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Putin’s Ring of Steel: How the Russian Federation Constructed the Most Extensive and Controversial Security System in Olympic History

Case of Study

This article is an excerpt from the new book Soft Target Hardening: Protecting People from Attack (Dr. Jennifer Hesterman, CRC, 2014).


In a January 2014 interview, President Vladimir Putin asserted that, "if we allow ourselves to be weak, feel weak, let our fear to be seen, by doing that we’ll assist those terrorists in achieving their goals1."
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia was historic because, for the first time, the global discussion was more focused on the escalating potential of terrorist activity against unprotected “soft” targets and the requisite security for the Games’ venues rather than on the athletic competitions. With serious threats of terrorist attacks shrouding the Games, the Russian Olympic Committee generated the most sophisticated and extensive security regime in history.

SHADOW GOVERNMENT: The Taliban Takes a Village

tali1A common method used by Taliban tribal members in eastern and southern Afghanistan to gain control of an area deemed of strategic interest to the Taliban leadership operating from safe havens in Pakistan or within Afghanistan is to identify and target villages to subvert. The Taliban has recognized the necessity to operate with the compliance of the local population.

The modus operandi has been to gain its cooperation through indoctrination (preferred) or coercion (when necessary).  e control of villages is tactically needed to allow the Taliban to stage  ghters and equipment to be used in attacks against Afghan security forces and US and coalition troops, and strategically to operate an e ective and parallel “shadow government” that supplants the Afghan central government.