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When they make the movie about the Mumbai attacks, one can only wonder what the title will be. Here are a couple of suggestions: On the road to Mumbai, with the Keystone Cops, or perhaps, The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Straight (if at all) II, with all apologies to gangs, as that word carries at least the connotation of some degree of cohesiveness or concerted action, little, if any, of which was in evidence in Mumbai.
For a nation which prides itself on being high-tech and cyber-capable, India’s police, anti-terrorism, and intelligence apparatus are, well, goat-screwed, to be polite, wouldn't be too harsh a term.
The Indian powers-that-be were informed some time back that bad things were headed Mumbai's way. However, when you're dealing with a bunch of sheeple, who are unclear on the concept, and have difficulty discerning between the wolves and the sheepdogs to begin with... well, don't be surprised when bad things ensue.
Of the few that did stand-to and raise security levels at their facilities, those measures didn't last too long, being judged to be too troublesome and expensive. Tell that to the dead and wounded!
Once the terrorists were ashore, and the attack on the train station began, the police responded with either of two tactics, according to the video clips I've personally observed. They either gathered in groups of 8–12, like mullet milling about, apparently to gaze in wonder at the massacre unfolding before their eyes, or fled in abject terror.
I only observed two or three that stayed behind, and only one of them took any action—firing a round or two, without effect incidentally, out of a 1930s vintage Mk. 4 Lee Enfield.
The police seemed to be solely armed with either the aforementioned Lee Enfields or some type of revolver, from my observations.
The hotels that were hit had some degree of security out front, but very little to nothing at the rear entrances (see sheeple above). Naturally, the terrorists entered through the back and the party was on.
Local television was no help, with their real time broadcasts giving the terrorists current info with which to plan from. Those broadcasts should have been shut down immediately, at gunpoint if necessary!
The "elite" anti-terrorism troops took something between 8 and 10 hours (accounts vary) to arrive on-site, as they possess no organic transportation assets.
When the "commandos" finally arrived at Chabad House (the Jewish center), they fast roped down on its roof and the roofs of nearby buildings with all the elan and aplomb of a ten-year-old attempting self-abuse for the first time.
They then proceeded to mill about (is "milling about" an essential subject taught to Indian cops and military?) with much shouting and pointing before finally going in.
Finally, after some 60-odd hours and several erroneous "all clear" reports in the media, it was over... well almost. Apparently someone neglected to have bomb dogs (they do have bomb dogs, surely) go over the beaten ground where the terrorists had made their assaults for any "gifts that keep on giving," and people stumbled upon two bombs of 8 lbs of RDX each at the train station,
as well as other munitions, from ammo to loose frags elsewhere.
One aspect of this operation on which I've seen almost zero reporting is what's commonly called "the big picture."
Yes, as ol' Vlad (Lenin) hisself was so fond of saying "the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize"! And it surely did that, although it wasn't the main thrust of this operation.
This was first and foremost a political operation. The true objective of this operation, in my, and a knowledgeable few others’ opinion, was to set India and Pakistan at each other’s throats, like two fighting roosters shoved in each other’s face. If it escalated to the nuclear level, all the better.
Why, one may ask?
We are in fact hammering the crap out of the al-Qaeda/Taliban command structure by taking out numerous key personnel, via Predator strikes in the FATA areas of Pakistan. This operation was designed to distract and disrupt cooperation in the GWOT between the U.S. and Pakistan, and give the bad guys some breathing room.
This can be looked upon as a not-too subtle object lesson to the Pakis—stop your cooperation with the U.S., or you will see this repeated again and again, with easily traceable links back to Pakistan, until the Indians finally lose it and nuke you!
A side benefit, which I'm sure hasn't escaped al Qaeda, is that if India nukes Pakistan, thereby decapitating its political and military command structure, access to the Paki nukes, particularly if one has the right people prepositioned in key positions, would be wide open. This would be a win–win for the bad guys, whichever way it falls.
The Indians need to learn a lesson, oft repeated by my best bud: "Overwhelming firepower plus overkill never fails. Be prepared to deliver a professional level of violence/doom on them!"
Were I king-for-a-day, I'd sack the complete command structure of the police, the national security guard commandos and the special forces. I'd then find some young fireball types (think Puller/Patton/Hackworth), supply them with all the modern weapons and hi-tech gadgets required for their unique missions, promote them to "don't-mess-with-me" rank, reporting only to me, and tell them to "fix it, let me know when you're done."
These are valuable lessons that we hope are heeded by the pros, and we certainly hope that the politicians will allow them to take action based on these lessons. – Ed.