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Old 09-24-2012   #1
Peter Dow
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Exclamation Diplomatic security after terrorists kill US Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya

CBS News video: WH declares consulate assault "a terrorist attack"

CBS News webpage: Military-style tactics seen in US Consulate siege

According to this report -

Quote:
Arutz Sheva, IsraelNationalNews.com 9/16/2012,

Col. Hunt: Libya Embassy Guards had No Bullets
"The State Department just allowed our guys to get killed," says Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt.


Colonel Hunt said Thursday that the American mission at Benghazi "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass." In addition, Hunt said the security guards inside the mission were private security guards who were not allowed to have bullets n their guns.

"What’s happened in Libya is the final straw of political correctness," he told Breitbart. "We allowed a contractor to hire local nationals as security guards, but said they can't have bullets. This was all part of the point of not having a high profile in Libya."

"The policy of the Obama administration led to this," he said. "It was the policy of the Obama administration to have a low profile in Libya. That's why the rules of engagement were approved by the Secretary of State to have no Marines at Benghazi, and to have an American contractor hire Libyan nationals to provide security there. The rules were they couldn't have ammunition."

"Obama may not have known the details of the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya, but his Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor would have. The Secretary of State absolutely would have."

"The Department of State Security are the people in charge of diplomatic security. They enforce the rules of engagement, which are set at Clinton’s level at State. The Department of Defense was told we’re not going to have Marines at Benghazi. Whether it goes higher than the Secretary of State to the President, I don't know."
- shockingly, the Benghazi consulate on the night of the attack had -
  • No Marine Security Guards.
  • No bullets for the guns carried by the hired Libyan "security"
  • No fortifications.


This incident confirms my concerns that diplomatic missions in "war-on-terror" countries are not being properly secured by being located in a properly secured and defended military bases.

This reminds me of the storming of a UN base in Mazar-e-Sharif when 7 UN workers were killed in April 2011. The guy responsible at the time for UN security - Gregory B. Starr, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security, is an American who used to be employed as the person responsible for the security of US diplomatic bases.

My view is that it's not fair on diplomats to leave them vulnerable in peace-time-designed embassies and consulates when there's war on in countries which are host, however unwillingly, to armed enemy forces and it's not fair to expect them to put their lives in the hands of career State Department officials who are incompetent about security or unable and unwilling to take action to remove their juniors who are incompetent.

I have further concerns that the US & NATO countries' military these days lack the military knowledge and competence even to able to secure our military bases. Bases can't be properly secured in or near an urban area. You need a security zone of cleared and controlled ground of at least 6 miles, but 10 miles is better, around a military base to keep enemy fire from rockets and mortars out of range.

If you don't control the ground around a base this happens - 3 were killed at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

Quote:
Afghanistan Attacks: Insurgents Attack Bagram Air Base

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan insurgents bombarded a U.S. base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees, officials said Tuesday. There were also NATO personnel aboard and wounded, the coalition said without providing further details.
We've been at war in Afghanistan for nearly 11 years now and still the US and NATO military are operating out of insecure bases! Our supply routes in Afghanistan have never been secured and recently a decision by NATO-ISAF (commanded by a US general) was taken to close bases along the main highways in Afghanistan making the roads even more insecure.

The military and security leaders we are depending on to keep our personnel safe during this war on terror are incompetent and our diplomats would be well advised to have no faith in them. If I was a diplomat in a country with security problems I would quit and come home until we get proper military and security people in charge.

So there is a pattern here of incompetence at the very highest levels of leadership in the United States, NATO and the United Nations.

The people in charge are incompetent and this is very serious folks. We need urgent action to get competent people in post. We need a shake up at the highest levels of government on the military and security side especially. This can't be allowed to go on.

Obama response inadequate

Obama has ordered "heightened security" and the story so far is that means 50 more marines are on the way to Libya. That's an inadequate response.

It's not enough to "order heightened security" if by that you mean ordering the same incompetent fools currently in charge of security to continue in post but to try to do a proper job this time despite still having no idea what to do.

50 Marine Security Guards would have helped had they been there on the night of the attack to defend Ambassador Stevens but from Colonel Hunt's description of the American consulate building at Benghazi - "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass" - it was not an appropriate strong building to choose to stand and fight against a terrorist attack with enemies using infantry weapons such as assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades and mortars.

Had Ambassador Chris Steven's possible Marine Security Guard detail been blessed with leadership from a good military officer of the quality of Colonel Hunt they ought to have been able to assess that Benghazi building as unsuitable for use as a fort against attackers and would have recommended moving to somewhere more secure.

At least with real marines with real bullets in their guns they could have provided a strong armed escort for the diplomatic team on the move.

