U.S. to Fund Pro-American Publicity in Iraqi Media

#1
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/02/AR2008100204223.html?hpid=topnews

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.
...
The military's role in the war of ideas has been fundamentally transformed in recent years, the result of both the Pentagon's outsized resources and a counterinsurgency doctrine in which information control is considered key to success. Uniformed communications specialists and contractors are now an integral part of U.S. military operations from Eastern Europe to Afghanistan and beyond.
...
One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. . . . They don't know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything."
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.
...
Contractors will also develop and maintain Web sites; assess news articles in the Iraqi, U.S. and international media; and determine ways to counter coverage deemed negative, according to the contract solicitation the government posted in May. Polls and focus groups will be used to monitor Iraqi attitudes under a separate three-year contract totaling up to $45 million.
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
They're not very original are they? They've been watching ZANU NL in action with it's publicly funded 'documentaries'.
 
#4
If they did visit Arrse, all the Arabs' worst fears about us infidels being decadent, amoral barbarians would be confirmed at a stroke ;)
 
#6
KGB_resident said:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/02/AR2008100204223.html?hpid=topnews

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.
...
The military's role in the war of ideas has been fundamentally transformed in recent years, the result of both the Pentagon's outsized resources and a counterinsurgency doctrine in which information control is considered key to success. Uniformed communications specialists and contractors are now an integral part of U.S. military operations from Eastern Europe to Afghanistan and beyond.
...
One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. . . . They don't know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything."
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.

...
Contractors will also develop and maintain Web sites; assess news articles in the Iraqi, U.S. and international media; and determine ways to counter coverage deemed negative, according to the contract solicitation the government posted in May. Polls and focus groups will be used to monitor Iraqi attitudes under a separate three-year contract totaling up to $45 million.
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
My bold - beware - KGB Resident psyops at work.
 
#7
LISpace said:
KGB_resident said:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/02/AR2008100204223.html?hpid=topnews

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.
...
The military's role in the war of ideas has been fundamentally transformed in recent years, the result of both the Pentagon's outsized resources and a counterinsurgency doctrine in which information control is considered key to success. Uniformed communications specialists and contractors are now an integral part of U.S. military operations from Eastern Europe to Afghanistan and beyond.
...
One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. . . . They don't know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything."
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.
...
As information operations in Iraq expanded, some senior officers warned that they risked a return to psychological and deception operations discredited during the Vietnam War.

...
Contractors will also develop and maintain Web sites; assess news articles in the Iraqi, U.S. and international media; and determine ways to counter coverage deemed negative, according to the contract solicitation the government posted in May. Polls and focus groups will be used to monitor Iraqi attitudes under a separate three-year contract totaling up to $45 million.
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
My bold - beware - KGB Resident psyops at work.
Explanation is much simpler, mate. The article is worth to be read in full. I only placed the most interesting fragments and ... failed to mention that one of them

On Aug. 21, the day before bids on the new contract were closed, the solicitation was reissued to replace repeated references to information and psychological operations with the term "media services."
was not actually copied.

As you may see the Americans waging psychological operations prefer to use euphemism to describe it.

By the way, one could expect that in days of severe financial crisis it would be logical to cut or postpone ineffective spendings.
 
#8
KGB_resident said:
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
Are you calling me out Sergei? (I was in PSYOP or 'psyops' as the shopkeepers call it). :twisted:
 
#9
Virgil said:
KGB_resident said:
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
Are you calling me out Sergei? (I was in PSYOP or 'psyops' as the shopkeepers call it). :twisted:
No, of course no, I didn't mean you Virgil. I meant that it would be interesting to conversate with 'the contractors', to test their abilities for brainwashing. No doubt that they are professionals.

What do you think Virgil, will the operation be successfull? What fresh ideas could be proposed?

What about formation of some regiments with predominantly Muslim soldiers, better Arabs (preferably of Iraqi origin). There would be many abilities to show American spldiers in a positive light: Soldiers in a Mosque. Soldiers are helping to dig a well. American soldier marries Iraqi girl and so on.
 
