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Old 11-30-2008   #21
Bill Moore
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Default Does India need or want help?

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We are really babes in the woods when it comes to understanding and effective engaging in this region. If the Isrealies have a spcecial bond/relationship that is good...but it brings it's own special challenges as well. A perception of US sponsored, Jewish CT activity is likely to have negative consequences that far exceed any immediate effect.
Great comments, we too often illustrate our lack of understanding by our desire to immediately run to the sound of gun fire and get involved so we can make things better. Historically our engagement in many countries has often failed to improve the situation for a number of reasons. A couple of them are posted above.

Partners need our support and cooperation, just as we need theirs. If they think they need our assistance they will ask for it. If we think they need our assistance, but they don't want it, then we continue to diplomatically pursue areas where we they may accept our assistance. The bull in the china shop approach hasn't worked well in the past.
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Old 11-30-2008   #22
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A Singaporean perspective on this issue.

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Beware the fallout from Mumbai outrage

Editorial Desk
The Straits Times
Publication Date: 29-11-2008

The terror attacks in Mumbai have been strongly condemned by outraged people everywhere. The ruthless assailants sprayed bullets indiscriminately at people in the streets and trapped and wounded or killed others, including foreigners, in upscale hotels. The dead included a young Singapore lawyer, the first Singaporean victim of terrorism since Konfrontasi. Our hearts go out to her family. As Acting Prime Minister S. Jayakumar put it: 'This tragic event underscores the imperative for all of us to be constantly vigilant and the need for the international community to band together to combat this threat.' We are all in this together.

Who were the attackers? What was their objective? Some experts think Indian Muslim malcontents were involved. Identification of the perpetrators and authentication of their motives will not be easy. The scale of the assaults and the precision with which they were coordinated and executed suggest groups beyond India could have been involved. Kashmiri militants could have had a hand in this, but at least one of their groups, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has denied responsibility........

http://www.asianewsnet.net/news.php?id=2903&sec=3
This is the second incident that Singaporeans have lost their lives to terrorism, and the fourth involving the taking of Singaporean hostages.

Last edited by Jedburgh; 01-07-2009 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008   #23
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Default Mumbai News and Commentary

I've placed numerous links to news and commentary concerning the Mumbai attack on the SWJ Daily Roundup

30 November Roundup

29 November Roundup

28 November Roundup

27 November Roundup
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Old 12-01-2008   #24
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From what I have read the terrorists level of confidence and individual skill with their weapons was very good. They were obviously highly trained. They also must have have done a good leaders' recon and knew the AO they were going to hit. All of their targets had significance.

I realize any innocent death is bad but my concern is if they are going to invest as much as they did in an op like this with this little return how many of them are out there in waiting to do something bigger in the bigger scheme of things? It's rather chilling. I can think of a lot other things men of this calibre could do that would produce far more casualties or impact.

Thanks for the all the links.
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Old 12-01-2008   #25
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Default What are the lessons for the rest of us?

With more information available now (still with loads of spectulation), I think we have enough to at least consider the implications of this type of attack on our own homeland security readiness. While there is some justification to criticize India for some its readiness shortfalls, especially the severe equipment shortfalls of its police and commando forces (no night vision devices, etc.), how ready are we (the U.S., Europe, other Asian nations) to respond to similiar attacks?

Obviously there is no pat answer as there are several variables that can impact readiness on any given day, and obviously some cities such as New York City is probably much more prepared for this type of attack than say a mid sized town elsewhere in the U.S., but it is still a question we should grapple with.

Assuming the press reports are accurate, and even if they're not, the type of operation that they outlined could easily be replicated anywhere in the world.

You have a mothership (any cargo ship), a handful of dedicated Jihadist lunatics who are very well trained and armed, a few rubber raiding crafts, and a limited support base in the target city to conduct your target reconnaissance and even guide you to your target(s) if required. There are large Muslim populations around the globe from Tokyo to London to Miami etc., and out of that population base it only takes a couple of converts to radical Islam to provide the required support.

Here's the scenario, you're the police chief, it's your town, it's 2230hrs, surprise, you now have 10-15 Jihadists running around executing a well rehearsed plan, now respond. Respond with what? Local police? Are they grossly overweight (indicates they are not dedicated) and poorly trained? The national guard? Normally not trained for this type of response, and it would take hours to mobilize them. Federal forces? How long would it take for a credable response?

