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TBR News July 22, 2020

Jul 21 2020

The Voice of the White House
Comments, July 22, 2020:. Operation Cable Splicer and Garden Plot are the two sub programs which will be implemented once the Rex 84 program is initiated for its proper purpose. Garden Plot is the program to control the population. Cable Splicer is the program for an orderly takeover of the state and local governments by the federal government. FEMA is the executive arm of the coming police state and thus will head up all operations. The Presidential Executive Orders already listed on the Federal Register also are part of the legal framework for this operation.

The camps all have railroad facilities as well as roads leading to and from the detention facilities. Many also have an airport nearby. The majority of the camps can house a population of 20,000 prisoners. Currently, the largest of these facilities is just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Alaskan facility is a massive mental health facility and can hold approximately 2 million people.

Trump signed on June 23 Executive Orders associated with FEMA that will suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

 

The Table of Contents

  • Trump’s greatest trick? Distracting us all from his incoherence
  • Trump’s grip on GOP loosens as polls sink
  • Trump’s legal authority to deploy agents to U.S. cities may be limited, experts say
  • ‘I wanted to take action’: behind the ‘Wall of Moms’ protecting Portland’s protesters
  • America Gets an Interior Ministry
  • Trump Threat to Unleash Secret Police in Other US Cities Slammed as Scheme to ‘Steal the November Election’
  • Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons

Trump’s greatest trick? Distracting us all from his incoherence
Reporters impose structure and sense on the president’s disjointed rambling, so we forget how unintelligible he is. It is as if he has forced the world to live by his own warped logic
July 21, 2020
by Arwa Mahdawi
The Guardian

Donald Trump is a very stable genius – and he has the test results to prove it. In an extraordinary interview on Sunday with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Trump bragged about acing a cognitive exam he had taken, and said he could “guarantee” Joe Biden would not have scored so highly. This wasn’t the first time Trump has cited this test as proof of his mental acumen: in a Fox News interview earlier this month he claimed he had blown doctors away with his results. “Rarely does anyone do what you just did,” they supposedly told him.

While Trump hasn’t specified which test he is talking about, it is widely believed to be the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. This isn’t an IQ test – it’s used to detect mental impairment and dementia – with sample questions including drawing a clock and identifying pictures of animals. As Wallace noted, a lot of it is basic stuff: “They have a picture, and it says: ‘What’s that?’ and it’s an elephant.”

I’m not a doctor and it is not my place to speculate on the cognitive health of the US president. But while liberals relentlessly mock Trump’s boorishness and overinflated ego, I’m not sure we focus enough on the fact that much of what he says doesn’t make any sense at all. As Lenore Taylor pointed out last year, because reporters impose structure and sense on Trump’s disjointed rambling, we sometimes forget how unintelligible he is: “The process of reporting about this president can mask and normalise his full and alarming incoherence.”

It’s not just the process of reporting that has helped to normalise Trump. It is the criminally low standards that far too many reporters hold him to. When Trump finally wore a face mask earlier this month, for example, a White House reporter for the Washington Post described him as looking “presidential”. In 2017, Trump honoured the widow of a Navy Seal; this two-second break from being awful was enough to prompt Van Jones on CNN to announce that Trump “became president of the United States in that moment”. In March, when Trump managed to say something moderately sensible about the pandemic, CNN’s political correspondent described him as “the kind of leader that people need”.

And then, of course, there’s the fact that it’s impossible to properly scrutinise anything Trump says because there’s always another distraction. One minute he’s advocating injecting bleach to counter coronavirus, the next, his daughter-cum-adviser is advertising canned beans on Twitter. Normally, an ethics violation like that would be headline news, but it’s swiftly forgotten because (look!) Trump is on Fox News refusing to answer a question about whether he will accept the results of the November election. Which, again, would normally be a big story but, despite the fact it only happened on Sunday, has already been largely forgotten because, on Monday, the notoriously anti-mask president tweeted a bizarre photo of himself and declared mask-wearing patriotic. Now we’re all analysing that.

As for tomorrow? God knows what fresh hell that will bring. It’s almost as if Trump has forced us to live by his own warped logic; it is like we’re all staring at a picture of an elephant and are collectively keeping up the pretence that it’s a president.

  • Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

Trump’s grip on GOP loosens as polls sink
July 21, 2020
by Niall Stanage

The Hill

President Trump faces the prospect of growing dissent within his own party unless he can arrest his slide in the polls.

Trump has fallen a significant distance behind presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in recent weeks, as the coronavirus has become resurgent. Republicans are eyeing their electoral futures with increasing nervousness.

“Are they worried about Trump’s approval rating? Absolutely, because many of them know they cannot significantly outperform the president. If you are in a swing state or in a swing district, you need the president to be at least competitive,” said one former Republican member of Congress, who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

Asked about Trump’s chances of reelection, the former member replied with one word: “Improbable.”

Ryan Williams, a GOP strategist and former aide to Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), said, “Republican elected officials are beginning to see this is headed in the wrong direction and the pandemic is not going to go away before Election Day.”

Trump, Williams added, “is in a tremendous hole right now and is running out of time.”

Romney has been among the most willing Republicans to criticize Trump. He was the sole GOP senator to vote to convict Trump on one count of impeachment. More recently, he tweeted that the president’s commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence was an act of “unprecedented, historic corruption.”

Most Republicans decline to condemn Trump in anything close to such emphatic terms. But there are some signs that they are willing to put distance between themselves and the president.

A New York Times report over the weekend noted that even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has generally been a strong Trump ally, last week “broke with Mr. Trump on nearly every major issue related to the virus.”

The Times cited McConnell’s strong support for the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci; his cautionary note that Americans would be struggling with the coronavirus for some time; and his emphasis on the importance of wearing a mask.

Trump for the first time tweeted a photograph of himself wearing a mask on Monday afternoon. “Many people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance. There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!” he wrote.

Trump also said on Monday that White House briefings on the pandemic — which appeared to have been abandoned — would be brought back, starting Tuesday. Their return might be savored by the president, but they could also fray the nerves of his party colleagues, given his propensity to wander off script.

At a briefing in April, Trump suggested to widespread consternation that the ingestion of disinfectant might help treat COVID-19.

Republicans are already nervous enough.

The weekend New York Times report cited remarks apparently made by former GOP Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) at a corporate event. According to a partial transcript of those remarks, Ryan fretted about how heavily Trump was losing suburban voters to Biden and said, “if that sticks, he cannot win states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.”

Trump trails Biden by almost 9 points in the RealClearPolitics national polling average. Three major recent polls have put him down by double digits, including an ABC News-Washington Post poll over the weekend that showed Trump lagging by 15 points among registered voters and by 10 points among likely voters.

The same poll showed voters having more trust in Biden than Trump to handle the pandemic by a 20-point margin, 54 percent to 34 percent.

