Planning For The Next Big One

I saw the movie Olympus Has Fallen, where the North Koreans attack the White House and take the President and the National Security Council hostage.

While the acting was a “B” at best, the creativity of the attack and the action was an “A”.

The attack begins with a stolen Air Force modified AC-130 with side-mounted Gatling guns unleashing hell on the streets of Washington, D.C. and the White House, followed by suicide bombers creating a breach in the gates, RPG’s blowing up the security towers, 40 commandos storming though, and more Gatling guns hidden in the sides of two garbage trucks taking out our finest, the Secret Service agents that protect it.

There is plenty of subterfuge as the North Koreans posing as the security detail for the South Korean leader visiting at the White House make their way into the Presidential bunker, and there’s even a countdown to a potential nuclear holocaust by detonation of our own Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) in their silos by the terrorists.

It was so upsetting to see the Secret Service agents overwhelmed by the North Korean’s vicious attack–being literally mowed down trying to protect the President and White House. It was also wrenching to see them throw the American Flag from off the White House, as well as terrorize and nearly kill the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense in order to get the codes to access our nuclear missiles to shut them down and then blow them up.

There is a saying that “Generals are always trying to fight the last war,” and this is the feeling you get when you see this brazen dastardly attack on the central pillar of our political power base–where we are taken by surprise and the White House and President are held in foreign hands on our own soil.

These types of movies are great action, but also a wake-up call to our security professionals to think out of the box—yes, even like Hollywood–about what such a creative attack could look like.

I remember after 9/11, when everybody seemed to be saying that no one could’ve ever imagined something like this happening to us with airplanes being used as weapons, yet the movie “Executive Decision” with Kurt Russell in 1996 posed just such a scenario with an airplane loaded with a bomb and poison gas hurtling towards the east coast.

Years ago, as robotics and drones started to take anchor, I wondered out loud how prepared we were for armored robot(s) or commandos in robotic exoskeletons making just such a brazen attack.

Science fiction today is real threats of tomorrow. We may not be there just yet, but how creative are we in really thinking and planning for the next big ugly surprise.

I say get out your most outrageous thinking caps and let your mind run wild with the worst scenarios you can imagine, and then figure out what you will do about it–rather than waiting for the bad guys to figure it out for you! 😉

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