NATO Considers Joining the Media War

"At the end of a two-day informal meeting of defence ministers in the Netherlands, NATO's secretary general reiterated ... that the alliance needs to do a better job in public relations both in home countries and Afghanistan." To that end, Denmark pledged one million Euros for "video equipment that will ultimately be used to deliver documented Taliban outrages to a television near you — or to the popular video website YouTube." NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer previously suggested declassifying "video surveillance shot by NATO forces throughout the Afghan conflict," in part to shore up public opinion in member countries for the Afghan mission. Hoop Scheffer rejected characterizations of the videos as propaganda, saying any declassified footage will be "unmanipulated." He described one still-classified video of "an insurgent who pulled a burka from a backpack and draped himself in the head-to-foot robe to take on the appearance of a woman," before opening "fire with an AK-47 on western troops."