There is no real secret as to the various ingredients that have put Trump in his current predicament.

The United States has failed to “bend the curve” of COVID-19 infections downward, unlike most other developed nations. The economic damage has been severe, robbing Trump of one of the most vital pillars for his reelection campaign. Alongside this, the nation has been roiled by protests over racial injustice and voters have generally disapproved of the president’s response.

The Trump campaign and its allies insist the opinion polls are wrong, alleging that they are not modeling likely turnout correctly and may be under-representing the president’s support.

The Trump campaign and its allies insist the opinion polls are wrong, alleging that they are not modeling likely turnout correctly and may be under-representing the president’s support.

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News on Monday, “I have really struggled with a lot of these polls and the metrics behind them. Many of the polls are sampling only registered voters … What we are seeing at the RNC is the president doing incredibly well in battleground states.”

Trump also fired a warning shot across his critics’ bows during a contentious interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Do you know how many times I’ve been written off? My whole life,” Trump told Wallace, before adding, “I won’t lose.”

The seismic shock Trump delivered by his defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 makes many political insiders nervous about making predictions this time around — even though Clinton never led by as much as Biden does now.

Virtually no one expects Biden to win by anything like the margins the polls are currently predicting. But Republicans nevertheless understand the steepness of the climb Trump faces — and the rising gradient for the party’s down-ballot candidates.

“At some point, there is every expectation that we will see some tightening of the numbers. Once that happens, do we overreact to that as well — ‘He’s coming back! Is Biden in trouble?’ ” said Doug Heye, a former communications director of the RNC.

But, Heye added in reference to the pandemic and its economic impact, “politically, the significant thing is that this election is not going to be about what we thought it was going to be about in January.”

For Republican elected officials, there is a serious dilemma. The president is an increasingly heavy millstone when it comes to winning over moderate, suburban voters but he remains very popular with his base. A recent Fox News poll indicated that his performance in office retained the approval of 86 percent of Republican voters.

The president, meanwhile, has always been quick to return fire on any Republican whom he perceives as disloyal.

“It is doubly troubling for Republicans, running with a president who is becoming increasingly unpopular but who will also attack them if they try to put any distance between him and themselves,” said Williams, the GOP strategist.

“You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”

 

Trump’s legal authority to deploy agents to U.S. cities may be limited, experts say
July 21, 2020
by Jonathan Stempel
The Guardian

Armed with a new executive order aimed at protecting U.S. monuments, federal law enforcement started cracking down last week on demonstrations against police brutality and racism in Portland, Oregon.

Some agents wore camouflage and used tear gas following more than 50 nights of protests over the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.

Trump said on Monday he might deploy agents to New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland, California, cities controlled by “liberal Democrats.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said they would sue here if Trump followed through, while predicting he would not.

Legal experts said Trump can deploy federal agents to enforce federal laws, but lacks carte blanche.

“The president is not the king,” said Kent Greenfield, a Boston College law professor specializing in constitutional law. “The president does not have the ability to require states to enforce their laws in a certain way, or to elbow aside their law enforcement abilities.”

Federal law gives Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf power to deputize agents to protect federal properties, such as the federal courthouse in Portland, and people there.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday that this enforcement power may extend beyond the physical boundaries of federal properties.

“Where you have someone shooting off a commercial-grade firework and then running across the street, we don’t believe that that extends past our jurisdiction,” she said.

Most protests nationwide about police misconduct and racism have been peaceful. And while some crime rates, including for murders in Baltimore and Chicago, are high, many major U.S. cities are safer than they once were.

“There is no federal statute agents are enforcing by engaging with protesters,” said Jimmy Gurule, a University of Notre Dame law professor. “My concern is whether their protection of federal property is a ruse to interfere with protesters’ free speech.”

Wolf on Tuesday defended the Portland deployment, saying at a press conference that agents are identifying themselves as law enforcement, and “only targeting and arresting those who have been identified as committing crime.”

Under the U.S. Constitution, state governors generally have authority to maintain order within their states’ borders.

That idea is reflected in the Posse Comitatus Act, which generally bars the federal military from participating in domestic law enforcement.

Another law, the Insurrection Act, lets presidents deploy U.S. forces to suppress domestic insurrection.

However, Ohio State law professor Peter Shane said that law allows unilateral action when it is impracticable to otherwise enforce U.S. laws in court, or local authorities are depriving some people of equal protection.

He said neither situation exists now, and Trump’s references to Democratic-led cities “heightens the concern” he is depriving them of due process.

“It suggests his rationale is pretextual,” Shane said.

Greenfield distinguished the current situation from 1957, when President Dwight Eisenhower sent Army troops to stop violence over the integration of a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, and 1962, when President John F. Kennedy sent federal agents to help integrate the University of Mississippi.

“Those were cases when a state was refusing to enforce federal law, or was hostile to enforcing it,” he said. “You don’t have open rebellion.”

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool

  ‘I wanted to take action’: behind the ‘Wall of Moms’ protecting Portland’s protesters
Hundreds of mothers have attended demonstrations and stood as a human barricade between protesters and federal officers
July 21, 2020
by Chris McGreal in Portland, Oregon
The Guardian

It took the killing of George Floyd to get Jane Ullman to finally pay attention to what the police were up to in America. But it was the sinister sight of federal agents in camouflage snatching demonstrators off the streets of Portland that got her out to protest.

The chief financial officer for tech startups in Oregon’s biggest city joined hundreds of other mothers dressed in yellow in a “Wall of Moms”, turning out each evening to stand as a human barricade between protesters and agents dispatched by Donald Trump to aggressively break up Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Ullman, a mother of two, said it was her first demonstration in support of racial justice.

“As an upper-middle-class white woman in the whitest city in America, I couldn’t stand by any longer,” she said. “I’ve been doing a lot of self-educating since George Floyd. Reading and learning. The feds’ part in it pushed me over the top. I wanted to take action. But it was the ‘Wall of Moms’ that brought me out.”

Ullman was not alone. What began as a small symbolic act of defiance on Saturday grew into the principal demonstration two nights later, as thousands packed the streets and squares outside the county jail and federal courthouse in downtown Portland for one of the largest protests to date.

At the heart of it were hundreds of women dressed in yellow and singing “Hands up, please don’t shoot me” – evidence that not only has Trump’s dispatch of federal agents failed to stop the protests, it has reinvigorated them.

Video of unidentifiable federal officers, looking more like soldiers of an occupying army than police, beating and snatching protesters off the streets angered a 35-year-old mother of two, Bev Barnum, who posted a Facebook message on Saturday morning.

“As most of you have read and seen on the news,” she wrote, “protesters are being hurt (without cause). And as of late, protesters are being stripped of their rights by being placed in unmarked cars by unidentifiable law enforcement. We moms are often underestimated. But we’re stronger than we’re given credit for.”

