Monday, August 13, 2007

Cities as Flashpoints for Violence

Another excellent article by John Robb. This one covers cities and their vulnerability to attack on the many "networks" that make them viable. Below is a snippet on how these 4GW groups use the violence they generate to help fund their activities:

The Coming Urban Terror
by John Robb
...The ongoing attacks on the systems that support Baghdad’s 5 million people illustrate the vulnerability of modern networks. Over the last four years, guerrilla assaults on electrical systems have reduced Baghdad’s power to an average of four or five hours a day. And the insurgents have been busily finding new ways to cut power: no longer do they make simple attacks on single transmission towers. Instead, they destroy multiple towers in series and remove the copper wire for resale to fund the operation; they ambush repair crews in order to slow repairs radically; they attack the natural gas and water pipelines that feed the power plants. In September 2004, one attack on an oil pipeline that fed a power plant quickly led to a cascade of power failures that blacked out electricity throughout Iraq...

Think a bit about the implications. Develop your own list of action items for this one. Like we covered in Catastrophic Abundance, having your scenario planning in place allows you to panic now and avoid the rush when these "asymmetric events" flare up.

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