Forward Observer: May Update on the “Second American Civil War”

Sam Culper at Forward Observer has another article update on our Second American Civil War. Forward Observer provides daily, weekly, and monthly intelligence updates to its members on matters of national concern.

For a couple years now, I’ve described “low intensity conflict” as the doctrine which best represents post-Obama America.

I believe very few things said about the current “civil war” but here’s what I know to be true of our current domestic conflict:

1. It’s “low intensity.” Low intensity conflict (LIC) is the doctrine of war below the threshold of conventional war (tanks, troops, planes) but above routine, peaceful competition. Anything over 1,000 deaths a year from political violence would be classified as a civil war. That’s certainly a much higher intensity than what we’re seeing now. LIC is characterized by political, economic, diplomatic, and information warfare, along with low-level politically- or ideologically-driven violence. See here for additional examples.

Another characteristic of low intensity conflict, as we’ve seen throughout history, is a relatively small percentage of the population engaged in violence. It may only be one percent of an entire country ‘at war’ while another 5-15 percent support the violence, and 75+ percent of citizens are just trying to live their lives.

Those who disagree sometimes reply, “Go to your grocery store. Go to the bank. No one is at war with each other. Everything is fine. You’re making too much of this.”

This is not 1861 where up to 10 percent of the country is fighting each other on battlefields, and the effects of conventional war are widespread and devastating.

In LIC, historically, it’s only a small fraction of a country doing the fighting, and most people live among the disruption to go on about their business…

2. We’re in a “hot peace.” I certainly would not characterize America in 2016-2019 as being at “peace,” other than the absolute absence of outright war. The cultural cold war has turned hot; albeit at a very low level. If you ignore this, then you ignore reality…

3. It’s very likely to worsen. The tectonic shifts in American culture have caused periods of political violence before. The Civil Rights movement, the race riots and unrest between 1968 and the 1970s, and abortion clinic bombings are a few key examples, but even those ‘conflicts’ eventually died down. Oftentimes, conflict is generational. One generation goes away, and future generations develop their own problems.

For current generations, I believe conditions are more likely to worsen before they get better because the culture war now includes more fronts that foment the anger and resentment that cause political violence…

4. We could have just two to three years before we see routine, sustained political violence. For as long as I’ve been writing about LIC, I’ve warned of the effects of the next recession and financial crisis on the political and cultural climate. (I now believe that the next recession and financial crisis have an above average chance of happening simultaneously.) Class and race warfare, I believe, will worsen as we move through this period of economic and financial uncertainty.

High youth unemployment is a universal indicator of civil unrest and violence. What I’m seeing in America’s future are social bases charged by race, class, and/or politics, who also lack economic opportunity and the hope of a better life that comes with it…

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.

Forward Observer: 2019 Is Shaping Up to Be an Ugly, Brutal Year

From the intel guys at Forward Observer:

civil unrest

…The central hallmark of low intensity conflict is action below conventional war but above peaceful competition. We’ve had some pretty low lows in politics, but this period does seem to have escalated above peaceful competition between Republicans and Democrats. Fundamentally, there’s nothing inherently wrong with winning elections to stop an opposing party’s agenda. But when politics becomes subject to rule bending and breaking — the erosion of political norms often referred to as “guardrails” in civil society — we’re no longer seeing peaceful political competition. We can go as far back as gerrymandering, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the show stopping of Merrick Garland as three prominent examples. And if that’s truly the case — that we’ve devolved into sustained open political warfare — then the country may well be stuck in a low intensity conflict at continual risk of organized political violence.

Looking forward to the next 12 months, I fear the convergence of two major trends: incivility in politics that breeds political violence and a recession that puts 10-25% of Americans out of work. It’s entirely possible that we arrive at this juncture of American history in 2020. Since the Democrats plan to make 2019 disruptive, there’s no reason to believe that 2020 would be any calmer. As ugly as the past two years have been, there are reasons to believe that 2019 and 2020 will be worse.

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.