Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 29, 2008

Afghanistan: Merging News and Psy-Ops

This will likely get lost in future news from Afghanistan, so let us make sure we note it:

Press And "Psy Ops" to Merge At NATO Afghan HQ: Sources

KABUL (Reuters) - The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with "Psy Ops," which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance's policy, three officials said.

The move has worried Washington's European NATO allies -- Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan -- and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.
U.S. General David McKiernan, the commander of 50,000 troops from more than 40 nations in NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ordered the combination of the Public Affairs Office (PAO), Information Operations and Psy Ops (Psychological Operations) from December 1, said a NATO official with detailed knowledge of the move.

"This will totally undermine the credibility of the information released to the press and the public," said the official, who declined to be named.
The new combined ISAF department will come under the command of an American one-star general reporting directly to McKiernan, an arrangement that is also against NATO policy, the NATO official said.

Unfortunately the unnamed 'official' is wrong. This will not 'undermine the credibility of the information released to the press and the public'.  The public will not take note of this.

Sure, while news from Afghanistan was already often propaganda,  spoon fed to embedded journalists, this will make absolutely sure that nothing will be believable unless it comes from multiple independent sources.

But the mainstream media will continue to report from Afghanistan whatever that new combine operation will feed them. They will soon forget to mention the above, if they will mention it at all.   They will deliver  "The TruthTM" straight from McKiernan's propaganda shop without flagging its dubiousness.

"What we are seeing is a gradual increase of American influence in all areas of the war," the NATO official said. "Seeking to gain total control of the information flow from the campaign is just part of that."

NATO troops as auxiliaries of the U.S. empire - what is not to like with that?

Posted by b on November 29, 2008 at 10:00 UTC | Permalink


Today the spanish paper ElPais reports an ambush against afghan troops. In the attack there was a large number of casualties: 13 dead, 23 wounded, 19 reported captured and a large amount of vehicles and munitions captured. It's being reported because it happened in Baghdis a province where spanish troops are located. That province used to be more or less peaceful until a year or so ago (and that's the reason why they forces were placed there to 'help reconstruction').

The spanish government is in no way interested on moving the troops out as it wishes to start on good relations with the new overlord, in fact there has been talks of increasing the number of troops. After more than four years of frozen relations with the Bush government over hastly retiring the troops from Iraq after the terrorist bombs in Madrid and the irresponsable attempt of killing Al Sadr (the spanish troops were located in Najaf and were put in a position of being involved in a fight they had nothing with) that's a main priority of the government. But if the number of attacks increases and the expedition receives casualties it will be under a great preasure to remove the troops. Those troops don't have the equipment required for combat operations in any case.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 29 2008 10:36 utc | 1

The same report from>BBC

Separately more than 200 Taleban militants attacked an Afghan army convoy in the north-western province of Badghis late on Thursday, killing at least 13 Afghan soldiers and policemen.

The convoy was transporting dozens of vehicles bringing winter supplies to Bala Murghab district.

Abdul Ghani Sabri, the deputy provincial governor, said 11 security officials were also wounded and seven Taleban fighters killed in a three-hour long battle.

Analysts said the ambush was one of the Taleban's most audacious.

Other reports also talk about dozens of Taliban killed by US forces in Helmand. And of course the almost daily drone missile attack in Pakistan.

Posted by: ThePaper | Nov 29 2008 12:09 utc | 2

NATO troops as auxiliaries of the U.S. empire - what is not to like with that?
Where's Arminius when you f-ing need him?

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Nov 29 2008 15:00 utc | 3

Thanks "b" (and all),

I get more real news here than on the cable!

Posted by: Buckaroo | Nov 29 2008 16:19 utc | 4

NEW DELHI -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai blasted the U.S. and its NATO allies for failing to defeat the Taliban, insisting for the first time that Afghans need a firm deadline to end the war.

(my bold.) WSJ, 27 nov.>link

End the war, end the occupation (iraq), put a date on it! These long lasting hopeless destructive completely unproductive sorties (never mind the moral issues for the mo) need, like, a schedule? A calendar? Some corporate plan? An analysis of benefits? A beginning, an end?

Obama natch doesn’t see it that way.

It must be that Mullah Omar (Binny’s side kick and married to one of Binny’s daughters, afaik) is still on the loose, and a strong political figure in Afgh, a staple on the TV. In the last elections, he refused to stand - yelled they are all corrupt! Not me, not there! Heh. that doesn't count, then what?

Posted by: Tangerine | Nov 29 2008 17:03 utc | 5

Was there an announcement here in the US when Fed Psy-Ops was merged with the MSM?

Posted by: James Crow | Nov 29 2008 22:33 utc | 6

ô yes that announcement was made when walter cronkite went to vietnam to see for himself

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 29 2008 22:44 utc | 7

sǝıʇılɐǝɹ pǝʇɐıpǝɯ ʎlsnoıʌǝɹd ɹnoʎ oʇ uɹnʇǝɹ ʍou ʎɐɯ noʎ

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 29 2008 23:11 utc | 8

Brilliant, R'giap.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Nov 30 2008 0:05 utc | 9

simply amazing, uncle!
how have u subverted the keyboard this way?

Posted by: rudolf | Nov 30 2008 0:44 utc | 10

The glyphs are not actually upside-down. Every roman letter or almost all of them have an inverted form that is used in IPA, he used those.

Posted by: Cloud | Nov 30 2008 19:37 utc | 11

يو مي نو ريتورن تو يور بريفيوسلي مدكاتد ريلتيس US 8)

Posted by: shah loam | Dec 1 2008 2:42 utc | 12

NATO trucks attacked in Pakistan; bomber kills

Pakistan (AP) - Militants in northwestern Pakistan attacked trucks ferrying supplies to NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Monday, killing two people and destroying a dozen vehicles, witnesses and police said.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 40 others at a military checkpoint in the region's Swat Valley, police said.
The attack on the U.S.-led coalition trucks took place at a terminal in Peshawar, which sits along the supply route from Pakistan to Afghanistan. The city has seen an upsurge in violence in recent weeks, including the slaying of an American working on a U.S.-funded aid project.

Several gunmen fired rockets and automatic weapons at the Faisal terminal, killing a driver and a clerk and destroying 12 trucks, said police officer Ahsanullah Khan.

An AP Television News reporter saw two Humvee military vehicles on board the trucks that were on fire following the attack.

Posted by: b | Dec 1 2008 9:40 utc | 13

Interesting piece here...

The Archipelago of Fear

Are fortification and foreign aid making Kabul more dangerous?
Charles Montgomery
photographs by James Whitlow Delano

This was more than an aesthetic critique. Those who look at the intersection of psychology and urban form suggest that the short-term gains from fortification might be overshadowed by the hostile response it fuels. Aggressive architectures — such as high, bare, cement walls — have been found to produce a backlash of vandalism and incivility in peaceful cities. Buildings offer cues suggesting how people should act. They tell us about our relationships with one another. University of Victoria environmental psychologist Robert Gifford once put it to me this way: “Buildings are symbols. They communicate to people, even if it’s not what their architects intend.” Fahim Hakim suggested that in Kabul, the fortifications around foreign compounds reinforce Afghans’ suspicion that those inside the walls have more in common with their former Soviet occupiers than they admit. “We just don’t know if they are here to protect us or themselves,” he said....(more)

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 4 2008 7:55 utc | 14


b, they changed the supporting link in the main post...

Posted by: annie | Dec 5 2008 0:06 utc | 15

The comments to this entry are closed.