General Dynamics Corp has won a $10.1 million (R77 million) contract to develop a network of websites aimed at influencing foreign audiences in support of the US Special Operations Command, the Defense Department said.
The one-year contract has four 12-month option periods for work on the Trans-Regional Web Initiative, a plan to synchronize all US combat command websites designed to win hearts and minds, Reuters reports.
These sites provide news on politics, good governance and other points of concern to US combat commanders with an eye to countering anti-US messages.
The work will be carried out in unspecified, multiple locations “and is expected to be an ongoing requirement,” the Pentagon said in its daily contract digest.
It said General Dynamics’ Fairfax, Virginia-based Information Technology business unit won the contract through full and open competition in support of the Special Operations Command’s Joint Military Information Support Command.
A General Dynamics spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The Trans-Regional Web Initiative was approved in an April 5, 2007, message from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In a solicitation for the work last year, the Special Operations Command said its goal was “to influence foreign audiences per government-approved Concepts of Operations conceptual approaches and previously approved prototypes.”
The contractor was to provide “full-service cultural knowledge, political, editorial, media and information technology capabilities,” the bidding rules said.
The successful bidder also was expected to identify, develop, obtain and maintain “a network of native/indigenous content contributors with backgrounds in politics, academics, security, culture, entertainment, and other aspects of the (US-declared global war on terror), which appeal to identified foreign target audiences,” the solicitation said.
A draft request for proposal dated Oct. 30, 2008, said the websites might be in Arabic, French, English (British dialect and spelling) as well as “American,” Portuguese, Spanish, Armenian, Azeri, Chinese, Farsi, Georgian, Hindi, Punjabi, Russian, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Bahasa (Indonesian and Malay).
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