Thursday, January 9, 2014

Theory Based Scenario #2

 Caution: While the likelihood of this event is statistically improbable, it might create a pause in thought.

As preppers, we try to image all kinds of things that can go wrong, and how to plan for them. Most people would consider this a negative mental exercise, but it doesn't affect my mental outlook or attitude, so I continue to make relationships and links between seemingly uncommon things or situations. Some of these scenarios can produce humorous outcomes, or provoke serious thought. While it is a never ending list, at least it's a way to pass the time while trying to keep the mind occupied.

The last one that I wrote about linked the climate change, and the huge Mountain House order by the government along with the government's ammo purchase. I'll go back and relabel it as a Theory Based Scenario, and will probably make this a common randomly posted subject. So, we'll begin with this fictional theory post.

I'm hoping that most of my readers remember the missing truck in Mexico that had the radioactive payload  [link provided].  The Cobalt-60 is a radioactive isotope that can release high-energy gamma radiation. While the beta energy from this isotope is easily offset by low level shielding, the higher energy can be devastating to humans. This is a very penetrating 1.3 MeV energy isotope [enough energy to cause pair production reactions in human cells]. The half life is 5.2 years, and would render the fallout area generally uninhabitable for this amount of time. In other words, an effective dirty bomb material candidate.

It is also known that the Mexican cartels employs military personnel to control their territories, combat Mexican army units, and expand territory from other cartels. It is also known that the cartels have enough cash to purchase equipment that is superior to the official government equipment, and enough money to pay their employees better as well. Another safe deduction is that the ex-military training would involve nuclear weapon handling, and explosive devices. One can safely deduce that any Narco group to be in possession of a working dirty bomb could have an extremely advantageous bargaining position against the official Mexican Army and competing cartels.

While this poses no threats to the gringo population, unless it is detonated in the United States, it could create a few crisis conditions in the United States. It has long been known that Islamic terrorists have been trying to acquire nuclear material to detonate in the United States. Thus, a declining cartel could very well be persuaded to use their "Last Stand Weapon" either in the US or Mexico. It would be pure political suicide to use it. It might just be a case of the spoiled kid that knocks over the game board when it becomes obvious that he/she is gonna lose.

The economic impact would be huge if commerce was disrupted [link for further data]  between our two countries. The possible influx of illegal immigration into the Reconquista areas of the United States could also create added racial tension, and other cultural blow backs. The increase in crude prices that would ripple through the US economy would probably be the biggest negative impact on the typical American.

I really enjoyed the feedback from my fellow bloggers, and back and forth dialogue. I'll open up the feedback portion of the post with a  few starter questions:
How could you prepare for this event?
Additional random comments?
Do you like these type of posts, and would you enjoy more of these?

Keep Right On Prepping - K


  1. I like these kind of posts because it keeps me reviewing our current plans and adjusting others.
    We have prepared for the event by living quite a distance from anything including interstate highways which should limit our exposure to such things. Detonation in a low population area would be counter-productive to terrorists. Secondly, our basement is reasonably shielded against low level issues. We also do stock sufficient iOSAT for shelter-in-place emergencies of the radiologic kind. Again, I class most emergencies as A. evacuate or B. shelter in place.
    In terms of the economic fallout, we are prepared to take care of ourselves for an extended period. This would not be pretty and it is a great deal of work, but it could be done. Thanks for your great post.

    1. As a side note, on one of the History Channels many WWII shows, it mentioned that during the German Blitzkrieg campaigns that the masses would strip the landscape of food within 5 to 7 miles of the major arteries. The perfect distance for a 1/2 days walk then back to camp, in those days. You could probably safely half that distance considering today's fitness level.

  2. This is something that I've been worried about for a while. For some historical anecdotes, there are quite a few comparisons to be made to the Visigoths and Rome. One thing that stands out to me is that the Cartels hold a pretty thorough sway over a country that builds many of the things whose factories were retasked to produce weapons during WWII. With the US being a narcotic destination for both South America and the Middle East, some crossover woukd not be unheard of. Even if the bomb material dudn't come directly from the Cartels, their knowledge of the southern border would certainly be useful to terrorists. I know you were focusing mostly on the attack scenario, but from a strategic standpoint, this is something I consider a viable threat.

    1. Wolfman, you always bring some really good thoughts to the discussions. The cartels would definitely be the "go to" guys for some smuggling of people or resources.

  3. One of the aspects of scenario based planning is to estimate the likelihood of it occurring. I'd rate yours as very low as described.
    The drug cartels have not historically gone for area denial / terror weapons. Nor does the development of such weapon fit with their operational agendas; there is just few areas where their opponents aren't interacting with each other and the population. So detonating such a device would deprive them of resources/income as much as it would hurt another cartel.

    A variation of this is more likely in my mind; the drug cartels purchase the stolen material (or stole it themselves) and resell it to a terrorist organization for sheer profit.

    I am still in the early stages of building preps so I have not got to the point of being able to purchases items specific to a dirty bomb/radiation scenario. I think for most people the impact would still be disruption to the economy/social fabric. Even a large dirty bomb would only directly affect a small percentage of the population directly. shows the effects of a nuclear donation -- obviously a dirty bomb would have a smaller foot print.And be easier to mitigate.

    I enjoy such thought exercises and would like to see how different levels or types of preps could be used in such an event.


    1. I was thinking that the radioactive weapon would be more of a "deterrent from capture" weapon for the leadership of the cartels, not an offensive weapon. Good point about operational agendas and depriving resource/incomes.

  4. K you lose me in these conversations. I've tried to comment several times today but have nothing to say.
    Have a good weekend :) How's that lol!!!!!

    1. Your animal raising skills would be a great asset in this situation, or many many theory based scenarios. 'nough said. (and have a great weekend too!)