Gagging the forces won’t work

Soldiers mustn’t speak out because some sailors sold their stories to the press. How does that work?

Maintaining operational security should always outweigh other considerations. Giving away intentions, strengths and capabilities to the enemy costs lives, most soldiers are well aware of this and despite email, blogs, discussion forums, mobile phones and text messaging we have maintained a good track record in this area.

However, without Youtube we may never have found out that the army was being equipped with sub-standard 50 cal ammunition. We might not have found out what a dire state their accommodation was in back home.

The government is letting our soldiers down, badly, it was embarrassed by the sale of the Navy hostages’ stories and now it wants to put a lid on all this embarrassment. It won’t work. The genie is out of the bottle and if the stories dry up over night, the media will just start looking for them.

If the government wants to dry up the flow of military bad news, they should stop making such crass and ineffectual decisions and start taking these conflicts seriously.

4 responses to “Gagging the forces won’t work

  1. Soldiers have always been able to “write home”, and they’ve told their families and friends the hard truth of the sorry state of equipment and other facilities on the battlefield and at home. The only difference today is that, with technological advance, soldiers can communicate via YouTube or other sites – and the Government can no longer hide from the truth. If Des Browne and his junior ministers were to risk losing their lives in a war, surely they would at least expect to get some respect from the Government?

  2. Soldiers have always been able to “write home”, and they’ve told their families and friends the hard truth of the sorry state of equipment and other facilities on the battlefield and at home. The only difference today is that, with technological advance, soldiers can communicate via YouTube or other sites – and the Government can no longer hide from the truth. If Des Browne and his junior ministers were to risk losing their lives in a war, surely they would at least expect to get some respect from the Government?

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