The Zombie Apocalypse, Part 11: Red Dawn in our lifetime?
What to do when the movies come true ~
Jonathan Glazer, 15 April 2016
I am going to take a slight departure with this installment and move in a different direction for the moment. Of course we must always keep our eyes open for the first sign of the dead rising with a taste for human flesh. But for now I want to talk about a more immediate threat. This one is very real and in the news daily. I am talking about the invasion of the United States by a human hostile enemy.
The United States Armed forces have always been accused of preparing to fight the next war by training to fight the last war. As Santayana is often paraphrased “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it”, the lessons of prior conflicts must be studied, but that does not mean we will be fighting the same war over again. The United States Military command still teaches amphibious assaults, as executed on the beaches of Normandy, Sicily and the Pacific Theater of Operations throughout World War II. The reality is that while we do land troops in this fashion, such as in Somalia and a few other engagements, such landings are always unopposed. This is because technology has rendered the survivability of a true hostile amphibious landing to be not acceptable. Surface to shore missiles and man portable rockets along with increasingly sophisticated targeting systems mean that landing craft will be an endangered species by the time they reach a contested beachhead.
What about the opposite of this scenario? Can the United States be invaded by an amphibious assault? We live in a warm blanket of false security if we think the answer is no. Military and political strategists look to China’s intention of building a viable blue water navy by the year 2040, but there are other threats that have this capability now. Notably, the islamist terror movement can easily land a large number of troops on our shores with devastating effect. Movie buffs will remember the 1985 Chuck Norris film entitled Invasion USA” which depicted an unnamed terror movement landing large numbers of boots on our shores, marching up Main Street USA, causing all kinds of mayhem. Chuck Norris lived up to his internet prowess by defeating this threat and bringing peace, baseball and apple pie back to America.
A few years ago, this concept would seem far fetched. Today, it is a very real threat that appears to have already begun. Active shooters pledging allegiance to ISIS have already darkened our soil with blood. A large scale attack seems imminent to most in the Law Enforcement community. New York would be a likely target for such an attack. And it would catch us asleep. Our harbors still accept millions of tons of cargo each year. Cargo vessels and oil tankers are perpetually visible from the south shore of Long Island and also while passing through the Verrazano narrows. There is almost no protection from an amphibious assault if an invasion force came in camouflaged as a slightly heavier than normal merchant fleet.
The activities of ISIS against the west still mystify the casual observer. What would the terrorists gain by attempting this type of large scale attack on our soil? They would accomplish several goals. There would be the economic disruption of having the financial capital of the United States and arguably the world finding itself in the middle of a war zone. Stocks and bonds would cease trading. Commodities and futures would come to a standstill. Insurance would cease being written. All of this damage to the capital markets would ripple immediately throughout the country and then the world in one business day. Construction, manufacturing, communications and transportation would enter unforeseen chaos.
All of that would result from the assault on New York. Add in other cities in a simultaneous action, such as New Orleans, Boston, San Francisco, Houston and Fort Lauderdale and an exponential increase in the effect would be experienced. Any jihadist with access to the internet can choose the cities and plan the attack with a minimum of variables to threaten their progress. Gaining and occupying territory beyond the initial operational areas is not even important. The disruption will make the sacrifice on their end worth every individual martyred life a good investment.
Are we vulnerable to such an attack? Absolutely. We no longer have any coastal defenses. There are no batteries of big guns pointed towards the sea. Our coast guard is spread thin and minimally armed. There is no civil defense corps ready to don helmets, arm bands and rifles ready to deal with an immediate hostile threat. A domestic military response is days away, at best. Our ability to mount an armed resistance to an invasion force is non-existent. Army units, National Guard and State Guard units and any other official military organization are not ready to deal with this kind of action. Police forces are also ill equipped to respond to a threat of this nature. Most law enforcement officers would be deployed to establishing perimeters around designated sites such as governmental buildings and hospitals and not towards repelling invaders. That would be assuming effective communications and decision-making capabilities remained intact. An undetected sapper force could render them inoperable prior to the main attack.
Could armed citizens beat back a hostile attack of this nature? Possibly. But again, communications and organization are the key. Enough Americans who take the second amendment seriously exist in many of the potential combat zones, but communicating the threat to them and getting these armed people to the areas they are needed the most would be impractical in today’s environment. Most people’s first response would be to head home to protect their family and not go to the beach to engage the interlopers. After the initial onslaught, armed citizens would certainly engage in a form of resistance as seen in France and Yugoslavia during World War II. This does not help with the initial invasion and the military and economic damage it would cause, not to mention the loss of life and other damages that would occur.
Like any threat, this one needs to be recognized and acknowledged with appropriate planning explored and implemented. This does not mean installing machine gun emplacements across the entire coastline of the United States. Perhaps it means bringing back the civil defense corps from our wartime past. Perhaps it means instilling within our citizens the idea that anything can happen, but we can prepare to meet the challenges. It certainly means we need to change the way many of our citizens think. The government is not here to provide for us. We need to provide for ourselves. We need to become part of the solution and not just a helpless mass waiting to be fed, medicated and protected.
The first step is to start a discussion of what it means to be a citizen of this country, what our responsibilities are and what we can do to ensure our security without giving up all of our liberty. The next step is to plan how we will live up to that obligation and what each of our contributions will be. Are the citizens of the United States ready for this dialogue?
Discuss your preparations below, or in our forums >>