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Syndromes and Phenomenons

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:42 am
by Ryan
A list of the "syndromes" and phenomenons that are worthy of discussion.

Texas Tower Syndrome

"Delta Force snipers are chosen only after extensive additional psychological testing and evaluation. There are a number of attributes you look for in a sniper, and there are two of paramount importance to avoid.

The first characteristic is what we called the "Texas Tower Syndrome," referencing Charles Whitman's massacre of fourteen people from the bell tower of the University of Texas in 1966. That characteristic manifests itself when a sniper starts shooting and he can't stop. It just feels so good--such an overwhelming sense of power--that he can't turn it off when there are no more legitimate targets left. He'll continue to shoot anyone in sight. It is a very real compulsion, and I've heard its Siren call in my own ear."

Munich Massacre Syndrome

"Think of it like this. A sniper spends most of his time watching. Observing. Getting to know his targets. Through his high-power spotting scope, a sniper can see the features on the faces of the terrorists as clearly as if he were in the room with them. He sees them when they smile, and sneeze, and eat a sandwich, and get drowsy, and as they manifest all the other little things that identify each of us as uniquely human.

But they don't know he can see them. They have no idea where he is--they don't even know he exists. The terrorists represent no personal threat to the sniper whatsoever. They are far away. They can't harm him. They can't kill him. As the sniper spends hour after hour observing his targets through his spotting scope, he gets to know the people he is watching as human beings and he becomes intimate with them. And then, when the order to shoot is given, he can't do it. He can't kill these people he has come to know; these people who are no threat to his life.

That's what happened at the Munich Olympics massacre in 1972. When the order was given to shoot the Black September terrorists who had taken eleven Israeli athletes hostage, the German police sharpshooters couldn't pull the trigger. They had observed the hostage-takers for such a long time, and developed such a sense of empathy for them, they couldn't bring themselves to kill people they felt they now knew. The terrorists were then able to kill the Israeli Olympic athletes under their control.

The psychological niche where you'll find the man who can shoulder aside these two behavioral opposites is very narrow. The ideal is a man who, from the safety of long range, can kill when it is required but is immune to the impulse to continue killing when the situation is resolved. A man whose psyche is strong and so fundamentally rooted in a personal philosophy or religion that he doesn't suffer unduly from taking human life under appropriate conditions. The snipers of Delta Force are decent, thoughtful, intelligent, and unshakable men. By their demeanor, they could easily be taken for academics--very fit, powerful, and deadly academics, perhaps--but professional just the same."

White Knight Syndrome

Wanting to be the hero in shining armor, for example stepping in between a domestic violence scene and paying for it.

Excalibur Syndrome

"An officer's sense of tactical control/confidence is based on weapons and technology which may result in poor tactical decisions - even deadly ones."

Stockholm Syndrome

"Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. The FBI's Hostage Barricade Database System shows that roughly 8% of victims show evidence of Stockholm syndrome."

Re: Syndromes and Phenomenons

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:07 am
by Ryan
Empty Room Syndrome

The ability for so much Close Quarter Battle knowledge to be taught in empty or near-empty rooms when real-world engagements often have furniture, barricades and other objects affecting entry and engagement.

Paper Target Theories

A phenomenon in which instructors often have students engage paper targets rather than engage against human minds. This often leads to many theories that are based solely off the premise of performing against paper targets. Force-on-Force it out people!

Training Dogma

The phenomenon in which someone who has been trained by a reputable or enlisted member, company or organization believe that the content of the training was absolute and often non-negotiable. Even though they are being taught by some 10 years ago retiree of the Armed Services who is well behind the powercurve of trending operational knowledge or that simply because a company or organization is seen as "official" it negates it from teaching anything "bad" or any wrongdoing.

Normalcy Bias

Underestimating the possibility and effects of a disaster. I like to use this term when talking to people who believe that "pushing through" the fatal funnel will save their arse while trying to project the disastrous effects of this if you are effectively engaged.

"Worse-case Thinking" Bias

Small deviations from normality signify impending catastrophe. We're all guilty of it. We see someone stick their elbow and lats out too far from a corner and "he's dead", he did it all wrong! Well, in reality he could probably get away with it numerous times. Yeah, it might bite him in the butt one day but then again it might not. Our "tactical heads" revolve around the "what if's" far too much.

Re: Syndromes and Phenomenons

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:12 am
by Ryan

Re: Syndromes and Phenomenons

Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:09 am
by tacticalguy
Good topic, sir.

Re: Syndromes and Phenomenons

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:30 am
by Breacher01
Nicely put together, I spot one obvious flaw though:
Excalibur Syndrome

"An officer's sense of tactical control/confidence is based on weapons and technology which may result in poor tactical decisions - even deadly ones."
You should add unexperienced between "an" and "officer". Those who experienced pepperspray failing and all other tech failing know in the end it maybe man to man with fists... Against a heavyweight boxer.

Regular police train intensively with fake tasers, simunition and fake pepper spray. They might think a raging maniac might behave like the actor in training scenarios, but more whethered officers know better.