know what they represented. […] Read more »

With bin Laden Dead Let’s Kill the Binary Narrative

by Scott Ruston As details pour in regarding this past weekend’s daring raid in which U.S. Navy SEALs  killed elusive al-Qaeda leader and world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the exact details of the events keep changing slightly. The New York Times titled an article covering a recent revision to the sequence of events and details about the operation as “White House Corrects Bin Laden Narrative”. I would argue, however, the “Bin Laden Narrative” […] Read more »

Communication and Media Strategy in the Jihadi War of Ideas

by Steven R. Corman & Jill S. Schiefelbein Recent controversies surrounding U.S. efforts to influence media in Iraq and the Middle East signal increasing interest in a war of ideas that is part of the conflict between the West and the worldwide jihadi movement. Clear thinking about this issue requires an understanding of how the jihadis struggle for hearts and minds. Yet many people are under-informed about the nature and extent of jihadi strategy regarding […] Read more »