US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK
(TheRegister) The secretive US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has awarded arms globocorp General Dynamics a $10m contract to set up a network of psychological-warfare “influence websites” supporting the Global War On Terror. France and Britain are specifically included as “targeted regions”.
Posted in Government, 16th September 2009 12:09 GMT
SOCOM is principally famous for its large contingents of elite, secret operatives from all four US armed services (Navy SEALs, Green Berets, Delta Force, Team-6/DevGru, “the Activity” etc etc). What’s less well-known about the organisation is that it also includes the US forces’ active psychological-warfare apparatus. According (pdf) to the 4th Airborne Psychological Operations Group – the only full-time psywar unit in the US Army, and part of SOCOM:
Now SOCOM’s Joint Military Information Support Command, which “orchestrates a 24/7 multi-media campaign formatted to the cultures and languages of relevant audiences” in “what has become a tough, entrenched war of ideas” has deployed what it calls the Trans-Regional Web Initiative (TRWI). Specs on the programme were issued last year (pdf) and earlier this month General Dynamics was awarded $10,116,177 to run the Initiative for the first year.
The Initiative contract goes into detail:
Special Operations Command requires the capability to posture for rapid, on-order global dissemination of web-based influence products and tools in support of strategic and long-term U.S. Government goals…[Contractors will] develop, design, construct, operate, and maintain a series of synchronized influence websites supporting [Global War On Terror] requirements … Government estimates a minimum of two and no more than twelve websites.
The SOCOM psywar sites will be run much in the same fashion as any normal web-media portal. There will be “indigenous content stringers and editors” within “targeted regions” providing 24-hour “original features, news, sports, entertainment, economics, politics, cultural reports, business, and similar items of interest to targeted readers”