Radio Leaflets During Wartime

SGM HERBERT A. FRIEDMAN (Ret.)

Continued

LAOS – 1960s

The U. S. Military also dropped radios and radio leaflets on Laos during the Vietnam War. One former member of the 245th PSYOP Company (Nha Trang), and the 10th PSYOP Battalion (Can Tho) brought three such leaflets home. They are coded .36, .37, and .38. Each of the three leaflets was aimed at urging Pathet Lao guerrillas to return to the Laotian government, and each pictured a gift radio as an encouragement for the defection.

Each of the leaflets bears the national symbol, a three headed elephant on top of a stand with an umbrella (or parasol) on top. The three headed mythic elephant symbol had the same number as there were principalities in the country. Thus the three heads came to represent the former small kingdoms of Vientiane, Luangprabang, and Champasak.

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Leaflet .36

Leaflet .36 is a standard 6 x 3” horizontal product depicting a Laotian reading a newspaper on one side. The text is:

WHEN YOU MEET YOUR NEW LIFE

You suffered long while living in the jungle; sleeping on the ground, hungry, apart from your father and mother, your relatives, your sons and daughters and your wife. You never saw night lights or prosperity, not even a newspaper available for you to read. Now, you have returned and live in the land of freedom. Your life is like being born again. You are happy and have high hopes and a full and promising bright future. 

The other side of the leaflet depicts the defector accepting a gift radio from two females. The text is:

People who go to do good things are praised; people who come to do good things are welcomed.

Just as you see in this photograph, this government officer and her humanitarian aid representative give gifts to the former Pathet Lao rebel who has defected and joined the government.

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Leaflet .37

One side of leaflet .37 depicts a smiling former Pathet Lao officer who has defected to the Government of Laos at the left and three men listening to the radio at the right. The text at the top and bottom is:

What are you waiting for? Come join us.
Your friends who have joined us are now enjoying life and living happily.

The back depicts three photographs; a former guerrilla playing ball, three defectors reading a newspaper, and the former officer eating. The text at the top and bottom of the leaflet is:

You too will have happy lives like your friends do right now.
If you join our government.

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Leaflet .38

Leaflet .38 is in a vertical format. It depicts the same former Pathet Lao officer. He smiles as he listens to the radio he has received as a gift. The text is:

WHEN YOU ARE FREE

A former Pathet Lao officer sits and listens to a song on the radio. He is very proud, satisfied and happy.

The other side of the leaflet depicts the same happy defector eating from a small bowl with the radio slung over his left shoulder. The text is: 

THE DREAM BECOMES REALITY

After they join our government, they become alive, happy and joyful because our government treats them well and with special care.

The People's Republic of China - 1970s?

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For the past 50 years the governments of the People's Republic of China on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan have waged a propaganda war, sending leaflets to each other by rocket, artillery, balloon, float and kite. Many of these leaflets tell of the better life awaiting defectors or citizens after reunification. Others call for defection of military personnel and citizens. This leaflet from The People's Republic depicts a Chinese pilot from Taiwan who was shot down during some kind of clandestine mission. The text is:

Taiwan Air Force Captain Zhang Qian Jun captured 10 October [no year mentioned] is treated well by mainland China.

Zhang Qian Jun, a captain of 7th Squadron in the 5th Division. His fighter was shot down and he was captured during a spy flight over mainland China. He is treated well and his life is guaranteed. The injury he received when he ejected has healed.

The back of the leaflet is all text and lists propaganda radio broadcasts that the citizens on Taiwan are encouraged to monitor. The broadcast day consists of five parts, each about two hours, with most of the same shows repeated. The text and some of the selected radio programs are:

The broadcast program timetable of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Front Line Radio in Fujian Province.

5:55: Starting music.
6:00: Morning news.
6:15: The way of the light.
6:30: Places in the Motherland.
6:45: Mailbox for Jiang's Army
[Jiang, known in the West as Chiang Kai-shek was the    President of Taiwan from about 1950-1975].
7:15: Talking to the Kuomintang
[the largest political party in Taiwan at that time].
7:30: Program Parade.

  THE FALKLAND ISLANDS - 1982

General Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri was President and dictator of Argentina from 22 December 1981 to 18 June 1982. His government was unpopular due to a sinking economy and massive human rights excesses. He tried to win over angry population by a nationalistic campaign to return the Falkland Islands located 300 miles off the mainland, to Argentina. Argentina had claimed the islands since the early 1800's, but Britain occupied and governed there since 1833. On 2 April 1982, Galtieri sent his troops to the Falklands, which the Argentines called the Malvinas. The islands were defended by only 79 British Royal Marines. Argentina eventually deployed 10,000 troops, many of them young ill-trained recruits.

The British responded with the Royal Navy by sending an amphibious task force named Operation Corporate, comprised of highly trained Marines, Commandos, Gurkhas, and other infantry. They landed at Port San Carlos on 21 May. By 31 May the British had surrounded the capital of Port Stanley. The fighting continued until 14 June when the Argentine commander agreed to a cease-fire and ordered his 9,800 troops to surrender their weapons. On 20 June the British formally declared an end to hostilities and established a Falkland Islands Protection Zone of 150 miles. This undeclared war lasted 72 days and claimed nearly 1000 casualties. Argentina lost 655 men killed-in-action while the British lost 236. The British took close to 10,000 Argentine prisoners-of-war. Argentina's defeat discredited the military government and led to the return of democracy in Argentina in 1983.

Although the British have never confirmed the actual number, we know that at least four PSYOP leaflets were dropped on the Falklands. They are entitled "Safe Conduct Pass," "Surrender at South Georgia," "Islands of the Condemned," and "South Atlantic Radio." All of the leaflets were apparently printed in Britain and then flown to the Task Force's flagship for dropping by their Harrier jump-jets.

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South Atlantic Radio

One airdrop of the first two leaflets mentioned above took place over Port Stanley on 4 June 1982. Another mission targeted Lafonia and led to 200 Argentinean soldiers surrendering. The British radio leaflet is all text:

SOUTH ATLANTIC RADIO

Notice to the inhabitants of the Falkland Islands

I have the great pleasure of announcing to them a new radio station.