Barnum called for a group to dress in white and form a protective line between police and demonstrators who Trump painted as anarchists.

“Let’s make it clear that we will protect protesters without the use of violence,” she said. “We will shine a light of the unjust narrative being thrown around.”

The first group of nearly 40 mothers lined up that evening, chanting: “Feds stay clear, moms are here.”

Their line offered little protection once the federal officers started firing teargas and flash-bangs and charging with batons. But they were back in larger numbers the following evening, this time wearing yellow and carrying sunflowers. By Monday, the Wall of Moms had become the main event as Ullman and hundreds of others decided this was the moment to make a stand.

Jennifer Bradly, a grandmother, hesitated to join the protests earlier.

“I’m not crazy about the feds sweeping people off the streets,” said the post office mailwoman wearing a “Union Proud” badge. “I’ve been active with Black Lives Matter but these demonstrations looked too violent to me until I saw the Wall of Moms. It’s a big group of like-minded people.”

Bradly said many of the women were brought out by Trump’s intervention but it was important to keep the focus on the demand for reform of the police, including in Portland where the force is under court oversight because of officers shooting homeless people.

“It feels like people are not going to give up. This time feels different,” she said, reflecting on how little policing changed after other killings before George Floyd. He died in Minneapolis on 25 May, after an office knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The Portland protests have occurred every night in the nearly two months since. After the initial surge, support waned, a few hundred turning out night after night. But outrage at Trump deploying federal agents, many untrained in policing, to end what he called anarchy, has reignited the protests.

Portland’s mayor and Oregon’s governor denounced the deployment of officers from the Department of Homeland Security, the US Marshals Service and the border patrol. The state attorney general is suing those agencies for “overstepping their powers and injuring or threatening peaceful protesters on the streets of downtown Portland”.

“Trump’s troops”, as some protesters call them, have greater leeway than local officers. A court barred the city police from using teargas but the federal officers are not bound by the order.

For Margaret van Vliet, a former Oregon state housing director who joined the Wall of Moms, it was all too much.

“I was at home thinking that I have to lift my voice,” she said. “So here I am.”

America Gets an Interior Ministry
President Trump is cobbling together something the United States has never had before—a national police force, used to quell protests.
July 21, 2020
by David A. Graham
The Atlantic

For decades, conservative activists and leaders have warned that “jackbooted thugs” from the federal government were going to come to take away Americans’ civil rights with no due process and no recourse. Now they’re here—but they’re deployed by a staunchly right-wing president with strong conservative support.

In Portland, Oregon, federal agents in military fatigues have for several days been patrolling the streets amid ongoing protests about police brutality. These forces, employed by the Department of Homeland Security, have snatched people off the streets of the city, refused to identify themselves, and detained people without charges. Ostensibly, they are present to protect federal buildings from protesters. In practice, they seem to be acting on a much wider mandate, either to suppress protests or (more cynically) to provoke confrontation on behalf of a flailing White House that sees it as electorally beneficial.

eral officials have insisted these forces are necessary to stop “anarchy” (President Trump’s word). But local officials, including the mayor of Portland and Governor Kate Brown, have criticized their presence and asked, in vain, for them to leave, saying they are causing more trouble than they prevent. (As the local press notes, the idea that the city is consumed by chaos is ridiculous, though there has been some vandalism.)

The DHS deployment to Portland follows the militarized crackdown on peaceful protesters in Washington’s Lafayette Square in June, and it’s apparently a pilot for a broader deployment. Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office on Monday, Trump said that Portland was only the first step in a planned operation.

“New York and Chicago and Philadelphia, Detroit, and Baltimore and all of these—Oakland is a mess—we are not going to let this happen in the country, all run by liberal Democrats,” he said. “We’re going to have more federal law enforcement, that I can tell you.”

While law enforcement violating civil rights is sadly not new, Trump appears to be trying to do something novel in this country: establishing a force like interior ministries in other countries. The United States has a Department of the Interior, but it is unlike most agencies with that name around the world. Here, it oversees units such as the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the U.S. Geological Survey. But in many countries, the ministry’s role is much broader and more powerful: Its role is to oversee the interior of the country.

One common tool for an interior ministry is a national police force. That can be a dangerous tool because an armed national police force at the disposal of the central government has a tendency to be misused. A repressive regime that is in danger, or simply faced with protests it finds troublesome, can use the national police to crack down, turning the force into an agency that protects the rulers, rather than one that defends the rule of law. Even in more democratic countries, a national police force can be a threat. In early post-Franco Spain, the Guardia Civil was a hotbed of fascist irredentism.

The United States has never had a national police force like this, for reasons that emanate from the country’s founding. While the federal government has grown ever stronger since independence, the federalism embedded in the American system militated against a national police force. (Even state police were slow to emerge.) The Founders were wary of establishing any permanent, armed force under the control of the federal government, even warning against a standing army.

“A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be safe companions to liberty,” James Madison told the Constitutional Convention. “The means of defense against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

To be sure, the federal government has, at times, used its force against the people. Under the 1807 Insurrection Act and its subsequent amendments, the president can, under certain circumstances, deploy the Army inside the United States. In 1932, U.S. troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur dispersed the Bonus Army, a contingent of thousands of destitute World War I veterans who had camped out on the grounds of the Capitol. In 1957, after Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus refused to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School and mobilized the state’s National Guard to surround the school, President Dwight Eisenhower sent the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne to clear the way for Black students. Faubus and the Guard blinked.

Given deep-seated American concerns about tyranny, sending in the Army is politically risky, and so it’s seldom done—and then usually either at the request of local authorities (as following the 1992 Los Angeles riots) or to defend civil rights (as in Little Rock). Firm opposition by governors is one reason Trump backed down from a June threat to invoke the Insurrection Act in response to anti-police protests. The presence of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the Lafayette Square debacle brought a flurry of condemnation from retired military officials, including former Defense Secretary James Mattis and former Chairman Mike Mullen. Milley ultimately said he had erred: “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

In the absence of internal military deployments or a true national police force, other bodies have sprung up that fulfill some of the same functions. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducts criminal investigations, polices terrorism, and conducts counterintelligence, among other roles. The Secret Service investigates financial crimes. The U.S. Marshals system serves the courts. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms polices the misuse of, well, alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, as well as explosives and arson. Customs and Border Protection guards the border; Immigration and Customs Enforcement polices immigration inside the country.

While some of these agencies, especially the FBI, have often abused their power, none has as broad a mandate as a national police force. They are also splintered across Cabinet departments, diffusing their power. FBI, the Marshals, and ATF are all part of the Justice Department, while CBP and ICE are part of the Department of Homeland Security. So is the Secret Service, but it used to be part of the Treasury. Garrett Graff notes that there are some 80 federal law-enforcement agencies in total, ranging across the executive branch.