You can excuse a government for reacting to a bomb attack and cleaning up the mess, then pursuing the culprits, but it is another issue all together when you're under attack in your home town, and the government can't mount an effective counter attack in a timely manner. The perception of failure jumps out, regardless of how unreasonable it may be to expect every city/town to have a capable response (think about the effect of school shootings, a much smaller scale problem). The Los Angeles police department is relatively well trained and equipped, and I think most of us remember the challenges they had responding to two bank robbers armed with high powered rifles and effective body armor. My point is that police forces, just like military forces, are trained and equipped (barely) for probable threats. The Mumbai attacks were not a probable attack until last week.

See the next post for India's initial lessons learned, and what they should mean to us.
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Old 12-01-2008   #26
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Default India's Lessons Learned

Police: Pakistani group behind Mumbai attacks

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27940231/

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The gunman was one of 10 who paralyzed the city in an attack that killed at least 174 people and revealed the weakness of India's security apparatus. India's top law enforcement official resigned, bowing to growing criticism that the attackers appeared better trained, better coordinated and better armed than police.
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As more details of the response to the attack emerged, a picture formed of woefully unprepared security forces.
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"The way Mumbai police handled the situation, they were not combat ready," said Jimmy Katrak, a security consultant. "You don't need the Indian army to neutralize eight to nine people."
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With no SWAT team in this city of 18 million, authorities called in the only unit in the country trained to deal with such crises. But the National Security Guards, which largely devotes its resources to protecting top officials, is based outside of New Delhi and it took the commandos nearly 10 hours to reach the scene.
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Even the commandos lacked the proper equipment, including night vision goggles and thermal sensors that would have allowed them to locate the hostages and gunmen inside the buildings, Sahni said.
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Singh promised to expand the commando force and set up new bases for it around the country. He called a rare meeting of leaders from the country's main political parties, hours after the resignation of Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
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Sahni called for an overhaul of the nation's police force the first line of defense against a future attack providing better weapons, better equipment and real training.
The comments on the Commando's clearing tactics by their Israeli founder were brutal, but from what I could see correct. The Commando Commander said we executed the attack the way we like to, which unfortunately meant slow and ineffective.

India has a lot of work in front of it, and we should be willing to help to India with any assistance they may request, but we should also be looking at our own backyard and making the necessary adjustments to address similiar threats.
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Old 12-01-2008   #27
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Default Even more to the point

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Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
You have a mothership (any cargo ship), a handful of dedicated Jihadist lunatics who are very well trained and armed, a few rubber raiding crafts, and a limited support base in the target city to conduct your target reconnaissance and even guide you to your target(s) if required. There are large Muslim populations around the globe from Tokyo to London to Miami etc., and out of that population base it only takes a couple of converts to radical Islam to provide the required support.
Or a terrorist group in the US obtains weapons from a drug cartel or organized gang. Their surveillance activities would be indistinguishable from daily, normal commercial activity.

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Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
Here's the scenario, you're the police chief, it's your town, it's 2230hrs, surprise, you now have 10-15 Jihadists running around executing a well rehearsed plan, now respond. Respond with what? Local police? Are they grossly overweight (indicates they are not dedicated) and poorly trained? The national guard? Normally not trained for this type of response, and it would take hours to mobilize them. Federal forces? How long would it take for a credable response?
...
The Los Angeles police department is relatively well trained and equipped, and I think most of us remember the challenges they had responding to two bank robbers armed with high powered rifles and effective body armor. My point is that police forces, just like military forces, are trained and equipped (barely) for probable threats. The Mumbai attacks were not a probable attack until last week.
The common misconception is that the police are there to protect you. In fact, most of their training is oriented toward cleaning up the mess afterward. I expect that's just as true in India as here in the US. The ordinary police in Mumbai who went up against the terrorists, matching pistols against grenades and assault weapons, deserve the highest regard for valor. The same would happen here.

In fact, I suspect it would be worse. The Indian government had the troops and processes in place (however efficient or not) to fairly quickly employ appropriately trained personnel in response.

We don't.
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Old 12-01-2008   #28
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I think we should pull our analysis back to the operational/strategic level. Sure it is fun to discuss the tactics employed, but what really matters is how this event will shape the larger dynamics of the region.

1. India has tremendous friction with it's own Muslim popuace (some 150M, who are largely left out of the recent economic rise of the Nation. 13% of the total populace, they only represent 3% of government positions as an example).

