Friday, January 8, 2010

Airline Security – I’m Not Mad At the TSA

I have worked for the government before. I am not mad at the rank-and-file members of the various agencies of the Department of Homeland Security over the failure to catch Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Christmas day. Having worked for the government though, my expectations are generally low.

One of the most memorable examples of men at war from my days of studying such things dealt with the American attempt to sink German submarines in World War II. Our brain trust decided that the best way to destroy German submarines was from the air with depth charges. The scientists determined the range at which an air plane crew would see a submarine and then determined how long it would take the plane to deliver the depth charge to sink the submarine. Their calculations included an estimate of how deep the German submarine would dive based on when the crew would see the airplane. So the depth charge was set to explode at the depth which the submarine would dive to at maximum speed while the airplane closed the distance.

They didn’t sink any submarines. You see the sailors on duty in both countries weren’t paying attention. When behavioral scientists studied the problem, they found out that the sailors in the airplane weren’t really paying attention after a short time in the air and more often than not didn’t see the submarine until after they over flew the thing. Conversely, even though his very life depended on it – the submarine sailor on watch didn’t see the plane until after he heard the engine noise. Returning to the lab the depth charge fuses were reset to accommodate the fact that the aircraft would have to turn around after over-flying the sub to attack it while the depth of the submarine was determined by factoring the time it would take the sub to dive only after it heard the aircraft overhead. They started sinking submarines.

Whether they serve in the CIA or TSA or the FBI, we can’t beat these guys waiting for them to come to us – it doesn’t work that way. There are too many people involved that have to be paying attention all the time in order for the system to work. We may be able to tighten things up a bit, but the only way to win is to go after these vicious barbarians where they live. We need to stop flogging Homeland Security and inconveniencing airline passengers and go out and kill terrorists.

Conservative Resistance – Day 430
Days to the November 2010 election - 298

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