In World War II, one of the byword phrases on the home front was “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” It meant that both military and civilians should not talk about construction details, fleet sailing dates, or any other specifics that could inadvertently give useful information to the enemy.
In the 21st Century and the Global War on Terror, the new phrase is “Loose Tweets Sink Fleets.” This reflects a reality – terrorists and their U.S.-based allies are keeping tabs on the social media postings of our military contractors, our service members and their spouses and loved ones.
Case in point: Soldiers based in Iraq took photos of some Apache AH 64 Apache helicopters that arrived at a base there in 2007. The geotags (geographic locators embedded in smart phone photography, keyed to GPS satellites) from the pictures, posted in social media, contained the precise coordinates for the helicopters. Iraqi insurgents attacked and destroyed four of the helos. Here is the story.
My son joined the U.S. Marines a while ago. As I’ve learned about what the military calls OPSEC – Operational Security – I quickly realized that lives, those of thousands of our military members, could be jeopardized via an accidental Facebook post, Tweet, or other social media miscue.
There is still a war on, and one need only to look back to this April’s Boston Marathon bombings to remember that evil forces are obsessed on destroying our nation and the freedoms we cherish. These forces have no regard for human life or the rules of civilization. Their sick minds would employ any scrap of information for ill.
In this environment, my choice is clear. I would much rather refrain from saying or posting anything about my son and his unit’s whereabouts than run a risk of disclosure, even an accidental one. So, I’ll be lowering my social media profile.
Additionally, my thanks to you, if you know my son or other Armed Service members, if you also follow the military’s OPSEC rules. Please continue to pray for our military personnel and those from allied nations who are still in harm’s way, fighting on the front lines of the Global War on Terror. May God protect them, and bring them home safely. May they do what’s just and right to protect our world.
“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.” — Ephesians 6:10-12
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