Given the rise of ISIS in Iraq, and the potential to see similar groups in the future, it’s time for the United States to fundamentally change its security model.
In recent decades our focus has been on prevention. We have police presence, we hire more security guards, we put barriers in front of key buildings, etc.
This is no longer enough.
It’s now time to accept that we will be successfully attacked again. ISIS is far more capable than Al Quaeda ever was, and once they decide to attack the U.S. it will likely not be possible to stop them. We need to switch from thinking—and more importantly telling the American people and the world—that we are invulnerable to instead letting everyone know that we are resilient.
What does that mean?
It means that we know we’ll be successfully attacked. It means we accept that there will be losses. It means we accept that being open and free is worth the tradeoffs.
But most importantly, it means we will not panic when it happens.
This is our primary flaw right now. Not that we can be attacked. Not that we have soft targets. The key weakness that our enemies will target will not be a skyscraper, or a building, or a mall. The target will be our fragility as a nation.
In September of 2001 we were attacked by a few guys with cheap flight lessons and knives you can buy at a hardware store, and it did trillions of dollars in damage to our economy.
That can, and will, happen again if we do not prepare ourselves for the next attack(s). To survive as a nation we must switch our security model from one of prevention to one of resilience. More than anything else, we need the ability to get attacked on Monday and still function as a nation on Tuesday.
Not being able to do this is our greatest flaw, and our enemies know this.Resilience is the only solution, and it must become the priority.