‘Ring of steel’ vs. Box Cutters
1500 events have occurred in the region encircling Sochi, Russia. This is where the Russian people planned the celebration and conduct of the Winter Olympics. And, as you might be unaware, the 1550 events had nothing to do with ski-jumping, luge or triple lutzs on the ice.
The 1500 events were examples of violent fundamentalist Islamic attacks on and in the region. The majority of them have been low tech. It doesn’t take much technology to develop, don and detonate a suicide vest with a low mass, high explosive payload. When it “goes off” it only has to “go-off” to achieve the desired effects: death, destruction and the demolition of Vladimir Putin’s dream of hosting the premier sporting event in the world.
In order to address the problem, Putin has developed a “Ring of Steel” a phrase coined to describe extreme measures becoming standard police operations. This is all well and good when dealing with a region approximating that of Israel and other quasi-tropical areas. People wear lighter clothing, and they’re more nonchalant in their behaviors.
In Sochi, everybody’s going to be covered with layers of bulky, cold weather gear making the ”profiling” of suicide bombers less exact. The bulky clothing won’t be out of place. The furtive acts and behaviors of the audience will be more associated with the cold than young men’s apprehension at claiming their heavenly virgins and young women gaining the chance to become educated in the after-life without fear of getting a beating.
Fundamentalist Muslims in the area promised there’ll be surprises as far as the events they have planned for the area’s inhabitants. It would behoove Vlad to remember you don’t have to “go big or go home”. You merely must create the disturbance, injure and kill the innocent and claim the small victories of guerrilla warfare. This can all be done on a small scale and before a world press hungering for blood and gore to splatter across the front pages and as leads for their nightly news broadcasts.
9/11 was a wake-up call. Putin, so far, has refused to answer the call. He’s making the same mistakes we made pertaining to security issues. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Technology is a result of developed imagination and will never supersede it. More doesn’t equal better and history will always repeat itself tragically.
Sochi is a different venue to be attacked. It’s within striking distance of Dagestan and Chechnya — volatile regions inhabited by radical Islamic militants. They’ve demonstrated they can hit targets in Moscow and sent two suicide bombers to the transportation hub of Volgograd in the past month. They killed 34 commuters at a rail station and on a bus. Nobody expected “soft targets” would be attacked right out in the open. Without having the intelligence to lead toward specific individuals, finding the real problem child increases exponentially where it applies to neutralizing him or her.
The natives to the area know everything necessary to operate covertly. They’ve watched the construction of each venue and event. They know the strengths and the weaknesses of each venue. They’re the people who built the structures, planned the itineraries, work in the kiosks and concession stands where people will gather, trade and come into possession of possibly toxic agents introduced into foodstuffs.
They’ve been planning this since Sochi was announced as the venue for the Olympics.
Putin can put as many materiel and manpower assets in place as he wants. They can’t stop a fluid entity like fundamentalist radicalization. It’s fluid flowing inexorably and with a pressure causing change through destruction. Fluids wear on the surfaces they move over, and through. Too much fluid and pressure and the tide rises to overflowing. Overflow leads to the introduction of a foreign force, violence, into otherwise peaceful environs. The force of the entry destroys and changes that environment forever.
Russia and America suffer the same problems. They believe the latest and greatest toys can combat primal urges. Technology can’t always combat nut-jobs with box-cutters and explosive vests. Russia and America need intelligence to surpass the power and force of ignorance.
They need to recognize that fact.
Thanks for listening