Forward Observer: What’s Next for the Urban Insurgencies

Intelligence analyst Sam Culper at Forward Observer writes about the continuing urban insurgency in What’s Next for the Urban Insurgencies.

For the past couple months, I’ve been hitting some old counterinsurgency standby’s. The last time I read most of the these manuals and books was prior to deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Somehow insurgency followed us back.

Given that the reelection of President Trump is likely to blow wide open these urban insurgencies, it’s long past time for us to begin or continue learning about the cat and mouse of the insurgent and counterinsurgent. In this case, anarchist insurrectionists are trying to foment a broader insurgency against local, state, and federal government.

In his book Counterinsurgency Warfare, author David Galula outlines six strengths and weaknesses that determine the potential for a successful counterinsurgency campaign. I’ll list them below with some brief notes on the current situation.

1. Galula writes that an absence of problems in a country makes insurgency virtually impossible. Since there is no absence of problems — we have both real and artificial problems in this country — an insurgency was virtually inevitable as soon as local, state, and federal governments were weakened, as they are now.

2. Next, a national consensus against insurgents is a strength that this country currently lacks. There’s no national consensus on anything, and there’s substantial support for the insurgents, which strengthens the urban insurgencies.

3. Resoluteness of counterinsurgent leadership is the next strength or weakness. The Trump administration currently has the resolve to wage counterinsurgency, but there’s been opposition from state and local governments. The insurgents’ political and social efforts will focus on degrading the administration’s capacity to execute a counterinsurgency campaign, increasingly so after President Trump’s potential reelection. (The activism against ICE in previous years is a good example.) The Trump administration will face significant problems in instituting a whole-of-government approach, likely leading the administration to take more deliberate or extreme actions, which will increase accusations of fascism.

4. A major factor in any outcome is the counterinsurgents’ knowledge of counterinsurgency warfare. The Trump administration will rely on those with experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where a shaky counterinsurgency strategy was unevenly applied. Regardless of strategy, defeating urban insurgencies could become a multi-year process in places like Portland and Seattle, as America experiences its own version of the “Irish Troubles” — albeit not an exact comparison.

5. The machine for control of the population includes four factors which a second Trump administration could lack: the political structure (x), the administrative bureaucracy (x), the police (), the armed forces (x/✓). If reelected, President Trump will either face a split Congress or a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, and lack control of the political structure. The Trump administration doesn’t have control of the administrative bureaucracy now and is likely to lack control in a second term. The Trump administration will likely retain control over most federal law enforcement, and is likely to have influence over some local and state law enforcement — that’s certainly less the case in areas where there’s local political support for the insurgencies. Army Secretary Mark Esper and GEN Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, last month demurred at the deployment of regular Army troops to confront rioters. Esper and Milley can be replaced with military officials who are more amenable to using the military to put down insurrections, but Democrat-majority Congress would cast doubt on how effective the use of armed forces would be.

6. The sixth and final factor is geographic conditions. These insurrections will primarily occur in urban areas, regardless if they trigger a national insurgency. The most important thing we learned about fighting against urban insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan is that the counterinsurgency effort can be incredibly disruptive to the city.

Both sides are vying for support of the populace, so the insurgent must develop and propagandize a cause that will garner popular support — this is where the overall effort is won or lost.

These are some initial thoughts on what we could be looking at for at least the next four years, based on Galula’s factors presented in Counterinsurgency Warfare. These are not predictions, of course, but I do hope these initial thoughts are helpful in understanding the future…

American Partisan: The Auxiliary

If you’ve followed the writings of Mountain Guerrilla’s John Mosby (or other reading in insurgency or counterinsurgency), then you will already be familiar with the concept of the auxiliary. In this article at American Partisan, Johny Mac also writes about the auxiliary. Auxiliary typically refers to the portion of a population which provides clandestine support to an insurgent or guerrilla force or to underground resistance. With certain politicians talking about sending national guard troops to forcibly search and take people’s property (and, of course, destroy those who “do not comply”), these topics are getting active discussion in these “United” States.

John Mosby has written about both the underground and the guerrilla in his two volume Reluctant Partisan series. He also talks about the auxiliary in those books, but it does not have its own volume as of yet.

With the continuing events happening within the Washington DC Inner Loop and in states around the country, my worst fears of civil strife are sadly coming to fruition.  Yesterday, I sat there sipping my morning cup of coffee watching Senate Leader McConnell’s response to the two articles of Impeachment passed Wednesday night in the US House and realize frosty times are ahead. After all, sometimes drastic measures are needed to save the patient being wheeled into the trauma center.