However, we need to be honest with ourselves folks and admit that really good military officers are a rare breed these days. Just sending in the soldiers to defend against an enemy does no good if the soldiers you send are not well led, properly deployed, able to do the job.

In the worst cases of military incompetence, more soldiers, even more brave US Marines, setting up in a poorly defended building can just mean more targets for the enemy to attack and to kill.

We need to remember the very painful lesson of -

Quote:
Wikipedia: 1983 Beirut barracks bombing

The Beirut Barracks Bombing (October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. The organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the American Marines barracks, the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers, along with sixty Americans injured, representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.
So I think we ought to be more demanding than just welcoming any US president sending in some marines. We ought to demand a plan that will deploy the marines well so that they can defend themselves and the embassy or consulate and the ambassador very well indeed.

The US and allied western countries ought to
  • Close all vulnerable diplomatic embassies and consulates in host countries with a war-on-terror connection, with an armed jihadi terrorist groups threat. So that would be not only Libya, but it could be a list of 10 or more dangerous countries, such as Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen - anywhere US embassies have come under fire from jihadi terrorists before.
  • Establish new secure embassies and consulates within new or existing military bases where the dangerous host country agrees. If the host country does not agree then withdraw our ambassadors from the country altogether.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #2
Peter Dow
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Lightbulb My plan for a secure diplomatic military base for Libya

My plan for a secure diplomatic military base for Libya

In my following diagram, the US and allied embassies would be situated in the central base, the green zone.

The features of the diagram are similar for any kind of military base whatever you are defending inside.


Click for LARGER image

This diagram shows my suggested layout for the perimeter defences for a military base.

Explanation of the diagram features.

Base - the green area in the diagram represents the central well-defended area of the military base, where various buildings, vehicles and personnel of the base are normally situated.

Machine-gun emplacements - the red and pink dots which encircle the base at a distance of about 6 miles or 10 kilometres from the edge of the central Base, represent static, armoured fortifications or "pillboxes" for one machine gun and its 3-man team of gunners. The spacing between adjacent pillboxes is about 333 metres or 333 yards.

The plan calls for one team of gunners per pillbox serving on base. The gunners are organised into 3 duty shifts of at least 8 hours and so normally only 1 in 3 of the pillboxes will be manned at any one time. The gunners spend their off-duty time in the central Base where their quarters are situated.

If, when and where the perimeter defences are attacked by the enemy, the off-duty gunners can be called back on emergency duty as required by their officers.

Infantry barriers - barbed wire and anti-personnel mines to stop enemy infantry from advancing into the centre of the base.

Vehicle barriers - obstacles and anti-tank mines which prevent enemy vehicles from advancing into the centre of the base.

Reaction Force Zone - Quick reaction forces deploy in armoured vehicles from the central base into the Reaction Force Zone to fire at enemy attacking forces.

Threat Zone - A circumferential military zone around the perimeter defences where the base defenders may assume a hostile intent on the part of uninvited intruders into the Threat Zone and from where locals are forbidden and variously warned off from intruding upon. This land is occupied or leased to the military base and is closely watched using surveillance technology. Warning shots or sub-lethal rounds may be fired upon suspected innocent intruders and identified enemy forces can be fired upon to kill without warning.

The diagram represents a Threat Zone which extends to 10 miles / 16 kilometres from the edge of the central Base. The plan therefore recommends that it is inappropriate to site a well-defended base within 10 miles of an urban area or a public highway which would cause local people and local traffic to enter into the defined Threat Zone routinely making the early detection of real threats difficult to distinguish.

A large Threat Zone is desirable for security purposes because it makes for a safer perimeter defence but does add significantly to the land requirements of the base therefore the availability of a wide area of undeveloped land is ideal when choosing a location for the construction of a new military base.

Some existing military bases are located close to urban areas where a large Threat Zone cannot be defined and this is likely to make such bases much less secure.

Access road Road to access the base from the surrounding road network.

STOP police control barrier Military police stop traffic wishing to enter the base and perform final checks that visitors and loads are authorised to proceed. The control barriers prevent terrorists driving off the road and prevent vehicles proceeding without permission.

The control barrier fortifications need to be very robust so as to survive an enemy truck bomb.

Trust Zone People, vehicles or buildings in the Trust Zone which is everywhere outside of the Threat Zone are assumed to be trustworthy and non-threatening in so far as the base defenders are concerned.

People in the Trust Zone are assumed to be respecting the base's security and the base defenders treat people in the Trust Zone with the same mutual respect for their own security.

Protestors
Protestors who wish to demonstrate for whatever reason their political viewpoints are allowed to approach the base as far as the Warning Line which surrounds the Threat Zone but it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure that protestors do not intrude into the Threat Zone without invitation otherwise a hostile intent may be assumed and defensive actions taken.

