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I wonder about the native language of the author of the news item so maybe it was an honest mistake.


 
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Typical of most journalists today, he gets the information he should not print right and the tag line wrong. I actually remember when it was a respected profession that reported on actual news items that were relevant to our lives. I actually had one tell me during an interview that they were now part of the entertainment industry and that if they printed actual news stories they would be out of a job as not enough people would read them.
 

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Its new technology, the whole gun folds up to look like a flashlight.
 

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Got ya. I'm ignorant on these things...didn't see how it could be dangerous. Figured the Taliban would be well aware of where the soldiers were based and where they patrolled already anyhow.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with stating the company/batt/etc and I don't see how printing the info is going to create any security concerns for this soldier.

I think people get a little too uptight about what they perceive to be "operational security" issues such as pictures of FOBs, soldiers, and lists of unit locations. The reality is, the local populace, including the enemy, know exactly what unit is operating there and after 6-12 months of contact they're going to recognize all the soldier's faces as well.

So please explain to me how listing the unit info places this soldier or his unit in any danger theyre not already in?
 

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Operational security usually makes it a rule to not discuss a unit's location or area of operation. The bad guys usually get the information from the local shop keepers and such (who get it from military personnel that don't pay any attention to operational security rules either) but for a newspaper reporter to publish that info isn't appropriate.
 

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Operational security usually makes it a rule to not discuss a unit's location or area of operation. The bad guys usually get the information from the local shop keepers and such (who get it from military personnel that don't pay any attention to operational security rules either) but for a newspaper reporter to publish that info isn't appropriate.
Can recall 2006, when US ARMY USB sticks showed up on the bazars of Bagram and Kabul. Stolen from local cleaning personell from the desks. From this on one soldier was ordered to watch the locals cleaning our office tent. BTW Us Army simply bought them back.
Wolf
 

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Every unit I worked with in Afghanistan was known by the locals. With COIN operations each unit takes it upon itself to have a personal relationship with the locals and most units make it a point of identifying themselves both on the individual and the unit level.

When you have units coming and going every 6-12 months it's important for your unit to identify itself and basically say "this is how we do business and this is what you can expect from us"

So again, I think worrying about "operational security" with regards to the press printing units and faces is a none issue.

Retaining thumb drives, military clothing, and other military items and information storage definitely is an opsec risk. Pictures on the AP are not.
 

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I personally don't think it is a big deal since we are fighting loosely organized third worlders instead of slugging it out toe to toe with an equal foe. Unlike the Germans of WWII there isn't much the Taliban can do with that info. The Taliban are more interested in body count than strategic planning.

On the other hand it might be a bad practice to start in case we have to slug it out with the Chinese or some other world power in the near future.
 

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Yeah, We were much more 'strac' in Vietnam...

Wait! What am I saying?

GI3

We, the 2nd Bn, 7th Cavalry(the Whole 1st Cav Div for that matter)...

Did NOT Change our radio call signs the entire 14 months I was there!

Squad to Company to Bn To Bde to Div !?

I recently talked to some other VN 1st Cav Vets who were there about the same time...and they said the same!

And 'Charlie' wasn't Stupid!

I think the U.S. Army as a whole over there was, shall we say...Arrogant!

GI2

CAVman in WYoming
 

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CAVman, didn't a lot of units in Vietnam actually have a "calling card" they left behind after whackin a bunch of bad guys and other identifiable stuff, or is that urban myth?

From pictures I have seen and talks with friends who served in Afghanistan, it seems like the patrol bases, FOBs etc, at least on the Canadian side, are pretty obvious to see. It doesn't mean a newspaper should print how many MGs are on the perimeter, or when they change watch, but they all seem to be a rather...prominent terrain feature, and the guys do an awful lot of presence patrols and interacting with the locals.

What I mean is...the bad guys know where the bases are. And the soldiers make themselves very obvious, on purpose.

How does it impact things if the scumbags know it's this battalion of this regiment, and not a different one?
 

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My feelings are that the whole concern for unit identification started with large wars involving large armies. The modern attitudes about operational security are pretty lax nowadays in most of the armed forces. I'm not sure how effective that security is in today's battlefields so I can't say if it is all that important to worry about.

But from the bad guy's perspective, knowing the unit allows you to track their effectiveness against you. If you keep records of that info, over time, you will recognize the certain units tend to conduct operations the same way. That information can allow the enemy to change their tactics when units rotate so that they, the enemy, are more effective.

For example, if I know that a special forces unit just moved in to the area I know that they are more prone to conduct small unit operations and use interdiction style tactics. Larger units will tend to man more patrol bases and fixed positions and conduct patrols from those points. Each type of military unit has it's strengths and weaknesses and knowing that about the unit can give you a chance to better prepare for combat against them.
 
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