2. With the pressure of the current global economic crisis, will India seek to shift the focus from their own faults and failures by attempting to blame Pakistan for this attack? (Ok, this is already happening)

3. With the U.S. already in a tenuous position in Pakistan as we attempt to sort out an effective scheme of engagement there that allows us to get a handle on a Pashtun problem that is slipping away, while at the same time not alienating the new government there; how do we play an escalation of animosity between Pakistan and India? (Particularly when both of those Governments have terrible policies in place that create tremendous frictions within their own populaces; both have Nukes; and both are looking for external parties to blame as the problems escalate; and they have in no way resolved the issues that keep these neighbors in a state of near-war)

4. Unlike the U.S., when we had an external terror attack on 9/11; we did not possess a large, disenfrancised local populace that was sympathetic to the causes of the attackers, India does. We could absorb a strategic disaster like launching a completely unrelated invasion of a traditional enemy's territory in the name of retaliation and national security. What happens internal to India if they try a similar gambit? What credibility do we have to talk them down from such a policy given our own recent actions?

Major terrorist attacks happen in India all the time. This one has succeeded in gaining the type of media attention and visibility that all such attackers seek as their primary goal for waging the attack in the first place. The attack itself has little relevance. What matters is how this is played from here.
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Old 12-01-2008   #29
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Lightbulb Excellent commentary by all

As to the "who will blame who" in efforts to sidetrack popular frustrations.
Can't see any way this won't happen considering historic practices which apparently noone likes to learn from(didn't that end up being a big part of what brought about WWI?); how about something different for a change.

Perhaps everyone could actually blame the idiots who keep pulling off these attacks. Extremists!

Maybe thats too much to ask for
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Old 12-01-2008   #30
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Default Appropos of India and their strategic choices -- and of ours...

I agree with most of your postulations but question this one:
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Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
...4. We could absorb a strategic disaster like launching a completely unrelated invasion of a traditional enemy's territory in the name of retaliation and national security. What happens internal to India if they try a similar gambit? What credibility do we have to talk them down from such a policy given our own recent actions?
Three points.

A 'stategic disaster' is in the eye of the beholder -- I haven't seen one since the Brothers Kennedy decided to boost the US economy by sending me to Laos a long time ago.

Not at all a completely unrelated invasion, rather a very poorly publicly justified effort. It was a response to a large number of ME provocations, attacks and probes against US interests worldwide from 1979-2001 and it was sorely needed and long overdue; something needed to be done and do recall that Afghanistan is not in the ME. It may have been poorly planned (and whose fault is that?) and executed (same question?) but something was needed. While most of the west did not and does not understand that, the ME (and most of Asia) understood it for what it was; you will have noted that European hearth objections were heartfelt and different from the pro-forma mumbles out of the ME and Asia. The major problem with the action in Iraq as a totality and the rest of the world was an incredibly poor job of stating the rationale. The major problem with total effectiveness of the overdue response to probes from the ME was in the execution. That happens...

Back to the actual thread and point at hand. To answer your question quoted, no one including the Indians knows what would happen internally; and our credibility in the world has not been great since I started paying attention in 1947 or so. It has fluctuated over the years but it has never been adequate to jawbone other nations into doing much they they didn't want to do (unless we bribed them, that works -- sometimes). Been that way for years and I see no change in that.

Nor am I at all certain why we should be excessively concerned with 'talking them down' from a policy they are probably not going to adopt. In the unlikely event they adopt such a policy, it will be (as is too often true here) more a result of domestic politics than anything else -- and that milieu is a little too opaque for most of us to sort -- and I'm pretty sure that pressure would trump anything we tried.
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Old 12-01-2008   #31
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Default Ex-SAS CO comments

Yet to absorb the latest contributions. There are now coments on how any other city would have reacted and here is an ex-SAS CO's comments: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-SAS-says.html

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Old 12-01-2008   #32
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Default Pretty Good To Do List

Attached is a link to a pretty good "To Do" List for changes in India to help them deal with future Mumbai-style attacks:

http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/dec/...ings-to-do.htm

As a civilian I think they make good sense, but I would like to get other's prespective on two things:

1. What do others think of the above "To Do" List?

and

2. How can ten (10) men, even armed with automatic weapons and grenades, hold off hundreds of commandos and police officers for sixty (60) hours?
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Old 12-01-2008   #33
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Default I'll leave the politics to others

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...2. How can ten (10) men, even armed with automatic weapons and grenades, hold off hundreds of commandos and police officers for sixty (60) hours?
but provide an answer to this. Easily.

What room or rooms in what buildings? Intelligence and / or technology available to the commandos and police to determine said locations? Their familiarity with each others work processes and ability to cooperate? Hostages involved? More importantly, respective levels of training. Most importantly level of dedication of the ten and their willingness to die to complete their mission.

Not at all difficult to do. Sixty hours is really pretty good time. Fighting in cities is never easy...

This LINK was just one of the buildings involved, it alone could easily take over a day to clear after the assault team arrived (12 hours away) and got prepped (another 4-6 hours minimum).