South Atlantic Radio will transmit news daily from
8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on a frequency of 9.71 MHz.

This broadcast will operate like an additional station
to the LRA National Radio of the Falklands.

The back of the leaflet has the text:

From 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.

R. A. S. (inside a lightning bolt)

9.71 MHz frequency. 

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British 15th PSYOP Group Falkland Leaflet

A second radio paper product is featured on the British 15th PSYOP Group website. A limited British PSYOPS campaign was developed during the brief Argentine occupation and subsequent liberation of the Falkland Islands. A radio station was set up on the Ascension Island, known as Radio Atlantico del Sur and broadcast to Argentine troops and included music, news and sport. Although we assumed this to be a leaflet, in fact it is a station verification report, or "QSL" certificate that London sent out to radio listeners who reported their monitoring of the program.  These popular radio cards are collected by enthusiasts and several were prepared during the Persian Gulf War. The card depicts the eastern coast of South America, the Falklands Islands, and radio waves coming from the sea, presumably from Ascension Island. The text is:

 

SOUTH ATLANTIC RADIO

 

BRINGING TRUTH TO THE FRONT

 

SCHEDULE

 

AM 9700 KHz 0830-0930 GMT

PM 9710 KHz 2300-0200 GMT

 

The Falkland Islands Broadcasting Station broadcast on 536 kHz MW and 2370 kHz. After the invasion, the Argentine forces took over the F.I.B.S. facilities, but continued to broadcast in English twice daily to keep the populace updated. Radio Nacional of Argentina sent several civilians to work with the staff at the Falklands radio station, and the station was renamed LRA 60 Radio Nacional

OPERATION DESERT STORM – 1990

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Gulf War radio broadcast

On 2 August 1990 Saddam Hussein sent an invasion force of 120,000 troops and 2,000 tanks to overwhelm and occupy Kuwait. He declared it Iraq's nineteenth province. The United Nations responded by passing a series of resolutions that condemned the invasion and called for an immediate withdrawal of Iraqi troops. A military coalition was formed that eventually comprised 30 nations, led by the United States. On 7 August President George Bush ordered warplanes and ground forces to Saudi Arabia to protect the oil fields and act as a staging point for Coalition forces. This defensive operation was called "Operation Desert Shield." Saddam was given until 15 January to leave Kuwait. He refused. On 16 January President Bush announced that the war to liberate Kuwait had begun. On 17 January, Operation Desert Shield went from defensive to offensive measures and became Operation Desert Storm. The Coalition air attack was launched. On 19 January the Coalition's radio station, "Voice of the Gulf" began broadcasting to the Iraqis. After 38 days of preparation of the battlefield, the Coalition ground attack began on 24 February. The war was declared won 100 hours later on 28 February 1991. During the war, United Sates PSYOP troop prepared over 100 different leaflets. By the end of the war a total of over 29 million leaflets had been dropped over Iraq and Kuwait.

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There are four radio leaflets that were disseminated during Operation Desert Storm. The first is an uncoded black and white leaflet that depicts three Iraqi soldiers listening to a radio. The Kuwaiti water towers are in the background we know that the soldiers are on duty occupying Kuwait City. The image is identical on both sides and the text is:

Please turn your radio to medium wave 1134 KHZ daily.

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The second leaflet was used later in the operation as part of the consolidation campaign to restore a viable government to Kuwait. The leaflet is black and white, uncoded, and depicts a radio station at left, and the great seal of Kuwait at the right. The text on one side is:

Listen to Radio Kuwait on FM frequencies 92.5, 97.5, 87.9, and 98.8 MHZ.

The text on the other side is:

Listen to Radio Kuwait on AM frequencies 1341 KHZ, 1134 KHZ, and 540 KHZ.

The "Voice of the Gulf" broadcast from Riyadh with transmitters at Quaysumah and Abu Ali. Programs consisted of news, music, information, and PSYOP messages. It broadcast on AM and FM frequencies from 0600 to 2300 daily.

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The third leaflet is almost identical to the previous leaflet except that there are minor changes in the image and the message is the same on both the front and back. Once again a radio station at left and the Kuwait seal at right. It is printed in black and white and uncoded.

Listen to Radio Kuwait on FM frequencies 92.5, 97.5, 87.9, and 98.8 MHZ.

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Kuwaiti resistance leaflet

The final leaflet was prepared for the Kuwaiti resistance still fighting inside the nation during the Iraqi occupation. It is a folded piece of cardboard that has the following text on the back:

The Voice of Liberty

Pulse cycle- Medium wave kilocycles 630
Pulse cycle- Medium wave kilocycles 1053
Pulse cycle- Medium wave kilocycles 1341
Daily from 12 noon until 12 midnight

When opened, the other side of the card is a calendar starting with "Jul-Aug 90" and ending at "Jun-Jul 91."

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Desert Storm – Saudi Arabia

 

I mentioned earlier in the Falkland’s War section that station verification reports (QSL cards) were popular during the Gulf War. I illustrate two from radio operators with a patriotic vignette. The first was a card used by Ken Taylor of the U. S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. It depicts various military and patriotic scenes.

 

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Desert Storm – Bahrain

 

The second QSL card depicts Patriot missiles launched against an Iraqi Scud missile. One Patriot has intercepted a Scud, a second continues on to another Scud outside of the photograph. This card was used by Richard Hallman of Nevada.

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Iraqi Leaflet

We should mention that the Iraqis did produce what we might call an anti-radio leaflet to counter the U. S. PSYOP. The Iraqis were unable to take to the skies to disseminate leaflets, but they did on occasion throw them into the wind blowing toward Coalition troops or leave them where advancing Coalition troops might find them. This leaflet would appear to be a morale leaflet for the Iraqi soldiers. It is blue-grey and printed on bond paper. The back is blank. It depicts an Iraqi soldier listening to a radio marked "U. S. A" in English. The Arabic-language radio message goes in his right ear and out of his left ear straight into a wastepaper basket. The meaning is clear. Don't pay any attention to American radio, it is only propaganda fit for the garbage can.

