Researchers in Afghanistan have demonstrated that local thinking about western-style freedom and democracy cannot be controlled using the power of Apache helicopters. The long-running study is the latest of a large number of attempts to translate the power of airborne missiles and machine guns into attitude change in the region.
The technology aboard the aircraft allows multiple modes of what aircrew treat as video games in order to influence the thinking of multiple sections of the local community. The research uses a non-invasive head-tracker to point the machine gun in the desired direction before unleashing what some believed to be a thought-changing inventory at sixty rounds per minute.
The technique is quite different from the ‘brain-washing’ water torture strategy of Guantanamo Bay. The approach of the study, in common with other attempts to impose one country’s values on another, required that the local population be ‘trained’ to recognise that fear and submission are more appropriate thoughts than loathing and revenge. This training, such as the use of Hellfire missiles to kill and maim members of the community who disagree with the approach, was then correlated with the supposedly re-aligned attitude of the remaining citizens. But no correlation was found despite years and years of this painstaking (and pains-giving) research.
One member of the research team, Lieutenant Thomas ‘TeeJay’ Jeffberry, expressed his frustration at the lack of a positive outcome. “Afghanistan remains a chaotic and largely indecipherable mess of thoughts,” he said. “But those thoughts related to insurgency have proven to be strong and repeatable, despite indiscriminate rocket attacks.”
In the light of the study report, future backing for the research to continue was thought to be in question. However, it is understood that western governments are extremely keen on pursuing the same line of study in the mistaken belief that progress is being made.