Combating natural disasters and global terrorism.(Disaster Management)

The devil is now in the detail in combating natural disasters and global terrorism, the author contends, describing the need for TEMPEST--critical asset register analysis, as keynote speaker at the forthcoming landmark conference to be held at the world firefighters games--disaster management at major events: facing the terrorist threat--he offers a flavour of the latest counter terrorist techniques.

Military strategists call it 'the position of the interior'. This is where the defender of a static position, for example an airport, rail station or large sports stadium is expected to defend against every possible type of attack. The attacker, however, only has to choose a minimum of one point of attack, and they can concentrate all their forces on that single identified target. This places any attacker with a natural advantage.

Despite all these factors, in almost every type of conventional warfare the attacker is at a disadvantage. More people are required to attack a city or a tort, or house, or an underground foxhole than are required to defend it. This basic military principle remains: all other things being equal, the military defender has a considerable advantage over the attacker.


With regard to terrorists however this phenomenon has never been totally true. They have thrown the rulebook away and play 'the game' to their own rules Here, the attacker has an advantage. They can choose when and how to attack. They also generally know what particular defence systems the defender is using (or even if they do not, it is usually one of a small handful of high possibilities they can choose from).

The defender is therefore forced to constantly upgrade their defence systems to eliminate new vulnerabilities and watch tot every possible type of attack. In reality we now know that no matter how good security intelligence is within any country, the defender can still get wounded when an attacker tries something new, or exploits a weakness that bas not been noticed before. In these circumstances defending the position of the interior is a difficult task.

The defender's position however still has two broad advantages: they have the ability to quickly react to any attack, and the ability to control the environment and terrain.

The first strength is probably the most important; a defender can more quickly direct forces to offer support to existing forces, and prop up their defence of a critical asset wherever it is most needed. Early detection and response are critical factors in ensuring these advantages are maintained. …

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