The Loaded Goat: Revisiting Pine Cone Anthropology in Afghanistan

The diary of Ted the Tongue reveals more about the poverty of the academic thinking and conduct that provisions the “Comparative Cultural Competence” (or is it “Cross-Cultural Competence”?) component of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS) than the colorful background and confused imaginings of a young American adventurer in the guise of anthropologist and […]

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Causes and Consequences of the Destabilization of Afghanistan

Over the last 30 years, the polity of Afghanistan has undergone several overlapping transformations. The structure of power at the center has collapsed, causing the center-periphery relationship to evaporate. The movement of economic and human resources from various regions of Afghanistan to locations across international borders, especially in Iran and Pakistan, has intensified. Ethnic, sectarian, […]

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Taleban–Not Taliban

In Western discourse, the neo-fundamentalist Taleban movement and the noun from which it is derived are awkwardly, often incorrectly, represented. In Paxtu (Pakhtu, Pashto, Pushtu, etc.) the movement is rendered da talebano ghorzang, and in Dari (Afghan Farsi), jonbesh-e taleban. In Paxtu and Dari usage, the noun taleb (student, seeker of knowledge) is gendered, and […]

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The Killing Fields of Marja

Updated with an addendum (see below) The HTS (Human Terrain System) and the U. S. Marine operations in Marja had nothing to do with the presence of the Taleban resistance forces, “winning the hearts and minds of Afghans”, “winning the cooperation of Afghan civilians”, or “uprising against the insurgency”. The representation of Marja as a […]

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Anthropology and the Representation of Migrations from Afghanistan

[This is a paper that was originally published under the title of “Anthropology and the Representation of Recent Migrations from Afghanistan,” as it appeared in Rethinking Refuge and Displacement: Selected Papers on Refugees and Immigrants, Volume VIII, 2000. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association. Eds. E. M. Godziak and D. J. Shandy. Pp. 291-321. Given the […]

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