The Rubicon has been crossed for me. I am done writing letters to my legislatures, the men and women I voted into office to uphold the US Constitution and represent my voice. All my focus now will be directed towards the training I will need for the up and coming conflict (s).

Many of the readers here are in a similar situation as I am. Looking ahead, I will be 64-years old in 2020 and what can someone my age or older do when civil conflict comes knocking at my door you may ask? You like I, need to focus on becoming part of The Auxiliary.

The first time I read about The Auxiliary was over at SurvilvalBlogwritten by Hugh James Latimer. The article really got me thinking as to what part I would play in my community during a civil conflict. It will not necessarily be running a gun, although I can do that. Heck, I can give many millennial’s a run for his or her money in that respect. No, running a gun will not become my role in the up and coming conflict. My role will be one of The Auxiliary. Let’s look at what that means for me – Maybe you too.

First, it means an honest assessment of my strengths but more important, my weaknesses. Once I determine my strengths, I need to get out there and train the folks who understand  their weaknesses and are seeking their own training.

Second, I need to get out there and address my weaknesses by seeking out additional training from others willing to give it. Whatever the cost will be in money or time, it will be worth it. Are you willing to do this or is your normalcy bias going to guide your future?

I will continue my training with NC Scout and his platoon of trainers along with other trainers that offer classes not just in running a gun but in; Preparedness, medical, radio, Intelligence, physical training, et cetera. Then I will offer my acquired skills to help the folks who will come late to the party…

Read the entire article at American Partisan by clicking here.

Related:

Mountain Guerrilla: Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Auxiliary and Support Functions, Part One

Mountain Guerrilla: Organization and Development of the Auxiliary

Mountain Guerrilla: Building Auxiliary Cells

Mountain Guerrilla: Formation and Organization of Resistance Movements

US Army: Tactics in Counterinsurgency (pdf 6MB)

US Army Special Operations Command: Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare (pdf 1MB)

FO: What Most People Get Wrong About Our ‘Civil War’

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has another piece in this series covering our ongoing domestic conflict, What most people get wrong about our ‘Civil War.’ It’s got some length to it, but it’s a good read with valuable information for you to understand.

…While a civil war, by definition, has not yet started, I do argue that a domestic conflict has already started (my specific thoughts are here, here, and here).

There are plenty of naysayers, and I understand their logic. They advise listeners or readers, “Go to your local Walmart or grocery store. Your local doctor’s office. Your local bank. Walk out your front door and talk to your neighbor.” They ask if Americans are at war with each other in these places, and use these anecdotes to explain that America isn’t locked into a civil war and won’t be.

They’re right in that regard. America isn’t at war.

But the problem with their argument is that it’s not all of America fighting the culture war, nor is it all of America fighting in the ongoing domestic conflict. It’s an ‘irate, tireless minority’. (The brunt of the ‘fighting’ in this conflict isn’t being waged by the average American, as two of my favorite thinkers people in the world — Victor Davis Hanson and Niall Ferguson — have alluded to. You can read my review of Ferguson’s latest book here.)

Another reason why most Americans — the overwhelming majority — aren’t engaged in our domestic conflict is because we’re still really early. Those engaged in establishing the battle lines of today’s culture war were ‘innovators’ in the 1990s. Those engaged in the culture war through the 2008 and 2016 elections were ‘early adopters’. But once the ‘early majority’ joins as soon as 2019-2021, the evidence of an active domestic conflict could be overwhelming. That’s a very distinct possibility.

My estimate is that we have maybe a few percent of the population pushing left or right extremes at the center of the culture war, but there’s an even smaller percentage (a fraction) that actually engages in political violence. There’s probably another 10 percent on either side actively engaged in political, information, and economic warfare. The remaining 75 percent is on the bubble, indifferent, or just plain stuck in the middle — a lot like other intra-state conflicts we’ve experienced.

So can we really have a domestic conflict with just a few thousand combatants?

Well, yeah. But we’re probably still very early.

To understand why we’re still in the beginning phases of our domestic conflict, we can look at three concepts…

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.

Related:

The Organic Prepper: Are You Prepared for Lockdown? How to Stay Safe When All Hell Breaks Loose in America

…Add in the fiercely-fought midterm elections and the threat of civil unrest is high…

Strategic Culture Foundation: American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means

…Trump didn’t cause today’s polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back…

Monster Hunter Nation: The 2nd Amendment is Obsolete, Says Congressman Who Wants To Nuke Omaha

…We are so divided it’s like we are speaking two different languages. Hell, on this topic we are on two different planets. And it is usually framed with a sanctimonious left versus right, enlightened being versus racist hillbilly, unfailing arrow of history versus the knuckle dragging past sort of vibe…