Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Haggis in the Fire

"The haggis is in the fire for sure!" --- Montgomery Scott.
Usually, I rant about political items and philosophy, and how most people fail to connect the two in a rational sense. Sometimes, I talk about rights and what they mean. Usually, I talk about government in some way, shape, or form.
But today is not that day. Today, I want to talk military operations: strategy and tactics. It's not going to have a lot about politics, philosophy, or government. Today, I purge almost all of that, and talk about what we are facing, and how we can take steps to help fix those problems.
Strictly speaking, we are already at war - we just haven't acknowledged it yet. Oh sure, we talk about the "War on Terror", but that's not really a war - it's a bumper sticker slogan to justify whatever our government wants to do both here and abroad.
But I say that we are already involved in a real war. Anytime a group commits multiple acts of war against you, you ARE at war, whether declared or not. They will attack no matter what your government or your press calls it. THEY have the mindset of war, and they are waging it, ergo: we are at war.
Since 1972, there have been 72 incidents (up to Dec 5, 2015) of radical Islamic attacks in America. Most of these didn't see nationwide media attention because they have a low body count. These incidents, for the most part, are not centrally coordinated and planned attacks - they are lone wolf attacks, made by individuals who have embraced extreme Islam.
The decentralized nature of Islamic extremisim is its greatest military asset. There is no central point of command and control. There is no 'head' to chop off. There is no nation-state that can be sourced as the origination point or command and control point. There is no 'winning of hearts and minds' because the nature of the attacks is based on a previously existant 'heart and mind' that is entrenched to the point of embracing murder. This is an enemy unlike any other we have faced: completely decentralized, completely dependent on individual actions, and with a religion that encourages individual deception to infiltrate the enemy and strike from within.
Military 'threat' is measured by two things: capability and intent. If either is lacking, the threat is greatly lowered. If both are there, the threat is greatly raised. Proponents of extremist Islam philisophy have actually stated their intent multiple times in public: "Death to America!". Intent is there in spades. Capability wise, they can not yet throw nukes or missiles at the mainland US, but they do have access to some chemical (definite), biological (possibly), and dirty nukes (radioactive material explosively dispersed over an area). They also have access to small arms and bombs/IEDs. As such, at present, the chance of a major attack (like 9/11) is low, but the chance of minor attacks (like San Bernadino) is very high. The criteria for 'serious threat' exists.
Waging war requires intelligence. Intelligence is slippery - it's never 100% accurate and it's always a bit iffy. But you have to go with what you have without the benefit of foreknowledge. "Hindsight is 20/20" could be the mantra of the intelligence gathering community. But intelligence depends on INFORMATION - that is, data with an associated confidence factor. Our methods for gathering intelligence presumes communications of intent between parties. With a decentralized and uncoordinated enemy, our most capable methods for gathering and collating intelligence (electronic signals intelligence) are pretty much useless. We have to depend on human intelligence (someone actually being on the 'inside') which is both highly dangerous and somewhat of a lost art in today's electronically connected intel world.
So, to summarize: we have an enemy with no nation-state, no centralized command and control, no fixed commuications methods, and almost solely dependent on lone-wolf combatants who are instructed by their extremist religious beliefs to infiltrate their target by stealth and carry out their intents at random times and places with no forewarning. This enemy has shown both intent and capability to do us serious harm. And finally, our established intelligence gathering systems are pretty much impotent to provide reasonable intelligence in time to take preventative action.
Traditional warfighting will most likely be ineffective in containing the threat. And, in any event, since the target is the mainland US, traditional warfighting using the military in the war zone (the US) is prohibited by law (posse comitatus). The CIA and NSA are prohibited by law from performing intelligence operations within the US as well.
So, we are left with civilian agencies to fight this undeclared war: The FBI, Secret Service, state militias (including the National Guard), state and county law enforcement bureaus, and local law enforcement. Unfortunately, even after 9/11, these organizations do not communicate that well (even when they try - it's a systems compatibility problem).
Even if those civilian agencies fully engage all their resources and fix the commuications issues, they will still be at a distinct disadvantage against the lone-wolf attack profile. These agencies can not be everywhere all the time, and the nature of the attacks suggest that if there is a law enforcement presence, the attack will simply be delayed to a more advantageous time for the lone-wolf.
This leaves us with a very precarious strategic situation. Our defense-in-depth has been almost completely circumvented by the attack profiles that have been established by the lone-wolf attacker. They don't communicate their intent, they attack at targets of opportunity, and they attack at a time when those targets are most exposed or least protected.
In this case, the only rational solution is to provide a distributed defense profile. One that the enemy can not predict and can not detect. One that has no fixed emplacements or telltale signs of its deployment. A defense model that is as distributed and unpredictable as the attacker's offensive model.
Fortunately, where the governments do not have the capability to do this, we the people do. The only commonality for these types of attacks is to kill or injure as many people as they can. But what if 20% of those people were carrying arms? Concealed arms. Yes, there may be civilian deaths, but there would be fewer of them.
To paraphrase President Obama, we DO need a civilian defense force. And that defense force is us: the citizens of the United States. Based on what we know, it's the only way to stop these attacks, or at least to make them less frequent and less bloody.
Take the time. If you are in a 'shall-issue' state, get your concealed carry permit, and carry when you can. Avoid 'gun free zones' at all costs - the attackers aren't stupid - they will target places where the odds are in their favor. If your state/county/city allows open carry, do it on occasion. It's time to let the bad guys know we are taking this seriously and to make them think twice.
It's time to be strategic and tactical in our thinking.

WE are the soldiers now, whether we want to be or not.

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