The U.S. military in Afghanistan has opened up a new front in the information war, using popular Web sites Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to publish reports on operations.
Officials say the new communications effort, which officially launched Tuesday, is aimed at reaching people who gather information from non-traditional news sources. They say it is also a strategy to counter extremist propaganda.
On Twitter, the social-messaging site which allows users to enter brief updates, or "tweets", on their activities, the military is posting descriptions of combat operations. The posts include information on the number of insurgents killed or detained, and have so far included one report of a U.S. soldier's death.
The Facebook page for U.S. forces in Afghanistan includes press releases on operations, as well as related pictures and video links. The page has more than 5,000 fans.
The U.S. military in Afghanistan can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/usfora.
On Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/lsb466
On YouTube: www.youtube.com/usfora
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.