Fort Dix Plot

This is big in the news here, since Fort Dix is close by. It sounds like these guys had a plan, but I wouldn’t say they had a good one. It seems to me that assaulting a large military base with conventional small arms would mean a very quick beginning and end to one’s terrorist career, with not much to show for it.

UPDATE: Formerspook has a different take.  He’s 100x more of an expert on than I can even pretend to be:

Finally, the aborted plot seems aimed at one of the key security “weaknesses” found on many military installations. While bases are often depicted as armed camps in books or on TV, in reality, many installations maintain only “routine” arrangements inside the perimeter, with most security assets concentrated around “high value” assets, such as the flight line at an Air Force base. The conspirators at Fort Dix apparently planned to blow through the main gate at Fort Dix (against outgunned MPs and civilian security guards), then concentrate their attacks in lightly-defended areas where soldiers gather (dormitories, BX, bowling alley, base club, etc). It’s a simple plan, but the terrorists could have inflicted significant damage before security teams responded. The obvious solution is more security, closer to potential entry points and “soft” targets.

So it would seem commenter GeorgeH brings up a good topic.  Why are the military afraid to allow soldiers to be armed on base?  We’re not thinking enough about how to fight assymetric wars, where everyone could have to become a soldier and fight, with little regard to areas that are supposedly “safe”.  It would seem to me that allowing soldiers to carry weapons on base would be a no brainer.

4 thoughts on “Fort Dix Plot”

  1. Not all that stupid.
    With the exception of a few armed MPs, a military base might as well be a gun free zone. Everything is locked up in the armory.

    We don’t trust our troops enough to have them carry full time.
    It’s a tradition that goes back to ill trained conscript armies of the 17th century, but it’s one we ought to change. After basic training, all military installations should be hot, with everyone carrying cocked and locked all the time. If there are numbnuts that can’t be trusted to do so, we need to put them out.

  2. They were also scouting out other locations, like Fort Monmouth. That’s a tad close to me….. like down the street. I camped there once as a Boy Scout. It’s a communication base with several museums, not exactly heavily fortified. I think there were some dorms/apartments right next to the perimeter (where street traffic passes).

    Before September 11th, people could drive through Fort Monmouth as a short cut. Heck, it seemed to be an integral part of rush hour.

  3. Long been my stance that Soldiers should be allowed to be armed at all times. I sincerely hope that minds will be changed and this will be allowed as we are preparing to move to a relatively soft target installation up nawth.

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