Target (market): Afghanistan

“Attention Taliban! You are condemned. Did you know that? The instant the terrorists you support took over our planes, you sentenced yourselves to death…”
Such begins another broadcast day on “Information Radio,” the U.S. military’s psychological operations arm of the so-called “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan.
Now that the military campaign is in full seek-and-destroy mode, a specially-equipped plane from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard is making daily flights over Afghanistan, broadcasting music and messages for 10 hours a day on at least two AM frequencies (864 and 1107 kHz). A shortwave station, probably located in the neighboring former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, also relays the programming on 8700 kHz. Continue reading “Target (market): Afghanistan”

The Radio War in Afghanistan

America’s new so-called “war on terrorism” has some interesting radio wrinkles running through it. In fact, “pirate radio” may play a role in the outcome of the current action in Afghanistan.
To tell the truth, since the Taliban took control of the country in 1996, what media there was in Afghanistan was all but destroyed. As part of its rigid imposition of ultra-strict religious law, the Taliban went on a seek-and-destroy mission against all television sets in the country; turned the country’s central TV station into a military boarding house; and established dominance over all radio outlets.
More than a dozen radio stations are active in Afghanistan, all part of the Taliban-controlled “Voice of Shari’ah” (Islamic Law) network, broadcasting mostly on AM and shortwave.
It shouldn’t have come as a surprise, then, that the radio voice of the Taliban was one of the first targets hit when America began dropping bombs. Continue reading “The Radio War in Afghanistan”