Hello Army peeps! First of all, my apologies for barging in here and signing up to your message board just to ask this one question. If I'm off topic, please feel free to say so, and I'll happily piss off. But, if you're still reading, my question relates to the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond's statement today that "ground-to-air missiles will be deployed to protect the 2012 Olympic Games in London if deemed operationally necessary". BBC News - Ground-to-air missiles 'may protect' London 2012 games Can someone please explain to me how this makes any ****ing sense whatsoever? Now by nature I'm a bit of a long-haired pacifist hippy type, so I'm slightly out of my depth when it comes to the fine art of blowing stuff up. That's why I did a Google search for an Army oriented message board, in the hope that I'd find someone who knows a bit more about this stuff and can explain to me how I'm missing the point. Anyway, here's my reasoning: 1. Ground-to-air missiles are launched from the ground to the air, as I understand it. So they're most useful against targets that are in the air. Such as, for instance, hostile aircraft. And, er, not a lot else. Right? 2. Aircraft are generally made of metal. Well, maybe they aren't all made of metal, I dunno, there might be some top secret military technology involved here somewhere; but by and large they're made of stuff that's heavier than air. Among other things, this means that if you blow them up, they naturally tend to come splattering down over quite a large and unpredictable area, doing all sorts of damage to whatever happened to be using that bit of ground before the wreckage hit it. Right? 3. The London Olympics are due to be held in London, which is a fairly large city with an area of about 600 square miles, and a population of 7.5 million people. That's quite a lot of ground, with quite a lot of people using it, most of whom are friendly, at least until they get hit by bits of plummeting plane. Right? 4. So, considering the above, if you're going to let off one of these fancy ground to air thingies above London, you'd better have a damn good reason for it, or there's gonna be trouble. Right? 5. So, what kind of incident might justify one of said fancy thingies? Well, as I understand it, we've got all sorts of radar installations and stuff going on, so that if some hostile foreign power or other nutcase tries to fly an aircraft over this sceptred isle, we have ways and means of dealing with it, whether the Olympics are on or not. Right? 6. Well, what about terrorists? Let's suppose for a moment that some misguided mujahideen decides to do a 9/11 in a plane that takes off from Gatwick or wherever, and pilots his purloined craft directly at the centre of the Olympic Games. You can (A) ignore him, causing the deaths of innocent civilians and passengers, or (B) shoot him down, causing the deaths of innocent civilians and passengers while also opening yourself and your organization up to **** knows what legal proceedings and compensation claims. Right? 7. What about more realistic terrorists? Maybe suicide bombers pose a threat to the Olympics. What's the most effective way to take out a suicide bomber? Well, clearly you need to blow up an aircraft so that it falls on his head, thus (a) killing him, and (b) doing enough damage on its own that it doesn't really matter whether or not his bomb goes off. That's got to be better than leaving the missiles at home and just manning the perimeter, with sniffer dogs and stuff like that. Right? Mind you, at least they've got that "if deemed operationally necessary" opt-out clause. That gives them leeway to say "Well, the whole idea was far too barmy to be deemed operationally necessary". Right? TL ; DR: Am I completely missing the point? Is Philip Hammond off his nut, or am I? Or is it both?