Publication:
Misunderstanding Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area?

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Authors
Johnson, Thomas H.
Mason, M. Chris
Marten, Kimberly
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2008
Date
Winter 2008/2009
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Abstract
To the Editors (Kimberly Marten writes): In "No Sign until the Burst of Fire: Understanding the Pakistan- Afghanistan Frontier? Thomas Johnson and Chris Mason argue that Pashtun tribal identities explain the lure of the Taliban and the shortcomings of the initial U.S. approach to the war in Afghanistan. They carry this argument too far, however, and engage in cultural reductionism by portraying the Pashtun tribal code as the determining factor behind politics and preferences in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). Johnson and Mason make the following errors: (1) treating Pashtun identity as if it were set in stone; (2) failing to consider that today's radical Islamists rely on different sources of support than did the mullahs (Islamic religious leaders) who led jihads against the British Empire; and (3) misinterpreting the role of the official maliks (tribal and village leaders) in the FATA.
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Article
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Misunderstanding Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Area? Author(s): Kimberly Marten, Thomas H. Johnson and M. Chris Mason International Security, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Winter, 2008/2009), pp. 180-189
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This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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