Anthropology | Post-Taliban Afgh/Global Terror
E400 | 15704 | Shahrani


The unprecedented terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 aimed at
targets within the United States prompted the coalition "War on
Terrorism" against the Taliban controlled Afghanistan– regarded as the
virtual headquarters of global terrorism led by Osama bin Laden and
his Al Qaeda terrorist network who have been implicated in carrying
out the attacks. The war on global terror has been waged now for well
over four years in Afghanistan, has spawned into the invasion of Iraq
and greater instability in the Middle East and beyond without an end
in sight. Why the attacks on New York city, Pentagon and Pennsylvania?
Who did it and Why? Why and how did Afghanistan become a Global
Terrorism Inc.? Is the rise of Taliban movement in Afghanistan, as a
contemporary phenomena unique? How is the problem of terrorism
conceptualized and explained by the government officials and media
experts in the U.S.? What are the root causes of the problem of
terrorism? What role, if any, does religion/civilization, especially
Islamic "fundamentalism" play in the current tensions? Has the "War on
Terrorism" worked? Why or why not? What are some alternative solutions
to the problem of terrorism which are not being considered and why?
What lessons are learned from the war on global terror so far? Will
continuation of the war make America and the world more secure? If
not, how can we re-conceptualize our concept of security in a manner
that could be obtained? This course will critically examine these and
related questions by focusing on the history, society, economy and
political culture of Afghanistan as a multi-ethnic modern nation-state
which has been ravaged by a century of internal colonialism, and most
recently by foreign invasions, proxy wars and global terrorism.
Required Texts (Some titles may vary):
Gabriel Kolko Another Century of War?. The New Press
Peter Marsden, The Taliban: War and Religion in Afghanistan (Revised
Edition). Zed Books
Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: the secret history of the CIA, Afghanistan,
and bib Laden, from the Soviet invasion to September 10, 2001.

Course Requirements (may vary a little):
There will be two examinations. All exams will be of the essay type,
consisting of short-answer questions and longer essays. Each
examination will be worth 50 points and course grade will be based on
100 cumulative points. Graduate students are also required to write a
10-15 pages (double-spaced type written) long term paper.