Operations Security, in one form or another, has been around for as long as there were secrets that needed to be kept. It wasn’t always called OPSEC, but the core concepts of identifying and protecting critical information have always been a deciding factor in war, in business, and countless other ventures.

“Even minutiae should have a place in our collection, for things of a seemingly trifling nature, when enjoined with others of a more serious cast, may lead to valuable conclusion.”

George Washington

“Using public sources openly and without resorting to illegal means, it is possible to gather at least 80% of information about the enemy.”

-Captured Al Qaeda Training Manual

“If I am able to determine the enemy’s dispositions while, at the same time, I conceal my own, then I can concentrate my forces and his must be divided.”

-Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“‘No comment’ is a splendid expression. I’m using it again and again.”

Winston Churchill

“it is by comparing a variety of information, we are frequently enabled to investigate facts, which were so intricate or hidden, that no single clue could have led to the knowledge of them. . . intelligence becomes interesting which but from its connection and collateral circumstances, would not be important.”

-George Washington

“Security programs and procedures already exist to protect classified matters. However, information generally available to the public as well as certain detectable activities reveal the existence of, and sometimes details about, classified or sensitive information or undertakings. Such indicators may assist those seeking to neutralize or exploit U.S. Government actions in the area of national security. Application of the operations security (OPSEC) process promotes operational effectiveness by helping prevent the inadvertent compromise of sensitive or classified U.S. Government activities, capabilities, or intentions.”

NSDD 298, signed by Ronald Reagan