Check out this Council on Foreign Relations report on Winning the Information War in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The work analyzes both American and Taliban/Al Qaeda media usage and effectiveness. Here’s an Exerpt:
With overwhelming firepower, Western armies rarely lose in combat to Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. But in the communications battle, the militants appear to hold the edge. The gap has grown especially wide in the Afghan war zone, analysts say. Using FM transmitters, the Internet, and threatening notes known as “night letters” (TIME), Taliban operating from the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan have proven effective at either cowing citizens or winning them over to their message of jihad. U.S. special representative Richard Holbrooke told journalists in March 2009 that “the information issue–sometimes called psychological operations or strategic communication” has become a “major, major gap to be filled” before U.S.-led forces can regain the upper hand. As part of its new strategy for the Afghan war, the White House has called for an overhaul of “strategic communications” in Afghanistan “to improve the image of the United States and its allies” and “to counter the propaganda that is key to the enemy’s terror campaign.”
The report itself contains various other worthwhile resources to, that’s right, check out.