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Olympic SAMs

The Ministry of Defense wants to put surface to air missiles in residential areas as part of security measures for the Olympics. This is highly irregular. They are to be used against…

…all manner of airborne attacks from the 9/11 style assault to a smaller “low and slow” attack from a single light aircraft.

I would be surprised to see hijacked airliners ever again. A light aircraft attack sounds plausible, but shot down aircraft wreckage landing on London might still be considered a win for the terrorist.

There are also to be army troops, fighter jets and naval ships at the ready. The MOD are certainly preparing for more than a kid with a bomb strapped to his chest.

27 comments to Olympic SAMs

  • The MOD are certainly preparing for more than a kid with a bomb strapped to his chest

    A kid with a bomb is likely to be vastly more effective in the middle of crowded London, not to mention a whole lot easier to pull off.

  • Agreed. There must be a sort of economics of terrorism whereby you want to cause the most damage for the least cost. So kids with bombs seem far more likely than anything more exotic.

    I also considered hypothetical well-funded terrorists. Normally I think the resources available to the terrorist are inversely proportional to the craziness of the terrorist. That’s why we don’t see terrorists with nuclear weapons – they are too expensive. A way around this might be a rogue state funding terrorists as a secret attack vector. But even the craziest rogue state is too sensible to try such a thing.

    On the other hand, if you are in charge of security for the Olympics, then arguably you want to be prepared for threats you have not thought of yet and you might as well ready all the tools in the box.

    Also the threat of exotic terrorism is really bad reason not to hold the Olympics. There are plenty of good reasons.

  • This is just another way to piss more money up the wall over this dismal sportsday. Oh and to play the big man. iDave id terrified of a repeat of last years riots.

  • LLAMAS

    What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

    llater,

    llamas

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Summer Olympics in Greece, Winter Olympics in, say, Norway, both at permanent venues. Of course, that means local movers and shakers worldwide won’t get to pocket construction fees for building subsequently useless facilities, but heck, I’m sure logic will carry the day.

  • Mike James

    Admit it–SAM batteries in the park would be cool, no?

  • Mike James

    I second PersonFromPorlock’s idea, above, and suggest here another idea to fix the Olympics: identify competitors by cities, not nations. That would free up people to cheer for athletes from cities they remember fondly from their travels, and suchlike, and eliminate the urge towards the grubby nationalism which I think has disfigured the modern games.

  • revver

    A terrorist smart enough to plan and execute even the simplest terrorist attack (ie. kid w/ a bomb), is smart enough to consider the full ramifcations of such a move. While an adult terrorist with some unique attack vector will succeed in instilling fear into the populus, the media can still spin it off with a faux-sympathy narrative (mental illness, economic hardship, relationship problems).

    While a kid (depending on his age), will arouse no sympathy from the public toward the muslim community. The average citizen will go from mere indifference, to active hatred towards muslims.

  • Surellin

    SAMS? May I suggest barrage balloons? London has experience with them, and they would be much more green, yes? And advertising space could be sold on their sides.

  • llamas

    @ revver – you assume that Islamic terrorists do what they do in an attempt to alter public opinion in the West, and that what people in the enlightened world think of what they do is important to them.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. They care nothing what the West thinks of what they do, in fact, they actively seek responses of disbelief, fear and repugnance at what they do. That is actaully not a bad definition of terroism.

    Most of their actions are designed, not to change Western opinion, but rather to enlarge and solidify their support among Muslims. Their reaction to the death of a child in a suicide attack would be just the same as if it were an adult – insh’Allah, it was the will of Allah.

    They’re not trying to engender sympathy in the West for their worldviews – they’re trying to instill fear. If it takes the death of child to attain that goal – oh, well, insh’Allah. And, indeed, young children have already been used in this way in the Israel_palestinian conflict. As Golda Meir oberved (in paraphrase), they hate the Israelis more than they love their children, and the same is true for all other non-believers in their C7 death cult.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Single Acts of Tyranny

    I saw one pissed-off guy on SKY news this morning. It seems the MOD may have notified people that missiles were going on the roof rather than, you know, asking permission or paying a fee to do so.

    And to be honest, would it be better blowing hell out of a Jumbo jet three miles away from the stadium at 5,000 ft or letting it crash? Oh wait, there maybe politicians in the stadium, now I get it.

