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as ymme tr i c

wa r f a re

asymmetric warfare book and afterword by Lea Hershkowitz

asymmetric war fare

1. War between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. 2. Warfare in which new technology is used to defeat the superior with the inferior. 3. Warfare in which an opponent leverages inferior tactical or operational strength against the vulnerabilities of a superior opponent to achieve disproportionate effect with the aim of undermining the opponent’s will in order to achieve the asymmetric actor’s strategic objectives.

after word

In the context of this book the term asymmetric warfare is used as a metaphor. In so, it seeks to identify the imbalance existing between western culture and the Middle East in relation to access to mass media news sources and photography. Through our rampant use of, and disproportionate leverage over mass media, the use of photography has held static our culture’s misperception of “the Middle East”. This book identifies photography as a primary weapon contributing to this phenomenon.


The images in this book were found through a variety of sources. They were taken from current mass media news sources, the Library of Congress’ photographic archive, and from printed sources available through the Crossett Library at Bennington College. The images date from the late 1800’s through May 2011. The online mass media news sources used were CNN, The New York Times, Fox News, and Time Magazine. In an attempt to gather a random sample of photographs from each of these print-based web sources, the term “the Middle East” was searched, the first five links produced were selected, and the images associated with each link were chosen from each site. In this manner, all four sites were searched three times over the span of a month and a half. Images from the Library of Congress’ photographic archive were chosen in a similar fashion. The printed sources from the Crossett Library were chosen through a search of “the Middle East” within the library’s database. Five photographic books were identified through this search. All of the images identified as being from Middle Eastern countries were scanned and used in this book.

asymmetric warfare  

asymmetric warfare

asymmetric warfare  

asymmetric warfare