Thursday, May 10, 2007


Dix 6 Jihadi Plots

Bill Roggio passes along a link to the dopey reaction of the new owners of “Wonkette” to the arrests of the Dix 6 Jihadi plotters.

Why is it that liberals and other democrats think any Jihadi we catch BEFORE they implement their plans are pretenders, incompetents, terror wannabees, or innocents swept up in rhetorical excesses? In contrast to what many of these same have said about 9/11 terrorists, describing them as “daring,” “courageous,” “determined,” and “disciplined.”

There must be some mechanism when a boob with a bomb manages to detonate, despite his own inept-ness, that magically transforms him from pathetic loser into master terrorist. So one would conclude from simpletons (or partisan dissemblers) like the rubes at Wonkette.
Never in my career, on any CONUS post and most OCONUS outside of Iraq, have I ever seen soldiers issued ammunition. Heck, they don’t even have access to their assigned weapons. Those are locked up in arms rooms. At upwards of $3,000 a rifle, neither regular Army, Reserves nor Guard let their soldiers carry such equipment around, unless going to the range, checking them out for regular weapons cleaning, assigned to a specific force protection mission, or going into a war zone.

Call it one more aspect of the Modern Army. Other than Physical Training, we hardly move anywhere on two feet anymore, let alone march, and we keep our weapons safely secured until needed. That makes responding to a hostage, mass murder, or terror attack situation more difficult to respond to with any immediacy. Like the Democrat-preferred method for counter-terrorism operations, it’s a matter for appropriate law enforcement officials, after the fact (or at least, after the shooting starts).

Most posts don’t have significant amounts of local force protection via the Provost Marshall, Military Police (MP) and the like, but for regular law enforcement type roles. Just as with the University campus attack in VA, many of our installations (like Dix) could be hit with lots of casualties before any effective (armed) response would be forthcoming. The trick is getting on base, unless you decide to hit the rush hour line up coming on or off post at the gate. Threat Assessments have been done with more regularity since 9/11, and some open posts went closed, but the plot at Dix should have serious implications for Installation Force Protection.

I remember active duty in Germany, mid ‘80s. Bader-Meinhoff, Red Army Faction were active in Europe. We had a Turkish (!) guard at a top secret facility shoot himself and fall on the pistol. It occurred at night, at a perimeter gate manned by one foreign national and one US MP.

The frequently practiced but never utilized quick reaction force deployed (Intel types in the facility). We were issued weapons by the MP station – we had none assigned – and out we went into the night. The LT in charge told us to deploy towards the perimeter, if we got into any action, he would send ammo out to us. (I guess he thought he would toss it or run it out.) He kept the ammo on his person inside the facility. This was to make sure we didn’t hurt ourselves or anyone else. We were out about 30 minutes or so before the MPs determined it wasn’t an attack on our facility or a sniper, etc.

Afterward, there was hell to pay, complaints to US Army Europe, big furor, soldiers were irate about what they perceived as hyper-caution that could get us hurt. In the end the multiple star General decided that local commanders reacted “appropriately.”

Unfortunately, I think that’s still the premise behind CONUS garrison force protection. Perhaps the incident at Dix will shake the complacency behind those attitudes.

Potential terrorists and mass murderers, those inspired by radical Islam theology and its adherents (Al Qaeda, Iranian mullahs, and others), the fully converted, or even those explicitly controlled, have a great potential to score a major public relations (PR) coupe by attacking any of our more vulnerable targets.

One can compile a very long list of soft targets available: Planes and trains, tour boats and cruise ships, passenger terminals for all of the above, universities, schools, and hospitals and military installations, too. While these last might be the harder and more secure from this list of targets, the “profit” for terrorists in terms of PR might make them much more attractive, to demonstrate the “weakness” of our military.

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