By Jon Hemming
KABUL (Reuters) – The U.S. general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan has ordered a merger of the office that releases news with “Psy Ops,” which deals with propaganda, a move that goes against the alliance’s policy, three officials said.
The move has worried Washington’s European NATO allies — Germany has already threatened to pull out of media operations in Afghanistan — and the officials said it could undermine the credibility of information released to the public.
U.S. General David McKiernan, the commander of 50,000 troops from more than 40 nations in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), ordered the combination of the Public Affairs Office (PAO), Information Operations and Psy Ops (Psychological Operations) from December 1, said a NATO official with detailed knowledge of the move.
“This will totally undermine the credibility of the information released to the press and the public,” said the official, who declined to be named.