The agents out on the streets of Portland are detailed from Customs and Border Protection, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Among the forces deployed in Washington last month, when Trump briefly barricaded himself within the White House, were officers from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. When the president ramped up security around statues, in response to vandalism and destruction of monuments, DHS agents were assigned that duty.

None of these tasks has much to do with the stated mandates of these agencies or departments—Coast Guard officers aren’t generally trained for riot control—and this is “homeland security” in only the most general sense. The reason these agents are the ones being deployed is simply that they’re the ones who are available. In the absence of a federal police force, the administration is simply pulling in any federal law-enforcement officer that it has the power to reassign.

This is an amateurish way to cobble together a national police force, characteristic of the improvisational authoritarianism of the Trump administration. But it is a strange historical irony that a Republican president would be the one to create a de facto interior ministry.

While Republicans have often portrayed themselves as devoted to law and order and defending the police, there’s also a strong libertarian current in the conservative movement that bristles at the growth of federal law enforcement. This became especially strong following the deadly federal sieges at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in 1992, and Waco, Texas, in 1993. The ATF in particular became a bête noire. In an infamous 1995 fundraising letter, National Rifle Association Executive Director Wayne LaPierre warned of “jackbooted thugs” from the federal government seizing guns under the Assault Weapons Ban:

Not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens … In [Bill] Clinton’s administration, if you have a badge, you have the government’s go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.

Yet on Thursday, as reports emerged from Portland of heavily armored federal agents attacking law-abiding citizens, the NRA announced it was endorsing Trump for a second term, praising him for “stand[ing] tall for the constitutional freedoms in which our members believe.”

The silence of many high-profile conservatives (with some exceptions) in the face of Trump’s attempt to create a national police force to crush dissent has much to do with the specifics. The subjects of the government’s repression are not white, rural gun owners, as at Ruby Ridge, but a multiracial coalition of urban residents, who tend to lean liberal, and who are protesting police violence against people of color. (The NRA has been conspicuously quiet when police violate Black people’s right to bear arms.)

The Trump administration’s moves in Portland are different from previous domestic policing efforts in important ways that underscore the dangerous project being attempted. The federal government is not defending civil rights, as in the Little Rock case; in fact, it’s cracking down on protesters who are demanding better civil-rights protections. Nor is it acting at the request of local authorities; as we’ve seen, the state and local governments have called for the federal government to withdraw. Chad Wolf, the man leading DHS amid the crackdown, is also accountable only to the president: Trump, who loves circumventing the Constitution’s requirement of Senate confirmation for some positions, has often chosen to leave acting heads in charge of agencies so that they are more pliable and dependent on him.

As traditional politics, Trump’s promise of broad federal law enforcement is puzzling. The violent clearance of Lafayette Square was one of the worst blunders of his presidency, drawing widespread condemnation, creating splits within his leadership team, and precipitating a huge drop in public approval of his handling of riots and race. Even within the context of Trump’s peculiar base strategy, there’s little chance that sending federal agents into American cities to make dubious arrests is likely to halt his own tumble in the polls.

That’s led critics toward bleaker interpretations, suggesting that Trump is trying to stifle resistance ahead of the election, suppress the vote, or prepare to contest the election if he loses. Whatever his motives, the precedents he’s creating are likely to endure: His successors will have a blueprint for the creation of a national police force that answers to the president.

Trump Threat to Unleash Secret Police in Other US Cities Slammed as Scheme to ‘Steal the November Election’
“The exercise also has the advantage for Trump of entrenching a new form of secret police and of turning federal agents into instruments of his authoritarianism.”
July 20, 2020
by Jessica Corbett, staff writer
Common Dreams

Amid mounting criticism over the deployment of unidentified federal agents to Portland, Oregon—where they have been driving around in unmarked vehicles and snatching people off the streets—civil liberties advocates are increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump will similarly send “secret police” to other Democrat-led cites across the country as part of a 2020 campaign strategy to sow chaos and further his law-and-order message.

“Part of Trump’s reelection strategy is to scare the white suburbs, which polls show have soured on him, with ‘urban’ (read: minority) violence,” University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole wrote Monday for his website Informed Comment.

“It now appears clear that part of that strategy is to send federal agents dressed like Iraq War troops to Democratic-run cities, on the pretext of protecting federal property, and then for them to attack and provoke Black Lives Matter and Defund the Police protesters, causing violence to escalate and using it… to scare the suburbs,” Cole continued. “The exercise also has the advantage for Trump of entrenching a new form of secret police and of turning federal agents into instruments of his authoritarianism.”

As Cole noted, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf are “weighing in on” similar plans for other cities, “and you’ll see something rolled out this week, as we start to go in and make sure that the communities—whether it’s Chicago or Portland or Milwaukee or someplace across the heartland of the country—we need to make sure their communities are safe.”

Wolf made clear in a Monday appearance on Fox News that the administration will deploy federal law enforcement with or without the cooperation of local officials, saying that “I don’t need invitations by the state, state mayors, or state governors, to do our job. We’re going to do that, whether they like us there or not.”

In a Sunday afternoon tweet about Portland and “The Radical Left Democrats, who totally control” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump name-checked not only Chicago but also New York and Philadelphia

Asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday what he is going to do about shooting deaths in New York and Chicago, the president said: “I explain it very simply by saying that they’re Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run. They are stupidly run. We have forced them in Seattle to end the CHOP because, you know, we were going in that following day. You probably have heard it. We were getting ready to go in. We were all set, and when they heard that we were going they set their police force.”

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “is crafting plans to deploy about 150 federal agents” to the city this week.

In response to the administration targeting her city, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Lynn Sweet wrote Monday that “if Trump sends a Portland-style action to Chicago, it would represent a dramatic escalation between Trump and Mayor Lori Lightfoot regarding how to deal with the city’s ongoing battles against gun violence and demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality.”

Sweet also framed the potential “military-style response” to Black Lives Matter protests in Chicago sparked by Minnesota police killing of George Floyd as part of the president’s effort to win in November, writing that “Chicago is one of several liberal, Democratic-run cities targeted by Trump in coordination with his reelection campaign to reinforce his message that he is for ‘law and order’ while framing rival Joe Biden as soft on crime and anti-police.”

Former Labor Secretary and current University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich as well as Democratic Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler made similar observations about the Oregon city last week

Though both local and state officials in Oregon have warned that the federal presence in Portland is making the situation worse not better, the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman argued last week that there “is reason to believe that this is exactly what the Trump administration wants.”

We know Trump wants these scenes to be playing out on people’s televisions in faraway states, such as—to select a few at random—Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Florida.

And given that his homeland security chief is actively ignoring local officials’ demands that he pull out federal law enforcement—in a manner that those officials say is inflaming the situation—it’s reasonable to surmise that escalation is the whole point of these exercises in the first place.

