Forked-Tongue Warriors

"Wedged between a rack of 99-cent Cheetos and a display of pork rinds stood a life-sized cardboard cutout of a buxom blond in a red miniskirt," reports Ian Urbina. "Resting on her inner thigh was a frosty bottle of Miller Genuine Draft. 'That's essentially what we do,' an army major remarked, pointing to the stiletto-heeled eye-catcher. 'But we don't sell beer.' ... The scene was a recruitment barbecue conducted by the US Army's 11th Psychological Operations Battalion ("Psy-ops," for short). ... Part ad men and part ethnographers, these specialists, some of whom are just back from Afghanistan, are dispatched regularly to front lines in the Middle East for hearts-and-minds campaigns aimed at undercutting the enemy's military morale and winning over civilian support. Many are waiting eagerly for a call to Iraq. With the US military deploying in every corner of the globe, demand is booming in the psychological warfare industry these days."