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Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread – Three Days in Mumbai

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  • Tue, Jul 07, 2009 - 03:03am

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    Re: The Definitive Tactics Thread – Three Days in Mumbai

Aaron – I’m surprised the interest in this thread has so suddenly dropped off.  I’m not sure why it is.  I was at LFI when it was introduced and lamented that I’d missed out on its beginnings.  If it’s the case, though, I’m happy to be the only poster to your challenges, though I’m not the most frequent poster…

[quote=Aaron Moyer]
1. Travel Habits 
* How often do you travel? 
* What do you take with you?
* How could you improve your odds of Escaping a situation like this, evading the threat if you’re caught in this situation, and fighting your way through and out, if there was no way to avoid violence?
* Given the ratio of dead to wounded, are you prepared to help the injured;
– In terms of Skillset?
– In terms of Equipment?

2. What would your priorities be if this situation unfolded around you?
* What would your first inclination be?
* How would it effect your ability to survive?


I don’t travel often.  At least not internationally and certainly not to places that have high potential of this kind of thing happening.  When I do travel domestically, I take (in terms of self defense) whatever I can legally carry between the states through which I travel (it being new england, that means not much.  How restrictive the former seat of individual liberties has become…).

How do I improve my odds?  Identify concealment and cover wherever I go.  I do this often but also tend to travel over well worn routes (I suppose that, in itself, could be seen as a strategy for survival – and possibly a boring life) and might should think about challenging myself to excercise it more often.  Training for evasion and defense can improve odds as well.  I’m not so up on this but am taking action when I can (afford in terms of money and time).  As for equipment, realistically, until or unless a person is in a high risk environment, a good utility knife and a concealed handgun (if legally possible) is about all you can expect to have.  One thing I plan to do in the near future is downgrade my cell phone package and get a backup cell phone on another network.  Net charges will probably be higher than the one and I’ll have two numbers to manage, but one of Ayoob’s points that made a lot of sense is carrying a backup of everything – if you find one network not working, if one gets stolen or lost…

First inclinations – find cover, stay low, find the place where this isn’t going on and make my way there.  My first inclinations will always be survival – for myself and anyone I have with me.  If I’m singled out and/or chased strategy will change as opposed to being able to find a ‘bunker’ to lay low in for a period of time (basement, back office) which again will be different if I find myself on the street where danger is not immediate but neither is safety…

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

1. Describe how "low tech" might differ from "high tech". What might a high tech force have done?

2. Do you possess an understanding of what tactics, techniques and procedures these men used while being "low tech", and killing/injuring almost 400 people?


gps, to me, sounds high tech.  wireless communication is not low tech…

If they were going to go ‘higher’ I imagine eventually the attack wouldn’t involve feet on the ground (or the feet would have been planted weeks ago) – sabotage of urban infrastructure and placement of bombs/demolition devices/emp interruption/hacked computer management systems.  Imagine if law enforcement dispatch service could be tricked to sending a majority of the force to the other side of town (though it’s my understanding that the Mumbai forces were severely undertrained for the event anyway) *before* the attacks began.  A truly high tech attack might be able to be done in a subtle enough way and done using weaknesses in a pre existing system so as to cause doubt as to whether it was an intentional act or whether the infrastructure of the system is simply failing.  This is a different strategy altogether – people shooting makes it personal and undeniably intentional.

And, no, I can’t say I have an understanding of urban assault tactics.  

[quote=Aaron Moyer]

1. How are the stimulants an advantage to the enemy? How are they an advantage to YOU? (having a drugged enemy)

2. Given the methodology, and steps these men took to prepare, consider what steps you’ve taken to defend yourself or loved ones and how they contrast. We must consider an enemy that has no consideration for laws, legality, morality or right or wrong.
These men are "true believers".

Assess and Discuss, starting with enemies and if you were taken RIGHT NOW – as you sit, and with only the items at two paces distance – and put into that situation.
What would you change about yourself in that situation?


Stimulants can decrease reaction time, decrease pain perception, increase endurance.  Conversely, they will tend to decrease small motor skills (long range accuracy), decrease concentration abilities (more easily distracted), and in the case of LSD, mess with emotional response (which could work either way, depending on stimulus and interpretation).

The steps these attackers took are well beyond my own – I am, after all, still pursuing a life with other interests.  The upshot for me (or any of us) is – as seen in the battle of the alamo, for instance, or in Jackson’s command of New Orleans in the war of 1812 – that a trained and prepared but not necessarily professional and top end force can hold out against and defeat overwhelming odds by playing to their strengths (cover and defense, in both cases, accuracy and lack of hubris in Jackson’s case) and exploiting their enemy’s weaknesses.

…At this moment – I’m on the second floor, my studio is brick walled on one end and has a steel door to enter it, at arms reach right now I have a folding knife, glass bottles, multiple paint brushes with thick wood dowel handles.  I can quickly set up noisemakers at any entrance, possibly traps with a bit more time and have very solid cover in the center (kitchen) area with walls that include plumbing, a large bookcase, a refrigerator, cabinets – not entirely bullet proof but not bad.  I’m friendly with all my neighbors.  The one thing I’d change would be to have a firearm on hand – but I’m in NYC at the moment and haven’t gone through the 6 month $800 procedure of begging for the priviledge of being able to keep a firearm in my residence yet.  That’s on the list, but one thing at a time…