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NCJ Number: 62761 Find in a Library
Title: BLIND-MAN'S BUFF - TACTICS IN ANTI-TERRORIST OPERATIONS
Journal: ARMY QUARTERLY  Dated:(OCTOBER 1968)  Pages:95-101
Author(s): O REYNOLDS
Date Published: 1968
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: WAYS IN WHICH BRITISH MILITARY UNITS MIGHT IMPROVE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AGAINST TERRORISTS OPERATING IN TOWNS AND CITIES ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: IN BRITAIN POLICE CONCENTRATE ON CAPTURING TERRORIST LEADERS WHILE MILITARY UNITS ROUT THE RANK AND FILE. USUALLY MILITARY ANTITERRORIST UNITS USE OPEN OFFENSIVE TACTICS--SATURATING AN AREA WITH PATROLS, SETTING UP MOBILE RESERVES ON THE EDGE OF THE AREA, CREATING PERMANENT ROAD BLOCKS, SETTING UP BARBED-WIRE BOUNDARY FENCES. THESE METHODS INVOLVE A PERPETUAL, CONSPICUOUS SHOW OF FORCE. HOWEVER, ONCE A TERRORIST CAMPAIGN HAS BEGUN IN EARNEST, SHOWS OF FORCE ONLY PLAY INTO THE HAND OF THE TERRORISTS. THE SITUATION IS LIKE A GAME OF BLIND MAN'S BUFF, WITH THE MILITARY UNIT GROPING IN ALL DIRECTIONS WHILE THE TERRORISTS DART IN AND OUT, TAUNTING THE MILITARY FORCES MERCILESSLY. THE 'BLINDFOLD' COULD BE REMOVED FROM THE MILITARY FORCES AND PLACED ON THE TERRORISTS BY IMPROVING INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING EFFORTS AND BY PUTTING INTO PRACTICE THE GREATEST TACTICAL PRINCIPLE USED BY THE TERRORISTS THEMSELVES: SURPRISE. EXCEPT WHEN TERRORISTS CHOOSE TO STAND AND FIGHT, MILITARY FORCES SHOULD ABANDON OPEN TACTICS AND CONCENTRATE ON ACHIEVING SURPRISE, PERHAPS BY WEARING CIVILIAN CLOTHING, PLOTTING AMBUSHES (RATHER THAN MOVING ABOUT IN VEHICLES OR ON FOOT IN SEARCH OF TERRORISTS), AND MAKING BETTER USE OF HELICOPTERS. ANTITERRORIST UNITS MUST ALWAYS CONSIDER WHETHER ANY GIVEN OFFENSIVE ACTION IS LIKELY TO BE MORE DANGEROUS TO THEMSELVES THAN TO THE TERRORISTS. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Northern Ireland; Plain clothes operations; Police information systems; Police tactical deployment; Specialized police operations; United Kingdom (UK)
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