Related topics

US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK

As far as we can tell we aren't one of them

Looking for operatives fluent in "English (British dialect)"

All the standard bread-and-butter methods will be employed:

Government will require the use of XHTML, PHP, Java scripting, and flash development... Free email service for users of TRWI websites, as determined feasible by SOCOM, in order to integrate them as active participants of the site... Contractor is required to incorporate into TRWI websites the use of web logs (blogs), streaming Video/Audio, moderated chat rooms, downloads of wall papers (inclusive of calendars) when directed by SOCOM... contractor will, at a minimum, develop Internet-based marketing procedures such as use of Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization to prioritize search result listing of the applicable websites.

The difference will be that rather than a normal media boss, the Initiative websites will be controlled by managers reporting to SOCOM based in US regional command HQs around the world - managers holding US Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information clearances, with "extensive public diplomacy, journalism, and mediarelations skills". Rather than ads or venture capital, the cash will come from SOCOM's psyops war chest.

Then there are hints of unconventional web tactics, different from your normal media:

The Government will require the contractor to provide “ghosted” websites that are protected by username and password and ready to go active upon approval by SOCOM.

So who are the "targeted readers" who are to be steered into supporting US policy, in particular the War On Terror?

A hint is given by the list of required foreign target languages, which includes obvious ones like Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Russian, Malay etc - but also French, and "English (British dialect and spelling)".

There's also a suggestion that operations similar to the Initiative may already be running, supporting the "24/7 multi-media campaign" spoken of last year (pdf) by SOCOM's commander.

The Government will provide the contractor with Government Furnished Information (GFI) from any existing, USSOCOM-operated influence website strategies.

It would appear that any UK media site or channel which appears to be functioning without any visible means of support appropriate to its expenses may in fact be a tentacle of US Special Ops psywar command. (Or the Iranian equivalent, perhaps.)

We've obviously checked with our upper management regarding the identity of our backers, but it seems we don't have any need to know who they are. ®

Sponsored: 5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup