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Afghanistan: The Contest

Via Abu Muqawama, NATO is holding a contest for the best viral video answering the question of Why Afghanistan Matters. I’m not sure what to think of this. On the one hand, it kind of makes you wonder whether this means NATO governments aren’t able to compellingly answer the question themselves, which is a dangerous thing for a war effort. But on the other, from a public diplomacy perspective, perhaps the most credible spokespeople for the war effort aren’t senior government officials. The contest specifically seeks out “all military personnel currently serving, or who formerly served, in Afghanistan” and “civilian personnel working, or who have worked, alongside NATO or Coalition Forces.” The question begged here is who the audience for the video is, as that has direct bearing on the credibility of the messenger. It sounds like the audience is NATO publics, but I’m not sure.

Anyway: What do you think about a contest like this? I don’t know what to make of it.

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