Another good interview with K from Combat Studies Group titled Tactical Skills Q & A -or- Be Good at Everything or Die.
In the interest of spreading useful information regarding tactics/training I wanted to relay this conversation I had with some folks from the tactical community a while back. I was asked several pointed questions which I do my best to answer below:
Of all the various training disciplines available, which one should be top of the training list right now in light of world events? Rifle training? Land Navigation? Communications? Patrolling, etc…
Well, there are definitely some sacred cows on that list. It of course kind of depends on where you are as an individual with regard to the various skillsets, but lets assume you are a competent shooter with some basic fieldcraft under your belt….I would put information gathering on top. You could also label it Intel/Comms if you wanted. Why?
1. Intelligence drives the fight. Without it, you are just a bunch of armed guys in the woods.
2. Everyone can do it. Your 75 year old aunt can do it, your kid can do it. Not everyone can be an effective infantryman, but anyone can be eyes/ears/disseminators.
3. Right now nearly everyone sucks at it. I had a good buddy that was with CAG tell me once, “Everyone thinks our shooting is what makes us so effective, and while we are talented shooters there are certainly better out there….that is just a small part of what we do. It’s all those other skills that make the difference”. I thought he made a very good point…..
What is the best fighting rifle?…
So I know the question is out there….why is this website supposedly devoted to the study of warfare always talking about computer security and cryptocurrency? Shouldn’t I just be posting articles about “improving your shot group” or the latest in “tactical accoutrements”? It essentially boils down to this:
1. As anyone who has attended my courses knows, I believe in what I call “The Heinlein Doctrine” (or the Competent Man principal). In essence, a warrior (or just a human being for that matter) must be good at everything…not just shooting, or grappling, or navigating.
2. Right now, technology is at the forefront of not just battle, but our everyday lives….like it or not.
3. Many believe that war lies in the not too far future of the western world. I believe that this war has already begun. Perhaps not the shooting part, but the IPB (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace) has begun in earnest in the technical space. We ignore this aspect of the battlefield at our greatest peril.
4. And finally, there are hundreds of sources these days for sound tactical training, but very few sources for full spectrum training exist.***
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert Heinlein (From Time Enough For Love)
Combat Studies Group will bring their Groundrod Primer/I and Groundrod II classes to Prosser, WA in July. Groundrod I (Primer) will be held July 6th and 7th. Groundrod II will be held on July 8th and 9th.
GroundRod Primer – Internet and digital tradecraft
GroundRod Primer is designed to address the fundamental concerns of journalists, concerned citizens, activists, whistle blowers, missionaries and liberty lovers in general, with regard to digital security. Whether hackers, governments, criminals or acts of espionage; our privacy is in serious jeopardy.
You will learn to secure your devices and communications in the following ways:
Properly employ symmetric and asymmetric encryption
Create and safely store powerful passwords
Guard against common criminal and state level intrusion techniques
Recognize unsafe software you are using now and explore safe replacements
Surf the web anonymously
Explore the deep web
Transfer files safely
Communicate securely and privately
Understand and deal with malicious firmware
GroundRod Primer is meant to take the uncertainty and guesswork out of digital security, give you a fundamental base of knowledge to grow from and get you up and running with the highest levels of security available TODAY.
Follow on courses will delve deeper into these subjects and address escape and evasion techniques and other tradecraft.
* Three USB thumbdrives (4-8 GB)
* Note taking materials
* extension cord
GroundRod 2 covers the following:
– Review of GroundRod Primer skills
– Discussion of current events as they relate to privacy, security and liberty
– In depth study of the Invisible Internet Project / I2P
– Setting up anonymous mail service via I2P
– Exploration of Zeronet and other distributed networking systems
– Setting up and using Retroshare with extra anonymity
– The latest in encryption techniques, including ECC
– Setting up open source router firmware
– Metadata analysis
– Testing secure alternatives to Skype and other mainstream teleconferencing software
– The latest in crypto-currency trends, techniques and software
– Real-world tradecraft application
– Setting up resilient, “Ministry of Truth” proof websites
– Hands on training for SEPIO laptop owners
– and tons more………
You can find a review of Groundrod I (Primer) on Forward Observer through this link.
If this course is centered on two things, it’s problems and solutions. In a more technical sense: vulnerabilities and countermeasures. What is an adversary’s “attack surface”and how do we harden ourselves against that attack? Utilizing electronic means to communicate — whether that’s via the internet, a cellular network, or radio signals — opens us up to electronic surveillance (at a minimum) and possibly direct targeting to exploit our communications. As was discussed in the class, Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.), who was the director at both CIA and NSA, famously quipped, “We [the US] kill people based on metadata.” Your cell phone number, its IMEI number, call times and duration (what’s referred to as “exposure”), and geolocation of those calls are all examples of metadata. Furthermore, your email address, IP address, and MAC address are metadata easily found via the internet. This metadata is associated to the caller or emailer, which is another data point in your pattern of life. With sufficient data points, analysts like myself can map out your pattern of life and begin to anticipate future activity. That’s a vulnerability, and it’s one that deserves a hard look.
To register for the classes, go to the Combat Studies Group website and then the Store page and scroll down to Class Deposit with the Buy Now button. You will need to then email them after making the $100 deposit to specify the class date and location for which you are registering.