Army's next tactic to win Arab hearts is by producing a comic book

WASHINGTON - America's attempts to communicate with citizens of Arab countries has gone through radical changes since 9/11, and it is about to undergo one more: it is being turned into a comic book.

The US Army is looking for someone to develop a comic book series geared toward young people in the Middle East.

A solicitation posted March 28 on the Federal Business Opportunities website says the comic book will contribute toward the goal of achieving long-term peace and stability in the Middle East.

"One effective means of influencing youth is through the use of comic books," the solicitation says. "A series of comic books provides the opportunity for youth to learn lessons, develop role models, and improve their education."

It further says that the Army has done initial character and plot development for the comics, which will be in Arabic.

"The series will be based on the security forces, military, and police ... in the Middle East," according to the solicitation.

The contract calls for the completion of 12 comics, at a frequency of one per month, with an option for 12 additional comic books.

An Army spokeswoman from Fort Bragg, NC, where the project is based, said only "the comic book series is currently under review for competitive bidding."

Dabbling in entertainment is nothing new for the US Army, which has already licensed its name to several videogames with the latest, 'America's Army: Rise of a Soldier', debuting this month for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, and described as one of the most authentic military games to date

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