Sunday, February 15, 2009

We may need a new model for civil defense


John Arquilla has a disturbing op-ed in the Sunday Feb. 15 New York Times titled “The Coming Swarm,” link here. He suggests that, in the United States, we need to be prepared for multiple guerilla attacks on soft targets, similar to what happened in “slumdog” Mumbai and Karachi. But actually, the same paradigm, on a larger scale, has already happened in London and Madrid.

The underlying idea is decentralizing some law enforcement response into small community posts in order to respond very quickly to events. That suggests something like the “civilian civil defense corps” proposals that floated around in op-eds shortly after 9/11.

Also, today, CBS 60 Minutes had a disturbing report about the ability of Pakistan to control its own forces in the tribal areas. The forces historically were trained to deal with a possible conflict with India, and not root out the Taliban. The story by Steve Kroft is "Zardari: We Underestimated Taliban Threat: Pakistan's President Tells 60 Minutes The Country Is In A Battle To Survive", link here. The segment showed the tribal area. That's pretty sobering when you consider that Pakistan has a cache of small nuclear weapons.

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