The U.S. Special Operations Command, which Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has given the lead role in the global war on terrorism, doesn't just have gun-toting commandos out launching attacks. For the past six months, it has been dispatching two- to four-person teams of psychological warriors to the Pentagon's overseas commands, armed with plans for pro-U.S. advertising campaigns to counter propaganda from enemies, including Islamic extremists. The teams are part of a new unit called the Joint Psyops Support Element (JPSE), nicknamed "gypsy."
I've always been skeptical of the "public diplomacy" thing. I don't have a problem with it in the absract. The question is exactly we're talking about. Call me naive, but the best ways to promote a positive U.S. image is to exemplify it, no? So a C-SPAN for the Arab world--I'm all for it. An ad campaign cooked up by military psy-op guys? Well, jeez, I dunno.