Media Matters

By Thomas Duffy / March 3, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The Army is hoping to mimic the counterinsurgency successes it has had in Iraq in Afghanistan and is looking for a contractor to carry out an extensive information operations program in the country. Last year, the service took over funding an existing program known as the United States External Information Program-Afghanistan, which it describes as “an Afghan approved full-spectrum and sustained counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) information campaign focused on separating the bomb makers and users from the support of the populace,” according to a solicitation the Army issued to industry today.

When the service took over the program it realigned its goals “to inform and influence undecided Afghans in order to accept the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) as a legitimate government of the people, support the acceptance of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) as legitimate security forces and enhance the perception an improved Afghan quality of life is controlled by their actions.”

The Army is asking the contractor to use all manner of media including billboards, flyers, posters, educational pamphlets or brochures, newspaper advertisements, radio messages, television advertisements and documentaries.

Countering IEDs is one of four main themes the program will carry out this year (the others being the ANSF and GIRoA, education, and development). Today the Army told potential contractors the counter-IED information campaign should reflect the following:

  • Report IED activities. The theme is that security is everyone's concern. The concept is to use media to encourage the local populace to stop violence by reporting IED activities and facilitators to the ANSF.
  • IEDs impact families and Afghan society. The theme is IEDs and bomb makers have an adverse impact on civil society. IEDs kill innocent men, women and children, IED facilitators are criminals, and IEDs tarnish the future of Afghanistan. The concept is to use media to document the effects of IEDs on society and family.
  • Killing Muslims is against Islam. The theme is that bombing and IEDs result in the murder of innocent Muslims, the concept is to use media to denounce IEDs as un-Islamic acts of violence and results in murder of innocent Muslims.