Author Archives: Annick T. R. Wibben

About Annick T. R. Wibben

Associate professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. She has been at the forefront of the new interdisciplinary field of feminist security studies, a home for feminist work on peace, war and security. Her research, located at the intersections of feminist theory, security studies, and continental philosophy, aims to radicalize security studies and to challenge the politics of security. In Feminist Security Studies: A Narrative Approach (Routledge, 2011), she examines meanings of security legitimized in existing practices and proposes to open the security studies agenda by drawing on narrative approaches.

The Gendering of Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

The authors argue that looking at the gendering of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan provides insight into the assumptions, strategies, and anxieties about U.S. involvement in this particular war. One sees in the gendering of counterinsurgency, exemplified most strikingly in the deployment of female engagement teams, an attempt to reframe U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan as a humanitarian, even progressive, mission. Gendering counterinsurgency efforts as a gentler (feminine) option helps to sell the current campaign to a war-weary audience in the U.S. (and allied countries). It is also a way of marking U.S. civilizational superiority—and the attention lavished upon women soldiers deployed in Afghanistan is a significant aspect of this gendered narrative.