Last edited by Ken White; 12-01-2008 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Added Link.
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Old 12-01-2008   #34
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I can only speak to local oriented Law Enforcement in the U.S. but I don't think anyone is ready for something like this other than possibly Israel but their society tolerates a level of security that wouldn't work here. At least until we have something along these lines.

We are all about containment. For the most part we only carry sidearms and thin body armour. Our training is all about containing a situation to put the subject into a fixed place to allow the SWAT team to begin their operation. We don't really train for scenarios like this and it's assumed that our SWAT teams would be the ones having to run and gun with this kind of adversary. Obviously, if it does happen it will be the front line patrol officers having to do it. Active shooters are a major threat both from the operational and tactical perspective. Look at what happened with the former Ranger tabbed suspects that took on the FBI in that infamous shoot out in Miami.

I am fortunate to work for a Department that has an outstanding Firearms training unit that does look at current events and changes their training based upon them. We do train for multiple threats and active shooters trying to roll your flanks and such. But, it's still tough to be confident about dealing with something along these lines.

We are very risk adverse due to the amount of litigitation that is part of our day to day operations. This has changed to some extent due to our school or Mall shooter scenarios but it's an extreme command and control issue to deal with multiple entry teams running around in a fixed location. There is going to be extreme chaos and it's hard for me to imagine anyone could do much better under those circumstances. In this particular case the Police were directly targeted so their command and control was screwed from the get go.

On a positve level, I think we are better prepared than we were prior to the Hollywood shootout where the suspects were heavily armored and carried long guns. It spurred Departments across the nation to develop patrol rifle programs and improve active shooter training which are good things.
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Old 12-01-2008   #35
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Reports coming in are mentioning the role of Dawood Ibrahim in the attacks. Ibrahim is the head of D-Company, which is the leading group in the Mumbai underworld. He has strong connections to ISI, and was the facilitator of the 1993 attacks in Mumbai. Reportedly, D-Company controls Sasool dock where the attackers came ashore. One of the captured attackers has reportedly said in interrogation that Ibrahim owned the ship the attackers took from Karachi, and D-Company provided logistical support in the city.

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Old 12-01-2008   #36
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I think American police department capabilities may be underestimated. In the area I worked in, in critical situations, we could call on one large and one small city pd, numerous sheriff's offices, the BLM cops, several tribal police departments, the wildlife guys, the local FBI office, the state police and if things really got bad, the state pen special guys. There were always a number of special trained officers on normal patrol and (I have been gone a few years) I would assume that now there are a number of officers who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan. Everybody had pistols and shotguns and all the state police had AR-15's. Given more time, swat teams from all over the state would be there too.

There would be tremendous confusion and hell to pay in the first few hours but there is more capability there than people may think. Those Mexican drug assassins in Arizona certainly didn't have things all their own way.
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Old 12-01-2008   #37
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Made me chuckle from Abu Muqawama -

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Look, if just 10 dudes rolled into my hometown and started shooting people, they would have been killed within the hour. I'm not kidding. (People still try to take their guns aboard planes in my hometown.) India's police has been caught out by these 10 gunmen as badly as U.S. intelligence services (and airport security) were caught out by the 9/11 hi-jackers. In both cases, there was no reason so many people were killed by so few. Unlike 9/11, though, heads are rolling in India. In case anyone is wondering,
I imagine the same in Slapout, AL.
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Old 12-01-2008   #38
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I am still much more concerned about a Beslan type situation than something like Mumbai. I just don't think that a similar attack would have near the success in the US. Law Enforcement capabilities aside, there are an awful lot of people like me out there bitterly clinging to our guns. A Beslan type attack, say on a large inner city school, or schools on the other hand could be devastating, particularly if the attackers managed to start a rumor that there were other groups still out there ready to attack other schools. It is one thing to say that I will not let the terrorists scare me. I will live my life and go to work and do what I need to do regardless of the threat. It is quite another thing to send your babies into that. How many businesses would have troubles with production because terrified parents stayed home with their kids? What kind of effect would that many working parents staying home have on the economy?

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Old 12-01-2008   #39
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I imagine the same in Slapout, AL.

You got that right....like 36-0 My friend "Fat Tony" would make them an offer they couldn't refuse and they would never forget

The 1st US Redneck Special Forces Unit. Fat Tony is in the Red Shirt. Oh Yea there is some bad words in here but they go by so fast you can't hardly her them.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2597...eature=related

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Old 12-01-2008   #40
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Default One of my favorite Hurricane pictures.

from Texas...

LINK.
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