London’s Olympic “Missile Defence”

I gather that we’re going to be deploying surface-to-air missiles in London during the Olympic Games this year. I can’t help but feel that this could be a really bad idea.

The CAA chart for VFR restricted airspace during the Olympic Games. Basically: don't fly over London without IFR.

Do we really want to shoot down an aircraft over one of the areas of highest population density in the country? Even if you know that AirBus is exclusively filled with evil, nasty terrorists, I’m not sure that raining burning aircraft onto the city is necessarily an improvement.

Furthermore, is the solution to terrorism in Britain really to put even more dangerous weapons into the affected area? Isn’t there a risk that these powerful rocket-propelled explosives could be turned against our own targets?

I’m sure that somebody must know what they’re doing. I’m just not convinced that it’s the people making the decisions.

5 replies to London’s Olympic “Missile Defence”

  1. I especially like that they’re thinking of putting the missiles at the aptly-named Shooters Hill, right on the final approach path into Heathrow. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. One assumes it would be mostly a deterrent/security theatre exercise. Mind you if shooting down a plane became the last resort its possibly still better than it smashing into a stadium packed with up to 80,000 people from a purely numbers POV no? Even if it destroyed an entire street’s worth of houses the chances are the death toll would only be in the hundreds in the absolute worst case.

  3. Only if you’re willing to stack numbers against each other like that. Sure, X may be smaller than Y, but if you or someone you know is in X that doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s not much better than reporting “acceptable losses” in wars.

    Maybe we should be concentrating on not wanting to give people a reason to attack us in the first place…

    • If you’re unwilling to stack the numbers where those are the only choices you have, you’re effectively always going to end with the largest number of causalities…

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