Information Warfare: Please Stop

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May 15, 2012: American troops and their commanders in Afghanistan have been ordered to avoid doing things that the media deem insulting to Afghans and provide the enemy with anti-American propaganda opportunities. Although Afghans regularly desecrate enemy casualties (by cutting off heads and other bits), Americans are supposed to abide by a higher standard of behavior. They usually do, although criticism from the home front has little impact on troop behavior. Actually, U.S. troops, and most others in the world, have regularly been disrespectful of enemy dead. Seeing your buddies killed by the enemy does not engender warm, fuzzy feelings towards the foe. But with the advent of ubiquitous cell phone cameras, troops have had unprecedented opportunities to take pictures of themselves and enemy dead and get those pictures into circulation. This revealed, to an unsuspecting public, that arming young men and sending them into battle causes changes in behavior that are rarely talked about. While Taliban pictures and videos of tortured or dead and mutilated pictures are dismissed as vile propaganda, American photos of dead Taliban are seen as a sign of severe cultural disrespect. It must be stopped. Please.
 


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