Forward Observer: How the Low Intensity Conflict is Developing

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer has How the Low Intensity Conflict is Developing.

About four years ago when I started this report, I began looking for indications of increasing capabilities among both armed and unarmed Leftist groups. Although it’s rather obvious in hindsight, I hypothesized that as operational support capabilities increased, so would the intensity and volume of their actions.

It was a slow few years, and then boom — George Floyd went viral at the end of May. And Leftist groups have likely made more progress in the past four months than they have in the past four years.

The development is actually impressive. It’s far more than what’s being developed by the Right.

Affinity groups and cellular compartmentalization have long been the preferred method of Leftist organizing, but what’s developed over the summer is far and above what was traditionally included in the doctrine.

One anarchist group in the Pacific Northwest provides the best illustration. In a recent missive, the group outlined how their personnel are organized.

In addition to 4x direct action cells, they had:

  • 1x logistics and transportation cell
  • 2x medical aid cells
  • 1x intelligence cell

This is operational support.

In order to keep direct action cells in the field, some level of support needs to be provided. The direct action cells need food, water, medical supplies, transportation, and information to continue their operations. Absent those, demonstrations become unsustainable and break down.

Historically, direct action cells have been forced into self-funding and self-supply. Over the summer, we’ve seen a concerted effort to develop support classes so that direct action cells can focus on their activities, while being supplied with food and water, medicine, real-time information, and other materials.

In the Army, this is what we called a “tooth to tail ratio”. In other words, how many support personnel are required for every trigger puller? Doctrinally, it’s something like 1:7, or seven support personnel required to field every one combat arms soldier. In Iraq and Afghanistan, it was as high as 1:20 or 1:30 (!).

Our team has observed both armed and unarmed Leftist groups develop their own tooth to tail ratio, which is now greater than 1:1. This signifies a boost in operational capacity because the more active support personnel they have, the higher they can push their operational tempo. Portland’s 100 days of rioting would not have happened without the development of operational support capability.

What we’re seeing happen with Leftist activist groups in metro areas across the country is similar to what the Portland insurgency has developed. These indicators are pointing to even more disruptive protests and additional political violence in many cities between November and January.

I just thought you should be aware.

Until next time, be well and stay out front.


Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper