top of page




A Five-Point Strategy to Oppose Russian Narrative Warfare

Paul Cobaugh

Influence is a complex and intricate choreography of sustained actions, words and related activities wrapped around a core narrative. Russia, in our current global security arena is aggressive by way of campaigns with just such choreography. National, regional and individual security dictates that we develop and execute a strategy to effectively deal with such aggression… and do it promptly. While there has been a great deal of talk and hand-wringing within the USG (US Government) on this topic, to date, no comprehensive and executable strategy exists.

Post-Colonial Practices and Narrative Nomads

Ajit Maan

Critical engagement with colonial narratives and the re-examination of indigenous pre-colonized narratives has been recently popular. Some have engaged in unlearning privilege, while others have examined the practical methods, and unique position, of subaltern subjects who have managed to maintain indigenous ways of being while simultaneously adapting to colonial impositions. Following this line of inquiry, I am interested in the possibility of the formulation of new narratives which make sense of (but do not necessarily integrate) one's cultural past with the subject effects of colonialism.

Narrative and Conflict

Ajit Maan

Understanding and harnessing the persuasive powers of narrative is central to current U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. There is general agreement that there is an urgent need to develop effective counter-terrorism narratives while simultaneously destabilizing and exploiting weaknesses in terrorist recruitment narratives. This paper addresses two related persuasive powers - narrative identification and trajectory – and uncovers structural weaknesses that can be strategically manipulated.

Sneaky Stories: Challenges to Moral Contraband

Ajit Maan

Temporal and linear sequencing is the dominant form of narrative structure in Western theory and practice. Prominent philosophers and psychologists have made categorical claims about the necessity of this form of narrative order. One of the associated problems with this structure is that while the inference between causality and succession has been called out as a fallacy, it nevertheless operates from common superstition to contemporary theoretical discourse. Further, moral elements are tacitly imported along with temporal and linear narrative association. These moral elements include moral responsibility, blame, normativity, and assumptions about what constitutes “the good life.” I do not address what is silenced, marginalized, or repressed by temporal structure, rather, I focus on what is snuck in, implied, tacitly assumed. This is what I refer to as moral contraband.

Narrative Authority: Performing the Postcolonial Self

Ajit Maan

Postcolonial displacement and resulting cultural nomadism of second generation diaspora is often associated with loss, lack, exile. The author's position is that the cultural and linguistic margins that nomads inhabit are places of abundance and possibility. Establishing decolonized autobiographical authority necessitates the type of recognition, deconstruction, and re-association that second generation diasporic populations are uniquely positioned to undertake.

Please reload

“Combat Ineffective”

Ethical Influence

the broken-down, rusting vehicle of American power

Combat effectiveness, the readiness of a military unit to engage in combat based on behavioral, operational, and leadership considerations. Combat effectiveness measures the ability of a military force to accomplish its objective and is one component of overall military effectiveness.


By all measures, the ability of the USG as a whole, but especially the national security community are currently “Combat Ineffective” regarding their ability to employ large- or small-scale influence operations. Even as late as the Cold War, the US, in a leadership role was demonstrably effective at ethical influence. Influence in today’s world is the battlefield, not terrain. It is at the heart of every serious natsec challenge we now face. If we do not regain our former prowess our national security is at risk as is our global leadership and prominence.

bottom of page