OPSEC Model and Applications

Article

Information is power when kept properly and may be cause of failure if it is not conducted and managed in the right way. Today information technologies and global networks enable risk factors to spread easier compare to previous eras of human history....

Assoc. Prof. Dr. M. Kubilay AKMAN
Uşak University

1. Introduction

Information is power when kept properly and may be cause of failure if it is not conducted and managed in the right way. Today information technologies and global networks enable risk factors to spread easier compare to previous eras of human history. Safety and security of a society cannot be maintained just by security personnel of a country. In accordance with law and human rights values all society and individuals need to take role for securing today and future of humanity.
 
Of course, we do not need to see just negative aspects of globalization and contemporary information technologies. At the beginning of 21st Century scholarly, scientific and academic interaction is in its highest level. This is a big advantage for universal human values and world peace. With ethical behaviors, globalization of knowledge can be helpful to improve life quality of societies internationally.
 
In defense and strategic studies, security sciences international exchange of knowledge has been effective always. For sure, thanks to contemporary translations and publications it is more in our age. Where is Sun Tzu read more, in the East or the West? The Chinese strategist and philosopher definitely very well known in the West. Western concepts of war, defense and strategy are researched, understood and applied in the East too. This is a very natural process and academic, intellectual and scientific progress is achieved by this way.

As a part of globalization of knowledge, scientific models and methodologies in this paper we will focus on OPSEC (Operations Security), a model designed and improved in the United States of America. Although the majority of researches on OPSEC has been conducted in the US, still there is a lot of aspects for its concepts to be analyzed, researched and discussed in other parts of the World. As all social sciences are becoming more international, same tendency is inevitable for security studies as well. OPSEC is also very suitable to emphasize interdisciplinary potential of security studies. In this paper we are going to follow an interdisciplinary perspective which is guided by a sociological approach. Because, insecurity and security are produced in societies, they are societal components and at the end of the day sociology is the science of society and anything related to societies.

2. What is OPSEC?

OPSEC, as an invention of last century, has been used very frequently besides military, security, intelligence, business, trade, etc. operations as a supportive model. It has become almost like an interdisciplinary subfield of security studies with several academies, schools, professional associations and educational programs. Before discussing its importance and potential to be functional in diverse dimensions of societies let us first give a definition of OPSEC. It can be defined as “an analytical process used to deny an adversary information (generally unclassified) concerning our intentions and capabilities by identifying, controlling, and protecting indicators associated with our planning processes or operations“ (COMDTINST M5510.24A, 2014: 10). As it is seen from the definition, for OPSEC it is very crucial to protect critical information of any institution’s, organization’s, department’s plans, operations and intentions especially as keeping safe “unclassified“ information.

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