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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Wire Monkey: Hearts and Minds Counter-Insurgency from Sandeman to CVE
by Schiwal, Julia, M.A., The George Washington University, 2020, 61; 27838246
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores the history of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) through tracing a genealogy of “warm-hearted counter-terrorism” from the frontier of the British Indian empire in the late 19th century to Afghanistan peace programs in the 21st century. This genealogy of counter-terrorism emphasizes empathy, kindness, and closeness and has historical precedents in the Sandeman system, Briggs’ Plan for the Emergency in Malaya and the work of the RAND corporation. This thesis argues that countering violent extremism rose to prominence as a means to symbolically purge the legacy of the war on terror, while in practice CVE was central to a neo-Briggs’ Plan in Afghanistan put in place by General David Patreaus. While CVE may present itself as a kinder, smarter, better form of counter terror, CVE is still a tool of counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency more broadly that often has orientalist foundations but more importantly has been central to the prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. The symbolic appearance of CVE is as well a tool of counter-terrorism, that allows cruel and brutal motivations and programs to be packaged in innovative and humane wrappings. The history of CVE presented in this thesis is important, as this thesis also traces the way that programs of peace in Afghanistan became programs of war, in line with earlier attempts to make counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency kinder, warmer, and more humane.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hopkins, Benjamin
Commitee: Zimmerman, Andy
School: The George Washington University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 82/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: World History, Modern history
Keywords: Afghanistan, Counter terrorism, Countering violent extremism, History, Malaya, Sandeman
Publication Number: 27838246
ISBN: 9798664789980
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