The text is:

It is part of psychological warfare.

SOMALIA – 1992

The downfall of President Siad Barre on 27 January 1991 resulted in a power struggle and clan clashes in many parts of Somalia. By 1992, almost 4.5 million people faced starvation, severe malnutrition and related diseases. Overall, an estimated 300,000 people, including many children, died. Some 2 million people, violently displaced from their home areas, fled either to neighboring countries or elsewhere within Somalia.

On 3 December 1992, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 794. The Council welcomed the United States offer to help create a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid in Somalia and authorized, under Chapter VII of the Charter, the use of "all necessary means" to do so. United States President George Bush responded to Security Council resolution 794 with a decision on 4 December to initiate Operation Restore Hope, under which the United States would assume the unified command.

The first elements of the Unified Task Force (UNITAF) came ashore on the beaches of Mogadishu without opposition on 9 December 1992. The number of United States forces would rise to approximately 28,000 personnel, augmented by some 17,000 UNITAF troops from over 20 countries.

The United Task Force Somalia (UNITAF) disseminated 37 leaflets between 9 December 1992 and 4 May 1993. The United States Army 4th PSYOP Group published a book entitled Psychological Operations in Support of Operation Restore Hope in late 1993. It gives background on the early aspects of the operations:

Throughout the course of Operation Restore Hope, thirty-seven different leaflets and over a dozen different handbills and posters were designed, printed and disseminated. Over seven million leaflets were disseminated over central and southern Somalia. One hundred sixteen different editions of the UNITAF newspaper Rajo (Hope) were published. As many as 25,000 copies were printed and distributed daily to every town and village where UNITAF forces were deployed.

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The Newspaper Rajo (Truth)

The 4th PSYOP Group booklet says about the UNITAF newspaper Rajo (Truth):

The daily Somali language newspaper Rajo was first published on 20 December 1992 printed on both sides of 8 1/2 x 14 inch paper. Rajo was distributed to every town and village where UNITAF was deployed.

The 4th PSYOP booklet also mentions the use of radio as a PSYOP medium.

As a compliment to the Rajo newspaper, the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force (JPOTF) established a radio station on the US Embassy compound. Radio Rajo conducted a 45-minute Somali language broadcast twice daily on AM, FM, and short wave. The program included a reading from the Koran, a reading of the Rajo newspaper articles, selections of Somali poetry and short stories, news about Africa, significant events throughout the world, and Somali music.

Readers who want to study this operation in more depth should see my article United States PSYOP in Somalia.

There are no radio leaflets among the 37 UNITAF leaflets. However, the newspaper Rajo often mentioned the radio broadcasts. For instance, the issue of 29 April 1993 has a small box at the lower left corner of the front page that indicates the times, contents and frequencies of the Rajo Radio broadcasts. Programs are listed at 7:15 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7 p.m.

The Security Council established the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM) in April 1992. It established UNOSOM II by resolution 814 on 26 March 1993. UNOSOM II ended March 1995. It consisted of approximately 28,000 military and police personnel; there was also a provision for some 2,800 international and locally recruited staff. Like UNITAF, UNOSOM II broadcast on the radio and published a newspaper with the same name. Instead of Radio Rajo (Radio Hope), UNOSOM used the name Radio Maanta (Radio Today). The radio station was operated on shortwave by the United Nations staff in Mogadishu. It broadcast news, inquiries about missing persons, songs, plays and poems. The station transmitted in the Somali language from two 600-watt shortwave transmitters. Their schedule was as follows: 0415-0500, 1000-1045, 1100-1145 and 1300-1345 on 9540 kHz. The station also broadcast at 1600-1645, 1700-1745 and 1900-1945 on 6170 kHz. The radio signal was not strong enough to reach all over Somalia.

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UNOSOM Radio Leaflet

Unosom did produce one radio leaflet to advertise its radio station. The leaflet is uncoded and depicts a family of five in silhouette, hand-in-hand, in front of a radio. Text on the back is:

Lieutenant General Bir, Commander of the UNOSOM Forces will make a speech to the people of Mogadishu.

Date: 7 October 1993
Time: All day repeatedly
Station: Radio Maanta –
Short Wave: 31 / 9.540 KHZ, daytime.
Medium Wave: 49 / 6.170 KHZ, nighttime.

HAITI - 1994

In the summer of 1994, the sight of rickety wooden boats packed with starving Haitians trying to make landfall on the beaches of Florida was a daily sight on the evening news. Thousands were intercepted on the high seas by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships and taken to Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. The economy of Haiti was nonexistent, and the people had no choice but to flee in hope of a better life. The United States took the lead in forming a multinational force (MNF) to carry out the United Nation's mandate by means of a military intervention. The goal was to stop the illegal immigration, protect the people of Haiti, and stabilize that island with a legitimate constitutional government.

The military campaign was named Operation Uphold Democracy. The operation's deployment phase began on 18 September 1994 when the president, through the secretary of defense, issued the order to execute OPLAN 2370. Almost 4000 American paratroopers were on their way to invade Haiti on 19 September 1994 when the Haitian military agreed to a peaceful transition of government. As a result, American troops entered the country peacefully and without bloodshed. The United States military and the multi-national force eventually numbered over 23,000 troops from over a dozen nations.

There were only two PSYOP leaflets dropped on the Haitians. The first depicts President Aristide and the text:

The sun of democracy, the light of justice. The warmth of reconciliation with the return of President Aristide.

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Radio leaflet – Haiti

The second leaflet is a radio leaflet. It was dropped along with portable radios on 15 September 1994. Each radio was preset to the American propaganda station. The New York Times said on 16 September that the paramilitary forces seized many of the thousands of radios that were dropped from an American plane that flew over the capital after President Clinton's speech.

The leaflet depicts a radio at the right with the frequency of the American-sponsored government station. A map of Haiti and the flags of the United States and Haiti are at the left. It bears no code. The text is:

Help us to help you. Listen to Radio 1080 AM 24 hours a day.

