An attack is inevitable
I've talked about this before, but not extensively. I think this is a good time to dwell deeper into this seeing how everybody moved forward after the UK terror plot that was foiled. It didn't happen, but it could have. Unfortunately, I think it will inevitably happen in the future. Before we go over why its inevitable, let me explain why its currently even possible.
The picture above is of the US, and it's two boarding countries; Canada and Mexico.
The United States has a coastline of over 12,000 miles (almost 20,000KM). The red line is it's border with Mexico (~2000 miles, ~3000KM), the yellow is it's border with Canada which is three times it's size. Ladies and gentleman, the borders are big. HUGE.
Let's start with the Mexico border. It's guarded by the National Guard, It is estimated that over a million people cross the border illegally each year. Now, no offense to my Mexican readers but this just not good. Issues of illegal immigrants crossing over for jobs is beyond the scope of this blog, but from a purely security point of view this is nothing short of a disaster. Never mind the drug and weapon smugglers or the people who die in the attempt, this is an easy way for terrorists to gain entry into the country.
Is it possible to control such a border? Absolutely. In the 90's the army was sent for a time to control the border, by all accounts it was a successful attempt. What people are looking into now is a fence, and the fence should work. It has been done before on a smaller scale with success rates of over 90%. A 2,000 mile, fence that would cover all of it would cost roughly $1.5 - 3 billion and be completed in 6 months. See for yourself in this except from The Colbert Report (just about as accurate as other main stream news sources, but much more entertaining).
It's doable, it worked for Israel and it will work for the United States but for some reason it's not being done. Not fast enough at least. So supposedly this border which is crossed over 350 million times a year and leaves over a million illegal immigrants in the country will come under control sometime in the not distant future.
Let's turn our attention to the north, the United States-Canada border. A border which is three times longer then the one with Mexico and is dubbed as: "the world's longest undefended border". I can't help but have the urge to smack my forehead here.
The sheer promiscuity, for lack of a better word, of that border I witnessed first hand on my trip there. Crossing over by bus we stopped at the border for a customs check, stamp passport, finger print, picture. There were no metal detectors, nobody was searched or checked at all. But that's just the checkpoint, the border is so vast that taking an SUV and finding some remote unmonitored crossing is a piece of cake.
But it gets worse:
"This official U.S. Customs and Border Protection reporting station is on the border between Manitoba, a Canadian province, and Minnesota, and relies on the honor system. Yes, the U.S. government is counting on all people who cross into Angle Inlet, Minnesota, to report themselves via telephone. There are no permanent customs or immigration officials who work at the checkpoint."- Anderson Cooper. Read it all, you'll be amazed.
Using the honor system on a border which is three times longer then the one with Mexico, or any border really post 9/11, is ludicrous.
The black line is the combined coast lines of the United States and Canada. Canada has by far the longest coast line in the word at over 240,000KM. I think its pretty obvious that if a terrorist wanted to gain entry into the United States today he could get in (some of the 9/11 terrorists used fake documents and didn't even have to sneak in). Couple that with the lack of gun control and the picture is not pretty.
"Alright, alright, this is quite scary. But if its so possible why hasn't it happened already then?" - Therein lays the meat of the matter, so to speak.
Some would say that it's already happening. But thats not exactly right.
September 11 took the lives of less then 0.0001% of the US population. They cant destroy and kill all of America, that wasn't what it was all about. It was meant to terrorize, scare, and provoke. Just because a terrorist can sneak into America, buy a gun, and kill half a dozen people or so, doesn't mean its worth the effort in their eyes. Thousands of people are murdered in the States every year anyway, its not scary enough.
Planes exploding over the atlantic, or crashing into buildings or over populated cities, now thats scary. The UK plot was foiled, the next one is probably not far behind, is America ready?