Fight aliens mujahideen-style, advise consultants

by Editor 10/6/2008 4:34:00 PM
IT consulting jobs
The possibility of an alien invasion is hardly a top concern in the consulting industry – or any other industry these days - but there are always experts who are willing to share their knowledge and advice for any situation, no matter how improbable it may seem.

Travis Taylor and Bob Boan have written a book called “An Introduction to Planetary Defence,” a consulting primer that lays down ways in which humanity can defend itself against potentially hostile alien forces invading Earth.

“The probability really is there that aliens exist and are old enough to have technology to enable them to come here,” says Taylor, a Booz Allen Hamilton associate with advanced degrees in physics and astronomy. Like his colleague Boan, Taylor has the Defence Department and NASA on his resume.

Taylor finds it naïve to assume that any aliens advanced enough to master interstellar travel have also evolved beyond war. “It’s a wonderful idea that has no basis in reality,” he says.

The book revisits two issues that usually come up in the debate about whether we are alone in the universe: Drake’s Equation and Fermi’s Paradox.

Drake’s Equation is an attempt to estimate the likelihood of contact with aliens based on the number of habitable planets. Taylor and Boan revisit the formula in the book, saying that estimates such as the one about aliens not being able to travel faster than 10 percent of the speed of light, are conservative. Furthermore, they say, it is possible that the Milky Way galaxy is home to thousands of intelligent species, adding that it is highly probable that one or two of them visit our planet every century.

Fermi’s Paradox, asking the question - if there are so many aliens out there, why have they not made contact with us yet – was originally posed by physicist Enrico Fermi in 1950 to dismiss speculation that intelligent life should be routine. Taylor and Boan address the paradox by saying that aliens would still need millions of years to explore all the star systems in the Milky Way before they got to Earth.

Back in 2001, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, the two consultants started thinking about possible defence scenarios in the case of an aggressive alien attack.

Taylor says: “One thing that popped into my mind was that the only way Americans would be in an asymmetric war on the other side would be if we were attacked by aliens. Everyone chuckled, but then after a minute the comments started setting in. Then we really got to talking about it and we thought, well, you know, we really might need this contingency plan anyway.”

If people were caught unprepared for the invasion, however, they would be forced to fight with improvised weapons and hit-and-run tactics, much like Islamic extremists do when fighting against U.S. troops in Iraq, says Taylor.

“You’d have to create an insurgency, a mujahideen-type resistance. The insurgents know how to win this war against us. It also tells us that if we were attacked by aliens, this is our best defence,” concludes Taylor.

“An Introduction to Planetary Defence” is published by BrownWalker Press.

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