Murphy's Law: All Your Base Are Belong To Us

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October 16, 2008:  In the Netherlands, some video journalists did a story on the sorry state of security at Dutch military bases. The journalists were able to get on an airbase, and get right next to an F-16 fighter. In another case, they were able to get on a base, spend the night (largely asleep) and leave the next day without being challenged. Finally, they were able to take a military truck from one base, drive it to another base, and then find that the military had not missed the truck until the journalists told them about the stunt.

The military protested that they could not provide perfect security at their bases. But this wasn't a case of perfect security being absent. There wasn't much security at all. Now that the security story has been broadcast, the Dutch military will have to do something. That's because their most powerful security asset, the public perception that their bases were well guarded, is gone. Now all the petty criminals and low level terrorists will be seeking new opportunities on military bases. Lots of neat stuff there to steal or destroy. These perceptions are powerful things, and you don't realize how powerful until they are gone.

Professional criminals and terrorists (as in the kind that would scout out the security at military bases in the first place), also know that they have only one chance to exploit the situation. Once there is a major "security breach," there is also a big uproar in the media. Changes are demanded, politicians have to react, and, for a while at least, there is better security on the bases.

 


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