In a country where few things work well, where security forces have a checkered reputation and sectarian tension remains high, many Iraqis have grown dismissive of the flood of propaganda they know or assume comes from the U.S. government.
U.S. officials declined to be interviewed about the evolution and perceived effectiveness of psychological warfare initiatives in Iraq. Richard C. Holbrooke, President Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, recently told lawmakers that the administration is working on a strategic communications plan for that region that draws on the lessons of Iraq.
“This is an area that has been woefully under-resourced,” Holbrooke told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month. “The strategic communications plan — including electronic media, telecom and radio — will include options on how best to counter the propaganda that is key to the insurgency’s terror campaign.”