There’s absolutely no reason to write a post dissecting the shortcomings of Dark Knight Rises in security analysis terms. Nevertheless (spoilers etc):
- A cursory glance at FM 3-24 would have indicated to Bane et al that the project of managing a city of 12(?) million with a few thousand poorly trained and organized soldiers, many of whom have only the most tenuous of loyalties to the ideological project (I don’t see the 1000 organized crime veterans as following Bane with any enthusiasm) was… ambitious. It’s possible that the population of Gotham isn’t terribly restive, but in general blowing up the football team and threatening nuclear destruction aren’t great ways to win the hearts and minds.
- By Day 10, I’m guessing that JSOC would have infiltrated the city with several thousand SOF. The population of the city is easily large enough to absorb such an influx without difficulty, and Bane’s organization showed little capacity for monitoring the population in any case. It goes without saying that managing the city on a day-to-day basis would have been impossible under these conditions.
- Bane’s only card is the nuclear weapon, but as we know nuclear weapons aren’t very useful for fine tuned coercion. Within the first few hours it would have become clear that Bane was not prepared to detonate the nuke at any escape/infiltration, because hundreds of private boats would immediately have attempted to flee the city. Once Bane’s tolerances had been established, the salami slicing would have begun; SOF would arrive in the aforementioned throngs, electricity would go on and off, shipments of food would only be made on pain of concessions, etc.
- None of this matters if Bane’s only goal is the destruction of the city, but of course it isn’t; Bane wants to hold the city captive in order to make an ideological point. This means that he values something, which means that value tradeoffs can be forced. Arms and Influence should be required reading at League of Shadows HQ.
- A thermonuclear weapon is a device; a machine that requires a variety of equipment to function properly in order to do its job. If you hit a thermonuclear weapon with a Tomahawk missile bad things happen; radioactive material is strewn across the blast radius, etc. What normally doesn’t happen is that the device operates properly and detonates to full capacity. Destroying the nuke might not be option 1, but it would be part of the toolkit.