The back is all text:

The American Army has arrived to re-establish democracy. For your own and your family's safety, follow the advice below: Remain calm. Stay indoors. Keep away from windows. Do not form in groups on the street. Leave the American Army alone to work. Do not block traffic. Listen to the radio on 1080 for information. For more information tune your radio to 1080 AM.

BOSNIA – 1995

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PSYOP Radio Broadcast

Serbian ethnic cleansing and attacks of the minorities within the border of Yugoslavia forced NATO to undertake an intensive, month-long bombing campaign in August 1995. A cease-fire went into effect in October, and peace talks began on 1 November 1995. These negotiations produced the framework for peace known as the Dayton Peace Accords.

American servicemen came to Bosnia in December 1995 as part of the Implementation Force (IFOR), the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia created under the Dayton accords. Their mission was to enforce the agreement ending the Bosnian war. IFOR had a one-year mandate to oversee implementation of the military aspects of the peace agreement. They achieved those goals by June 1996.

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PSYOP Civilian Technical Advisor Doug Elwell at US Army broadcast
transmitter site near Tuzla, BiH, during OPERATION Joint Endeavor.

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The "Rock of the Balkans" radio leaflet

During their stay, a number of leaflets were prepared and distributed by the U. S. PSYOP forces. IFOR had a radio station in Tuzla that played music, news and sports for the people. The Allies produced a radio leaflet that depicted a radio antenna at the left and identified the station as "Radio IFOR - Tuzla - Rock of the Balkans - 1017 kHz." The same image was no both sides with text in Bosnian or Serbian.

SERBIA – 1999

In early 1999, the Serbs again seemed intent on purifying their lands of all foreign ethnic groups. Television reports told of thousands of ethnic Albanians persecuted, raped, or murdered. This time the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took action. NATO demanded full compliance with UN Resolution 1199 of 23 September 1998. The resolution called for all parties to cease hostilities.

At a meeting held 15 March 1999, the Kosovar separatists agreed to a cease-fire, but the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic refused. NATO warned that refusal to cease hostilities against the Kosovar civilians would lead directly to military force. After a week of Serbian refusals, the 19-member organization unanimously agreed to initiate air strikes. The first occurred at 1400 on 24 March 1999. NATO aircraft pounded military and political targets within Serbia as part of "Operation Allied Force." Fighter aircraft later attacked Serb military forces in Kosovo.

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Leaflet 04-E-03-L001

An American leaflet gives the frequencies of five radio stations and a television channel that the people could tune in to receive NATO radio and television broadcasts. The code number of this leaflet is 04-E-03-L001. NATO aircraft dropped 1.2 million of this leaflet. The text on the front of the leaflet is:

Mornings in Belgrade.
Interviews with world leaders.

News: international and regional.
Messages to the Serb people.
NATO policy statements.
NATO allied voice. Radio and television station.

The back of the leaflet is all text,

FM 87.9, FM 106.4, FM 102.2, AM 1003, TV Channel 21.

We want to talk to you.

This leaflet also exists in a second version with the first wavelength "87.9" changed to "92.5."

AFGHANISTAN – 2001

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An Afghan man listening to a radio broadcast

On 11 September 2001, terrorists of the al-Qaida (the Base) group attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington DC. The terrorist Osama Bin Laden led this group from his sanctuary in Afghanistan.

President Bush immediately demanded that the ruling fundamentalist Islamic Taliban movement of Afghanistan turn over Mr. bin Laden for trial. President Bush declared a war on terrorism and stated that they would be found and attacked regardless of where they were hiding. The operation to arrest Bin Laden was named "Operation Enduring Freedom."

The bombing of Afghanistan began on 7 October. Aerial propaganda leaflets were not dropped the first week due to high winds. The first leaflet drop took place on 15 October, coordinated with Coalition radio broadcasts. The total number of different leaflets dropped on Afghanistan will probably number well over 100. The leaflets were disseminated by the M129 leaflet bomb, static line boxes, and PDU5bs (U.S. Navy PSYOP Dispensing Units) during the first year of the war. 84,195,268 leaflets were prepared and dropped from September 2001 to September 2002.

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AFD06

Radio leaflet AFD06 was first dropped on 15 October 2001. A single B-52 Stratofortress bomber dropped 385,000 leaflets over the eastern town of Ghazni, the northwestern town of Sheberghan, and between Sheberghan and the western city of Herat. Half of the leaflets were radio leaflets. By September 2002 the United States had disseminated 7,931,000 of this radio leaflet by M129 bomb. The leaflet depicts a radio tower and two radios. Text is identical on both sides in Pashto and Dari. The text is:

Information radio. 0500-1000. 1700-2200 daily. 864, 1107, 8700 kilohertz.

The leaflet tells the Afghan finder what radio stations to dial in order to hear the latest news from the coalition forces. Part of the PSYOP plan was to tell the Afghan people why their country was being bombed. The radio broadcasts stress that this is simply a war against terrorism and not against the people of Afghanistan. The Taliban's main Kabul radio station, Voice of Sharia, was taken off the air by an American cruise missile several days earlier.

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Navy specialist prepares leaflet AFD06 into
propaganda bomb rolls aboard USS Constellation.

A second variety of this leaflet was coded AFD06c. The text on this leaflet is:

Voice of Peace Radio 0600-0800, 1600-1800 Daily. 96 FM.

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The “Voice of Peace” Radio station building in Jabal os Saraj Afghanistan
The sign above the door reads “VOICE of PEACE.”

Radio Voice of Peace's transmitter began operating in the Parwan Province city of Jabal os Saraj on 13 December. The 500-watt transmitter has a range that exceeds 100 kilometers. The radio station's old transmitter was 200 watts and had a 30-kilometer range. The Voice of Peace transmits in Dari and Pashtu and is affiliated with the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Northern Alliance).

There is a third radio leaflet known to be coded AFG18 with the title "Radio frequencies." The specifics of this leaflet are unknown at present.

