Gareth Porter


Gareth Porter, independent historian and journalist for Inter Press Service, discusses the swiftly unraveling US disaster in Afghanistan, the short-lived “government in a box” Marjah model, US reliance on Wali Karzai (Hamid Karzai’s brother) for intelligence gathering, Gen. McChrystal’s continuation of night raids despite their ineffectiveness and why the upcoming operation in Kandahar may be the last gasp of US occupation.

MP3 here. (28:54)

Gareth Porter is an independent historian and journalist. His articles appear on Counterpunch, Huffington Post, Inter Press Service News Agency and

5 thoughts on “Gareth Porter”

  1. This is such an important interview which needs to be syndicated around the world. Thank you to both Scott Horton's for the analysis which we sure as hell don't get in the mainstream media.

  2. "Any forces that would impose their will on other nations will certainly face defeat." – Vo Nguyen Giap

    Against the Russian 'invaders' of Afghanistan – then President Reagan honored the "freedom fighters" who fought against such invaders – now we refer to those who fight against the American invaders as "insurgents".

    In the end – the 'invaders' will suffer defeat! Eventually, they always do!

  3. Aha. "social network analyis" is being mentioned. Well, I would say in a sane world it is mainly useful if you want to model social structures after the fact. It may tell you that to unsolder an insurgency, you need to find and kill the network "hubs", i.e. the people who are well-connected to other people, and not worry to much about the network "edge", i.e. isolated groups only connected to others through the "hubs". But that's nothing magical. It's how people work. Even the Spanish Inquisition knew that much.

    A quick trawl through IEEE's paper database brings up stuff like this. I can imagine how Lords of Counterinsurgency can get a hard-on about it, but how much Gestapo does one want to become?

    "Inferring Unobservable Inter-community Links in Large Social Networks"

    This paper appears in: International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, 2009. CSE '09.

    Hohwald, H. Cebrian, M. Canales, A. Lara, R. Oliver, N. Telefonica Res., Madrid, Spain

    "Social networks can be used to model social interactions between individuals. In many circumstances, not all interactions between individuals are observed. In such cases, a social network is constructed with the data that has been observed, as this is the best one can do. Research has attempted to predict future links in a social network, though this has proven a very challenging task. Rather than predicting future links, we propose an inference method for recovering the links in a social network that already exist but that have not been observed. In addition, our approach automatically identifies groups of individuals that form tight-knit communities and models the intra and inter-community interactions. At this higher level of abstraction and for a social network built from mobile phone calls, our method is able to accurately identify a subset of 10% of all community pairs where about 50% of the pairs have had unobserved communication between them, an improvement of about four times over a subset of the same size with randomly chosen pairs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first method that infers links that exist but are unobservable in a phone call-based social network. In addition, we perform the inference at the community level, where the discovery of unobserved inter-community communication can provide further insight into the organizational structure of the social network and can identify social groups that may share common interests."

  4. Seems like what was shown in the film Battle of Algeria. In essence each revolutionary cell member has 2 members below them in the organizational chart. Cells do not communicate with each other. In the film the French torture people and work their way up to the top of the organizational chart. In the film it worked against a revolution headed by Communist elites. At the end of the movie a popular uprising overthrows the French government anyway. At the start of this I remember reading that they were showing the movie in the pentagon.

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