Defence force For the smallest bases, this plan calls for a defence force of three serving companies of gunners - one company for each of the 3 shifts.

One company needs at least 200 gunners and their officers so 3 companies total at least 600 gunners and their officers. In addition, military and support personnel are needed for other duties such as policing visitors, cooking, vehicle and plant maintenance engineers, medical, supplies storage & management, camp tidying up, latrine digging, reserves etc.

The defence force required would be of an infantry battalion size of perhaps of about 800 soldiers / marines and support personnel in total and so the base defence force commander would likely be ranked at Lieutenant Colonel or higher.

For larger bases with central Base areas that could be miles wide, such as military air bases that require aircraft runways, the lines of perimeter defences would need to be longer and so more gunners etc would be required.

Low profile

A military base like the one I describe can still be reasonably low profile if it is situated somewhere out of sight and out of mind, such as in the Libyan desert somewhere south of the coastal road between Tripoli and Benghazi.
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Old 09-24-2012   #3
Fuchs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Such a base for diplomats would not be 'low profile', but a gross affront to local people and challenges the very need for diplomats to be in country. US diplomats in risky places already are known to have minimal interaction outside embassies - this would end it.

Oh yes, who provides the guard force (battalion equivalent), the host nation or the foreign nations?
I second that.

U.S. embassies re already rather unpopular because of their often outrageous security demand affecting local traffic and their fortress-like appearance.


I suggest to

(1) Stick with the existing, already quite fortified embassies and consulates in calm countries.

(2) Have embassies in troublesome countries only in places very close to police stations, army bases or buildings that can be expected to be well-secured (such as ruling party's headquarter, presidential palace etc); piggyback on existing security arrangements in order to boost the own security.

(3) Build consulates in troublesome countries only high in high-rise buildings (8+ floors). This does largely neutralise car bombs and makes it rather easy to stop even an armed mob (assuming elevators can be stopped). Preferably have a roof that's suitable for an evacuation by helicopter. Use a separated and CCTV-secured part of the garage.

(4) Demand public safety guarantees from host governments, local police chiefs/governors whenever the risk of riots or assaults is high.

(5) Live with the fact that there is no 100% security anywhere or for anyone.
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Old 09-24-2012   #4
Peter Dow
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Default Low profile, welcome, interacting, our troops

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Such a base for diplomats would not be 'low profile',
Sure it would be. The Libyan desert has a very low population density. This would not be like the Green Zone in Baghdad situated in the middle of the capital city but rather out in the middle of nowhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
but a gross affront to local people
What? Like the "gross affront" of the US military bases in UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greenland, Kosovo, Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Guam, Brazil and Cuba?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
and challenges the very need for diplomats to be in country.
No it doesn't. It is needed to challenge the anti-American terrorists who want to challenge our diplomats' welcome in the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
US diplomats in risky places already are known to have minimal interaction outside embassies - this would end it.
Actually it would provide more possibilities for interaction because the diplomats would be able to leave the secluded embassy by helicopter at times unknown to the terrorists. Thus diplomats could arrive at events anywhere in country for surprise visits leaving the terrorists flat-footed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Oh yes, who provides the guard force (battalion equivalent), the host nation or the foreign nations?
The foreign nations.

Most of the battalion equivalent would comprise of 3 companies operating in 3 shifts.

I would suggest -
  • If it was a US-only embassy military base, all 3 companies would be American.
  • If it was a diplomatic base for the US embassy and embassies of only a few close allies of the US, such as the UK, Canada, perhaps one or two others, 2 companies would be American, the other would be from one of the other countries and would rotate deployments.
  • If many or all of the US's NATO allies were joining in to locate their embassies there then 1 company would always be American, the 2 others would rotate around the NATO countries.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #5
Fuchs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
What? Like the "gross affront" of the US military bases in UK, Germany, (...
Actually, the embassy fortress in Berlin was an affront to the German people and got bad press for years.

It fell much short of a battalion battlegroup fort right next to our capital, it is an embassy of an ally and it was/is still quite an insult.


Btw, you seem to have lost all sense for the cost/benefit ratio. Three companies of guards for an embassy is insane.

Besides, laying AP and AT mines in a foreign country is insane as well, and will be outright illegal in all those countries which ratified the ban on AP mines.

Last edited by Fuchs; 09-24-2012 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #6
Peter Dow
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Default Rural, troublesome, in bases, forget high-rise, let's do our best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I second that.

