Decentralized Defense against Terror

The Washington Post must be reading Jonathan's mind (or his posts), because in a column today (reg. req.), the WaPo:

(1) Points out that the centralized air defense network didn't help/save us on 9/11

(2) That a bunch of Americans using a radically decentralized network of phones and friends collected and acted upon tactical information regarding the 9/11 hijackers before the Central Intelligence Agency had any clue what was going on

(3) That the result of (2) was that Flight 93's passengers organized themselves at the scene to successfully (though unfortunately fatally) overwhelm and overcome the terrorists who were aiming their plane into either the White House or the Capitol.

Quoth the WaPo:

What is surprising is that an alternative defense system, one with no formal authority or security funding, did succeed, and probably saved our seat of government. The downing of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania was a heroic feat executed by the plane's passengers. But it was more: the culmination of a strikingly efficient chain of responses by networked Americans.

Requiring less time than it took the White House to gather intelligence and issue an attack order (which was in fact not acted on), American citizens gathered information from national media and relayed that information to citizens aboard the flight, who organized themselves and effectively carried out a counterattack against the terrorists, foiling their plans. Armed with television and cell phones, quick-thinking, courageous citizens who were fed information by loved ones probably saved the White House or Congress from devastation.

The foremost strategic question we need to ask ourselves is not, "How did the government/CIA/FAA fail us?" Rather, we should ask: "How did the networked citizens on the ground and in the sky save us?"[1]

Indeed! When it comes to American citizens' decentralized response vs. Al Qaeda's decentralized aggression, the outcome cannot be in doubt...

(via Instapundit)


fn1. And of course, being that in both the 9/11 and DC Sniper cases, the most effective response were 'amateur' citizens who rose to the occasion, the other question that comes to mind is if non-state actors can do the state's job better than the state...

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What is surprising is that

What is surprising is that an alternative defense system, one with no formal authority or security funding, did succeed, and probably saved our seat of government.

Ah, such sweet, sweet irony. Talk about feeding the hand that bites you!

So let's push for more gun

So let's push for more gun control to make Americans even more defenseless.

Armed with television and

Armed with television and cell phones, quick-thinking, courageous citizens who were fed information by loved ones probably saved the White House or Congress from devastation.

They say this like it's a good thing? Whoever wrote this article is obviously not as big a fan of Mars Attacks! as I am...

There ia another side of

There ia another side of that coin. Our terrorist enemies may not know how to change a cell-phone battery but they know how to use them for their evil aims. That is why you lure them into a foreign country to fight and then kill every last son-of-a-bitch that shows up.