TBR News July 26, 2020

Jul 26 2020

The Voice of the White House
Comments, July 26, 2020:. By sending his camouflaged and armed DHS thugs to break up legitimate protests in American cities, Fat Donald is of the mistaken belief that the public will view him as a Real Man and vote for him. In this, Fat Donald is in error. The great mass of the American public is beginning to view him as a cardboard Adolf Hitler and when, not if, the public rains on  him in November, he will end up down the storm drain.

The Table of Contents

  • Alex Jones’s Bogus Coronavirus Cures
  • Seattle Black Lives Matter clashes spark 45 arrests, 21 police injured
  • Trump can’t shift public attention from coronavirus to the streets of America
  • Trump’s All-Stick, No-Carrot Approach Has Brought Two US Adversaries Together
  • Department of Defense-Domestic Counterinsurgency Part 8
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons

Alex Jones’s Bogus Coronavirus Cures
The Infowars founder is one of many opportunists trying to profit off the global health crisis. SuperSilver toothpaste, anyone?
March 30, 2020
by Andrew Marantz
The New Yorker

On March 6th, government officials in Austin, Texas, cancelled South by Southwest, because of covid-19. Although the cancellation would surely save lives, it would also, the festival’s organizers said in a statement, take a toll on “hundreds of small businesses.” But at least one small business in Austin did not let the crisis go to waste. Infowars is a group of Web sites—a “news” blog, audio and video feeds, an online store—founded by Alex Jones, the nation’s most prolific disinformation agent who does not hold elective office. (One of Jones’s most prominent fans, Donald Trump, once told him, on air, “Your reputation is amazing.”) In a video broadcast the day after South by Southwest was called off, Jones and a guest speculated that the reason was not concern for public safety but rather a “psy-op”—a psychological operation to sow panic and consolidate government power. “Controlling people is a stopgap,” Jones said. “But having antivirals, getting your immune system healthy—that is the answer. And, yes, folks, we sell great antivirals.”

Jones is best known for his paranoid rants, which have brought him some revenue in the form of online ads, but he makes most of his income as a snake-oil salesman. The Infowars store sells hundreds of products, from “nutraceuticals” to “tactical pens” to “survival food” (dried beans and the like, perfect for stocking a bunker). For the past few weeks, nearly every food item has been sold out. A note on the site read, “Our expanded team is focusing on and will deliver the tens of thousands of orders already in our queue as we work diligently through this national emergency together.”

Many of Jones’s “health and wellness” products contain colloidal silver: SuperSilver Whitening Toothpaste, SuperSilver Wound Dressing Gel, ABL Nano Silver Gargle. Colloidal silver has only one known effect on the body—if you take too much of it, your skin might turn blue. Still, disaster-prepper types have long touted it as a cure for viral ailments, from H.I.V. to the common cold. “This stuff kills the whole sars-corona family at point-blank range,” Jones said in a live stream on March 10th. “It kills every virus.” This is not true. On March 6th, the F.D.A. had issued an open letter, warning, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease.” Jones was only one of many opportunists advertising bogus coronavirus cures. Jim Bakker, the televangelist, was also selling a colloidal-silver gel; on Facebook, Vivify Holistic Clinic advertised a “very strong boneset tea.”

Although the Infowars studio is in Texas, none of that state’s officials did anything to derail Jones’s sales pitch. But since Infowars content is viewable wherever people have Internet, including New York, this state’s consumer-protection laws apply. “Whenever there’s heightened fear and hysteria, we start to see scammers,” Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, said recently. “We see stores around Brooklyn selling hand sanitizer for eighty dollars a bottle. We see people setting up fake charities—phishing attempts, essentially. We see medical scams—Web sites that have a magic cure. We have a responsibility to take action against anything that is putting New Yorkers in danger.”

James instructed Lisa Landau, the chief of her office’s health-care bureau, to send Jones a cease-and-desist letter. In a footnote, Landau acknowledged that the Infowars site did include some vague verbiage disclaiming liability, but that its “miniscule font size makes it unlikely that potential customers will read or even see the disclaimer.”

Days later, a new disclaimer appeared, this one in a non-minuscule font: “The products sold on this site are not intended for use in the cure, treatment, prevention, or mitigation of any disease, including the novel coronavirus.” Near the disclaimer, however, was a link to products such as a “Build the Wall, Protect Texas” T-shirt, George Washington socks (“We need to broadcast true Americana everywhere we go to shut down globalist censorship”), and bottles of ABL Nano Silver Gargle (sold out, wait list available). “This is the plan, folks,” Jones said. “They plan on, if they’ve fluoridated you and vaccinated you and stunned you and mesmerized you with the TV and put you in a trance, on killing you.” Meanwhile, “they” were determined “to make sure you don’t learn about the known antivirals that are in the environment.”

