Sunday, March 28, 2010

How Safe is Too Safe?

Rob Farley over at Lawyers, Guns and Money has an interesting post about the effect that our oceanic Maginot Lines have had on our geopolitical thinking about the dangers of those Sneaky Furriners With Missiles. He references this article about a speech Deputy SecDef Bill Lynn gave back on 3/22 where he compared the efforts of modern "rogue states" to the late-WW2 German work on an improved V-2 variant intended to strike the continental U.S. Lynn said:
“new and more complex era of hybrid threats” in which potential U.S. adversaries might combine high-tech and low-tech tools to mount a surprise attack. And to make his point, he drew on a history lesson: German plans during World War II to develop a longer-range version of the A4 ballistic missile, better known as the V-2 rocket. “Had the war lasted longer,” Lynn said, “The Wehrmacht may have been able to hit New York.”
Farley in his own post on the subject quickly disposes of the fantasy that the oddity that was Project Laffarenz:
"In the end, the Germans could have killed some Americans at huge risk and at huge expense. A standard Type VII boat using its 88mm deck gun could probably have done as well if the Germans had ever thought it useful to risk a submarine in order to kill a few Americans unlucky enough to have the wrong beachfront property. Now, it sucks when Americans get killed, but the actual operation would have had NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on the US war effort."
Farley's political point is well worth emphasizing given the recent confusion between our political enemies' intentions and their capabilities.The is no doubt that there are people, and organizations, that would LIKE to inflict harm on the U.S. mainland. The capability of these groups and individuals, however, is something entirely different, and its well worth reminding those who are making political bank off stirring the paranoia of the American public about scary booga-booga Islamofascist plots that making your defense plans not on what your enemies can do but what they SAY they can do is completely insane.

1 comment:

  1. . . . but it plays so well on our fears, not to mention supporting the missile shield boondoggle . . . only the taxpayers lose out, but then . . .