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The United States has woken up to the threat of foreign terrorists since the 9/11 attacks, but most, if not all, of the emphasis here in the US on stopping future attacks has been by local, state, and federal agencies hardening weak spots and interrupting attacks during the planning stages. Of course, we’ve taken military action around the globe to attack the organizations that support terrorists, but I want to focus on what we’re doing at home to stop future attacks.
To start with, let’s look at the fact that many of the targets of terrorist attacks that have been uncovered over the last decade have been high-leverage attacks. What I mean by this is that the attacks are designed with minimum cost and maximum impact in mind.
Some of the first targets that come to mind are the core components of our just-in-time marketplace and interconnected society. Fuel, electricity, transportation, communication, banking, stock/commodity markets, electronic banking, the internet, etc.
These are juicy targets, and the results of an attack on these targets has far-reaching consequences because of how dependent people are on these systems and how interconnected they all are.
An attack on our fuel distribution system would cause food and transportation costs to skyrocket. An attack on communication and electronic commerce could hinder fuel distribution and cause the same problems, and more.
And, of course, we can look to the jetliners-as-missiles attack on 9/11 and the bear raid attack that caused the 2008 crash. Both of these attacks caused maximum impact with minimum cost. Actually, there is considerable evidence that the attackers in both of these cases made investments in anticipation of the attacks that allowed them to profit quickly and recoup all of their costs for planning and executing the attacks.
But what do these have to do with you and me and other preppers who just want to live our lives and be left alone?
Here’s the reason.
As long as the stability of our country depends on so many fragile systems, those fragile systems will continue to remain good targets for our enemies…like a little guy taking out a 6’6″, 300 pound professional wrestler by taking out his knees. The more independently families, neighborhoods, and communities are able to operate, the less they’ll have to depend on the fragile systems and those fragile systems will stop being as attractive as they are as targets.
Let’s take medieval siege warfare as an example and let’s assume that we have a walled city that gets it’s drinking water from a stream that runs under the wall, through the walled section, and out the other side. Barbarians come, the city dwellers retreat inside the walls, and the siege starts.
Since the city dwellers have always had an uninterrupted source of fresh water, they decided that they didn’t need to store any water. They operate on the modern equivalent of a just-in-time economy.
Since the barbarians are barbaric, they start putting their feces, the feces of their animals, and all of their dead bodies in the stream, upstream of the wall. The city dwellers start getting sick and dropping like flies and the few remaining survivors soon open the gates to surrender and beg for fresh water. The barbarians take the city at minimal cost, and take their drinking water from further upstream until the stream clears out.
If the city dwellers would have had water storage, water filtration, rain water catchment, and/or a well inside of the walls, they would have been less dependent on their just-in-time fresh water supply and the water supply wouldn’t have been as attractive of a target to the barbarians.
Similarly, the more areas of the country that can feed themselves, the less attractive attacks on the food supply become. This is the case for virtually every system that we depend on.
I’m not suggesting that everyone should completely ignore all of the benefits and advantages of a just-in-time economy and live as an island, but I am suggesting that if more people took the steps necessary to be able to self-support for an extended period, or even a short period, after a natural, manmade, or economic disaster, it would cut down on the number of high value targets that terrorists have to attack.
I wish I could say I thought up this angle, but it was actually an author by the name of Stephen Flynn and it’s a concept that he discusses in the book, “The Edge of Disaster; Rebuilding a Resilient Nation.”
Mr. Flynn is a senior fellow at the Counsel on Foreign Relations, but even so, I have to say that this book is a very good book. He does tend to focus more on the actions that government entities and larger companies can take rather than the individual, but the concepts that he covers are applicable to individual preppers and can be implemented much faster by individuals than the groups that he is actually targeting with the book.
So, from a practical perspective, what would individuals need to do to help reduce the number of high value targets in the US and reduce the impact if one of those targets were hit?
In short, enjoy the fruits of a just-in-time society, but get prepared for hard times and learn how to be more self-sufficient while you’re at it. Become resilient as a family, help close friends become resilient, and possibly even help in a CERT or other organized disaster response capacity.
At first, that probably means stocking up on items that will provide for your family in the event of a short term disaster. Long term, you’ll most likely want to learn skills that will help you and your family thrive during an extended disaster. In either case, you’re going to want to focus on TAKING ACTION IMMEDIATELY and buying items and learning skills that you can benefit from regardless of whether or not you ever experience a disaster.
Buy as much extra of the consumables that you already use as possible…food, water, drinks, supplements, bathroom goods, clothes, etc. Start with 1-2 weeks of backups and then I’d suggest building up to 6-12 months. This obviously won’t work with produce and other items that will spoil quickly, but it will work with shelf-stable foods and we do it with frozen food too.
What percentage of the population does it take to make a difference? There’s no way of knowing for sure, but I’ll give you two truisms. 1. YOU are the only person that you can force to get prepared. 2. The exact number of prepared people doesn’t matter nearly as much as how our enemies percieve us. Japan didn’t do a land invasion in WWII because they thought they’d encounter a gun behind every tree. Whether it was true or not didn’t matter…what mattered is that our enemies had that perception.
Next week, I’m going to share a resource with you that will walk you, step by step, through the process of getting prepared for disasters as fast as is humanly possible, so you’re going to want to stay tuned. This will be perfect for people trying to go from zero to prepared as fast as possible, for people who have preparations in place who need a solid gut-check, and a tool to use with small groups getting prepared together. You can get a sneak peak by going to www.FastestWayToPrepare.com. (If you check it out, please let me know what you think.)
Next week, I’m also going to be launching my newest book on tactical firearms training. It fills a huge, gaping void in the tactical firearms training book market. It has been a labor of love over the last several years researching, combining, and testing the methodology. I was very fortunate to be able to get Dustin Ellermann, winner of Season 3 of Top Shot to demonstrate the skills throughout the book and I’m excited to share it with you.
What are your thoughts on a prepared society being less appealing as a terrorist target than a society 100% dependent on just-in-time supply chain and utilities? What have you done to insulate and protect yourself from interruptions and breakdowns in supply chains and utilities? What do you have planned for the future? What’s keeping you from taking immediate action? Also, what do you think about Anonymous’ threat to cripple/shut down the internet on Saturday? Do you think it’s still possible after root servers were attacked in 2002, or is the internet too resilient to fall to a digital attack? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
God bless & stay safe!