Thursday, October 09, 2008

Keating's folly

It has been over three years since I nicked NORAD - so here we go.

So, how many of you think that in the worst case scenario of a missile heading for the homeland that at least there will be NORAD in the center of a secure mountain to plan the counter attack?

What if I told you that saving a little chump-change is more important the your most critical Strategic Risk?

Chew on this.
Classified defense documents from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates' Program Analysis and Evaluation Office in late 2007 raised the specter of a "successful surprise attack" on a NORAD operating at Peterson.

The documents, obtained by The Times, said that by 2020, if China decided to launch a nuclear attack, a mere fraction of its arsenal would be needed to have a 99 percent assurance of destroying NORAD's mission at Peterson. However, a NORAD kept in the mountain would possess "up to an 85 percent chance" that "functions will survive," according to the documents.

In layman's terms, said a second military official closely involved with security, NORAD is now vulnerable to the sort of terrorism that would have been impossible had operations stayed in the mountain.

"Park a guy who will give his life for his dear leader at the [open land] right outside [Peterson's] north gate with a rocket-propelled grenade [and NORAD] is out of any fight," the official said. "Make your cell-phone call and give the green light to launch nuclear missiles at North America, and it's over. There's no one to fight the fight. You bring down the world's only super power and the cost is minimal."

A former NORAD officer, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue, described another scenario: A plane veering off course from the Colorado Springs airport and hitting the Peterson building within seconds of ironically being identified by NORAD, creating chaos, possibly blinding the United States as related attacks begin.
For those who know ADM Keating - this may sound familiar.
Critics say a decision two years ago to move the operations center of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to the basement of an office building on Peterson Air Force Base in nearby Colorado Springs and to disperse other missions at the mountain could undermine U.S. national security.

According to military and defense sources familiar with the missions and U.S. government documents obtained by The Washington Times, the move — billed as a cost-cutting measure — received insufficient government review, violated previous Pentagon directives, may have broken U.S. law and has left the United States less able to track potential threats and the operations center more vulnerable to attack.
The decision to move the op center originated with Adm. Timothy Keating, in 2006 head of both NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, created after 9/11 to safeguard further the U.S. homeland. Adm. Keating apparently convinced the nation's top military leaders that moving the center would save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Other government officials tried to slow the process to ensure that safeguards would be incorporated at the new site. But they were marginalized in what critics argue was a needlessly quick campaign to place the mountain on "warm standby" while scattering critical elements of the mission to several air bases.

Adm. Keating's mantra was "faster, quicker and cheaper," said one military official familiar with Cheyenne Mountain's recent transition who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. "He would not let anything stand in his way."
There was once a time that parking P-40s wingtip to wingtip seemed like a good idea as well. Thing is, the enemy gets a vote.

....then again; this could all be part of a brilliant Strategic deception plan...yea...that's the ticket.

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