NATO REVIEW 2008
Edition 3: The mechanics of terrorism
Edition 4: Food and Security
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Afghanistan (part 1): the Issues
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Afghanistan (part 1): the Issues
International Crisis Group Deputy President Nick Grono outlines how the Taliban's media war is developing - and how to fight back.
The Taliban's media offensive is as notable for what they don't show as what they do. This photostory gives a few examples.
Tim Foxley analyses the media campaign being waged by the Taliban and asks if more couldn't be done to hit back.
If Afghanistan blows its forthcoming elections, it may also be blowing its chances of normal development, argues Daoud Sultanzoy.
Marco Vincenzino argues that letting Afghanistan become the West's 'forgotten war' would mean risking losing much more than just a war.

Afghanistan is a country with unrivalled contradictions. Perhaps one of the greatest at the moment is the Taliban's media strategy.

An organisation that prided itself on 'traditional' values, shunning modernity and strict rejection of western culture is manipulating the very latest technology that the world has to offer. Its use of television, text messages and the Internet are now legendary.

Yet the contradiction doesn't stop there. It is also the same organisation that threatens to blow up mobile phone masts if the operators don't shut them down when the Taliban orders.

This issue looks at how important getting the media message across in Afghanistan is to the mission to set up a stable democratic state. It analyses issues such as why there is such little impact by the indigenous Afghan media, how the West could better expose Taliban media weaknesses and how important media messages from Afghanistan are in troop contributing nations.

Many people who have travelled and worked in Afghanistan have borne testimony to Afghans' home spun wisdom. It would seem that two Afghan proverbs are particularly appropriate in this media struggle.

One, which translates as 'Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet', may provide some encouragement for democratic forces.

The other, 'Honesty is the key to success', is perhaps better directed to the Taliban.

Paul King, Afghanistan is a country with unrivalled contradictions. Perhaps one of the greatest at the moment is the Taliban's media strategy.

An organisation that prided itself on 'traditional' values, shunning modernity and strict rejection of western culture is manipulating the very latest technology that the world has to offer. Its use of television, text messages and the Internet are now legendary.

Yet the contradiction doesn't stop there. It is also the same organisation that threatens to blow up mobile phone masts if the operators don't shut them down when the Taliban orders.

This issue looks at how important getting the media message across in Afghanistan is to the mission to set up a stable democratic state. It analyses issues such as why there is such little impact by the indigenous Afghan media, how the West could better expose Taliban media weaknesses and how important media messages from Afghanistan are in troop contributing nations.

Many people who have travelled and worked in Afghanistan have borne testimony to Afghans' home spun wisdom. It would seem that two Afghan proverbs are particularly appropriate in this media struggle.

One, which translates as 'Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet', may provide some encouragement for democratic forces.

The other, 'Honesty is the key to success', is perhaps better directed to the Taliban.

Paul King, Afghanistan is a country with unrivalled contradictions. Perhaps one of the greatest at the moment is the Taliban's media strategy.

An organisation that prided itself on 'traditional' values, shunning modernity and strict rejection of western culture is manipulating the very latest technology that the world has to offer. Its use of television, text messages and the Internet are now legendary.

Yet the contradiction doesn't stop there. It is also the same organisation that threatens to blow up mobile phone masts if the operators don't shut them down when the Taliban orders.

This issue looks at how important getting the media message across in Afghanistan is to the mission to set up a stable democratic state. It analyses issues such as why there is such little impact by the indigenous Afghan media, how the West could better expose Taliban media weaknesses and how important media messages from Afghanistan are in troop contributing nations.

Many people who have travelled and worked in Afghanistan have borne testimony to Afghans' home spun wisdom. It would seem that two Afghan proverbs are particularly appropriate in this media struggle.

One, which translates as 'Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet', may provide some encouragement for democratic forces.

The other, 'Honesty is the key to success', is perhaps better directed to the Taliban.

Paul King