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The Special Operations System B (SOMS B) ground-based PSYOP radio in Afghanistan.  
The DRASH tents attached to the vehicles are the operational areas for the system set up in Bagram.

One of the radio specialists from Ft. Bragg told me:

The Special Operations System B (SOMS B) was the first ground-based PSYOP asset in Afghanistan.   There was a SOMS B in Bagram and one in Khandahar.  Initially broadcasting was done on AM and FM.  Eventually, all broadcasting was migrated to shortwave (SW).  

The antenna field was very crowded in the beginning because all three (AM, FM, and SW) antennas had been set up in the same small area.  The AM antenna was a discone antenna supported by four masts, which were only 50 feet off the ground at the highest point.

PSYOP soldiers had visited the Voice of Peace FM broadcast station in Jabal os Saraj a couple of times to try and improve the coverage of this station, which was supporting US efforts.   The station was housed in a donated building up on the side of a tall hill.   The transmitter was a 500 Watt Japanese made solid-state system that had some “repairs” done by the local welder.  The civilian tech advisors working with the soldiers were able to improve the “repairs” and determine that the existing omni-directional antenna was only rated for 200 Watts, limiting the system.  Replacement antennas were acquired which provided a directional coverage and increased effective radiated power to extend their coverage area.

The requirements of the operation are such that the SW broadcasting is now done from three locations in Afghanistan. Each location has its own SW transmitter as the SOMS B systems have all returned to FT Bragg. The three short wave radio frequencies are 9325, 9345 and 9365 kHz. The stations broadcast from 0030-1830 in Pashto and Dari. The opening in Pashto is: “Da Sola Radyo day,” and in Dari: “Inja Solh-e Radyoe.” (“You are listening to Peace Radio.”). The audio products are edited using a Deployable Audio Production System (DAPS) designed for PSYOP use by the civilian technical support in the Media Production Center, FT Bragg.  Video products are edited using the Deployable Non-Linear Editor (DNLE) which was developed by the same resource. 

There is a lot of published information about the production of the radio leaflets. Weapon of Choice, ARSOF in Afghanistan, Charles H. Briscoe, Richard L. Kiper, James A. Schroeder, and Kalev I Sepp, authors, Combat studies Institute Press, Fort Leavenworth, KS 2003 says: 

Whether it was a leaflet offering a monetary reward, providing a radio listening frequency, extolling the new government, or warning about land mines, the 30 million leaflets 2nd Platoon, A Company, 3rd POB, printed were a significant contribution to the global war on terrorism

 

When radio broadcasts by the Air Force EC- 130 Commando Solo aircraft became possible, Donovan's [PSYOP squad leader] squad printed handbills that ground units could distribute to villages. The handbills depicted a radio tower and had various frequencies for music and news.

 

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Kaito Radio

In order to assure that the Afghans could listen to the American propaganda broadcasts; starting 17 October 2001 U. S. forces distributed small battery-powered portable radios. Initially, several thousand Kaito brand portable radios were distributed by hand. The Kaito was a 220-volt AC radio that was battery, solar and crank (dynamo) powered. Cost was low for quantity purchased and the power source was the prime requirement. The sensitivity and selectivity were poor, and required a very strong signal to work. It was not successful in the mountainous countryside of Afghanistan.

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Grundig FR220 radio

There was a recommendation to use the Grundig FR220 radio. It worked well in the mountainous terrain and was battery and dynamo powered. The 10th Mountain Division psychological operations officer headed the purchase of 100,000 FR200 Grundig Emergency Radios for Coalition Joint Task Force (CJTF) 180 to be delivered to Bagram, Afghanistan, between November 2003 and February 2004. Over 30,000 Grundig radios had been distributed by the time he left Afghanistan in April 2004.  In addition, before leaving Afghanistan he provided the Multi-National Corps - Iraq (MNC-I) Information Operations (IO) Cell with instructions for purchasing Grundig Radios for distribution in Iraq.  The CJTF-76 (formerly CJTF-180) IO Cell has been in talks with the Eton Corporation to purchase an additional 150,000 Grundig radios. 

The Americans also distributed the WR-004 World Receiver AM, FM and short wave radio produced by the STL Group in the Netherlands under the brand name Super Tech. They were airdropped with the batteries already in the radio. The British apparently dropped crank-powered radios at the same time.

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WSSR-11 digital receiver, the satellite radio used in Afghanistan

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The author with a WSSR-11

The U. S. Army later distributed Worldspace model WSSR-11 digital receivers. They are battery-powered and allow the listener to access over 40 satellite radio services from around the world. Each radio comes with a directional line-of sight antenna. The service uses three satellites, AmeriStar, AfriStar, and AsiaStar.

The Department of Defense says about satellite radio in a May 2000 report: The Creation and Dissemination of All Forms of Information in Support of Psychological Operations (PSYOP) in Time of Military Conflict

The WorldSpace system is fully digital and transmits a number of stations simultaneously in the L-band. Since the WorldSpace system is fully digital, it will convey data in addition to the audio streams. Satellite TV and radio poses two distinct problems for U.S. PSYOP. A narrow, technical problem is that U.S. forces have no available means to disseminate their PSYOP content to households that rely upon satellite services. In particular, the Commando Solo aircraft cannot provide this function for the variety reasons. First, the media encodings are digital, and sometimes proprietary, and often encrypted. Thus, they cannot be serviced by Commando Solo's current transmission suite. Second, the receivers employ satellite dishes pointed to specific slots in geosynchronous orbits. It will not be easy for a platform such as Commando Solo to transmit in such a way that it can be received in these dishes. Third, the satellite systems operate on a variety of bands (L, C, Ku) not currently supported by Commando Solo. A much wider problem, however, is that the PSYOP message now needs to compete against a very rich entertainment menu. As a result, it will become increasingly difficult for the PSYOP community to acquire "mindshare" in its target audiences.

On the other hand, as satellite systems become highly subscribed in one or more regions of the world, they offer an appealing medium for PSYOP dissemination since a single system generally offers full continental coverage at relatively modest cost. The insertions of PSYOP "commercials" and "specials" into existing, branded channels could prove a highly effective, and cost-effective, means for disseminating PSYOP content. Here DoD might wish to become an "anchor tenant" within new systems in order to ensure that such channels exist and are available for DoD use.