Since video footage from Portland started circulating last week, the administration has faced condemnation from politicians at all levels, civil liberties advocates, and journalists. The crackdown also elicited separate lawsuits from the ACLU and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who is suing DHS, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Federal Protection Service, and their agents for violating “the civil rights of Oregonians.”

The conduct of federal agents in Oregon’s largest city and concerns that it will be replicated elsewhere in the country have provoked a promise from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to soon introduce an amendment to military spending legislation that would block the Trump administration from deploying U.S. law enforcement to other cities as well as alarm about what happens if Trump gets four more years in the White House.

“Portland may be a dumbshow for dummies, but it also looks like a dress rehearsal,” Esquire columnist Charles Pierce warned last week. “This is not an ‘authoritarian impulse.’ This is authoritarian government—straight, no chaser. And this administration has a powerful thirst for it. It will do anything if it thinks it can get away with it in order to benefit a president* who wants to bring the Republic down on his head.”

Christopher David, a 53-year-old disabled Navy veteran whose encounter with federal police in Portland went viral over the weekend, told The Independent that Trump “is trying to see how far he can push it in Portland and create some kind of model for other cities so he can stir up enough chaos and discontent to try and win the election again. All of this is just doubling down on his strategy of division and chaos.”

Noting David’s comments, Common Dreams columnist Michael Winship wrote Monday that “even worse, it conceivably could be connected to a greater scheme designed to steal the November election. He pointed to “a terrific new piece” by Andy Kroll in Rolling Stone headlined, “The Plot Against America: The GOP’s Plan to Suppress the Vote and Sabotage the Election.”

“We need to wise up and prepare for the onslaught,” Winship argued. “Trump just refused to tell Chris Wallace of Fox News whether or not he’ll accept the election results. Donald Trump is a menace who if he sees he’s losing bigtime—and he does—won’t hesitate to repress the vote count so that he can declare a second term and because, in his words, ‘I’ve been very unfairly treated.’ Donald Trump puts the petty in petty tyrant but he’s a tyrant, nonetheless. Be very afraid.”

Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency
NUMBER 3005.20
July 10, 2020 USD(I)
SUBJECT: DoD Domestic Military Order-Counterinsurgency Overview : See Enclosure 1
Domestic Military Order – Counterinsurgency Overview

Part 4

ARMY SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES

Within a joint force, ARSOF assets (less PSYOP and CA units) are ordinarily attached to and under OPCON of a designated joint special operations task force (JSOTF) commander.

The special operations command and control element (SOCCE) assists the JSOTF commander in fulfilling the supporting or supported commander responsibilities. A SOCCE is based on a special forces operational detachment-B and is augmented with a special communications package and personnel as required. It may include a ranger liaison officer, PSYOP and CA representatives, and special operations aviation personnel. The SOCCE is normally collocated at corps level and above, with smaller liaison teams operating at division level and below. The supported unit provides the SOCCE administrative and logistic support.

The SOCCE is the focal point for ARSOF coordination and synchronization with conventional forces. At corps level, the SOCCE coordinates with the corps operations center, fire support element, deep operations coordination cell, and battlefield coordination detachment to deconflict targets and operations. It provides ARSOF locations through personal coordination and provides overlays and other friendly order of battle data to the fire support element and battlefield coordination detachment. The SOCCE can exercise C2 of designated ARSOF units when the JSOTF commander determines the need.

  • The domestic insurgency force, the civil population and the terrain are

virtually inseparable factors in guerrilla warfare.

  • What is the structural organization of the domestic insurgent group?

Identification? Composition? Overall organizational characteristics:  strength; combat efficiency; status of training; means of communications; morale and discipline? Ideology?

  • Where are the domestic insurgent groups located? Guerrilla camps?

Assembly points? Rendezvous points? Lines of communictions? Trails?

  • What is the domestic insurgent group’s method of operations? Political? Economic? Converting? Propaganda? Types of tactics employed?  Insurgent aims?
  • How is the domestic insurgent group armed and equipped? Supply source of food and commodities? Weapons and ammunition? Means of providing logistic support?
  • What are the factors which cause or contribute to the development

and continuation that motivate the domestic insurgent group?

  • What is the relationship between the domestic insurgent group and the population?
  • What is the relationship with any external forces?
  • What are the psychological vulnerabilities of the domestic insurgent group?
  • What is the identification of any hostile, uncommitted or friendly elements that may be assisting the domestic insurgent group? Location? Name? Organizational structure?
  • What are the domestic insurgent group’s motivations and loyalties to the

various elements of the population

  • What is the size and proportion of the civil population that is likely to actively support the domestic insurgent group?
  • What are the effects of the local authorities and police on the civil population?
  • What are the capabilities of the local populace to provide food, supplies, shelter, etc. to the domestic insurgent group? Type? Amount? Method? Location?
  • What are the capabilities of the local populace to provide food, supplies, shelter, etc. to friendly, pro sitting government forces? Type? Amount? Method? Location?
  • What is the availability of water and fuel?
  • What are the vulnerabilities of the friendly civil populace?

A key to understanding domestic insurgencies is recognition that domestic insurgents use a distributed network, motivated by the common ideology, to mobilize the population to their cause. Insurgent networks are often a trusted group of individuals created through family/ marriage, business, religious, political and/or social relationships. Family ties create a strong core that insurgent groups leverage to link to various political, social and business arms of the populace. A single family may only have a small number of active insurgents; however, marriage, friendship and group ties can extend communications, support and loyalty. A local resident who might otherwise turn in an insurgent will not divulge information that may eventually harm a family member. Networks provide the insurgency a means to rapidly spread information and intelligence, and enable the logistics support and communication necessary for distributed operations. Insurgents leverage relationships and networking to tie to trans-national terrorist groups, political wings, academic institutions, local business, and social groups. Understanding these relationships and networks is essential in undermining the insurgents’ efforts to mobilize support.

Persuasion, Coercion and Intimidation

Insurgents use a combination of persuasion, coercion and intimidation to influence a population. Perception and use of information are critical to insurgent success. Insurgents base their actions on their capabilities and intentions. Insurgents can employ a huge variety of tactics. Typical insurgent tactics and operations include, but are not limited to:

