Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Infrastructure Threats: Mass Transit

Threats to American Mass Transit and Infrastructure
© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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American Infrastructure: The Weakest Link
Anti-Terrorism Series: #1

I am concerned.

Maybe I am wrong, but I sense a shift in the winds, not only world wide, but in the United States. Complacency, fear, laziness, anxiety, a feeling of entitlement - things that should never enter our minds have instead become commonplace and expected. I would like to wake people up; let them test the winds themselves.

As such, I am going to try to put together a series of essays and commentaries on the overall picture as I see it. The places that I think we are weak at, or unprepared.

From the Homeland Security Net:

"Mass Transit Facts

·Almost 2 trillion passenger-miles traveled each year worldwide
·Almost 10 billion passenger trips traveled each year in the United States
·More than 500 Amtrak stations in the US
·More than 2,000 additional rail transit stations in the US (subway and light rail).
·More than 140,000 miles of rail lines

"Trains, ferries and urban transit systems are more vulnerable to terror attacks than air travel, which has benefited from a decade of tightening security. Public transit systems are open, dynamic and inherently vulnerable to attacks.They have for decades served as a principal venue for terrorist acts. Last year a threat assessment by Britain's Commons committee reporting on an inquiry into the Government's counter-terrorism strategy stated that the London Tube, bus and trains are considered extremely vulnerable to terrorist's attacks. The report went on to say that the "London Underground network will always be a high-profile and iconic target for would-be terrorists, as is the case with similar networks in other countries vulnerable to terrorism."

While the most significant of these attacks, such as the Sarin attack in Tokyo, and the bombings in Moscow, Madrid or London garnered worldwide public attention, response in the U.S. was generally subdued. Terror against rail passengers and transport is not a new phenomenon; only the scale, sophistication and public impact of the attacks sets them apart. For a variety of reasons, similar attacks or attempts at attacks are likely to be with us for the foreseeable future, because stations, rail lines, and people are everywhere, and difficult to defend. Train cars carry hundreds of passengers in an enclosed environment where a medium size explosion will wreak maximum damage, and the potential for economic disruption is substantial and the multiple modes of terror delivery are simple. Consider that threat to mass transportation from terrorism must never be underestimated because is attractive in part because it can be carried out with minimal resources in numerous ways."

NYC is, as always, the preeminent target of the radical Muslim population that lives within the US. The massive hubs of transportation: rail, auto, and air, make it a particularly valuable target to the terrorist. But there are other equally important targets throughout the Nation. It is up to all of us to be vigilant and prepared.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Kandahar Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles