Archive for June, 2010

Ryan Crocker, “Lessons from a Long War”

Click below to hear a speech by Ryan C. Crocker, former Ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. He is currently Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, and he spoke to members and guests of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio on April 29, 2010. The title of his presentation is “Lessons from a Long War: The United States in the Middle East”. Charles Lutz, chair-elect of the World Affairs Council of San Antonio opens the program.Dean Crocker’s Speech.

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National Framework for Strategic Communication

Click Here to download
the National Framework for Strategic Communication,

President Barack Obama’s Report to Congress, March 16, 2010.

This 14-page report, described in the President’s transmittal letter as the “Administration’s comprehensive interagency strategy for public diplomacy and strategic communication,” was submitted in response to a requirement in Section 1055 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009.  The report seeks to clarify the meaning of strategic communication; present a strategy for “deliberate communication and engagement;” identify strategic communication priorities; and explain the roles and responsibilities of the National Security Council, embassies, the military’s geographic combatant commands, and executive branch departments, and agencies.  The report states also that the National Security Council staff “currently sees no need to establish a new, independent, not-for-profit organization” as recommended by the Defense Science Board’s Strategic Communication Task Force.  The NSC staff reasons that the Administration’s “existing enterprise either already meets or is working to meet the recommended purposes of the organization prescribed by the Task Force.”

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Fouad Ajami on Radical Islamists

Islam’s Nowhere Men


Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2010

‘A Muslim has no nationality except his belief,” the intellectual godfather of the Islamists, Egyptian Sayyid Qutb, wrote decades ago. Qutb’s “children” are everywhere now; they carry the nationalities of foreign lands and plot against them. The Pakistani born Faisal Shahzad is a devotee of Sayyid Qutb’s doctrine, and Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was another.

Qutb was executed by the secular dictatorship of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1966. But his thoughts and legacy endure. Globalization, the shaking up of continents, the ease of travel, and the doors for immigration flung wide open by Western liberal societies have given Qutb’s worldview greater power and relevance. What can we make of a young man like Shahzad working for Elizabeth Arden, receiving that all-American degree, the MBA, jogging in the evening in Bridgeport, then plotting mass mayhem in Times Square?

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Internet Terror Recruitment and Tradecraft

Internet Terror Recruitment and Tradecraft: How Can We Address an Evolving Tool While Protecting Free Speech?

Hearing, House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Click here to read the comments and Congressional testimony provided by Bruce Hoffman, Brian Jenkins, Anthony Romero, John Morris, and John Philip Mudd

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Seth Jones on Tribes in Afghanistan

Foreign Affairs

May/June 2010


It Takes the Villages

Bringing Change From Below in Afghanistan

Seth G. Jones
SETH G. JONES is a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation and the author of In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan. In 2009, he served as a Plans Officer and Adviser to the Commanding General of U.S. Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan.

I met Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, twice in 2009 and was quickly drawn to his unassuming demeanor and erudition. His jet-black beard and round spectacles gave him the aura of a soft-spoken professor, not a battle-hardened guerrilla fighter who had first tasted war at the age of 15. Zaeef told me about his childhood in southern Afghanistan, the Soviet invasion, his life with the Taliban, and the three years he spent in prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. What was particularly striking was his contempt for the United States and what he regarded as its myopic understanding of Afghanistan. “How long has America been in Afghanistan?” Zaeef asked rhetorically. “And how much do Americans know about Afghanistan and its people? Do they understand its culture, its tribes, and its population? I am afraid they know very little.”

Zaeef is largely correct. In fact, U.S. Major General Michael Flynn, deputy chief of staff for intelligence in Afghanistan, echoed this point in early 2010: “Eight years into the war in Afghanistan,” Flynn wrote in a poignant unclassified paper, “the vast intelligence apparatus is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade.”

» Continue reading “Seth Jones on Tribes in Afghanistan”

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Missile Strike Kills Senior Al-Qaeda Operative

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Article on Killing Terrorists

Interesting Newsweek article – Does Killing Terrorists Actually Prevent Terrorism?

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