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Passing out radios in Afghanistan

A former PSYOP detachment sergeant in Kandahar and later team chief in Geresk mentioned the distribution of the radios. He said:

The radios were given to all returning Hajjis, people who went on the Hajj to Mecca. This was a good way to get the radios out since each district was allotted a certain number of people to go on the Hajj. When they returned to their remote areas with the radio, it gave the radios a status symbol quality, since going on the Hajj is such a big thing. Then we would give radios to schools, key communicators and random people in our travels. We used them as an inducement to work with us. It was a good benefit for the people and everyone wanted more than we could ever give out. People who gave us directions along the road would frequently be rewarded with a radio.

ARSOF in Afghanistan adds:

Broadcast media proved very effective during the PSYOP campaign. More than 7,500 small battery-powered transistor radios were distributed both by airdrop and by TPTs with Special Forces ODAS. Simple leaflets told the Afghan people which numbered channels to tune to for American PSYOP-produced programs."

PSYOP units working in the field distributed small transistor radios countrywide because the Taliban had made it a crime to possess a radio and few were available.

Dawkins [an American PSYOP trooper] met an Afghan woman who had one of the airdropped American transistor radios. She told him that it was the first radio she had heard in seven years. Dawkins made it a point to request the delivery of more transistor radios.

On October 18, the U.S. Government released several radio broadcast texts to the public. Some of the messages were as follows:

Attention Taliban! You are condemned. Did you know that? The instant the terrorists you support took over our planes, you sentenced yourselves to death…our helicopters will rain death down upon your camps before you detect them on your radar. Our bombs are so accurate we can drop them through your windows…you have only one choice, surrender now and we will give you a second chance. We will let you live.

In order to entice the Afghans to listen to the radio, about three-quarters of all broadcasts consist of music. The Taliban had condemned music.

Some of the story of the broadcasts is told in ARSOF in Afghanistan:

SGT Astor, born and raised in Afghanistan by a well-educated family, spoke Pashto, Dari, and Farsi and understood Urdu.

Support for the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA), humanitarian reconstruction, and coalition forces seeking to eliminate the Taliban and al-Qaeda threat were the major PSYOP themes in December and January. For down south, the Special Operations Media Systems-Broadcast (SOMS-B) wanted more Pashto songs, and up north they wanted more Dari music.

The messages between the music had to be correct in both Dari and Pashto, the two major languages in Afghanistan. The messages solicited popular support for the legitimate government - the AIA warned the people to avoid interfering with the coalition forces; pushed the need for the loya jirga [Afghan Congress]; gave specifics on humanitarian aid; and identified, by country, who was providing what to the Afghan people.

The other topics were women's roles in government, the importance of education, and the reconstruction of girls’ schools.

IRAQ – 2003

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An Iraqi listens to the radio broadcast

President George W. Bush announced the opening of the second war Gulf War called Operation Iraqi Freedom at 2215 on 19 March 2003 just 90 minutes after the deadline for Saddam to exile himself and his sons from Iraq. The initial salvos against Baghdad consisted of 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from six Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, as well as precision-guided 2,000-pound bombs dropped from two F-117A Nighthawk stealth jets.

On 20 March The U.S. First Marine Division crossed the border at 2100 and advanced all night through light Iraqi defenses. Cobra attack helicopters and Paladin 155mm self-propelled artillery attacked Iraqi positions across the border from Kuwait. At 2300, the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division crossed into Iraq under a protective umbrella of artillery and multiple launch rocket systems firing at Iraqi troops. Operation Iraqi Freedom aircrews dropped more than 2 million leaflets over 29 military and civilian targets on 21 March.

The entire Iraqi Army Fifth Corps surrendered in the northern city of Mosul on 11 April. The U.S. Marines overran Saddam loyalists staging a last stand in Tikrit on 14 April. One 1 May President Bush flew to the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in a four-person Navy S-3B Viking anti-submarine aircraft. During his speech given the same evening, he proclaimed that the major combat phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom was over.

Radio leaflets were dropped in Operation Iraqi Freedom to an extent never before seen. All of the early leaflets were radio themed. For instance, we note that IZD-001, IZD-001a, IZD-001c, IZD-002, IZD-002a, IZD-002c, and IZD-003 are all radio leaflets. As the war progressed the United States produced additional leaflets numbered IZD-061, IZD-071, and IZD-7501. There are surely many more that we are not aware of. The British forces in Iraq also prepared several radio leaflets. None of them bear code numbers. We illustrate examples of several formats used by the Coalition forces below.

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IZD-001

This leaflet depicts A map of Iraq at the center and radio towers at left and right. The same image in on both sides. Above each radio tower is the text "1800-2300 Daily." This leaflet was dropped on at least 23 missions, the first being 16 December 2002 and the last being 4 April 2003. The text in the center over the map of Iraq is:

Information Radio

756 KHZ AM
693 KHZ AM
9715 KHZ SW
11292 KHZ SW
100.4 MHZ FM

Some of these leaflets were prepared at sea. The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Constellation (CV-64) reported that it had prepared 5.5 million leaflets and dropped them from F-18 Hornets during the conflict. Carrier Air Wing 2 (CVW-2) F-14 Tomcats and F-18 Hornets disseminated leaflets from the aircraft carrier Constellation in the Navy’s "Operation Litterbug." Rear Admiral Barry Costello said that the U.S. Navy 80,000-ton aircraft carrier is the only American warship with a printing press onboard. The ship produced its own templates of the leaflets, chose the paper best suited for the mission and printed up to 30,000 leaflets an hour. They are then cut and rolled by hand and placed in canisters that are inserted into modified Rockeye bombs. Each canister can hold 60,000 leaflets. In June of 2004 The Telegraph of London described one mission:

The leaflets depict radio towers to draw attention to particular frequencies for Iraqis to receive more information on cooperating with any future attack.

