Army Continues Anti-Explosive PR in Afghanistan

The U.S. Army, which recently canceled PR work in Iraq, is looking for a firm to do media campaigns in Afghanistan. The contract is worth $10 million a year, for up to four years. "Using posters, billboards, flyers, radio messages, documentaries and TV ads, the campaign will condemn the use of improvised explosive devices" (IEDs), reports O'Dwyer's. The main messages in the Army's "counter-improvised explosive device information campaign" include: "IEDs and bomb makers have an adverse impact on civil society"; "killing Muslims is against Islam"; the Afghan National Security Forces are "legitimate" and "capable of protecting its communities"; and the Afghan Government "has been elected by the people of Afghanistan and has a stronger tie to the people than a government in place by force," providing "services and aid ... while the Taliban bring violence." The Army media contract will also promote education and development. Key messages for these areas include: "[W]ith thirty years of war much of old Afghanistan has been lost. Through education people can reclaim their nation's past achievements." The Army is accepting proposals on the contract until April 8. In August 2008, the Lincoln Group won a six-month, $14.3 million Army contract for similar anti-IED messaging in Afghanistan.