  • Ambushes—Used to create maximum damage and create an illusion of domestic insurgent strength among the local civilian populace. They can also be used to capture and publicly torture individuals to further terrorize local civilians, counterinsurgency forces and the international community.
  • Vehicle Ambushes—Often initiated via improvised explosive devises (IED), vehicle-borne IED or rocket propelled grenades (RPG) to stop a convoy or vehicle patrol and establish a kill zone. Normally these are used for disruptions, slowing logistics and bogging down the counterinsurgency force. In some instances insurgents will use convoy or vehicle ambushes to acquire supplies and munitions. Vehicle ambushes are most effective in tight city streets where insurgents can establish well defined kill zones and secondary anti-personnel devices used against dismounting troops. The close quarters eliminate the vehicle’s maneuverability and the complexity of the terrain makes it difficult to fire from a turret.
  • Personnel Ambushes—Personnel ambushes can be used to deny a patrol access to an area as a defensive action as well as for the destruction or capture of individuals. Like any patrol, they are planned in detail and are seldom random.
  • Assassination—A term generally applied to the killing of prominent persons and symbolic personnel as well as “traitors” who defect from the group, human intelligence (HUMINT) sources, and others who work with/for the sitting government or U.S. military forces supporting it.
  • Arson—Less dramatic than most tactics, arson has the advantage of low risk to the perpetrator and requires only a low level of technical knowledge.
  • Bombing and High Explosives—The IED is currently the insurgent’s weapon of choice, followed by suicide bombing. They gain publicity for the insurgent cause while providing the ability to control casualties through selective placement of the device timed detonation. They also allow the insurgents to deny responsibility should the action produce undesirable results. Critical to our mission is the ability to deny the time and place for detonation.
  • Civil Operations—In many cases insurgent organizations or the political wing that supports them will conduct civil type operations (e.g. give money to schools and poor families, aid in religious or child development activities) to virtually replace the sitting government in communities that support them. The purpose of these operations is to create legitimacy, presenting the insurgency as a responsible and moral organization.
  • Deliberate Attacks—In recent conflicts deliberate, coordinated attacks served as mostly psychological and informational operations. Their goal is to create as much destruction as possible without owning any terrain. Generating shock, fear and publicity is generally the main purpose of these attacks. This does not mean the attacks are ineffective militarily; the strategic effect generated can cause policy change, shifts in international opinion and can destroy local trust in coalition security.
  • Demonstrations—Can be used to incite violent responses by counterinsurgents and also to display the popularity of the insurgency cause.
  • Denial and Deception—Denial involves measures taken by the threat to block, prevent, or impair U.S. intelligence collection. Examples include killing or otherwise intimidating HUMINT sources. Deception involves manipulating information and perceptions in order to mislead.
  • Hijacking or Skyjacking—Sometimes employed as a means of escape, hijacking is normally carried out to produce a spectacular hostage situation. Although trains, buses, and ships have been hijacked, aircraft are the preferred target because of their greater mobility and because they are difficult to penetrate during terrorist operations.
  • Hoaxes—Any insurgent or terrorist group that has established credibility can employ a hoax with considerable success. A threat against a person’s life causes that person and those associated with that individual to devote time and efforts to security measures. A bomb threat can close a commercial building, empty a theater, or delay an aircraft flight at no cost to the insurgent or terrorist. False alarms desensitize and dull the efficiency of security personnel, thus degrading readiness while undermining the moral authority of the local government and creating doubt within the population.
  • Hostage Taking—This is an overt seizure of one or more individuals with the intent of gaining publicity or other concessions in return for release of the hostage. While dramatic, hostage and hostage barricade situations are risky for the perpetrator
  • Indirect Fire—Insurgents may use indirect fire to harass counterinsurgents, or to cause them to commit forces that are attacked by secondary ambushes.
  • Infiltration and Subversion—Gain intelligence and degrade the effectiveness of government organizations by getting them to hire insurgent agents or by convincing members of the sitting government to support the insurgency. Subversion may be achieved through intimidation, indoctrination of sympathetic individuals, or bribes.
  • Information—The aggressive use of information to influence and promote insurgent ideals and discredit a government or counterinsurgency. Insurgents leverage networks and information technologies to penetrate the local population and broadcast their message regionally and globally. Using information much like an advertising or marketing company every effort is made to “sell” their value and ideas while driving a wedge between the population and those opposing the insurgency. At times the insurgent will lie, sensationalize, and exaggerate or modify the truth leaving the counterinsurgent to explain the truth. The largest information outlet insurgents have to the international community is the news media. Many operations are used to generate attention from international news groups such as CNN and BBC. Insurgents will allow reporters access to their operations in an attempt to gain international sympathy.
  • Kidnapping—While similar to hostage taking, kidnapping has significant differences. Kidnapping is usually a covert seizure of one or more specific persons in order to extract specific demands. It is normally the most difficult task to execute. The perpetrators of the action may or may not be known for a long time. Media attention is initially intense, but decreases over time. Because of the time involved, successful kidnapping requires elaborate planning and logistics. The risk to the perpetrators may be less than in the hostage situation.
  • Propaganda—Insurgents may disseminate propaganda using any form of media, as well as face-to-face talks.
  • Raids or Attacks on Facilities—Armed attacks on facilities are usually undertaken to:
  • Demonstrate the sitting government’s inability to secure critical facilities or national symbols such as the Statue of Liberty or the various public monuments in Washington, D.C.
  • Acquire resources (for example, robbery of a bank or armory).
  • Kill U.S. military or government employees.
  • Intimidate the sitting government and the general populace.
  • Sabotage—The objective in most sabotage incidents is to demonstrate how vulnerable a particular society, or government, is to terrorist actions. Industrialized areas provide especially vulnerable targets. Utilities, communications, and transportation systems are so interdependent that a serious disruption of any one affects all of them and gains immediate public attention. Sabotage of industrial or commercial facilities is one means of creating significant disruption while making a statement of future intent. Military facilities and installations, information systems, and information infrastructures may become targets of terrorist sabotage.
  • Seizure—Seizure usually involves a building or object that has value in the eyes of the audience. There is some risk to the perpetrator because security forces have time to react.
  • Terror and crime—Although most forms of domestic insurgent actions are used to generate some form of terror, tactics such as ambushes and attacks can be justified as interactions between two armed forces. There are other actions however, that are clearly terrorist or criminal in nature. Some examples are: Deliberately targeting civilians or civilian leadership; Beheadings, hangings, burnings and other forms of public torture; Kidnappings (either to torture or for monetary gain); Drug smuggling or selling; Theft and other organized crime
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction/Effects—Some domestic insurgent groups may possess chemical and biological (CB) weapons, and there is a potential for use of CB weapons in the future. These weapons, relatively cheap and easy to make, may be used in place of conventional explosives in many situations. The potential for mass destruction and the deep-seated fear most people have for CB weapons could be attractive to a group wishing to attract international attention. Although an explosive nuclear device is acknowledged to be beyond the financial and/or technical reach of most terrorist groups, a CB weapon or even a radiological dispersion device using nuclear contaminants is not. The technology is simple and the payoff is potentially higher than conventional explosives.
  • Preparation for Counterinsurgency

The time prior to deployment is critical and must be used wisely. Pre- deployment training and preparation is most likely the last time you will be able to analyze the situation without the pressures of a fluid and violent environment constantly surrounding you. Maximize this time; make use of every means to understand your operating area, the problems, and people in it. Take note of the following checklists and delegate the tasks to ensure that workload, knowledge and understanding are disseminated throughout your unit. Mission type orders are essential in the prosecution of COIN operations in that they are based on mutual trust in the chain of command. Give subordinate leaders responsibility and trust, and then evaluate them in detail. Once you are in the situation, success will only be achieved if you trust their ability to seize every opportunity to legally, ethically, and morally carry out their duties and accomplish the mission.

