How is the United States working to counter Taliban propaganda in Afghanistan and restore faith in the government there? A new Wall Street Journal article shines a spotlight on an innovative new project that aims to do just that by educating through entertainment. A set of new television series focused on criminal justice will be premiering for the next few seasons that aim to entertain and educate the Afghan population. “Eagle Four,” is an action/drama that follows a Kabul police unit as they defeat and arrest terrorists and criminals. Next spring, a reality show called “Birth of an Army” will give viewers a chance to follow new recruits to the Afghan military in missions against insurgents.
These shows are part of an initiative by the US Department of State to bolster support of Afghan citizens for their government and law enforcement officials. The article notes that the show appeals to young men, arguably the most important demographic to have support from in this war. In a country with a staggering literacy rate of 28.1%, television is able to communicate to a wider swath of the population than print. The productions are funded at least in part by the US International Affairs Budget and could be a major factor in turning the tide of support for the Afghan government, and in turn encouraging accountability and good governance.