From Strategy Page:
But the Taliban have a plan for getting rid of the smart bombs, and it depends a lot on foreign journalists. These folks are always looking for an “exciting” story, and nothing is more exciting than “atrocities” committed by NATO or American troops. Defeats by NATO or American troops also plays well with the foreign reporters. So the Taliban endeavor to feed the foreign journalists as many suitable stories as possible. The Taliban understand that the story doesn’t have to be true, just plausible. The news cycle is short, and the media proceeds on the assumption that news consumers have no sense of history. If the Taliban can get a story out there, they have succeeded, no matter how much the story is later discredited. Recently, for example, Taliban propagandists got some journalists to run with the story that the Taliban actually controlled most of the country, and were ready to take over. This was absurd, but too good to pass up for headline starved reporters. Atrocity stories move well, as do rumors of NATO troops misbehaving with the locals. The Taliban may be medieval in their social thinking and economics, but they are out in front when it comes to spinning the media
The Taliban believe that most Western nations can be convinced to withdraw their troops if enough negative media and dead troops can be generated.
This is the kind of propaganda that is not being properly countered, because NATO and ISAF and DoD and the Administration do not want to recognize the Western media as conduits for enemy information operations and deal with “journalists” and news organizations appropriately. There is no stomach for such a confrontation. The counterinsurgents fear the media’s vengence. The negative publicity the media can dish out against the counterinsurgents deters them from taking actions which would break Western media personalities of their bad habit of carrying the Taliban’s water.
Regulars have a tough time dealing with situations such as this, so rather than call attention to their impotence they stay quiet and hope no one notices. The counterpropaganda technique of silence is always the default position for them. Irregular proxies, should they choose to accept the mission, are free to conduct Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications until the aid they give to the Taliban is widely recognized and the credibility of their accounts is significantly degraded. American, British, Canadian, Australian, Dutch and Romanian Irregulars should collaborate in raising the awareness of their respective domestic target audiences of the symbiotic relationship between the media and the enemy, and encourage skepticism.
Are there enough Irregulars who care about the soldiers in Afghanistan to make a dent in all the Taliban propaganda?