Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sonic Assault in Marjah

I knew we used loud music as an interrogation tactic, but apparently we are also using it for wider psychological operations in Afghanistan.

US special forces in Marjah have hit upon the genius idea of blasting deafening Metallica, Thin Lizzy and Offspring tunes in the general direction of suspected insurgent strong-holds in a bid to root out hard rock-averse guerrillas. ... Marines in Marjah, a farming community in the middle of Afghanistan's poppy belt, have rigged up an armoured vehicle with massive speakers that can be heard up to a mile away. "Taliban hate that music," explains one officer of a multiple-hour playlist that includes the aforementioned rockers interspersed with Afghan government propaganda and death threats.
Unfortunately, according to the article, it annoys the locals in general, not just the Taliban. And apparently it wasn't authorized, since a Lieutenant Colonel in the area is quoted as saying that he's going to put a stop to it.

I can see blasting music like that to motivate the troops before an attack or another major operation, but I have my doubts that just playing music, no matter how loud, is actually going to drive out insurgents. Maybe the idea is to provoke them into attacking, so they can then be killed. That's a time-honored military tactic.

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