Indonesia’s President, Commander of the Crusaders!

By Chris Lundry Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has been branded a commander of the crusaders following the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain will be awarding him the Honorary Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Bath. The award has angered extremist Islamist groups, some of whom are still simmering over the recent arrest of 11 people suspected of terrorism throughout Java and the uncovering of plots to bomb […] Read more »

Film Protests Strengthen Extremists’ Hand

by Nathaniel Greenberg The Innocence of Muslims is not the first, nor will it be the last offensive depiction of Islam. Just today the French journal Charlie Hebdo released its new edition with an image of Mohamed in a wheel-chair being pushed by a farcical looking Hassidic Jew. Happy Rosh Hashanah! Most in the Muslim world are onto these games and understand that marketing gimmicks, like offending Muslims, help sell magazines and generate page views. […] 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 »

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 »

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 »

Suharto Era Comops Backfire in 2012 Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremists continue to portray Ambonese Christians as engaged in separatist rebellion against Indonesia, and a crusade against Muslims. This isn’t true, but raises the question: where on earth did they get this idea? The adage that if a lie gets repeated enough times it becomes true is, apparently, applicable in Indonesia’s Ambon region. It was home to a brief separatist insurgency following the Indonesian revolution (1945-49).  Following their defeat in 1950, […] Read more »

Cooking the Books

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has an article in the current issue of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism on casualty inflation by the Taliban in the Afghanistan conflict.  The abstract follows, and the full text is available here (subscription). Cooking the Books: Strategic Inflation of Casualty Reports by Extremists in the Afghanistan Conflict Chris Lundry, Steven R. Corman, R. Bennett Furlow, & Kirk W. Errickson Islamist extremists in Afghanistan and elsewhere are exaggerating their […] Read more »

NATO’s Narrative Vacuum

by Steven R. Corman Last month, James Appathurai, NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy,  agreed to participate in an electronic Q&A sponsored by the Atlantic Community.  He answered 20 questions in four installments, on global partnerships and the Arab spring, partnerships in Asia, questions on Central Asia/Caucasus, and the NATO mission.  The latter includes an item on the NATO narrative that illustrates the large challenge the alliance faces in filling […] Read more »