OPSEC Anyone?

So the SEALS conduct a raid into Somalia and Delta captures a bad guy in Libya. Can someone tell me why we know this and why more and more details are being discussed about these actions every day? And why has nothing been written about the action the 3d Ranger Battalion got into on Saturday night in which a number of Rangers were killed and wounded?

As a Submariner, I learned early on that our strength lay in our silence. It is the Silent Service for a reason. If the bad guys know capabilities, operating patterns, limitations, etc., then they can counter it and we lose the ability to do what we do. Likewise with SOF. If we keep giving up how they got in, who they were going after, which units were involved, and how they got out, then the bad guys will figure out quickly how to counter it. SOF is supposed to live in the shadows, and by putting all this information out there, we place them at risk in the future.


  1. michael says:

    I can't help but think that perhaps the targets new we were coming at least in the case of Somalia. As for the post op press, this is an administration that likes to show things and his success after the "Bin Laden" raid seems to have had on his public relations. I am not sure that will help him this time.

  2. Mike Burke says:

    The DoD press release appears to have been issued after the first news reports–not sure who got it first–Reuters, AFP, or other news group. No press release from WH, so hardly a case of the president seeking credit, I think. Looks like solid reporting, not stage-managed leaks, of which both parties are guilty (Jessica Lynch, anyone?).

    On 3rd Battalion–here's a link to another website: http://sofrep.com/28650/ranger-mass-cas-afghanist
    It does not mention its source, but no press release from DoD, just casualty list. I won't comment on irony of wondering about OPSEC for SOF missions and then asking for coverage of Rangers…

  3. isdaveo says:

    The information age is antithetical to OPSEC, "Black Ops" and back room bargains. And there's a LOT of money in knowing where SEAL units and people are at any time.

  4. Wiliam Dung says:

    I think sending out deliberate messages to the public is called “Strategic Communications” or something like that.

    • bullnav says:

      Yes, but when you compromise your operators' capabilities, then you have lost by orders of magnitude any "strategic communications" gain.

      • isdaveo says:

        You make that sound like a bug, not a feature favored by folks who spent their lives in opposition to the US's military and nuclear dominance.

  5. Slater says:

    Notice how you don't hear about CAG at all…because they have been the quiet professionals.

  6. ParkerLongbaugh says:

    Excellent point about CAG. By contrast, in my experience most stories, leaks, etc about NAVSOC folks come from: NAVSOC folks.

  7. bullnav says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Combat Applications Group, a pseudonym for the 1st operational detachment-delta or delta force.

  8. bullnav says:

    Ah, SFOD-D. Got it. I had not heard that one before. "CAG" for me was always the Air Wing commander aboard a carrier, although the wing itself goes by CVW. Its a left over from the days when it was called an air group…