An interesting observation about the events in Boston. The manhunt resulted in shutting down the mass transit system, creating a no-fly zone around the city (which I’m guessing means the airports were shut down), people were ‘strongly advised’ to stay indoors, crippling some cell phone areas, and traffic was disrupted by searches, roadblocks and checkpoints. So, what we have seen, interestingly, is that all it takes to completely shut down a (mostly) major US city is two guys who aren’t afraid to die. That’s it…two guys.
Imagine a larger, highly-motivated, technically-adept, group…maybe a small cell of four or six people all on the same page, working off the same plan, with the same level of dedication/fanaticism. Dude, you could totally shut down virtually any city.
Asymmetrical warfare is kinda what this seems to be an excellent example of. Two guys with a few hundred bucks of hardware shut down a city, suck the manpower of an entire city and surrounding regions, create a huge economic impact, and create chaos. Pretty big deal to pull off for just two guys. This, I suspect, is the future of ‘terrorism’ in this country.
I read a book about the 2004 Belsan school crisis and it was extremely interesting. The tactics, countermeasures and problems faced by both sides was illuminating and fairly concerning. In short, the only thing that keeps this sort of thing from happening more often is that lotsa folks who say they’ll die for their cause wind up just not really meaning it. When the choice is to either spraypaint revolutionary graffiti on a wall or put on a sports jacket made out of Tovex, most folks pick up the can of Rustoleum. But get a small, dedicated group that either is genuinely unafraid to die or genuinely believes they will escape unharmed and you’ve got some big problems.
Unfortunately, there really isnt any way to prevent or stop this sort of thing without engaging in even more ‘security theatre’ than we are already saddled with. The best you can do is try to be aware of potential trouble spots, stay away form ‘em, and be prepared to deal with the aftermath of things…’lockdowns’, communications failures, etc, etc.
Given the current administrations credo of never letting a crisis go to waste, I wonder where this episode is going to take us.