Pentagon & Congress

Loose lips sink ships: Adm. Richardson asks Navy to dial back discussion of capabilities

As the U.S. military's technological competitive advantage begins to shrink next to its competitors like China and Russia, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is asking the Navy to dial back its discussions of the Navy's warfighting capabilities, according to a memo published by Inside Defense.

"I need your help to ensure we are not giving away our competitive edge by sharing too much information publicly," Richardson said. "When it comes to specific operational capabilities however, very often less is more."

The memo goes on to advise service members to "scrutinize information," and to avoid events focused on marketing that do not make an "intellectual contribution to warfighting."

"Sharing information about future operations and capabilities, even at the unclassified level, makes it easier for potential adversaries to gain an advantage," Richardson said. 

Adm. Richardson further clarifies that he is not asking members of the Navy to avoid discussions with the public or the media. "Telling the Navy's story is important to maintain public trust and confidence," he said. 

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