#10
KGB_resident said:
Virgil said:
KGB_resident said:
It's interesting would 'the contractors' visit ARRSE?
Are you calling me out Sergei? (I was in PSYOP or 'psyops' as the shopkeepers call it). :twisted:
No, of course no, I didn't mean you Virgil. I meant that it would be interesting to conversate with 'the contractors', to test their abilities for brainwashing. No doubt that they are professionals.

What do you think Virgil, will the operation be successfull? What fresh ideas could be proposed?
Yes it could be, but from my experience the answer turns out to be nothing like what most people would guess; it comes down to how interesting is the product produced? Just like most adverts it should be convincing.

If it isn't interesting no one will read it, watch it or listen to it more than once. Don't look at it as brainwashing, look at it as advertising your message (product).

The best 'progaganda' are--with exceptions--good shows, songs, comic books etc., that happen to show the message along with the entertainment. It's not about brainwashing it is about having something people are interested in, putting your message along with that item and being as honest as possible with what you're trying to convince them of.

If you put a message such as 'don't burn trash it may have munitions in it' on pamphlets they might get looked at then thrown away.

On the other hand if you put the same message on soccer balls, hats or made into a colorful comic books for children then all of a sudden they become desirable and the messages get conveyed to more people. It's actually--sometimes--that simple.

I'm of the opinion that you don't hide the fact American money is behind it. People will find out anyway. If you're honest with them you've at least gained some trust even if they don't agree with you. If the program is interesting they'll enjoy it anyway.

I'm also from the school that believes dishonesty is poison when it comes to 'propaganda'. It destroys your credibility, once lost difficult to regain.

What about formation of some regiments with predominantly Muslim soldiers, better Arabs (preferably of Iraqi origin). There would be many abilities to show American spldiers in a positive light: Soldiers in a Mosque. Soldiers are helping to dig a well. American soldier marries Iraqi girl and so on.
This has been going on for some time now. We built schools and wells for example in my area. Remember now during the Surge small units at the company and platoon level live in the same neighborhoods and villages for one year in order to get to know the locals. It's been extremely valuable in my opinion, perhaps one of the most important changes in tactics in Iraq.

I'm convinced--and friends who returned have commented--that it's changed Sunni views towards Americans to be more positive as they've gotten to know their local soldiers and vice-versa.
 
#11
Virgil said:
The best 'progaganda' are--with exceptions--good shows, songs, comic books etc., that happen to show the message along with the entertainment. It's not about brainwashing it is about having something people are interested in, putting your message along with that item and being as honest as possible with what you're trying to convince them of.
Now, that's one OXYMORON!.. :D
 
#12
Domovoy said:
Virgil said:
The best 'progaganda' are--with exceptions--good shows, songs, comic books etc., that happen to show the message along with the entertainment. It's not about brainwashing it is about having something people are interested in, putting your message along with that item and being as honest as possible with what you're trying to convince them of.
Now, that's one OXYMORON!.. :D
Quotation marks signify the irony.
 
#13
What Virgil said or they could just play bay watch 24/7.
That worked very well for 20 years pre conflict.
 
#14
Virgil said:
Domovoy said:
Virgil said:
The best 'progaganda' are--with exceptions--good shows, songs, comic books etc., that happen to show the message along with the entertainment. It's not about brainwashing it is about having something people are interested in, putting your message along with that item and being as honest as possible with what you're trying to convince them of.
Now, that's one OXYMORON!.. :D
Quotation marks signify the irony.
Whoever is in charge of propaganda took your suggestions quite literally selling their message along with the entertainment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7YV-RelWjA
 
#15
Domovoy said:
Virgil said:
Domovoy said:
Virgil said:
The best 'progaganda' are--with exceptions--good shows, songs, comic books etc., that happen to show the message along with the entertainment. It's not about brainwashing it is about having something people are interested in, putting your message along with that item and being as honest as possible with what you're trying to convince them of.
Now, that's one OXYMORON!.. :D
Quotation marks signify the irony.
Whoever is in charge of propaganda took your suggestions quite literally selling their message along with the entertainment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7YV-RelWjA
I wasn't clear enough--the product should be good.
 
