For all the failures that my have occurred in Iraq, US officials have realized the importance of the political dimension of the war. USA Today reported that a half dozen al-Qaeda media centers have recently been captured, with twenty propagandists arrested. The insurgents understand the crucial role of the media in this fight and have used it to strong effect. In 2005, Ayman al-Zawahiri (pictured), Osama bin Laden's deputy, said that most "of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media."
USA Today reports that these "new offensives [are] aimed at al-Qaeda sanctuaries and [have] an emphasis on blunting the terrorist group's extensive propaganda operations." Air Force Col. Donald Bacon explains that "one of our goals is to target these propaganda networks, and we've had more success over the past three months." These seizures have sharply reduced the quantity of videos and other items posted to the internet.