'Tell Them Nothing Till It's Ovber and Then Tell Them Who Won'
November 23, 2001 10:29 AM   Subscribe

'Tell Them Nothing Till It's Ovber and Then Tell Them Who Won' Governmental and military censorship of battle news. Is it necessary to winning?
posted by Postroad (5 comments total)

posted by hincandenza at 11:05 AM on November 23, 2001

Sometimes..it's called OPSEC.
posted by tetsuo at 11:55 AM on November 23, 2001

The biggest problem is that the media is so stupid, they report on troop movement that could cost lives. Have you watched any of the press conferences with Rumsfeld? Stupidest questions in the world.

"So, Sec. Rumsfeld, you said our soldiers were in Kandahar. How many were there, how much ammunition do they have, how long are they going to be there. Will you be releasing their GPS coordinates?"
posted by owillis at 12:18 PM on November 23, 2001

Is it necessary to winning? Almost always it is, yes.

That's because surprise is a necessary element of any battle. The more your opponent knows about what you have and what you intend and what you're doing, the better he can oppose you. Secrecy is often the difference between victory and defeat, and even when blown secrecy doesn't prevent victory it always makes it more expensive (in soldier's lives).

Now if there were a way to tell 280 million American citizens what was going on without letting anyone in Afghanistan know, then it would be a great thing. Alas, no-one knows how to accomplish that. Anything that Americans learn, the world will know, including our enemies.

It's not that it's desirable to keep citizens in the dark; just that doing so is a side effect of the necessity of keeping our enemies in the dark.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:49 PM on November 23, 2001

You mean, "Tell them nothing til it's over and then tell them WE won". I can't imagine the US military telling us THEY won...
posted by laz-e-boy at 1:42 AM on November 24, 2001

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