BBC: Taliban slick propaganda confronts US

From BBC’s website a report from BBC Persian and Pashto:

The second front in the conflict between the Taliban and their enemies in government is the war of words – and in recent months that battle has intensified.

The Taliban have a sophisticated public relations machine which is making it harder for governments and their international allies to win the ever-important propaganda war.

The insurgents are keen to exploit a sense of alienation among people, fostered by "bad governance" and "mistakes" made during military operations.

Civilian casualties in American air strikes and the violation of local traditions including house and personal searches create an atmosphere where Taliban propaganda can take root.

Afghan political commentator, Rostar Tarakai, says that it is the simplicity of the Taliban’s message that makes it most effective.

"They talk about occupation, they highlight the fact that foreign troops are killing Afghans and raiding their homes – and it works," says Mr Tarakai.

The whole article is well worth reading as it highlights the sophistication of the Taliban. Talk about multiple media, this is the first report I’ve seen that really gets at the expanse of Taliban communication techniques.

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2 Replies to “BBC: Taliban slick propaganda confronts US”

  1. Matt. Good post. The genesis for this was around 2007 when the Taliban sent representatives to Iraq to watch Al-Sahab at work and, shortly afterwards, captured an Al-Jazeera film crew whom they then ’embedded’ – to coin a term – and got a taste for media coverage. You may recall I documented this in my Nov 08 publication ‘Strategic Communication : A Primer’. A fuller examination of not just the Taliban info campaign but our (UK) response to it during one specific Brigade’s deployment will soon be published in the UK’s British Military Review. When its out I will post it here for everyone. Regards Steve

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