Survey of interest ..

Valdis.Kletnieks at Valdis.Kletnieks at
Tue Jan 11 20:15:02 UTC 2005

On Tue, 11 Jan 2005 13:57:28 GMT, Eric Brunner-Williams in Portland Maine said:

> OK. So one would have to be literate in a particular genre. The Army Air
> Corp started targeting power generation and distribution in the metro NY
> area in the late '30s, to see what a strategic bombing campaign against
> national civilian infrastructure could accomplish. Results are mixed, from
> the empirical experiences in the WW2 period, through GW1 and the Yugoslav
> war, and the conclusion is ... it is wicked difficult, even with lots of
> expensive planes and many, many fine bombs,

The problem is that late 30's strategic bombing involved very dumb bombs, and
you had to leave a LOT of craters to take out a power line.  Current bombs are
a lot smarter, but still suffer from the fact that unlike the average factory or
troop bunker that's mostly solid, a power line is still mostly air.

On the other hand, a few operatives with a backpack full of demolition gear
could take out a few 765kv lines *quite* easily.  Any military special-ops
team that *couldn't* do this one and get away unseen without a scratch would
be considered a total failure.

And remember - the enemy we're presumably defending against has a much higher
supply of operatives of whatever training level is needed than their supply
of aircraft.

I'll predict that if we *don't* have an attack on the power grid in the
next 10 years, it's because the attackers have come up with something else
they consider even more interesting as a target.  A downed power line, even
though it may have more economic impact, has less emotional impact.....
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