NATO forces in Afghanistan possess an overwhelming advantage over their opponent insurgent forces in firepower. Yet, despite this, they have been unable to defeat, or decisively rout the Taliban forces. Although the insurgents might be militarily weak, then use a number of asymmetric strategies that have been extremely effective. And, despite the fact that only 28 per cent of Afghans are literate, the Taliban has devised a highly effective communications campaign that uses multiple mediums to influence opinion in the country, the region and beyond. With public opinion support for the ISAF mission now more necessary than ever, this presents a serious problem that the Alliance must address.
This conference explores the various asymmetric strategies deployed by the Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan. It will bring together military officers, Afghan experts, and international civilian analysts to review the information we possess about Taliban strategies and explore possible improvements which the Alliance could implement in Afghanistan.
The conference will discuss the use of asymmetrical media strategies, and evaluate the progress already achieved in developing indigenous Afghan media networks, thereby building and maintaining Afghan support for the ISAF mission.
- Farid Khan Popal, Afghan Embassy, London
- Laura Winter, Christian Science Monitor
- Steve Tatham, Advance Research & Assessment Group, UK Defence Academy
- Ayesha Khan, Chatham House