  • Intelligence Preparation

Know your patch. Know the people, the topography, economy, history and culture. Know every community, road, field, population group, local leadership, both pro and con the sitting government, and local grievance. Your task is to become the world expert on your particular district… Neglect this knowledge, and it will kill you.

—Dr David Kilcullen, 2006

To be effective in a counterinsurgency operation you must understand more than the enemy’s composition, disposition and strength.

A quick METT-T analysis is not enough to create the depth of understanding needed to positively affect an area. You have to understand the area as a whole. To be effective you must first become an expert in your area of responsibility and know how it ties into and relates to the areas surrounding it. This knowledge will become the basis for your planning and execution, and how to adapt to the inevitable changes as operations progress in your area.

Make contact and maintain open communication with the current commander on the ground via phone, email or personal liaison.

Ask for any turnover information he may have and any additional lessons learned he acquired while there. Prepare specific questions to fill your  gaps and holes; remember, although the commander will most likely be more than willing to aid his replacement, he is still in the fight. Do not waste his time by making him guess what information you need.

Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA) Checklist:

Our current intelligence gathering process has been optimized for conventional warfare and cannot reveal the level of detail required for COIN operations. To be effective it is critical that locally applicable information and intelligence on the local cultural, informational and operational terrain is gathered, understood and applied to operational planning and activity. The following checklist represents an outline IPOA.

− Religion(s)? Types? Beliefs? Traditions? / places / books? Clergy / leaders and their place in the community?

− Local customs / traditions / holidays?

− Families? Influential families? Connections to other families? Family leaders? Role of the family in the community /

  • Economy

− Means of income and distribution? Key industries and markets? Central market areas? Popular shops and cafes? Forms of commerce and trade? Key industrial leaders and merchants?

− Standard of living? Divisions between wealthy, middle, and low income? Effect of current hostilities on the economy?

  • Civil Infrastructure. Water? Food? Sewer? Health care? Electric? Fire department? Police department?
  • Terrain

− Key terrain? Buildings and infrastructure? Lines of communication: roads and railways; waterways; trails; tunnels and bridges?

− Insurgent occupied / dominated areas?

− Obstacles?

− Religious and cultural areas? Where are they and what do they mean?

  • Military / Para-military

− Host nation military in the area? Units? Composition, disposition and strength? Effectiveness? (Morale, training, experience, advisors, liaisons, means of communication?)

− Government sponsored militia in the area?

− Non-government sponsored militia in the area?

  • Enemy

− Popular mobilization? Single narrative? Civil projects?  Connection to the populace? Connection to the narrative?

− Key leaders?

Decision makers? Operations leaders? Connecting files? Daily routine?

− Networking? Family relationships: immediate and extended?  Friendships? Business relationships?  Income, interests, industry and alignments? (Internal and external sources of income; connections to other industries; interests in political offices and other power bases; alignments with nongovernmental organizations, transnational extremists  organizations, academic organizations, religious groups or political parties?)

− Activity? Recent actions such as assaults, raids, ambushes, etc.?  (Locations; times; specific actions; goals; success?) Recent arrests? Counter actions? Recent civil / humanitarian actions?

− Composition, disposition, and strength? Weapons? Size of operational elements? General strength of the force?  Most probable course of action?

  • Other Elements

− Nongovernmental organizations in the area?

− Other government agencies in the area?

− Special operations forces in the area?

Remember, the overall purpose is to mobilize the population behind your message. Use the information gathered in your Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA) to dissect the problem; the key questions you should look for are:

  • What is the insurgency’s main objective?
  • What is their single narrative—their mobilizing message?
  • What are the weak points in their message and how can you exploit them?
  • What are the needs of the local populace and how can you gain their support?
  • What is your message to the populace?
  • How will you involve yourself with the local populace, and how will you pass and portray that message to the populace in your operations?
  • What assets and contacts will you already have when you arrive?
  • What will you need to request, build and develop to gain access to the locals and break down the insurgency?

Intent—What is the underlying purpose behind all of your operations?  What are you trying to achieve? What is the one statement that will guide all of your junior leaders?

Concept of Operations—Make the plan simple and flexible and leave room for setbacks and changes. Unlike a conventional operation, there is no ground or single objective to advance on and measure forward progress. Remember the overriding objective is the support of thw populace in order to marginalize the insurgents. There will be a constant ebb and flow of advances and setbacks of your goals as well as constant adaptations to your plan, tactics and techniques. Prepare for them now; do not allow your enemy to gain initiative due to a rigid plan and inflexibility.

The Message—Next, get the message that you need to send to the populace to mobilize them to your cause. Like commander’s intent, this should feed from higher, and your message or single narrative should reflect the message sent from higher, aiding in the overall strategic objective. The wording and highlighted point must be specific to your area depending on the size and demographics of that area. Yours may be the exact same message as the division, regiment and battalion or it  might be specific to the company; if your message does differ it should be approved and supported by your higher command. Utilize the minds of your junior leaders and, if available, an interpreter to ensure that the message translates properly and clearly.

Scheme of Maneuver—Again, the scheme of maneuver must be simple and flexible. Highlight by phase and be prepared to both move back and forth between phases as required and to have different units in different phases at one time. Also, no one phase or element can be a single approach; for example, security and dominance must be achieved immediately, however, that effort does not end once the goal is attained, nor should you try to gain security and dominance without simultaneously conducting civil, information or intelligence operations.

Wargaming the Plan—Bring in your subordinate leaders to try to predict setbacks and enemy weaknesses and to work out contingency courses of action (COA). Think through problems from the enemy’s point of view and predict how they will react to your actions. Use a cunning and experienced individual to play the enemy against your plans. Then adapt your plan to stay a step ahead. Prepare to be wrong and adapt a step ahead of your enemy.

Task Organization

As you organize your unit take into account the key functions that have to be performed. Intelligence, information operations and civil operations are but a few of the issues that you may have to deal with on your own. Success in this fight comes at the small unit level, many of these tasks will have to be done together and many units will be doing similar tasks concurrently. Do not expect extra manning or aid from higher; prepare with what you have and expect minimal aid from your higher command. Give your most trusted leaders the billets that require the least supervision and give developing leaders the positions that can be closely watched. Listed below are some suggestions for task organization. Ultimately the decision is up to you; do not follow a single template; adapt your unit to best fight your area.

Intelligence—The insurgent is normally easy to kill but hard to find. Intelligence will become one of your main concerns and will require the  majority of your time. Do not attempt to accomplish this task on your own; it is possible to form an intelligence cell at the company level. Put an officer, a Staff NCO or an NCO that is capable of performing detailed, complex and cognitive tasks in charge of this intelligence cell and support him with a team of competent personnel that can gather, sort and analyze information and make predictions about the enemy and indigenous personnel. Key: Every individual within the unit is an intelligence collector.

