The world is changing faster than our own concepts. In 2015, the global economic model has become virtually unsustainable. The West is struggling under the pressure of developing countries which are trying to reduce its influence. Informal archeo-Marxist or neo-religious groups seek the collapse of Western society in order to promote their own values. Terrorism, hybridisation of a new type of warfare, is changing as rapidly as ideas. Routine protection of air transport, essential for the political stability of our societies and peacekeeping, is progressively crumbling as it drifts into mediocrity. We have now reached breaking point: the next terrorist attack will quash all faith in the system we rely on and will shatter the post-9/11 security doctrine.
What is the situation?
Politically: The security measures imposed or recommended by the ICAO all originate from the White House. The United States has adopted a dominating and precautionary vision based on the fact that 40% of world air traffic is North American and that 70% is operated by allied English-speaking countries. It is strengthened by the industrial aeronautic supremacy of the North American manufacturers, which control 50% of world market shares. The European vision of security is just as precautionary and subordinated to the American vision. These measures based on ‘political correctness’ are meaningless in countries where men and women do not have the same rights. In the rest of the world, they are vaguely tolerated when not rejected outright, or simply ignored. Numerous poor countries pretend to implement security measures, with little conviction. They simply want to keep up appearances in exchange for a few visas, subsidies and various other forms of international aid.
Doctrine: The protection of air transport, consists primarily of effective intelligence work carried out by the secret services. The rest, screening as currently implemented in airports, is merely Brownian motion. Although the bags of 2.5 billion passengers are systematically checked every year, not a single terrorist has ever been arrested at a security checkpoint whilst in the process of carrying out an attack. Worse, some have even been able to pass through the checks without being the least disturbed before committing their terrible crimes. Why? Because the screening philosophy is based on the egalitarian inspection of the bag contents, not on the passengers themselves. However, it is not the objects (even weapons) which commit the attacks or hijack aircraft, but exclusively people.
Criminology: As always, terrorists have found ways of bypassing the reactive measures set up by governments. The threat no longer comes from the outside, as was the case in past decades, but from the very inside of our societies. Terrorist networks have learned how to control their communication. Their recruitment and training strategy now focuses on those who are isolated, independent, unstable, with a criminal culture, indoctrinated, recently converted or convinced that they are the chosen ones. Their tactical methods have also evolved, becoming ever more shocking with the use of children, explosive breast prostheses or intra-corporal IEDs. Lacking the striking power of a regular army, terrorist organisations aim to destroy symbols and punish the innocent ‘non-believers’. While we continue trying to detect weapons, liquid explosives, etc. in luggage or air freight, they train and prepare to use chemical weapons in confined environments. They hatch plans for tomorrow’s war; we still speculate about yesterday’s…
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