“The Military and the Media: Two Perspectives– Iraq and Pakistan”
Date: March 29, 2011
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Where: Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge Street,
Bowie Vernon Room (Room N-262), Cambridge MA
Contact Chair: Donna Hicks (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Emma Sky left Iraq in September 2010, where she had served for three years as Political Advisor to General Odierno, the US General commanding all US forces in Iraq, had worked directly for General Petraeus on reconciliation and had been the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority back in 2003/2004. In the intervening years, Sky had served in Jerusalem as Political Advisor to General Ward, the US Security Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; and as Advisor to the Italian and British Commanding Generals of the NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2006. As a British, female, civilian, with a background in international development and strong anti-war credentials, it seemed unlikely that Sky would become advisor and confidante to some of America’s finest military leaders. And certainly it has been quite a journey for someone who did not support either the Iraq war or the Afghanistan war. When the Iraq War broke out in 2003, Sky volunteered to go to Iraq for three months to help rebuild the country as part of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Within her first week as the senior civilian in Kirkuk, Sky’s house was blown up by insurgents. Sky therefore moved on to the army base and came to work closely with the US Commander of the 173d Airborne Brigade. It was an experience that was to change her life.
Wajahat S. Khan is a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a broadcast, online and print journalist who has worked with Pakistan’s primary networks: Geo, Dawn and Aaj TV. Khan has also written for Pakistan’s daily Dawn and the periodicals Newsweek Pakistan and The Herald. Besides being embedded with Pakistan’s ground-forces along some of the world’s most isolated and militarized borders investigating the tactical, operational and strategic postures of the Pakistani military, Khan is also the first broadcaster from Pakistan to produce an investigative series from across the “divide” in India. Known for his tough televised interviews, his guests have included former president Pervez Musharraf, Aitzaz Ahsen (of the Lawyers Movement), Imran Khan (of the Pakistan Movement for Justice), Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul (of the ISI), L.K. Advani (India’s former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition), Omar Abdullah (incumbent Chief Minister of Indian-administered Kashmir), and Syed Salahuddin (of the militant Hizb-ul-Mujahideen). A keen experimenter of social media, Khan has pioneered the use of Facebook and Twitter in Pakistan to let his audiences “virtually” question South Asia’s leaders on issues of public policy. While at the Shorenstein Center, Khan is investigating the Pakistani media’s shifting editorial stances on the War on Terror and the role of external groups like the military’s intelligence services and jihadist networks in shaping the coverage of the region’s restive combat zones.
About the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar Series
The 2010-2011 Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution series is sponsored by the Program on Negotiation, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Boston area members of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The theme for this year’s Kelman Seminar is “Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media”.