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Friday, March 18, 2005

 

Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Beaten to the punch- I was waiting for the Hedges talk to be done with before I posted the following, and the NYT (as reported on LGF) ran this article. Timesly indeed: US Report Lists Possibilities for Terrorist Attacks and Likely Toll

"Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum". Saw that as a new tattoo on a squid's arm yesterday. Those are words to live by while a World War is going on around us. Disaster plans, like military ones, do not survive contact with the reality of the moment. Some of the plans are WAAAYY too public, accessible even to those who would cause disaster.
In October, I went to a county-wide disaster drill that was just that, a disaster. "Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed to.....die". The only "survivors" were the gaggle of walking wounded that we sent out in the first few minutes. At the end of the drill, there was the proud announcement to the press that 70 simulated casualties were successfully handled. Got news for you, Bucko. If you had a real disaster on your hands, there'd be an awful lot of bodies laying around. Think Bhopal. Think Indonesia after the tsunami. Think Hiroshima. Then you're thinking on the proper scale. If your disaster engulfs your resources, you're really screwed. Think about the tragic loss of rescue workers and apparatus in New York City on 9/11. Think about damage to hospitals in the hurricanes that trashed Pensacola not long ago.
The problem with local authorities is that they tend to think like, well, civilians. They are ruled by budgets, politicians, and limited resources; and tend to tailor their expectations of disaster to fit the resources available. There is also a prevalent tendency to think that there is no World War in progress, or that such a thing would REALLY come to the American Heartland. That thought process was very much in force when war came to Manhattan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (repeat after me, "WAR, not 'terrorism'"). While this thinking is not unknown in military circles, there is a tendency to look at the Bigger Picture, and wider resources to draw on.
Full-up-dress drills are expensive, time-consuming, and tedious. So is reality.
8MAR05

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All original content on this blog copyright 2005-2012 by bblatt and FASTAC_6; all rights reserved. Original posts are the opinions of the authors only, and do not represent the policies or opinions of any Federal, State, or other private or corporate entity. Comments on posts are unedited, and do not represent the views of the blog authors; they may be deleted at any time by the blog authors