Developing a research question and preliminary hypothesis
Developing a research question and preliminary hypothesis began by selecting a topic of interest. Since I have always contemplated this question I figured it would be best to actually research it. Initially, I searched through several journal and websites across the APUS library. Using the Boolean operators guerilla warfare, strategies, Vietcong (VC) and Taliban, I ran into problems finding applicable sources when paired together. I had greater success separating Vietcong and Taliban. Among the many articles, books and journal entries contained in the campus library, I came across a report on Vietcong strategies written by the Foreign Technology Division of the US Army in 1968. It offered great insight and straightforward data on strategies, motives and principles. Both the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium and International Security and Counter Terrorism Reference Center site had good articles pertaining to the Taliban and radical Jihadi guerrilla warfare. In addition, I have a great book on the Vietnam War that included first-hand accounts of action from former VC fighters. I am still in the process of exploring the APUS and local libraries to gain interviews from both organizations. Acquiring interviews from Taliban fighters have proven difficult to find so far, though collecting interviews from Vietcong guerillas are equally problematic.
Arriving at a preliminary hypothesis, I consulted the graduate student orientation and this weeks lesson for reference and arrived at the following preliminary hypothesis: The Taliban adopted the tactics and strategies of guerilla warfare employed by the Vietcong guerilla in formulating its insurgency against the US armed forces. This obliviously is a work in progress as I feel it needs strength.
Solution preview for the order on developing a research question and preliminary hypothesis