U.S. embassies re already rather unpopular because of their often outrageous security demand affecting local traffic and their fortress-like appearance.
You are describing embassies in capital cities. That's not what I am proposing. There's no traffic in the middle of the Libyan desert. Appearance doesn't matter when no-one is there to see it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I suggest to

(1) Stick with the existing, already quite fortified embassies and consulates in calm countries.
Agreed. My proposal is only for countries with a history of jihadi terrorist attacks against embassies and diplomats. So that might be only something like 10 countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
(2) Have embassies in troublesome countries only in places very close to police stations, army bases or buildings that can be expected to be well-secured (such as ruling party's headquarter, presidential palace etc); piggyback on existing security arrangements in order to boost the own security.
Next to a military base etc would be no safer from a suicide bomber driving a truck bomb. Only placing an embassy within a military base, taking advantage of the perimeter defences of the military base would be much safer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
(3) Build consulates in troublesome countries only high in high-rise buildings (8+ floors). This does largely neutralise car bombs and makes it rather easy to stop even an armed mob (assuming elevators can be stopped). Preferably have a roof that's suitable for an evacuation by helicopter. Use a separated and CCTV-secured part of the garage.
No it doesn't.



Quote:
Wikipedia: 1983 United States embassy bombing

The 1983 U.S. embassy bombing was a suicide bombing against the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, on April 18, 1983, that killed 63 people, mostly embassy and CIA staff members, several soldiers and one Marine. 17 of the dead were Americans.

The car bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber driving a delivery van packed with about 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of explosives




Quote:
Wikipedia: Oklahoma City bombing

The Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist bomb attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. It would remain the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil until the September 11, 2001 attacks. The Oklahoma blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6[1] and injured more than 680 people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
(4) Demand public safety guarantees from host governments, local police chiefs/governors whenever the risk of riots or assaults is high.
Such safety guarantees are easier given than delivered. What if the embassy gets bombed despite the guarantees? No doubt such safety guarantees have been sought and given in every case where an embassy has been bombed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
(5) Live with the fact that there is no 100% security anywhere or for anyone.
Live with the fact that during a war on terror, diplomats do require competent military defences for embassies and consulates. Don't live with incompetent diplomatic security measures. Let's put 100% effort into making our diplomats as secure as they can be. We can only do our best but we should do at least that.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #7
KenWats
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Peter,

I'm sure your arrangement would be very secure, you put a lot of thought into it from a security perspective. However, if you move the embassy out into the middle of the desert (or other unpopulated area, away from the seat of host nation government), you limit his engagement with the foreign government. Also, your military attaches and regular diplomatic dealings will either necessitate A) a lot of traffic into your secure area, if we make the host nation folks come to us (perfect for pre-operational surveillance for a local terror cell, or even an infiltration route) or B) a lot of convoys of diplomats driving around (ready target for an ambush?).

Seems to me that the mission of the embassy is not to be impregnable. The mission of the embassy is to allow face to face interaction with the host government (among other things). Everything else (to include security) should support that. Not to say that stupid things weren't done in Libya or elsewhere and that we shouldn't try to correct said stupidity. Hard to have face to face interaction if your embassy is a smoking hole in the ground, but you can't have it very effectively if you have a 10 mile security perimeter out in the middle of nowhere with AT mines, blast walls, and a battalion sized security element.

Just my two cents.

The Other KenW
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Old 09-24-2012   #8
Peter Dow
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Default Nice embassy, share costs, smart land-mines OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Actually, the embassy fortress in Berlin was an affront to the German people and got bad press for years.

It fell much short of a battalion battlegroup fort right next to our capital, it is an embassy of an ally and it was/is still quite an insult.


The US Embassy in Berlin looks impressive to me. I'd be very pleased if Scotland had an impressive US embassy building like that.

We've just got a wee US Consulate in Edinburgh.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Btw, you seem to have lost all sense for the cost/benefit ratio. Three companies of guards for an embassy is insane.
Well bear in mind the plan is easily adapted to station many allied countries' embassies in the one secure diplomatic base. That would enable the costs to be shared among many countries as well.

Three companies gives you enough guards to man the perimeter defences at 6 miles radius from the central base. If you use less guards then you need to space the pillboxes out too much or shrink the perimeter diameter which starts to bring enemy mortars into range of the central base from outside the barrier defences.

There are rational military reasons for using that many guards to defend against typical infantry-style attacks of the sort that we saw against the Benghazi consulate.

The thing which would be, so to speak, "insane" would be terrorists attacking and failing to make any impression on a secure embassy designed according to my plan. The martyrdom video of that failed attack is not one the terrorists would want to show on YouTube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
Besides, laying AP and AT mines in a foreign country is insane as well, and will be outright illegal in all those countries which ratified the ban on AP mines.
Land-mines are an efficient way to defend a perimeter. Granted there are huge problems with conventional mines left over from old wars but the way to go with land-mines is smart, self-deactivating or self-destructing mines which can be designed to be set to become inert and safe when the lease for the land on which the base was sited was up. Those are the land-mines that the US is using now.


