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Giving away troop movements kills our soldiers. Toby Nixon Co-author Medicine Editorial Publisher Issy Forest Moon Grove July 22, 2009

GIVING TROOP MOVEMENTS 2 Giving away troop movements kills our soldiers. This week I was a little stumped about what to write so I asked a soldier what he’d like me to write about. Well the first thing that popped right out was “the media shouldn't give away Soldier positions” (Medicine, 2009). Well I thought this was a great idea. My father was Army, Elite Special Forces, Green Beret, MSG. He was Airborne for more than 25 years of a 27 year military career. He also was federal supervising trainer for law enforcement over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, for his weapons knowledge and superior strategic experience. A Disabled Veteran, known as Medicine or Medicine Eagle, (as he tells me he writes under,) told me that the media shouldn’t be in a war zone, because it puts our troops at risk. I agreed with him. Under certain circumstances the media reporting instantaneously or even that day or that week, troop movements and operations data can compromise operations and allow the enemy forward intelligence of our operations. In the conflict in Somalia, Medicine said that “when the Marines were invading the beach CNN was there with spot lights and announcing their arrival they had to shoot the lights out to carry on their beach assault” (Medicine, 2009). On numerous occasions in the conflict in Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Eagle when we were getting on the spot information that is unnecessary to those outside of the operation. There were times when my father and many other strategic experts complained that News Media groups “were getting too close and reporting too soon,” (Meyers, 1993) sometimes before Operations had even started. Should we consider this disloyalty on the part of the news media? Well if you report troop positions to the enemy, which National and International News brings right to their doorstep, this is intelligence that the enemy gets just from a satellite feed, that it can use to plot current troop positions and operations goals.

GIVING TROOP MOVEMENTS 3 I thoroughly believe in freedom of speech and the rights of the people to hear what our military is doing. I also believe in the safety and security of our troops who are fighting on the frontlines. Our troop’s security comes first before political attitudes on the war or what it is we are fighting for. We can all agree that the men and women who take orders, they who would give their lives, deserve better from the anchormen and women who report on it. Any news story that gives away current troop positions except vague locations like saying Bagdad or the northeastern part of Afghanistan could potentially give away the position of our troops. Unique points of interest, troop preparations and unique attributes are not okay as these could be viewed by the enemy and recognized and the enemy could prepare for the attack. Anything like today our forces are preparing an attack on a bridge outside of Islamabad. This four lane highway is a vital point for enemy troop maneuvers and is the only steel bridge in the country. This article gave clear indications of troop positions and operations on the date they happened: “Outside Basra, Iraq. As U.S. forces took control of Baghdad's airport, British troops in southern Iraq secured their first position inside Basra on Friday, a college compound that had been used by Iraqi snipers”. (Martinez, 2003) The News has a right to report but at what cost? If you weren’t armed would you be within range of a live conflict? I always carry two .44 cal Desert Eagles with laser sighting at least when I am going anywhere near a conflict zone and I say never leave home without them. Anyone giving away my position to someone who might kill me generally gets shot. I do not feel bad for the News Operatives in Vietnam who were killed because they simply could not keep their head down and shut up long enough for those soldiers to do their job. Those who do not give away troop movements and operations objectives that got shot in Bagdad by stray bullets: I

GIVING TROOP MOVEMENTS 4 guess next time you’ll find better cover. “In war you will find God or you will find cover,” (Meyers, 1993)! I say write the news paper, write the newsfeed articles, write the cable media company, write the Associated Press that allows its reporters in the line of fire. They do so at their own risk, “when you do not pay attention to your training do not blame the enemy when you get shot.” A reporter must use his or her own scruples and understanding of the situation to know that what they right could affect how the enemy reacts and it’s planning. If this continues to happen I say we write a bill for civilian oversight of all news reporting of military operations.

GIVING TROOP MOVEMENTS 5 References Medicine (2009). Personal Communication. Received7/29/2009 1:05 PM on Yahoo Messenger. Meyers (1993). Personal Communication.