Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Thoughts on Mumbai
The Indian Special Forces were, to put it bluntly, a joke. I think that there is one lesson to learn from the post-9/11 world: terrorists are not there for hostages. You might get an actual HT in other situations, but terrorists are there to do one thing and one thing only: kill as many as they can. They might have some that they keep around as shields, but the tactical units that respond to these situations need to have that clear. Every second that they delay their counterattack is a second closer to a dead hostage. This new generation of terrorists has actually made things difficult for any traditional groups. I can't think of a situation where I wouldn't resist until they killed me or I subdued them. I might try the hiding route, but I don't know how long I could do that. Even John McClane couldn't hide forever.
I don't know why the Indians decided to wait so long to storm the buildings, but that should be a lesson to every other government out there to pounce on terrorists as soon as it is tactically feasable. As agents Johnson would agree, a loss of a percentage of hostages is regrettable, but livable. You will end up saving fewer if you don't take care of it as soon as possible.