Quote:
U.S. Landmine Policy

On Friday, February 27, 2004, the new United States policy on landmines was announced. This policy is a significant departure from past approaches to landmines. It ensures protection for both military forces and civilians alike, and continues U.S. leadership in humanitarian mine action -- those activities that contribute most directly toward eliminating the landmine problem and mitigating its effects on landmine survivors. Under the new policy, the United States will:
  • eliminate all persistent landmines from its arsenal;
  • continue to develop non-persistent (self-destructing/self-deactivating) landmines that will not pose a humanitarian threat after use in battle;
  • continue to research and develop enhancements to the current self-destructing/self-deactivating landmine technology in order to develop and preserve military capabilities that address the United States transformational goals;
  • seek a worldwide ban on the sale or export of all persistent landmines;
  • get rid of its non-detectable mines within one year;
  • only employ persistent anti-vehicle mines outside of Korea between now and 2010, if needed, when authorized by the President;
  • not use any persistent landmines -- neither anti-personnel nor anti-vehicle -- anywhere after 2010;
  • begin the destruction within two years of those persistent landmines not needed for the protection of Korea;
  • seek a 50 percent increase in the U.S. Department of State's portion of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program over Fiscal Year 2003 baseline levels to $70 million a year.

One thing which is, so to speak, "insane", with regard to land-mines is the reckless way NATO-ISAF forces are driving about on Afghanistan's roads not cleared of enemy mines or road-side bombs and getting our soldiers killed.

For a better way to secure supply routes in Afghanistan see my post "4. Secure supply routes for Afghanistan. Land routes." in my thread "How to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan / Pakistan (and win the war on terror)" in the "OEF - Afghanistan" forum of SWC forums.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012   #9
Peter Dow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
Peter,

I'm sure your arrangement would be very secure, you put a lot of thought into it from a security perspective.
Thanks Ken. My plan is a good starting point for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
However, if you move the embassy out into the middle of the desert (or other unpopulated area, away from the seat of host nation government), you limit his engagement with the foreign government.
The base could provide an office and quarters for a representative of the host government - if the base was in Libya, that would be a representative of the Libyan government, a diplomat from the Libyan foreign ministry could be stationed alongside the embassies sited there. So there could be face to face contacts at any time.

Add to that telephone, internet and video conferencing and instant engagement could be easily sufficient.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
Also, your military attaches and regular diplomatic dealings will either necessitate A) a lot of traffic into your secure area, if we make the host nation folks come to us (perfect for pre-operational surveillance for a local terror cell, or even an infiltration route) or B) a lot of convoys of diplomats driving around (ready target for an ambush?).
Helicopters Ken. All diplomats and VIP visitors can arrive and leave by helicopter completely unobserved from 10 miles away which is as close as spies would be allowed to get. Therefore compared to a capital city embassy my plan is superior if not perfect for avoiding surveillance and ambushes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
Seems to me that the mission of the embassy is not to be impregnable. The mission of the embassy is to allow face to face interaction with the host government (among other things). Everything else (to include security) should support that.
Well how does the country retreat of the US President - Camp David - seem to you? Camp David too is a small military base officially called "Naval Support Facility Thurmont" which is staffed by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines. Did you know that?

When one thinks of Camp David, one never thinks of the security there - one just thinks of Camp David as a place in the country for the President to have face to face meetings at. It will be something similar with the embassies base I propose in my plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
Not to say that stupid things weren't done in Libya or elsewhere and that we shouldn't try to correct said stupidity. Hard to have face to face interaction if your embassy is a smoking hole in the ground, but you can't have it very effectively if you have a 10 mile security perimeter out in the middle of nowhere with AT mines, blast walls, and a battalion sized security element.
It's not hard. It'll work as conveniently for the diplomats and visitors as a Libyan version of Camp David.

Visitors arriving by helicopter will be 6 miles away from Anti Tank mines when they land and there could be an area in the central base as large as Camp David (0.5 km2) with no base guards in that small camp within the central base.

All the base security details described here can be ignored and be forgotten by diplomats. Those details matter only for those who must design, build, staff and run the base. The diplomats will be too busy thinking about diplomacy to think about the security infrastructure of the base. Sure they will see the layout of the base as they come in to land and take off but then never give it a second thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWats View Post
Just my two cents.

The Other KenW
Thanks Ken!

