Ask The Strategic Genius – Terrorism


Terrorism is the process of manipulating the public’s perception through the fear of violence.

Thus speaks the master strategist: When your public is scared, scare them fucking more.

The master strategist understands that there are strategies within strategies. A retreat may be a preparation for an attack. An attack on the left may be a distraction to get the foe to open up on the right. Simulating a terrorist attack that scares the shit out of people may be a good way to get a bigger budget and it’s a great way to spend some money while running around with a lot of Segway soldier gear. [daily mail]

hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, *puff*, hut

hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, hut, *puff*, hut

Britain prepares for its nightmare scenario: Police stage mock Tunisia-style ‘marauding gun attack’ on streets of London in biggest ever counter-terrorism exercise in the UK:

  • Two-day ‘live play’ exercise at Aldwych near Covent Garden includes 999 services and intelligence agencies
  • Armed police, the military, SAS and spies stage extraordinary show of force to test reaction to a terror attack
  • Actors posing as members of the public seen with fake severed limbs and emerging from a hostage situation
  • Exercise, which recreates a terrorist incident at a tube station, comes amid fears of a ‘lone wolf’ attack in the UK
  • It follows similar ‘marauding’ gun attacks in Mumbai, Sydney, Paris and the Tunisia shooting on Friday

This all took place in 2015.

Operation Strong Tower is a ‘noisy and visible’ practice run for more than 1,000 Met police, armed forces, transport workers and Whitehall officials.

The strategic genius does not name operations after dildoes. You do not have to be Sun Tzu to know that.

"the exercise began with fake terrorists in the street shooting at civilians with blanks in AK-47s"

“the exercise began with fake terrorists in the street shooting at civilians with blanks in AK-47s”

Civilians were recruited into participating, just as they would “involuntarily participate” in a real terrorist incident.

Here is the problem: it was a real terrorist incident. What you had was a bunch of utterly clueless cops scaring the shit out of a bunch of civilians by demonstrating to them, conclusively, that the people who were there to protect them: couldn’t.

Some civilians were made up as casualties, so that the police could practice how they would cope with an utter disaster that they had failed to do anything useful about, if such a disaster happened.

The premise of the exercise, presumably, was to practice, so that if there were a mass casualty event, they’d be able to handle it better. The question a strategic genius would ask is: did they handle yesterday’s terror attack any better as a result of this exercise, or not? Well, they killed the attacker, but there were three dead civilians, 40 injured, and one dead cop (the attacker knifed him). It does not sound like the simulated 2015 attack moved the preparedness needle very far in any direction. Because, realistically, what are you supposed to do? Walk everyplace, ready to duck and cover? Have everyone carry a gun and wear body armor, everywhere? Always be ready to shoot someone who looks suspicious, like US cops do to black people?

LARPing a disaster

LARPing a disaster

I do not doubt the sincerity of the cops involved in this exercise, and I do not question the dedication of the medical personnel, first responders, etc, who were involved in this exercise. They probably had nothing but the best intentions.

Whoever came up with this one, however, was a strategic genius cast from the same mold as George Armstrong Custer, or Lucius Aemilius Paullus. They should have the reins of command gently, and unthreateningly, taken from their hands, and they should be put in charge of a lemonade stand someplace. A lemonade stand with paper cups and no glassware or sharp objects.

When you have a ruthless enemy, you must show them your strength, and resolve. You must be competent and organized. You must be calm in the face of danger. You must not take counsel from people whose idea of how to handle dangerous affairs is to smash things.

Simulating having your mangled corpses dragged in defeat from the battlefield: leave that to the US Confederate Civil War Reenactors.

The simulated commander of the simulated disaster is dragged off to his new simulated job in some simulated police force somewhere where they can't fuck things up

The simulated commander of the simulated disaster is dragged off to his new simulated job in some simulated police force somewhere where they can’t fuck things up and the vikings won’t come…

divider

This apparently actually happened. When I stumbled across this (quite by accident!) I thought “surely, this is a joke” but there is plenty of documentary evidence. If you are like me, you’ve probably read this in disbelief. So I feel like I need to disclaim: I am not trolling you.

Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    Because, realistically, what are you supposed to do?

    I wish more people asked this question.

    I thank you for sharpening my metaphorical knives against law enforcement policies, but even a couple years ago I had figured that the intelligence apparatus would be unlikely to thwart seemingly random attacks by lone individuals or very small, very disciplined cells. That authoritarian jackboots seem to reflexively quote such a situation in support of police expansion (either in numbers or authority) speaks to the effectiveness of this kind of security theatre. They genuinely believe these things can be realistically prevented rather than merely responded to.

    Of course we don’t have to accept the risk at all. We could very easily reduce it by, you know, not bombing people’s weddings abroad. But, alas, think of the oil!

  2. johnson catman says

    “the exercise began with fake terrorists in the street shooting at civilians with blanks in AK-47s”

    I don’t suppose they would try this in the US because some “hero” with a concealed-carry permit would shoot someone with real bullets thinking he was saving the day.

    Have everyone carry a gun and wear body armor, everywhere?

    That is what we are coming to. Did you see Caine’s post about the Dakotas? http://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2017/03/24/oh-fuck-cant-be-happy-for-3-minutes/

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    … 999 services and intelligence agencies…

    ?!?! And I thought the US had it bad with 17 (acknowledged) spook orgs and 50 state snoop groups.

    Interagency liaison must constitute a burgeoning employment program, anyhow.

  4. says

    johnson catman@#2:
    In the US it seems like “active shooter” drills are unnecessary: just wait.

    How much does preparedness in these situations help? Very little. It looks like most attackers get 5-15 minutes, which is always going to be enough to do damage. Given ISIS new tactics for attacking using common improvised weapons I don’t think it’s plausible to try to protect a population. That has huge implications (which is why they are doing it!)

  5. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I do not doubt the sincerity of the cops involved in this exercise, and I do not question the dedication of the medical personnel, first responders, etc, who were involved in this exercise. They probably had nothing but the best intentions.

    I always doubt the sincerity of cops. I also always doubt the sincerity of people who do wasteful, wanton displays of power.

    In the US it seems like “active shooter” drills are unnecessary: just wait.

    How much does preparedness in these situations help? Very little. It looks like most attackers get 5-15 minutes, which is always going to be enough to do damage.

    Form my analysis of publicly available information on practically every mass shooting in the US over the last 30 years or something, half of the “incidents” used handguns only, and also accounted for half of the total victim death count. People don’t realize that such things happen over 5 to 15 minutes, as you point out. That’s hugely important in any real discussion of what can be done and what won’t work. Speaking of which, what won’t work: bans on so-called semi-auto “assault weapons” and bans on high capacity magazines. You might get somewhere with a blanket ban on all semiauto weapons, rifle and handgun (and revolvers), but anything short of that is a joke that is grossly ignorant of the facts.

    /end rant

    And now I’m slightly apologetic for high-jacking, but it seems to be pretty strongly related to the inherent problem: there’s not much that you can do against a lone “terrorist” who is intent on causing harm. The best that can be done is a political solution to prevent anyone from becoming that kind of person in the first place.

Leave a Reply