  • Dale Amon

    Didn´t I once hear someone complaining about Sadam using residential districts, schools and hospitals for air defense? And Palestinians using residential areas to launch rockets? So what is the difference? If you are at war, a missile defense site if a legitimate target of the Enemy; if you place it in a residential district you are putting non-combatants at risk.

    Someone had really ought to have a talk with these people.

  • Mike James

    Dale, Britain is not conducting invasions of neighboring countries, nor are British terrorists using London to launch rocket attacks on suburbs and schools across an international border, lastly there’s a difference in moral status between Muslim terrorists, and the U.K.

    Those are just the first three, off the top of my head.

  • Richard Thomas

    Agreed. There must be a sort of economics of terrorism whereby you want to cause the most damage for the least cost.

    Just get some idiot to stuff six quids worth of explosives in his shoe (or underwear or whatever the next iteration is to be). bingo, economic damage and inconvenience out of all proportion to cost.

    A way around this might be a rogue state funding terrorists as a secret attack vector. But even the craziest rogue state is too sensible to try such a thing.

    Unless you’re as crazy as the US in which case you fund terrorists who end up being a secret attack vector against yourself.

  • Mike James

    Unless you’re as crazy as the US in which case you fund terrorists who end up being a secret attack vector against yourself.

    Well, it was certainly a lesson on trusting Muslims, the lesson being “Don’t trust anyone who reveres a vicious criminal scum like Muhammad.” I think bin Laden or some other screaming beardo might have worked themselves up to make an attack, even if we hadn’t given them money and arms to drive the Soviets from Afghanistan. Of course, the Soviets were still a going concern back then, and a hell of lot more worrying than guys like bin Laden who seems to have held back from too close contact with the Soviets at the time.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    The SAMs are to be used ON the athletes! Who else was inspired by The Hunger Games? Bring them on!

  • Mendicant

    Mike James, why don’t you eliminate the entire Narn homeworld?

  • bobby b

    “But even the craziest rogue state is too sensible to try such a thing.”

    - “The wedding is set for Thursday – It CAN’T rain!”
    - “Go ahead, it’s 2:00am, no one is going to see you pee in the alley.”
    - No, cut the green wire first. It’s always the green wire.”

    ” . . . identify competitors by cities, not nations . . . “

    We should do it, not by geography, but by religion. Just because, as I sit here contemplating it, it would be hilarious listening to the poor announcers having to say things they’ve been force-trained never ever to say on the air since they were born. (“Well, Chris, it looks like either the Moonies or the Jews are going to knock the Muslims right back into last place again, unless the Animists do something unexpected with their new speedbike techniques . . . “)

  • Hmm

    Why would any terrorist need to bring explosives into London when here you have the government happily bringing in weapons that can be used to target practically anything. Now all the terrorists need to do is take over a missile site. I really hope New York cop John McClane hasn’t rented a flat in London for this summer’s Olympics.

  • Dale: “Didn´t I once hear someone complaining about Sadam using residential districts, schools and hospitals for air defense?”

    I thought about that, but that’s only a problem if you’re using your SAMs against a threat that can shoot back.

  • Derek Buxton

    Terrorism is hardly new, so why do we want the games in London, or this Country for that matter. They have been a target before so why not again. But then we have all these “clever people” running things, “we will put on the games but unlike in other countries nothing bad can happen”. The old story, do what has been done before in the hope that it will turn out different….LOL
    Pray tell, how will they determine whether an aircraft is friend or foe before the event….well I only ask!

  • Alisa

    Pray tell, how will they determine whether an aircraft is friend or foe before the event….well I only ask!

    What I’d like to know is how are they going to pay for the whole circus – but that must be a silly question…There are many times when I wish I lived in London – this is not one of them.

  • RW

    Well I suppose a light aircraft is a plausible threat and SAMs a suitable countermeasure (lot of downside but alternatives anyone?)

    My money is still on multicopters, if not at the Olympics then soon somewhere. I’m still unable to think of a suitable response to these things as they overfly all perimeter security…

  • Monty

    Here is the scenario that worries me the most. Conventional suicide bombers inside the arena when it is packed. One would be bad. But one, closely followed by another, then maybe a third? The resulting stampede would act as a massive destructive force multiplier.

  • Mike James

    If it’s all right with you, Mendicant, can we please leave the best space opera ever out of it?

  • They could ditch all those SAMS and rely on a go-getting MI6 agent. It works in the movies.

  • Hmm

    Here’s an excellent cartoon about this by Nate Beeler(Link)