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-24-2012 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 09-26-2012   #10
Peter Dow
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Lightbulb Gun turrets for 25mm canons!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
Machine-gun emplacements - the red and pink dots which encircle the base at a distance of about 6 miles or 10 kilometres from the edge of the central Base, represent static, armoured fortifications or "pillboxes" for one machine gun and its 3-man team of gunners. The spacing between adjacent pillboxes is about 333 metres or 333 yards.

The plan calls for one team of gunners per pillbox serving on base. The gunners are organised into 3 duty shifts of at least 8 hours and so normally only 1 in 3 of the pillboxes will be manned at any one time. The gunners spend their off-duty time in the central Base where their quarters are situated.

If, when and where the perimeter defences are attacked by the enemy, the off-duty gunners can be called back on emergency duty as required by their officers.
More on what I have in mind for the machine gun emplacements.

The plan calls for something much better than WW2 style pillboxes. We can do much better in this day and age.

There would be a minimum of 180 machine gun emplacements required by my plan.

I would hope that the budget for such an important high-value facility would stretch to maybe, for each,
  • a 25mm canon, which typically have a range out to 2.5 km / 1.5 miles with
  • a 12.7mm (0.5") or 7.62mm machine gun back-up.

Also I'd want the guns mounted into some kind of swivelling gun turret, with working parts like the gun turret on top of an infantry fighting vehicle maybe. In fact the cheapest option might be to buy off-the-shelf turrets which are already in mass production for vehicles like the Bradley IFV with some additional armour capped on top of it because it doesn't need to be light, just very strong against incoming mortar or artillery fire.





The one issue there might be with IVF turrets is that it really needs lower gun elevation than is standard for an IFV turret. IFV guns often don't dip below -10 degrees below the horizontal. That's not ideal because the gun turrets are going to be much higher off the ground than they would be in an IVF and ideally the gunners ought to be able to target the ground beneath them as well as the ground hundreds of metres away.

Naval ship mounted cannons tend to dip lower, down to -20 degrees and that would be better, but naval cannons are not usually well armoured for the gunner's protection.



They do come in remotely operated versions which is an interesting option to consider.

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Old 09-26-2012   #11
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Talking Gun turrets in towers = Gun towers!

The gun turrets would be mounted in I am thinking probably some kind of massive high-security armoured & reinforced concrete sloping at a pyramid-type-of-angle type bunkers / towers.

Maybe something like this, only not with a sharp top but a gun turret on top.



The idea of gun towers is to give the gunner a good view of the desert terrain which is unlikely to be completely flat and dips in the ground could otherwise provide cover for attacking mortar teams. Gun towers also enable the gunners easily to see over and beyond any obstacles in the vehicle barrier into the Threat Zone. The gun towers should be robust enough so that they could take a number of artillery shells without collapsing.
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Old 09-26-2012   #12
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In fact the cheapest option might be to buy off-the-shelf turrets which are already in mass production for vehicles like the Bradley IFV with some additional armour capped on top of it because it doesn't need to be light, just very strong against incoming mortar or artillery fire.

Bradley turret
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Old 09-26-2012   #13
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Default The action is in the reaction

Peter, has it occurred to you that such a siege mentality and withdrawal into fortress embassies is exactly the response the terrorists want to provoke?
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Old 09-26-2012   #14
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Why the Benghazi Consulate Attack Will Blind the U.S. - The instinct to protect U.S. spies and diplomats will mean limiting their access to human intelligence throughout the restive Middle East, by Robert Baer. TimeWorld, September 25, 2012.
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People unfamiliar with espionage may wonder, given the risk, what the downside is of making locals go to Americans. The problem is a basic one: any local with dangerous information worth having won’t risk passing through a security cordon. Even if the would-be informant were willing to risk being seen by hostile lookouts while approaching a U.S. facility, that person simply could not be sure that the American guards aren’t working for the enemy.

The damage caused by Benghazi isn’t limited to making it harder for the local mole or informant to hand over a packet of documents or a nugget of information to his American handler. Any good spy has to immerse himself in the local milieu — just as a great diplomat like Ambassador Stevens was doing. Night and day, the capable spy is out meeting with locals, having schooled himself in their language and customs. As soon as he gets off the plane at his new destination, he’ll start learning his way around the streets. It means endless driving, getting lost and finding your way back. And it’s always done alone, with no safe way to reach out to a local for help.
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Old 09-27-2012   #15
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Lightbulb How we can use a fortress embassy to defeat terrorism

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Peter, has it occurred to you that such a siege mentality and withdrawal into fortress embassies is exactly the response the terrorists want to provoke?
The terrorists want to kill the US Ambassador or other embassy staff whenever they like so they prefer weak embassy security or perhaps no embassy at all.

The terrorists also want to prevent the establishment of new foreign military bases and to close any existing bases and drive out all foreign military forces.

