Industry responses are due today for an Army project that offers an interesting glimpse into the U.S. information operations strategy in Afghanistan.
Officials running the External Information Program-Afghanistan (EIP-A) were seeking a contractor for the development and dissemination of all sorts of promotional material aimed at driving a wedge between violent extremists and ordinary citizens, according to a solicitation posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site recently.
The "themes," as the solicitation calls them, include these:
- "Report ((improvised explosive device)) 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 ((Afghan security forces))."
- "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."
- "((Afghan National Security Forces)) are legitimate security forces. The theme is the ANSF represent the ((Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)) and protects its communities. The concept is to use media to show the ANSF is a legitimate security force capable of protecting its communities and ensuring peace."
The contractor is responsible for designing print products, like pamphlets and newspaper ads, and writing scripts for radio and television programs, according to the solicitation.
The Army took over funding of the External Information Program last year, the solicitation states. Officials also "realigned" the program at that time, broadening its goal from a counter-IED-only information operations effort to a more broad campaign aimed at getting "undecided Afghans" to accept the country's central government.