Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Blue Cell Intell Summary Volume 1, Issue 4

As the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks approaches, it is nearly impossible to avoid the subject; everyone has a feeling, a story, a comment. Terrorism as a concept for me goes all the way back to the 1972 Olympics. Watching ABC’s Jim McKay transform from sportscaster to newscaster in front of the entire world left an indelible mark on not only myself, but an entire generation of Americans. I went on to run track successfully in my young adult life, but my first Olympic memories as a spectator were heavily impacted by that tragedy rather than a historical race. Professionally, my introduction to terrorism came as a very young marine. A course that I was encouraged to complete through the Marine Corps Institute was called “Terrorism Counteractions”. Interestingly, having referred back to that material from that course several times in recent years, I believe that it was not only a great course, but a topic that remains relevant today in many regards. Much like the Terrorism Counteractions course, few things have changed. 
With the impending financial challenges the country faces and the strain of fighting multiple wars on multiple fronts, I have to wonder, will the efforts in anti and counter terrorism continue, and if so, what will that look like? Preparedness dollars are already beginning to shrink. Undoubtedly, we are better than we were before and maybe as good as we’ve ever been, but the question of are we truly ready still lingers.  
On May 1st of this year, Bin Laden was killed by naval special operations personnel. We have come a long way; Bin Laden’s death speaks to that truth. However, and despite having spent a hell of a lot of money, we simply aren’t there yet. The leadership and management of this country, in our representative form of government at every level, has to recognize the need to keep every US citizen’s security a national priority, whether it has been 10 or 100 years since the last attack. I can think of 2977 reasons why.

Todd Manns, Planning Section Chief, The Blue Cell, LLC