Thursday, December 22, 2016

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World’s Expert in Hardening Soft Targets

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

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Instapundit wrote: IF ONLY THERE WERE A WAY TO MAKE THOSE TARGETS LESS SOFT, SOMEHOW: Expert on deadly Europe attacks: Terrorists constantly seek ‘soft targets’: “we know that terrorists are constantly looking for mass gatherings, soft targets with little to no security.”

U.S. highways are some of the safest in the world.  They have tens of seemingly minor features that help prevent accidents and reduce the damage of accidents.  These include lane barriers that push the car back into the lane, raised reflectors to better see lanes at night, sand and water barriers on abutments that could be hit, and many more.  These lessons were learned the hard way, though years of examining fatal accidents and engineering ways to avoid them.

Sadly Israel has had to learn the same in hardening “soft targets”.  Through generations of fatal terror attacks, Israel has learned both how to harden target and how to discourage attacks.  Examples include armed guards at entrances to all malls, transport stations, schools, and many if not all restaurants.  It includes raised vehicle barriers along pedestrian walkways and (in some) in front of bus stops.  It includes security guards, police, and soldiers allowed to come home with automatic weapons, creating an ad hoc infrastructure of trained security first responders among the populace.  It includes metal detectors and bag searches at transport stations, malls, and government offices. 

It’s intrusive, it’s time consuming, and it’s an costly drag on the economy.  But if the attackers have penetrated (or have the ability to penetrate) the general society, then such measures are necessary to keep society functional and livable.  And of course, it’s not 100%. 

Israel has consistently been the test case for the world of terrorism.  And we see recent attack methods against Israel spread to the rest of the West a year or two later.  Random stabbings…check.  And now vehicle ramming attacks…check.

But how will the world respond?  Will they learn the security lessons from Israel, or will modern politically correct cultural biases prevent the lessons from being learned?

Sadly, the results will be seen, or not, in blood.  May Hashem have mercy.

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