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We are fighting a war of ideas. The more people who are armed in this fight, the better. 

Below are links to various articles and other resources I have created in the hopes of helping others to better understand the enemy we're facing and the concept of narrative. 

These documents are available as free downloads. Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader is required to view, print or download these files.

Documents for Download

Comprehensive Bibliography - last updated on 10 February 2018

A comprehensive list of articles, books and other print resources on ISIS and the situation in the Middle East.

Understanding Information as a Weapon: The Virtual Reality/Sand Table Model of Information Conflict

This article describes the benefits and calls for the creation of a virtual sand table – a graphic depiction and visualization of narrative space.

Maneuver Within Islam's Narrative Space

For more than three years I have participated in dozens of presentations and discussions on maneuver in the narrative space.  I have written several think pieces which are included in the material on this website.  This article is the first published version of the important elements of maneuver in the narrative space.  The article explains that conflict is about influence and that the influence environment is the narrative space.  Narrative space is constructed through deposition, erosion, and tectonic thinkers, doers, and events.  Conducting maneuver in the narrative space requires understanding the shape or morphology and the historicity or timeliness of the changes of the narrative space just as maneuver on a physical battlefield requires one to understand the physical terrain and its likelihood to change.  It is also about braiding together a cord of words-deeds-images that support the overarching narrative.

There are two articles with the first explaining this conceptual logic and the second providing a practical example of maneuver in the narrative space as has happened in Indonesia.

Horns of Hattin-Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour

The Battle of the Horns of Hattin (3-4 July 1187) represents an encapsulation of the events surrounding the entire Crusader period which has reverberations in the present day Middle East and ongoing conflicts in the region.  This product is designed to provide readers with an understanding of events as well as pratical helps in how to appreciate the battlefield if one ever has the chance to visit (highly recommended).

Changing the Conversation: Conceptualizing the Fight against Non-State and Post-State Actors

This paper is written to frame the current fight where the main opponents are non- and post-state actors.

Maneuver in the Narrative Space

This paper briefly describes a dialectical model of understanding conflict and then provides a brief explanation of how ISIS conducts maneuver in the narrative space. Three metaphors are introduced for framing the discussion on how the United States may also conduct effective maneuver in the narrative space.

Management of Savagery

This is the single most important manual for understanding the transformation of global terrorists like al-Qaeda and ISIS.  This was published in 2004.  The author is Abu Bakr Naji (a pseudonym for an individual who we know nothing more of).  The document was translated from Arabic to English by William McCants under funding provided by the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University.  The highlights and notes are provided by myself and students from my course on the context and background of ISIS taught at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.  The document is 268 pages which may seem daunting, but scanning the document and reading the highlights will provide rapid understanding of how ISIS and other like-minded groups conceptualize the current struggle.

Maneuver and Engagement in the Narrative Space

This is a Strategic Multilayer Assessment white paper which I participated in producing along with a host of others. It is more technical, but it has some great information on analytics as well as conceptual issues regarding narrative space.

Bees and Spiders

This article represents an extremely abbreviated version of my book by the same title. Published in Army magazine, it emphasizing the importance of seeing the world from different perspectives. 

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