Air Force Says ISIS Has Poor OPSEC, Demonstrating Poor OPSEC

An Air Force general is bragging about a targeting technique being used against ISIS.

An Air Force general is bragging about a targeting technique being used against ISIS.

Air Force Times (“Carlisle: Air Force intel uses ISIS ‘moron’s’ social media posts to target airstrikes“):

OPSEC isn’t the Islamic State group’s strong suit.

Airmen at Hurlburt Field, Florida, used social media posts by the insurgent group to track the location of an Islamic State group headquarters building. Twenty-two hours later, three joint direct attack munitions destroyed the target, said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, at a June 1 speech in Arlington, Virginia.

“The [airmen are] combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,” Carlisle said at the speech, which was sponsored by the Air Force Association. “And in some social media, open forum, bragging about command and control capabilities for Da’esh, ISIL, And these guys go ‘ah, we got an in.’

“So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three JDAMS take that entire building out. Through social media. It was a post on social media. Bombs on target in 22 hours.

If ISIS “morons” are giving as a way to easily find them, why on earth would we let them in on the secret rather than, say, letting them continue to be morons? Going public like this is, well, moronic.

FILED UNDER: Intelligence, Military Affairs, Terrorism, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Add this moron to the National David Petraeus Intelligence Museum.

  2. stonetools says:

    Because the public has a right to know everything, James. Sheesh, , isn’t it obvious?

    I’m hoping , really, that this is misdirection, aimed at reducing ISIS’s success in recruiting through social media, and that the USAF has other, more effective ways of targeting ISIS. Otherwise, that general should be fired.

  3. Gustopher says:

    @stonetools: I immediately thought of the social media recruitment angle too. But, it’s probably just staggering stupidity.

  4. Neo says:

    This is what you get when Operation [In]coherent Resolve is thought of as a joke … and a bad joke at that

  5. Boyd says:

    When I commented on another friend’s link to this, I said pretty much the same as you did, James, except I called the General an idiot.

    Granted, I’ve been retired from the Navy for over 20 years now, but have they quit providing training and guidance on OPSEC, or is this General too stupid to be a Senior Airman?

  6. J-Dub says:


    Add this moron to the National David Petraeus Intelligence Museum

    Maybe worse, releasing this info probably didn’t even get him laid.

  7. Just 'nutha... says:

    General Hawk Carlisle? Seriously–or am I watching an episode of GI Joe?