On the P.R. Battlefield

The U.S. dispatches psy-ops warriors with plans for pro-American publicity campaigns

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."

Based at the command's Tampa, Fla., headquarters, the JPSE unit has 38 psychological-operations experts (plus a graphic artist and...

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