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IZD-001c

This leaflet depicts a map of Iraq at the center and radio towers at the left and right. The text has been slightly changed. We know that it was dropped over Iraq on 18 March and 21 March 2003. The text is identical on both sides:

Information Radio

756 KHZ AM - 1800 - 1200
690 KHZ AM - 1800 - 2300
9715 KHZ SW - 24 hours a day
11292 KHZ SW - 1800- 1200
100.4 MHZ FM - 1800-2300

IZD002Arabicf.jpg (24251 bytes)

IZD-002

This leaflet was printed in a vertical format in color. Both sides are the same. It was dropped on at least 18 missions between 2 January and 4 April 2003. The leaflet depicts a radio tower in the center and small portable radios at the left and right. The text is:

Information Radio

1800-2300 daily

756 KHZ AM
693 KHZ AM
9715 KHZ SW
11292 KHZ SW
100.4 MHZ FM

IZD003Arabic.jpg (19128 bytes)

IZD-003

This leaflet was printed in color in a horizontal format. It was dropped on at least 11 missions between 31 January and 31 March 2003. The front and back are identical. The leaflet depicts a radio antenna at the left and a map of Iraq at right. The text in the center is:

Information Radio

800-2300 Daily

756 KHZ AM
693 KHZ AM
9715 KHZ SW
11292 KHZ SW
100.4 MHZ FM

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IZD061ArabicF.jpg (20882 bytes)

IZD-061

This leaflet is a bit different. It is printed in color and one side depicts two hands clasping in front of a desert-style camouflage background. The text is:

Coalition forces support the people of Iraq in their desire to remove Saddam and his regime. The Coalition wishes no harm to the innocent Iraqi civilians.

The back depicts four radio antennae with text over the faint image. The text is:

! ATTENTION !

In times of crisis, tune in to Information Radio for important news and information.

756 KHZ AM 9715 KHZ SW,
100.4 MHZ FM
690 KHZ AM 11292 KHZ SW

This leaflet was dropped on at least five occasions, starting on 1 March and ending on 4 April 2003.

IZD071ArabicF.jpg (19773 bytes)

IZD-071

This leaflet is similar to IZD-003 except that there is some added text in red. The leaflet was printed in color and was dropped on at least four missions starting on 1 March and ending on 31 March 2003. The front of the leaflet depicts an antenna at left and a map of Iraq at the right. Text in the center over the image is:

Information Radio

756 KHZ AM – 1800-1200
693 KHZ AM – 1800-2300
9715 KHZ SW – 24 hours a day
11292 KHZ SW – 1800-1200
100.4 MHZ FM – 1800-2300

The back of the leaflet depicts antennae at the left and the right and the text:

Information Radio

The Coalition stands with the Iraqi people against Saddam. For your safety stay in your homes and away from military targets. The Coalition does not target civilians. Listen to information.

What kinds of messages were broadcast over the American propaganda radio stations? We quote two of the more interesting ones from December 2002. They both target the Iraqi military:

Broadcast 1: Soldiers of Iraq. Saddam does not care for the military of Iraq. Saddam uses his soldiers as puppets, not for the glory of Iraq, but for his own personal glory. During the Gulf War, Saddam put his own soldiers out in the desert without supplies or support to stop the Coalition Forces who had expelled the Iraqi military from their illegal occupation of Kuwait. He also laid land mines to the rear of their positions. Not only did Saddam needlessly put you in harm's way against the Coalition forces, he also prevented your safe return.

Saddam also sacrificed thousands of soldiers during the Iran / Iraq war. Nearly 400,000 Iraqi soldiers were casualties of that war. Some of these men were even casualties of Saddam's own chemical and gas attacks. 60,000 Iraqis were taken prisoner during the conflict. When the Iraqi soldiers that were taken prisoner were returned, Saddam ordered their ears to be cut off as punishment for being captured.

Saddam has continued to order anti-aircraft artillery to fire at Coalition aircraft that patrol the United Nation's no fly zone. Due to his defiance of UN resolutions, many more soldiers have been put in harm's way.

Broadcast 2: Soldiers of Iraq. Since the beginning of time, there has been no profession more honorable than that of a soldier. Soldiers are decorated with awards and medals that show their achievements and mark their skills. The uniform of a soldier is an article that demands respect, and loyalty. Soldiers are the defenders of their people, and the protectors of women and children. A soldier is willing to sacrifice himself for his country and their way of life. Soldiers sacrifice their own personal freedoms to protect others.

Saddam has tarnished this legacy. Saddam spews forth political rhetoric along with a false sense of national pride to deceive these men to serve his own unlawful purposes.

Saddam does not wish the soldiers of Iraq to have the honor and dignity that their profession warrants. Saddam seeks only to exploit these brave men. Saddam uses the soldiers of Iraq not as protectors of the peace, but rather as his own personal bodyguards.

Do not let Saddam tarnish the reputation of soldiers any longer. Saddam uses the military to persecute those who don't agree with his unjust agenda. Make the decision.

The Allied forces often used handouts in place of aerial leaflets. They are larger, easier to read and carry more information. They are not efficient for air-dropping because of their larger size and weight. IZG-7501 is a handout that depicts a map of Iraq in the center and radio antennae at left and right. It is not really a radio leaflet because it does not identify stations, but by showing radio antennae it implies that the finder should stay home and listen to the radio for instructions. The text is:

Humanitarian aid is not available at this time. We cannot provide you with food, medicine, or water. Please return to your homes. Further instruction will follow when aid becomes available

IZC007101.jpg (52575 bytes)

Poster IZC071

A Coalition radio poster used during Operation Iraqi Freedom is coded IZC071. The poster is printed in full color in a vertical format and depicts a map of Iraq flanked by two radio antenna. The text is:

Information Radio

The coalition stands with the Iraqi people against Saddam. For your safety stay in your homes away from military targets. The Coalition does not target civilians. Listen to Information Radio for more information.

