Friday, October 3, 2014

How to respond to the ISIS threat against military families

F-18 dropping a laser guided bomb (Wiki Commons)

 Today's headlines on Fox News featured ISIS's call to find military families and slaughter them.

Obviously, as a person with a military family, this is concerning. The Army's response was to tell people to stay vigilant. So, news flash: you're supposed to ALWAYS be vigilant. I don't think that response gave anyone any feeling of security.

Expanding security is not sustainable. As it is, the local security around military housing can't even keep out trespassing local residents, so I don't think they could keep out ISIS members attempting to blend in, at least not without a hefty price tag.

The services do have a host of other responses they could give though:

1. Open up concealed carry licenses to military spouses. Getting a license to carry a concealed weapon in many states is extremely hard, and not being a resident makes it even harder. Expanding the concealed carry exceptions to military family members that go through a certified NRA course would make any would-be attacker have to contemplate getting shot before finish a successful attack.

2. Start a text notification service similar to Amber Alert. Since any attacker would want to injure or kill as many members as possible, getting potential victims away and first responders to the scene is critical. I receive text emergency notifications when there are flash flood warnings and Amber Alerts, why not expand that to known shootings? That would help members get to shelter quickly before an attacker could find them.

3. Push the terrorism tip line. The FBI already has an online tip line to leave tips on potential terrorist attacks. Why not expand this? Make it an app on your phone and make it easy for the FBI and local police to find out about a potential attack.

4. Fight the information war. It amazes me that our first response is to tell service members to be more careful. How about broadcasting a counter message? How is it we can make all these video GMTs but we can't broadcast to our enemies that should they attack our homes we'll fight back?

5. Put out useful guidance on social media. DoN CIO deserves credit for putting out useful guidance on Facebook privacy settings. Social media and your presence on the internet does give the enemy a possible venue to attack you, so getting a handle on it is important. Google yourself and clean up what you put out on the Internet.

You don't fight losers from ISIS by hiding. You fight them by standing up against what they believe and living freely.