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News Link • Military

Pentagon overseas propaganda plan stirs controversy

•, Tom Vanden Brook
 Since 2000, the military has paid the Rendon Group more than $100 million to help shape its communications strategy, analyze media coverage, run its propaganda programs and develop counter-narcotics efforts around the world, Pentagon documents show.

One aspect of the company's work is aimed at changing attitudes of U.S. adversaries through messaging and advertising. Some Pentagon officials, including retired admiral Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reject that, preferring instead to provide information and context about military operations.

John Rendon insists his company simply helps the military avoid mistakes in getting its message across to foreign audiences.

He offers advice "to people who face tough challenges and choices in a complex global information environment." A government watchdog found Rendon's access to Pentagon decision makers troubling.

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