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Indiana University Bloomington

Themester 2011 Home

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War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it.
— General William Tecumseh Sherman

Fall 2011   Making War, Making Peace

Public Lecture - Postwar Geopolitical Order, 9/11 Geostrategy, & Political & Social Consequences

Nafeez Ahmed (Exec. Director, Institute for Policy Research & Development, London)

Nafeez AhmedWhen: Monday, October 3 @ 7:15-8:45 p.m.
Where: Jordan Hall 124

Departmental Sponsors:
College of Arts and Sciences, American Studies Program

Part of the Extreme Politics: Provoking the Body Politic to War? lecture series



The geostrategy in which events such as 9/11 are embedded cannot be fully understood without recognizing their historical context. In this talk, I will preface discussion of the 9/11 geostrategy and its socio-political consequences by exploring the deep political origins of the clandestine international military intelligence structures of the postwar period since the Second World War. These structures have been, disturbingly, linked to the increasing consolidation of a Nazi-affiliated far-right ideology implicated in documented instances of 'unconventional warfare' methods. In the post-9/11 period, 'unconventional warfare' has now become a standard, if little understood or recognized, feature of Anglo-American foreign policy, pursued as a mechanism to calibrate political violence as a means to manage and control an emerging multipolar world order, and integrate it into the orbit of US transnational capital. As the postwar geopolitical order continues, however, to crumble in the face of the convergence of multiple global systemic crises of ecology, energy and economy, 'unconventional warfare' continues to be a crucial tool of Anglo-American geostrategy in efforts to stabilise world order under US hegemony.

Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is a bestselling author and international security analyst specialising in the historical sociology and political ecology of mass violence in the context of civilizational systems. He is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development in London. He has also taught at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex, and lectured at Brunel University’s Politics & History Unit at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, for courses in international relations theory, contemporary history, empire and international political economy. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: and How to Save It (Pluto, Macmillan, 2010); The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry (Duckworth, 2006); The War on Truth: 9/11, Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism (Interlink, 2005); Behind the War on Terror: Western Secret Strategy and the Struggle for Iraq (New Society, 2003) and The War on Freedom: How & Why America was Attacked, September 11, 2001 (Progressive, 2002). The latter was a finalist for the Naples Prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award, in 2003. He also won the annual international Routledge-GCP&S Essay Prize for 2010 (essay to be published this fall in Global Change, Peace & Security). His writings have been translated into French, German, Italian, Arabic, and Chinese.

Ahmed's research has been used by the 9/11 Commission, the US Army Air University’s ‘Causes of War’ collection (2007), the UK Ministry of Defence’s Joint Services Command & Staff College Research Guide on Counter-Terrorism and the GWOT (2008), and Chatham House’s Middle East Programme, among others. In 2005, he testified in US Congress about his research on Western security policy toward al-Qaeda. 

Ahmed has written for the Independent on SundayThe ScotsmanSydney Morning HeraldThe AgeLe Monde diplomatiqueProspect MagazineThe Gulf TimesThe Georgian TimesDaily News EgyptPakistan ObserverTehran TimesOpen DemocracyInternational Affairs (Chatham House), Survival (International Institute of Strategic Studies), Europe’s WorldNew InternationalistMuslim NewsRaw StoryForeign Policy In Focus, and New Criminologist. He has appeared as an expert commentator for BBC News 24, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC World Today, BBC Asian Network, Channel 4, Sky News, C-SPAN Book TV, CNN, FOX News, Bloomberg, PBS Foreign Exchange, Al-Jazeera English, Press TV, Islam Channel, US National Public Radio, the Progressive Radio Network, and hundreds of other radio and TV shows in the USA, UK, and Europe. He is also cited and reviewed in the Sunday TimesTimes Higher Educational SupplementThe GuardianThe IndependentThe ObserverBig Issue MagazineVanity Fair, and New York Observer.

Background reading

Ahmed NM. 2010. International Terrorism. pp. 138-160 In: A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization. And How to Save It: Pluto Press, New York, NY.