Following in the longstanding tradition of marksmanship challenges in the Olympic Games, the time-honored traditions of Archery and SharpShooting will be joined by - you guessed it! - ballistic ground-to-air missiles!
From CNN.com: Missiles to protect London 2012 Olympics
OK, so it's not the kind of event that you can take home gold in, but I would at least hope that the boys manning these defense measures are training as hard as the athletes they are charged with protecting.
As the world starts to gear up for the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in London in 2012, the head of the UK Defense Department is having to field a lot of questions from various interested parties. And some of the answers may be a bit shocking. British Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond has promised that "all necessary measures to ensure the security and safety of the London Olympic Games will be taken including -- if the advice of the military is that it is required -- appropriate ground-to-air defenses".
Excuse me, but could someone please explain to me how "ground-to-air defenses" and "appropriate" belong in the same sentence? See, I thought the primary objective of defense regarding the Olympic Games would be a focus on suppression of terrorist attempts at causing harm to the proceedings. Installing a surface-to-air missile defense system to protect the grounds tells me, admittedly as a amateur of military defense tactics, that one would thus be expecting an aerial based attack. And again, excuse me if I'm reaching here, but the possession of aerial based weapons systems speaks to me of an organization possessing the military prowess of a government, not a terrorist group. Unless you're planning on defending against hi-jacked passenger airliners - in which case I would think it to be a much more cost-effective solution to have the international equivalent of US Marshalls defending the planes in the sky on that day on an individual basis, rather than be prepared to launch missiles that cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars a piece.
But, to be honest, if the disclosure of the presence of military-grade weapons systems defending the London Olympic Games were the only news piece here, I doubt I would have found it worthy of sharing with you fine people. But no, the fun doesn't stop there. The CNN article also mentions a heavy involvement from US security interests regarding all aspects of the preparation, from personnel to planning. The US Government has said it will supply 1,000 individuals, including FBI Agents, to help maintain the peace during the event. Again, my knowledge of government defense tactics is essentially limited to what I'm spoon-fed from Hollywood, but as far as I understood our set-up here, we use the FBI for domestic concerns, and the CIA for international concerns. That's kind of why we have two separate intelligence groups in the first place. So what does the fact that our domestic secret police plan on providing surveillance for the games tell us? I have no idea, friends. But I can tell you this - whenever the government takes an action that doesn't seem to make any sense on the surface, well you can bet somewhere a man in a black suit has a good reason for it. And that reason has your best interests firmly placed at the forefront of its objectives. Trust me.
And the machine, She Grows.
Three Monkeys Say: They Ask No Quarter