IF OUR RESPONSE WAS BEING PROBED, WE FAILED
If you are a regular reader of Dave Schuler
at The Glittering Eye
, then you know that he is a dog aficianado who raises them for show and for specialized training. Naturally, the contamination and recall of pet food was a story he had been following with a considered care that I have not. Dave has put forth an intriguing thought experiment however "Wargaming an attack on the food supply
"Although we have an entire enormous expensive facility within DHS ostensibly devoted to the subject of biodefense including agro-terrorism, the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center, to my eyes much of what’s available in open source form on this subejct seems very rudimentary.
Much of it deals with something along the lines of an industrial sabotage model—risk assessment is done from the point of view of companies trying to prevent damage to their facilities. Useful as that may be I don’t think that it really corresponds to what we might actually experience, which presumably would conform more to a product tampering model.
Here’s how I think that a real attack against our food supply might be likely to unfold.
*a toxin or pathogen would be introduced into a basic food item either via a producer, distributor, or manufacturer *the item would be packaged and distributed throughout the country
*the retail products would be purchased by consumers *individual cases of injury or death would begin to appear
*complaints would be made to retailers and/or brand name vendors
*at some point relevant government agencies would become engaged
*there would be a scramble for causes and sources
*conflicts between agencies would emerge
*at some point the toxin or pathogen would be identified, its source might be identified, and a solution put into place Some number of lives would have been lost, resources consumed in pursuing the problem, and the ultimate solution would bring that process under control but the objective of the attack would already have been accomplished: there would be a diminution of confidence in government, society, and other people.
A modern economy and modern society operates on trust
Dave has much more, of which you can read the rest, here
If you recall the infamous anthrax letters, Dave is outlining a hypothetical 4GW style systempunkt test of our bureaucratic response capacity, which I am sad to say, remains obtuse and palsied in the face of the non-obvious.
Labels: 4GW, glittering eye, scenario, terrorism