Studying Host-Nationals in Operational Areas

The challenge of Afghanistan

Authored by: William Maley

Routledge Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies

Print publication date:  June  2014
Online publication date:  June  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415635332
eBook ISBN: 9780203093801
Adobe ISBN: 9781136203312


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Decoding the New Taliban puts on display a number of approaches to understanding post-nationals in Afghanistan, from which militaries could readily profit. Two of the contributors to this edited collection have military experience of their own, but of very different kinds. Dr David Kilcullen, now a well-known writer on counterinsurgency and author of The Accidental Guerrilla, was formerly a lieutenant-colonel in the Australian Army. On the other hand, Mohammad Osman Tariq Elias was a mujahid in the Afghan resistance in the 1980s. All the other contributors are long-standing observers of Afghanistan who can claim the kind of familiarity with the situation on the ground that is often denied to those who see the country only on short-term rotations. As an edited collection, the book puts on display different interpretations of both the circumstances leading to the re-emergence of the Taliban, and the significance of this particular phenomenon. In this way, it allows for the kind of contestation of ideas that can allow knowledge to build up. The editor has set out not to impose a particular line of argument upon his contributors, but rather to find contributors who will have interesting arguments to advance.

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