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Taliban NarrativesThe Use and Power of Stories in the Afghanistan Conflict$
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Thomas Johnson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190840600

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190840600.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 September 2021



(p.265) 11 Conclusions
Taliban Narratives

Thomas H. Johnson

Matthew DuPee

Wali Shaaker

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that the Taliban maintained simple strategic communication objectives that resonated with their major targeted audiences. The main Taliban messages revolved around: removing foreign invaders from Afghanistan; Afghans have traditionally defeated foreign “infidel invaders”; the Taliban are selfless heroes defending Islam and an Afghan’s way of life; every Afghan has an obligation to join the jihad; the Kabul Government is apostate, corrupt and a puppet of the U.S.; likewise, the Afghan security forces are corrupt and ineffective, and; NATO and the U.S. are killing Afghan innocents. In conclusion, the Taliban information artifacts appear to be deeply rooted in the Afghan people. They appeal to emotions, that foe the most part, are not understood by the West. This lack of understanding, in par, has ultimately doomed Western engagement in Afghanistan and contributed to the West losing the battle of the story in Afghanistan and, therefore, the war.

Keywords:   Taliban stories, Apostates, ANDSF, Badal (revenge), Izzat (honor), Northern Alliance, Collective Responsibility

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