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Steve Hewitt (Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow) places the Ottawa attack into a wider Canadian historical context and addresses why, more generally, history is often left out of discussions around political violence.
Andrew Hammond (Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow) places the longest war in American history and the events of 9/11 in a deeper historical context by considering US foreign policy towards Afghanistan since 1979.
‘Committing History: The October 2014 Ottawa Terrorist Attack and the Need for More Historical Writing about Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism’
Steve Hewitt, University of Birmingham (Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow)
Terrorism is not normally associated with Canada but this changed in October 2014 when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot and killed a soldier at the country’s national war memorial and stormed into Canada’s parliament buildings before being shot dead. This talk attempts to place the Ottawa attack into a wider Canadian historical context and addresses why, more generally, history is often left out of discussions around political violence. Ultimately, it argues that a lack of historical context, fuelled in part by government funding directed at certain questions and academic disciplines, leads to a tendency by the media and politicians to overreact to acts of terrorism.
Steve Hewitt is a Senior Lecture in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham. He has written extensively on topics related to security and intelligence in a Canadian, US, and UK context including The British War on Terror: Terrorism and Counterterrorism on the Home Front since 9/11, Snitch: A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer, and Spying 101: The RCMP’s Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917-1997. Currently, he is working on a history of terrorism and counter-terrorism in Canada.
‘Struggles for Freedom: America and Afghanistan – the Soviet Invasion, 9/11, & the Longest War in US History’
Andrew Hammond, University of Warwick (Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow)
The United States is currently in the process of trying to disengage from the longest war in its history. This talk puts this war – Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Freedom’s Sentinel – and the events of September 11, 2001 in a deeper historical context. It does so by looking back to an earlier struggle waged in freedom’s name in Afghanistan: that which took place during the latter stages of the Cold War when the US supported insurgents fighting the Soviet 40th Army. Based on extensive archival research and over 80 oral history interviews with key players, such as former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (1977-81) and former Secretary of State George Shultz (1982-89), this talk will help you reconsider some of the most significant and momentous events of modern times.
Dr. Andrew Hammond is a Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow at the British Library’s Eccles Centre. He is based at the University of Warwick where he completed his PhD after winning an ESRC 1+3 scholarship through the national competition. In 2011 he was a British Research Council Fellow at the Library of Congress. He has published on US foreign policy, Afghanistan, CIA, Snowden, and ‘American Freedom’. His forthcoming book with Edinburgh University Press is entitled Struggles for Freedom: Afghanistan and US Foreign Policy Since 1979.