Washington, Aug.22 (ANI): The U.S. State Department is establishing a new unit for countering militant propaganda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in an effort to win the war of ideas against Islamist extremists.
According to the New York Times, President Barack Obama's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, will direct the effort within the State Department, which will focus on the use of cell phones, FM radio and video.
Local journalists are to be trained at State Department expense (with a proposed budget of 150 million dollars) to attack and denigrate militants and their messages.
According to Holbrooke, the United States is losing the information war in Afghanistan and Pakistan as far as the Taliban is concerned.
"We are losing that war. The Taliban have unrestricted access to radio, which is the main means of communication. We can't succeed, however you define success, if we cede to people who present themselves as false messengers of a prophet, which is what they do. We need to combat it," he said. (ANI)