The Blog

How to Drop Hostages Instead of Tangos

12:10 PM, Dec 1, 2008 • By JOHN NOONAN
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spray and pray.jpg

Discharge your weapon like this...

Five hostages and two terrorists were killed in the Indian commando raid on Chabad House. That's a losing score by anyone's tally. My guess is that the Mumbai attacks will affect the Indians in the same way that it affected the Germans after Munich. The Germans, embarrassed by their commandos' performance during the '72 hostage crisis, stood up the GSG-9 in 1973 to prevent future tactical mismanagement. Thirty some years later, Deutsche counter-terror operators are ranked amongst the best in the world. India, which borders several exporters of terrorism, would be wise to follow suit.

The Israelis, who are widely considered to be top-dog when it comes to counter-terror ops, were swift to condemn the Indian Army's performance:

"In hostage situations, the first thing the forces are supposed to do is assemble at the scene and begin collecting intelligence," said a former official in the Shin Bet's security unit. "In this case, it appears that the forces showed up at the scene and immediately began exchanging fire with the terrorists instead of first taking control of the area."

In fairness to the Indians, the Mumbai attacks were a brand-new style of terrorism -- in that the attackers merged the principles of commando-style raids with that of a classic hostage crisis. That's precisely the type of soft-target terror that keeps most of our own intelligence officials awake at night. Pray that it never hits America's shores.

Hat Tip: Seraphic Secret