So a new super-secure military fortress embassy is exactly the response the terrorists don't want to provoke. They want us to surrender and withdraw from the countries concerned altogether, not to secure our defences so our diplomats can stand up and speak out for the friendship and alliance we offer to the people of those countries.

I also wish to take issue with your suggestion that the establishment of a new fortress embassy represents some kind of mentality of "siege" or "withdrawal" or disengagement from diplomacy with the local people of the host country.

To explain that the converse is the case, that such a fortress embassy base could be ideal for a renewed and more intensive engagement with the local people of the host country, (which on the face of it, I admit, may seem to be a strange statement to make) I do need to reveal much about the nature of the war on terror which may be obscure. It's a long explanation so please bear with me. If any of this requires further clarification or explanation please do ask.



People almost everywhere, and Libya is no exception, view their country, the world, via the media - TV, radio and the internet. The person-to-person diplomatic meetings that matter for local people are the meetings which are reported in the media.

What's most important for diplomacy with the people is getting our ambassadors and other diplomats on TV watched by the people, seen in a favourable light, having friendly meetings with popular local people etc. That's how you connect with local people these days.

Now let's take a look at what is going wrong with our diplomatic "connecting with local people" attempts.

The terrorists who killed the US ambassador in Benghazi were able to do so because they had the distraction, cover and support of an angry mob.

It was the fuss and incitement to violence which was broadcast on Egyptian satellite TV which is watched in Libya (and across North Africa and the Middle East) which stirred up the Benghazi mob.

The incitement to violence was on the pretext of a supposedly "offensive" video which had been uploaded on YouTube for a while and could have sat there for years and never come to public attention. It was the Egyptian satellite TV coverage that suddenly blew the whole issue up.

The Egyptian satellite TV channel chose to bring that particular video to the attention of their TV viewers. They had no intention of ever bringing to the attention of their viewers any of the very friendly and diplomatic videos made by US Embassy staff in the region attempting to connect with the local people.

That TV channel was not trying to be diplomatic or make friends with Americans or westerners but trying (and succeeding) in prosecuting their jihadi terrorist war against us "infidels". That was an enemy propaganda broadcast.

Egypt's NileSat was used to incite the mob which besieged the US Consulate in Benghazi and gave cover for the jihadi terrorist group which killed US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

It seems on this occasion the mob was incited to violence by a Saudi-funded Egyptian satellite TV channel called "Al Nas" -

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC Monitoring
Radical religious Al-Nas TV gains influence in Egypt
Analysis by Muhammad Shukri of BBC Monitoring on 26 June

Al-Nas (The People) TV, an Arabic-language religious satellite TV channel which broadcasts 24 hours a day from the Media Production City in 6 October City in Egypt, has mesmerized Egyptian and Arab viewers generally.

A few months after its launch in January 2006 as a station focusing on social and entertainment content, the channel's administration decided to turn it into a Sunni religious TV, a move that has attracted millions of viewers to the channel in Egypt and across the Arab world.

The channel is owned by Saudi businessman Mansur Bin Kadasah and is managed by Atif Abd-al-Rashid.
- by someone called "Sheikh Khalad Abdalla".

Atlantic Wire: The Egyptian Outrage Peddler Who Sent an Anti-Islam YouTube Clip Viral



Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlantic Wire
But it did gain the attention of a Glenn Beck-style TV pundit in Egypt: Sheikh Khalad Abdalla, a host on the Islamist satellite-TV station al-Nas. On Sept. 8, Abdullah lit the match that set this entire international incident in motion and broadcast an offensive clip of the trailer

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-27-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 09-27-2012   #16
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Exclamation NileSat, know your enemy

This same NileSat's satellite was used to incite terrorism in Iraq against US and coalition forces. Al Zawraa TV was a pro-terrorist TV channel broadcast on Egypt's NileSat into Iraq and the whole Middle East to drum up support and recruits for terrorism against our forces there. NileSat was used by the enemy to help to kill 4,400 US soldiers and wound 32,000 in Iraq.

YouTube video - Al Zawraa Iraqi-terrorist satellite TV broadcast on NileSat

NileSat Know your enemy

Satellite TV "footprint" maps showing where on the ground TV signals from the NileSat satellites can be viewed.





We need to be thinking about stopping the anti-American, anti-Western propaganda being broadcast by our enemies and replacing it with friendly TV.

It should be possible for the European companies who set up the NileSat satellites (there are about 4 satellites, 2 companies) to change the ground control station from which the NileSat satellites take their uplink TV signal feeds. Of course they will need pressure from the European governments before they will do that.

So there is a diplomacy job for the US State Department to speak to European governments to get them to apply governing, legal, financial (and if all else fails military) pressure to require the satellite companies such as Astrium and Eutelsat to take control of those satellites out of the hands of the Egyptians and into maybe NATO hands.

