I just completed a leadership brief for a federal agency and one of the topics we discussed was protecting the homeland. How it really looks.
Nothing is bombproof
Work in the security industry long enough and you realize there is nothing impenetrable. Nothing that someone willing enough could not penetrate, circumvent or otherwise defeat. At times I would have to argue the point with the powers to be and many times it boiled down to multiple concentric layers of security as the best solution. The thought process is each layer will defeat some, but together it is better avoiding than confronting. In a sense, we want to make other locations more appealing than our own. While it may ruffle some feathers it is the best way to look at protecting our homeland.
The best the world has ever seen
First and foremost, to protect our homeland we must identify our enemies. We need to know what we are up against, understand them so we can better identify them and ultimately defeat them. We either keep them under observation or we capture/kill. It is really that simple, if you represent a threat to our homeland, our citizens or our way of life you should bank on a US pipe hitter visiting you where you sleep for a final lights out serenade. We have the worlds mightiest military to every grace the planet and I promise you that if the political bullshit were to end and the warrior commanders left to fight we would be looking at a very different present day.
Stop it at our doorsteps
Our military alone is not enough, while the hope is to fight our enemy on their turf as opposed to ours we need to prepare for them to come to our homes. We need to be prepared to confront them here and believe me, if they put all the effort into planning and executing it will be a deadly encounter. Our homeland is protected by some of the very best unformed police, from local, state and federal levels. They are better prepared, trained and focused on protecting our communities. They differ from many other law enforcement around the world because they are armed. Confronting true evil like the evil that burns people alive or decapitates those with different opinions only understand cold steel. While our uniformed police are a huge deterrent, a willing terrorist group will have taken steps to mitigate if not eliminate the challenges law enforcement present.
There is no timeouts
One aspect to our security is the number of law enforcement personnel who carry off duty. I am disappointed that more do not take up the practice of concealed carry off duty. I do understand the burden it represents, but the reality is your training and position places you in an excellent position to be what I consider the intangible. The mere fact you are concealed means the bad guys do not know, they do not know who is armed, who is willing to fight back. Who is willing to take a stand and put them down. It is a variable they do not want to consider and I truly believe it has been an effective deterrent for all these years. My one encouragement is for more folks to carry off duty, it is not just about your security, but the security of your family and your country.
The last line of defense
That leads me to the last concentric ring of security and quite simply that is the fact we are an armed society. With a record number of concealed handgun license being issued we are moving into unprecedented times were we are seeing more and more armed citizens taking personal responsibility for their own personal safety. I am very happy about that notion and I do not get too wrapped around the axle with who, it is their constitutional right so get on board. What I do want to see is eduction and training becoming the norm and not the exception.
The last point to make regarding protecting the homeland is what do you do if you find yourself in the midst of a terrorist attack. That is for another blog, but the real question is not what you do, but what are you prepared to do.
"There's no bigger task than protecting the homeland of our country" George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States