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Thread: U.S. Rethinks Strategy for the Unthinkable

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default U.S. Rethinks Strategy for the Unthinkable

    Suppose the unthinkable happened, and terrorists struck New York or another big city with an atom bomb. What should people there do? The government has a surprising new message: Do not flee. Get inside any stable building and don’t come out till officials say it’s safe.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/sc...rror.html?_r=1

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Rand did a study on that.

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_r...RAND_TR391.pdf

    They postulated that most of the casualties would be the result of the chaos caused by people running and overloading every bit of infrastructure imaginable. The losses from the blast itself and radioactive fallout would less. Hiding in a basement would reduce them even more. The advice seems sensible to me.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Rand did a study on that.

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_r...RAND_TR391.pdf

    They postulated that most of the casualties would be the result of the chaos caused by people running and overloading every bit of infrastructure imaginable. The losses from the blast itself and radioactive fallout would less. Hiding in a basement would reduce them even more. The advice seems sensible to me.
    There were many studies before that. Back when we actually had something called Civil Defense instead of Homeland Nonsense many Government buildings were designed with such an idea in mind. But then we decide that planning is Commonism and we don't do Commonism so we began to say Government is bad and the Free Market Invisible Hand is going to swoop down and save us.

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    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    many Government buildings were designed with such an idea in mind.
    Envisioning a scenario in which only Government employees survive an attack, and on emerging into the devastated world they realize that they actually have to sustain themselves without a single taxpayer to mooch off. Sounds like a Robert Heinlein novel...

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    Envisioning a scenario in which only Government employees survive an attack, and on emerging into the devastated world they realize that they actually have to sustain themselves without a single taxpayer to mooch off. Sounds like a Robert Heinlein novel...
    There was a bit more to it than that. It was an integrated Military/Civilian effort. http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/

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    Slap:

    I went to planning school during Reagan. Very mixed emotions around my grad school program as much was being discovered to be unmanageable or in need of major restructure/abandonment---not too far from Reagan's message.

    My distilled answer was that there were some essential things that only government could do, and that must be taken seriously, but anything else should be, at the least, tested for privatization/demonopolization (Remember when there was just one BIG Bell?).

    One permutation no one ever considered was the application used in our long wars----delegating government authority to Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater and the like. Fair to say that the answer to that permutation is even worse than the one raised by Dahuyan---a world controlled by surviving federal workers from the bowels----

    Steve

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
    My distilled answer was that there were some essential things that only government could do, and that must be taken seriously, but anything else should be, at the least, tested for privatization/demonopolization (Remember when there was just one BIG Bell?).
    Yes, but that was the very essence of the original CD program. The military would do the heavy lifting so to speak but key Government control would remain at the local level. Privatization does not and should not be for profit. Not for Profit Corporations were going to be formed and still could be formed to do the things that Government may not do well, but you do not want Industries vital to our national survival in the hands for Profit Corporations, the conflict of interest which they are sworn to uphold by law(primary allegiance to stockholders regardless of which country they represent) violate the Public Interest to say the least. We are slowly learning what a disaster the Regan revolution is turning out to have been. My god his own budget director David Stockman has been on TV admitting what a mistake it all was. The result has not been demonopolization, the result has been the exact opposite. Power is concentrated in the hands of few as it has never before in the history of our country. Not good.

    PS did you ever read Toffler's report on the break up of Ma Bell?

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A UK angle on doom

    AdamG's initial post
    Suppose the unthinkable happened, and terrorists struck New York or another big city with an atom bomb. What should people there do? The government has a surprising new message: Do not flee. Get inside any stable building and donít come out till officials say itís safe.
    Can I offer a British angle to this thread? It is a long time since civil defence was an issue here, leaving aside the "froth" on CBRN threats.

    I recommend reading 'The Secret State: Preparing for the worst 1945-2010' by Peter Hennessy, which has a chapter on planning for the worst. which is grim reading in places. Yes there was wise counsel, amidst a wide knowledge little would actually work on H-Day and a one diplomat commented
    It was inescapable, it was necessary and it was lunatic.
    Or the more complex quotation from the late Michael Quinlan, a civil servant who was immersed in such matters for decades:
    In matters of military contingency, the expected, precisely because it was expected, is not to be expected. rationale: What we expect, we plan and provide for; what we plan and provide for, we thereby-deter; what we deter does not happen. What does happen is what we did not deter, because we did not plan and provide for it, because we did not expect it.
    See a book review:http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/612...the-bomb.thtml
    davidbfpo

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    Slap:

    Right.

    My main problem with this Assange thing is unrelated to him. If the gov counter-response is to slam too many doors shut, except for embarrassed workers knowing they are doing something wrong/improper/in need of improvement, or contractors reaping a fortune from their work, we, as a public, will have nothing to measure against...

    The double edged sword.

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