Operations Cell—It may also be necessary to establish a company ops cell to initiate and track plans. Counterinsurgencies are multi- dimensional and a company commander will be required to stay involved in every aspect; but not in every minute detail. Again, this is a consideration and it may not be applicable or even possible in your situation.

Information and Civil Operations—Information operations are central to mobilizing the populace. This cell should include a political officer whose sole job it is to provide you with information about the local populace. The perfect political officer is a State Department Field

Officer that speaks the native language, knows the people and understands the culture. This may not be possible at the company level, but the billet is vital. A single officer or staff NCO must be assigned to this billet; the commander must have a constant feed of information and he should not attempt to do it himself, nor should he task it to his intelligence cell, which will be fully committed to the vital tactical information aspects of your operation. Key: Just as every individual is an intelligence collector in COIN; they are also “transmitters” of our message to the local populace by his actions, conduct, bearing, and words.

Civil operations in most cases will be prepared and initiated by you and performed by another unit. Seek and be prepared to accept engineers and civil affairs personnel into your structure.

Operating Areas—A way to achieve a great deal of understanding of and connection with the area is to assign your subordinate units to their own operating areas. Let them become familiar with the streets, people and patterns of a specified area. The benefits are numerous: junior leaders can design their own patrolling plans with guidance, will have knowledge of the area, can develop trusted contacts and assets and can set their posture based off of their threat. This technique requires platoon commanders and squad leaders that are proactive, are able to grasp an understanding of changing situations and are capable of designing and executing logical plans based off of guidance. A set back of this technique is possible complacency and comfort with the area; this can be mitigated by proper supervision. Only under unusual circumstances should a commander shift unit operating areas because of the loss of area awareness and local relationships.

Functional Areas—A more centrally controlled method of task organization is to rotate units along functional areas. For example, one platoon conducts patrolling for a set number of days while another platoon is on guard and the third is on rest and QRF. This method gives units a break from the monotony and stress of a single task and can allow for more flexibility at the company level in some cases. It does not, however, allow for the same amount of contact with the local populace, nor does it allow for a detailed understanding of a specific area.

Mobilize the populace in support of their objectives. To succeed in countering the insurgency, security forces must also mobilize the populace so as to marginalize the insurgents, create a less permissive operating environment for their activities, and win popular support. Therefore the essence of COIN is a competition to mobilize the populace. This is not a new or “soft” approach, and it is vital to successful COIN operations.

The populace includes a number of overlapping sub-groups, across a spectrum from active supporters of the COIN force to active insurgent fighters. The aim of populace mobilization is not solely to destroy groups at the “enemy” end of the spectrum, but also to progressively shift individuals and groups closer to the “friendly” end of the spectrum.  The enemy will try to force your units to hate all locals. Nothing is more critical to denying the enemy this victory than the attitude of sturdy small unit leaders who can combat shocks in stride and maintain their subordinates morale and fighting power. We are America’s elite and must never forget that we represent a great country that stands against oppression and evil. We must bridge cultural gaps and combat perceptions that distract from what we represent in order to undercut the enemy’s support.

 


Encyclopedia of American Loons

Bob Unruh

Being a journalist for the WND is – as we have had ample opportunities to demonstrate – not exactly a sign of intellectual or epistemic virtues, but Bob Unruh is one. As you’d expect, Unruch is also a religious fundamentalist, conspiracy theorist and all-purpose science denialist. Since he doesn’t know or understand anything and doesn’t care (here is a commentary on Unruh’s coverage of the David Coppedge trial as an illustration of his standards), he is also rather versatile in his journalistic efforts. All his efforts are characterized by his trademark level of demagoguery and dishonesty, however.

Unruh is, for instance, an indefatigable apologist for creationism. An illustrative example of his work on behalf of creationism is his 2016 article, reported on here, on how Ark-Park and Creation Museum host Ken Ham mopped the floor with scientist Bill Nye in the debates between them, with Nye coming across to Unruh as a close-minded nihilist with an agenda compared to the humble and agenda-less Ham. Unruh has also brought Ham onboard as an expert witness for instance to comment on some 2015 Congressional “Darwin day” proposal (it is unclear which); Democrats ostensibly make such proposals “because they’re intolerant of Christianity and want to replace it with their own religion,” and “the resolution is a sign of the nation’s current move to suppress Christianity and promote beliefs such as evolution. While America was built on the Judeo-Christian ethic and worldview, secularists are becoming more and more intolerant.” Yes, we are aware that those are quotes from Ken Ham. Unruh is just unbiasedly reporting them. Come on.

Another authority Unruh has appealed to is Ray Comfort; writing about Comfort’s remarkably silly introduction to his (Comfort’s) own edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species entitled “Nothing Created Everything”, Unruh claims that Comfort “debunks evolution” – indeed, the very subtitle of his article is: “Failure of natural selection logic documented in ‘Nothing Created Everything’.” But then, as Unruh “understands” it, the theory of evolution is the theory that life “randomly erupted from a puddle of sludge on some prehistoric landscape.” This is, hopefully needless to say, not the theory of evolution. (By contrast, according to Unruh, intelligent design is “the theory that the universe and life are too complex to have randomly erupted.” This is, hopefully needless to say, not an intelligent design theory – indeed, it isn’t a theory at all but just a denial of evolution.)

Unruh is also a global warming denialist, of the kind who thinks that short periods of cold weather and snow are devastating evidence against global warming. After all, why wouldn’t he think that, given his general level of understanding of facts, evidence and science amply illustrated above?

Otherwise, Unruh is also central in the Clinton body count conspiracy movement, tirelessly connecting imaginary dots in incoherent ways (no, we won’t directly link to any of his many articles on the topic). He is also a birther.

And how surprised would you be if you are told that Unruh is vehemently opposed to marriage equality? He has, among other things (more detailed, though older, tally here):

–  Complained that dictionaries often include the word “homophobia” but never the word “homofascism”

–  Promoted the work and ideas of Scott Lively

–  Lied about Lively’s involvement in developing Uganda’s anti-gay laws, saying that Lively was merely doing “biblical preaching … against homosexual behavior.” He has, for the WND, extensively mischaracterized other people’s criticism of Lively’s involvement, tellingly neglecting to link to what the people he criticizes were actually saying to ensure that you wouldn’t check.

–  Attributed fake quotes to Houston’s mayor after a Houston anti-discrimination ordinance was passed in 2014.

Diagnosis: Liar for Jesus, propagandist and conspiracy theorist masquerading as a journalist. Insofar as we are talking about a journalist for the WND, it is unlikely that he will fool anyone but those already far down the rabbit hole. Still.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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