So I would recommend that the Americans appoint a good US diplomat to take on that task to get Europe fighting terror instead of broadcasting it. However, if Europe fails to take action to confiscate control of the NileSat satellites then by all means the US President should hand the matter over to the US military Space Command to take those satellites out by all means necessary.

I have taken some time to draw up this map showing the main players in the NileSat terror broadcasting situation. I hope this explains what is going on.



The map of Egypt's NileSat satellite TV terror TV - LARGE 1222 x 812 pixels

So if the uplink satellite link for NileSat is removed and replaced, where should the new satellite uplink be stationed? Well it could be Cyprus, Crete, Malta, Turkey or Israel maybe but to receive North African TV signals for uplink it would be useful to have a satellite uplink site in North Africa. But it would have to be well defended because our satellite TV uplink will be a target for the jihadi terrorists. It's not ideal having such a critical facility somewhere in a city where it will attract mortar fire.


Where better than a North African military base, in Libya perhaps, the site for the fortress embassy, to put a satellite uplink to broadcast friendly satellite TV to connect to local people throughout North Africa and even into the rest of the Arab Middle East?



A quote from U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Not Yet Finished But Ready to Grow | Fox News shows the problem that even the strongest fortress base sited in an urban environment like the green zone of Baghdad is vulnerable to indirect fire such as from mortars.

Quote:
Living in a high security situation, personnel have been asked recently to wear helmets and flak jackets when walking around outside the buildings. The request followed an increased level of mortar attacks against the area in May and a homicide bombing inside a Green Zone cafeteria in April that killed eight people.
On May 19, all congregation outdoors was prohibited "due to the threat of indirect fire (IDF) against the embassy compound," according to a memo from the U.S. Mission in Iraq, reprinted in The Washington Post.
Setting up in an unpopulated area makes defending from indirect fire a practical possibility. Ideally, you'd want to broadcast via your uplink to satellite TV, live meetings between the ambassadors and other diplomats and local VIPs, or have them interviewed live by the world media journalists, sitting in the open air, wearing T-shirts, sipping their lemonades or colas or whatever, calm, confident, in control. It's impossible to do that if you have incoming mortar fire, right?

If you want to connect with local people that's how to do it in style. That's how we win the war on terror - by outsmarting the terrorists, by not being in the least terrorised and looking the part.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-27-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 09-27-2012   #17
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I cant help but think that an american news channel ran by the govt for the purpose of propaganda in the arab world would do anything other than confirm the hegemony/imperialism narrative that our opponents propagate on their own channels.

This plan along with the afghanistan plan seems to take a list of reasonable tasks like "improve consulate security" and "increase exposure to moderate/pro american news media" and crank the amp up to 11.
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Old 09-27-2012   #18
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I cant help but think that an american news channel ran by the govt for the purpose of propaganda in the arab world
That wasn't what I was proposing, though it sounds like a good idea worth considering.

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would do anything other than confirm the hegemony/imperialism narrative that our opponents propagate on their own channels.
What I am proposing is pulling the plug on our opponents' channels by seizing control of the satellites which are now used to broadcast them.

If you are having difficulty understanding my proposal then imagine turning on your TV and trying to tune in to an enemy channel but not being able to because the satellite is no longer sending that channel's TV signals to your TV. That.

Making an example of a number of obvious enemy channels will give a lesson for the remaining channels to be a lot fairer about the great good which American influence has brought and offers to the world, or else.

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This plan
Mmm ...

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along with the afghanistan plan
You mean the thread I started in SWC OEF Afghanistan forum - How to beat the Taliban in Afghanistan / Pakistan (and win the war on terror)

Please do post your comments, replies, about that thread in that thread where I am much more likely to address specifics about it.

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seems to take a list of reasonable tasks like "improve consulate security" and "increase exposure to moderate/pro american news media" and crank the amp up to 11.
If you've got a green zone in the middle of nowhere you need the amp turned way up to get noticed!

Shutting down enemy satellite TV channels is more like confiscating the enemy's amps.

Last edited by Peter Dow; 09-27-2012 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012   #19
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Making an example of a number of obvious enemy channels will give a lesson for the remaining channels to be a lot fairer about the great good which American influence has brought and offers to the world, or else.
The lesson might just be to make your deals with, say, ChinaSatCom.
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Old 09-28-2012   #20
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So we are to seize by military force/electronic warfare any satellite television station that broadcasts un-American/anti coalition material? Even if this is possible how would you respond to people pointing out that the 'murica violated the sovereignty of states and seized the private property of numerous countries around the globe. what if the tv station was german? or british?


I dont mean to derail the thread towards the satellite plan.
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