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Clinton Says US Losing Media War in Afghanistan, Pakistan


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is losing the media war in Afghanistan and Pakistan - something she said must be reversed.

She told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday that militants broadcasting from radio equipment on the backs of pickup trucks are threatening and intimidating people.

She says while they are spreading what she called the "worst kind of disinformation" they have been more effective than the U.S. when it comes to strategic communications.

Secretary Clinton says as a result, the Obama administration is revamping its communications strategy - looking at new ways to directly reach people in areas where militants are active - including on their cell phones.

Clinton says the U.S. must not lose the "information war" in the region, and much do a better job at communicating its values and ideals to Afghans and Pakistanis.

She is seeking $48.6 billion in State Department funding for 2010, a seven percent increase over 2009 funding levels. Clinton also says the State Department will work side-by-side with the Defense Department to promote U.S. interests and security in the region.

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