#16
Virgil said:
[I'm of the opinion that you don't hide the fact American money is behind it. People will find out anyway. If you're honest with them you've at least gained some trust even if they don't agree with you. If the program is interesting they'll enjoy it anyway.

I'm also from the school that believes dishonesty is poison when it comes to 'propaganda'. It destroys your credibility, once lost difficult to regain.
So you disagree with the official

One official described how part of the program works: "There's a video piece produced by a contractor . . . showing a family being attacked by a group of bad guys, and their daughter being taken off. The message is: You've got to stand up against the enemy." The professionally produced vignette, he said, "is offered for airing on various [television] stations in Iraq. . . . They don't know that the originator of the content is the U.S. government. If they did, they would never run anything."

"If you asked most Iraqis," he said, "they would say, 'It came from the government, our own government.' "
From my point of view, if current American objectives and policy in Iraq remain unchanged then any propaganda/informations/ads would be ineffective.
 
#17
KGB_resident said:
From my point of view, if current American objectives and policy in Iraq remain unchanged then any propaganda/informations/ads would be ineffective.
Well the Russia State information campaigns seem to be working on you Sergei, so why not the US ones in Iraq? :wink:
 
#18
Well this is probably the spookiest (did you see what I did there?) conversation on Arrse.

Just after the invasion, there was an immediate change in broadcasting from the staple diet to V-Stylee "we are your friends". The general opinion here was "Keep the original familiar news anchors, just dilute and reinforce a new message". Why has it taken 6 years to get back to the beginning?
 
#19
PsyWar.Org said:
KGB_resident said:
From my point of view, if current American objectives and policy in Iraq remain unchanged then any propaganda/informations/ads would be ineffective.
Well the Russia State information campaigns seem to be working on you Sergei, so why not the US ones in Iraq? :wink:
You know the answer mate. American 'information campaings' are not working in Russia as you realise. So why would they be working in other countries (including Iraq)?
 
#20
KGB_resident said:
PsyWar.Org said:
KGB_resident said:
From my point of view, if current American objectives and policy in Iraq remain unchanged then any propaganda/informations/ads would be ineffective.
Well the Russia State information campaigns seem to be working on you Sergei, so why not the US ones in Iraq? :wink:
You know the answer mate. American 'information campaings' are not working in Russia as you realise. So why would they be working in other countries (including Iraq)?
The point is how do you know how effective or not coalition efforts in Iraq are? I'm presuming you haven't lived in Iraq in the last five years, nor I. The only way we know the state of play there is through whichever media we choose to believe. It's much the same for your average Iraq. They know what's happening at a local level but still don't have much idea of the bigger picture and have to rely on the media to form their opinions just as we do.

You said US information campaigns aren't going to work in Iraq because their policies aren't working there. How did you come to that conclusion? Even the BBC yesterday was reluctantly acknowledging that the "Surge" TM is working well, that the violence across Iraq has dropped considerably and that many former insurgents are now working for the Iraqi authorities. Is that true or not? The BBC says yes, Pravda probably says no.

Your average Iraqi is going to make up his mind from his local knowledge gained through his own personal experiences and that of his family, friends and colleagues. For the bigger picture Iraqis are only going to accept as accurate information they are told by the news media they personally trust.

The coalition are in a very strong position to conduct a successful information campaign as long as they can deliver on their promises. Alternatively the insurgents offer Iraq little. The best they have got is the notion of fighting a foreign invader and the chance of 72 virgins in the afterlife. To counter that the Coalition need to bring stability, show that their temporary presence is going to be for the long-term benefit of the Iraq people, that the individual is going to have more personal freedom to live their life how they want to, and basically that life is going to be better than it is now, better than it was under Sadam and better than anything the insurgents can offer them.
 

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