In the Netherlands, some video journalists
did a story on the sorry state of security at Dutch military bases. The
journalists were able to get on an airbase, and get right next to an F-16
fighter. In another case, they were able to get on a base, spend the night
(largely asleep) and leave the next day without being challenged. Finally, they
were able to take a military truck from one base, drive it to another base, and
then find that the military had not missed the truck until the journalists told
them about the stunt.
The military protested that they could
not provide perfect security at their bases. But this wasn't a case of perfect
security being absent. There wasn't much security at all. Now that the security
story has been broadcast, the Dutch military will have to do something. That's
because their most powerful security asset, the public perception that their
bases were well guarded, is gone. Now all the petty criminals and low level
terrorists will be seeking new opportunities on military bases. Lots of neat
stuff there to steal or destroy. These perceptions are powerful things, and you
don't realize how powerful until they are gone.
Professional criminals and terrorists
(as in the kind that would scout out the security at military bases in the
first place), also know that they have only one chance to exploit the
situation. Once there is a major "security breach," there is also a
big uproar in the media. Changes are demanded, politicians have to react, and,
for a while at least, there is better security on the bases.