756 KHZ AM – 1800-1200
690 KHZ AM – 1800-2300
9715 KHZ SW – 24 hours a day
11292 KHZ SW – 1800-1200
100.4 KHZ FM  – 1800-2300

IZD2601.jpg (34756 bytes)

IZD 2601

Black and white leaflet IZD2601 is not your typical radio leaflet. Instead of the usual antenna or table radio it depicts what appears to be a "boom box" portable radio at the left and a television set at the right. Text on the front gives the frequencies of Coalition stations. The back of the leaflet is all text.

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IZD3507a

This black and white leaflet was printed and disseminated during the consolidation campaign. Both sides of the leaflet are identical and depict a radio antenna at the center and radios at the right and left. Radio station information is found at the top and the center of the leaflet.

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Leaflet 3045

Radio leaflet 3045 pictures a portable radio and the text:

YOUR VOICE

The new radio show that gives you the chance to give your opinion!
Monday – Wednesday – Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
A radio show where you can call and debate the major issues of the day.
Call in and have your voice heard.
Tune in to FM 88.7 for call in numbers. Show starts Thursday,
November 29th!
Al Iraqia Radio FM 88.7

IZ055228.jpg (34267 bytes)

Leaflet IZ-05-5228

A new radio leaflet appeared in Iraq near the end of 2005. It was one of a series that bore a new code (IZ-05 + a numeric) and that were all printed in a single color, either red or blue. Leaflet IZ-05-5228 is a blue leaflet that depicts a large radio antenna on both the front and back. The text is identical on both sides:

There is a new station in the city today,
transmitting its program to your area on
864-756 AM
864-756 KHz

IZD9587.jpg (113546 bytes)

IZD-9587

At least 109 insurgents and one American soldier were killed overnight in a major offensive launched by U.S. in October 2004 in the “Sunni Triangle.” An estimated 3,000 U.S. troops moved into Samarra in what the United States called “repeated and unprovoked attacks by anti-Iraqi forces.” Possibly in support of this operation, a radio leaflet for Iraq coded IZD-9587 was distributed, which depicts a radio antenna at the left and the text:

Radio Samarra on wave length 106.1 FM

Radio Samarra for all the information

  British02aleaf.jpg (18094 bytes)

British soldier passing out leaflet

It was not only the Americans who disseminated radio leaflets. The British 15th PSYOP Group was assigned targets in the southern portion of Iraq. They produced several such leaflets for the local population. One leaflet without code is green and depicts a British soldier shaking hands with an Iraqi.

Britishleaflet01leaf.jpg (11956 bytes)  Britishleaflet02.jpg (11030 bytes)

The text is:

This time we won't abandon you. Be patient - together we will win.

The text on the back is:

People of Al Basrah, we are here to liberate the people of Iraq. Our enemy is the regime and not the people. We need your help. To identify the enemy. To rebuild Iraq. English speakers please come forward. We will stay as long as it takes. Listen to Radio Nahrain 100-4 FM (94.6 in the evenings) for important news and information.

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British 15th PSYOP Group Radio Station in Iraq

British Radio Nahrain [Two Rivers Radio], programming is similar to Information Radio, with a mixture of Iraqi songs, job offers, western pop music, and messages to the local population. The comment "this time we won’t abandon you" was meant to assure that Iraqis that the western powers would not pull out and leave them to their fate as it had done in 1992 after Operation Desert Storm.

Brit96FMIraq.jpg (105299 bytes)

Radio Nahrain Poster

After the end of the war, the station continued as Radio Nahrain 96FM. The British say about the station:

The group provided a state-of-the-art, radio station, RADIO NAHRAIN, which beamed across Basra, home to more than 1.5 million people, broadcasting music, news, and public information around the clock.

Station controller, Lt Col Colin Mason said, "The set up here in the desert is similar to what you would find at any commercial radio station in the UK . . . we have been able to provide the people of Basra with vital information - warning civilians to stay away from areas of military action and advising them of distribution areas."

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British Poster

A British poster depicts the Union Jack in full color at the top. The text is:

We are here to work with you cooperatively to make things better. Try to get back to your normal routine. Remain peaceful and law abiding citizens. Support the new interim administration. Do not carry weapons on the street. Follow the Instructions of Coalition forces. Listen to Radio Nahrain 100.4 FM for important news and information.

LIBYA – 2011

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NATO Radio

When NATO attacked Libya in 2011 they dropped 20 different propaganda leaflets. One was a radio leaflet that asked the Libyans to listen to NATO radio. The front depicts a radio tower and radio beams. The code number is: 2011L02E01PL225(2.11). The Arabic text is:

Libya is one and its people are one, turn the dial to station 104.1 FM.

The back depicts a stylized satellite dish and the text:

The freedom of information is the basis of the freedom of the people. Claim your lawful rights by obtaining information freely (without paying). Turn the needle of the radio and listen to 104.1 FM. Libya is one and its people are one. Turn the needle of the radio to station 104.1 FM.

War Games

LoreleiRadioleaflet01.jpg (177226 bytes)

Lorelei

Radio leaflets were even prepared during American war games or “Maneuvers.” In this 1950s training leaflet used in a war game against a mock enemy a Lovely woman is depicted at the left with a microphone. The text is:

Listen to Lorelei
The velvet voice of aggressor in her nightly broadcasts…
Just for you!

The back of the leaflet is in the form of a handwritten letter. It says in part:

Hello to all you fellows in the U.S. Army…I do so want to please you, to comfort you, maybe to recall a memory or two of time you used to know…I’ll try to help you fellas, help you to maybe get away from all this sweat and dirt and the bugs, if you’ll only let me. How about it? Will you listen for me each night….

CONCLUSION

This concludes our study of what we have called "radio leaflets." I am sure that this is just a small percentage of those that have been printed by PSYOP troops over the past 50 years.  In other operations in third world nations we are unable to discover any such leaflets, probably because the vast majority of the population was so poor that they simply had no radios to listen to. In smaller operations like Grenada there was no need for such leaflets because the entire campaign was over in just a few days. I remind the readers that these articles are for them and if any have any information that would make this report more complete and accurate they are encouraged to write the author at sgmbert@hotmail.com.

18 August, 2004