Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yon OPSEC Violations

What is OPSEC, and why does Michael Yon keep denying that he has ever violated these vital rules which should be followed by all of us in a time of war?

From War on Terror comes the next installment relating to the Tarnak Bridge incident.
Read on:


Yon OPSEC Violations

Yon seems ignorant of what OPSEC is or how his actions impact the lives and safety of Our Troops. Last week, CJ Grisham demonstrated a blatant OPSEC violation but he didn't compare it to the book answer on it. CJ's example could not have been a more textbook example and I will use it here, along with other examples. Yon challenged detractors to demonstrate these examples, but when CJ showed him one, he claimed he was just helping improve security, because changes were made before the enemy had a chance to use it.

Sorry Yon, an OPSEC violation is an OPSEC violation. What changes this (Yon fans) is that the situation is not what it once was. The Military, not Yon, changed the situation. Both Yon and his "source" were at fault in this publication of weaknesses in base defenses. I can publish this now, because the conditions that made it an OPSEC violation no longer exist. Note the dates.

OPSEC definition: A systematic and proved process by which the U.S. Government and its supporting contractors can deny to potential adversaries information about capabilities and intentions by identifying, controlling, and protecting generally unclassified evidence of the planning and execution of sensitive Government activities.

Critical Information Includes (i.e. some of the things we don't want to tell the enemy):

Vulnerabilities in protection or security forces or security plans.
Vulnerabilities of units and weapons and weapons systems.
Vulnerabilities to attack.
Vulnerabilities of sensors and other capabilities to detect attack.
Vulnerabilities of defensive dispositions.

And Allies:
Nations providing current or future support to the U.S.
Vulnerabilities that could be exploited to reduce or eliminate such support.

OPSECviolationHL This thing reads like a textbook example of an OPSEC violation. The thing is so blatantly wrong, that I'm forced to believe that whoever wrote it, did so as an example of what not to do. Hell, if I were the enemy, I wouldn't trust it wasn't a trap. But a Private, fresh into Basic Training should be able to see this was a bad idea. It screams: Attack us from the Southeast. No, I think Yon was duped. (The red boxes are your clues to what is wrong with this.)

But if this were real, if he truly believed the source, he should have quietly forwarded the information to the command, so they could fix it. He knew he was wrong to publish it. He didn't care if the base got overran. That would have simply proven his attacks on McChystal, or so he would have said.

If it were real, and if the enemy believed it, it would have been easy for the enemy to mass their forces at the Southeast end of the base. It would have been easy for the enemy to figure out that setting up an ambush for a platoon sized element after launching rockets. It would have been easy for them to assess they had 35 minutes to hunker down after an attack. The enemy would know to adjust mortars by 200 meters. Hell, this thing is the forward observer.

As usual, WOTN have done their home work, and lays out clearly, point by point, how Michael Yon violated OPSEC. Go read the rest here.

Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. Part 3 is here.

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