“He has added a new disclaimer, but he hasn’t stopped selling the products,” James said. “We are still in contact with his lawyers, and, at a certain point, if they refuse to comply with our order, then enough is enough.” Meaning what? “Meaning we hit them with an array of violations, we issue subpoenas, and we could haul them to court,” she said. “My advice to Mr. Jones and any other scammers out there would be to heed our warnings, because, when we go to court, we have a pretty high success rate.” ♦

Seattle Black Lives Matter clashes spark 45 arrests, 21 police injured
July 25, 2020
by Gregory Scruggs

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Dozens were arrested and many police injured in clashes around Seattle’s biggest Black Lives Matter protest in weeks on Saturday, police said, with a renewed energy sparked by violent clashes between activists and federal agents in nearby Portland, Oregon.

Police said officers used non-lethal weapons in attempts to disperse the thousands of marchers in the late afternoon after some protesters set fire to the construction site for a King County juvenile detention facility and courthouse.

By 10 p.m.(0500 GMT), police had “made 45 arrests in connection with today’s riot in the East Precinct,” the Seattle Police wrote in a Twitter post.

It said “21 officers sustained injuries after being struck by bricks, rocks mortars/other explosives. Most officers were able to return to duty. One was treated at a hospital for a knee injury.”

Earlier the police had said they were working to secure access for the city’s fire department to the blaze, which it said was started by about a dozen people who were part of a large group of demonstrators.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he expanded the deployment of federal police to Seattle, enraging local officials and igniting anger among protesters.

“We saw what was happening in Portland and we wanted to make sure in our city we were standing in solidarity with other moms,” said Lhorna Murray, who attended on behalf of the newly formed Wall of Moms Seattle, replicating a tactic from the Portland protests where mothers, dressed in yellow, form a human wall between protesters and law enforcement.

The tactics of federal officers in Portland have drawn the ire of local leaders and Democrats in Congress, who say those officers are using excessive force and complain of overreach by the Trump administration

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington Brian Moran said in a statement on Friday that federal agents are stationed in Seattle to protect federal properties and the work done in those buildings.

The Trump administration has also sent federal police to Chicago, Kansas City and Albuquerque, New Mexico, over the objections of those mayors.

Reporting by Greg Scruggs in Seattle; Additional reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Grant McCool, Daniel Wallis and William Mallard

Trump can’t shift public attention from coronavirus to the streets of America
The president shows no leadership on public health but wants to be a strongman on law and order. Voters won’t buy it
July 26, 2020
by Robert Reich
The Guardian

Donald Trump has said he has “no responsibility” for the coronavirus pandemic, fobbing it off on governors and mayors whose repeated requests for federal help he’s denied. Yet he’s now sending federal troops into cities he says are controlled by the “radical left”, whose mayors and governors don’t want them there.

The president wants to shift public attention from the virus, which he can’t “dominate”, to the streets of America, which he and his secret police can.

It’s an especially cynical re-election strategy because coronavirus deaths are rising again. More Americans are on track to be hospitalized with the virus than at any other point. Rates of new infections repeatedly shatter single-day records. As a result, the US economy is backsliding.

Trump has never offered a national strategy for testing, contact tracing and isolating those who have the disease. He has provided no standards for reopening the economy, no plan for national purchasing of critical materials, no definitive policy for helping the unemployed, no clear message about what people and businesses should do. He rushed to reopen without adequate safeguards.

The hapless White House “coronavirus taskforce” is in perpetual disarray. Trump has downgraded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). His Department of Labor hasn’t even put out standards for workplace safety.

Trump won’t use the Defense Production Act to secure supplies to perform tests – swabs, chemicals, pipette tips, machines, containers – so public health officials can’t quickly identify and isolate people who are infected and trace their contacts.

It’s been an abominable, chaotic mess – which is why the virus is back.

Yet when it comes to assaulting Americans, Trump has been asserting strong leadership. He’s deploying unidentified federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon: attacking them, pulling them into unmarked vans, detaining them without charges.

Trump is also sending troops to Kansas City, Albuquerque and Chicago. He says he’ll send them to New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland as well – not incidentally, all cities with Democratic mayors, large black populations and no violent unrest.

Trump can’t find federal personnel to do contact tracing for the coronavirus but has found thousands of agents for his secret police, drawn from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Trump doesn’t want to know about the coronavirus but he’s keeping careful track of the battles in the streets, demanding up-to-the-minute briefings from the front.

Public health authorities don’t have adequate medical equipment to quickly analyze coronavirus tests but Trump’s police have everything they need to injure protesters, including armored vans, teargas, and tactical assault weapons – “the best equipment”, Trump boasted last week.

There is no legal authority for this. The founders denied police power to the national government. The local officials in charge of keeping public order reject Trump’s troops. The mayor of Portland was teargassed this week. The mayor of Kansas City calls them “disgraceful”. Albuquerque’s mayor announced: “There’s no place for Trump’s secret police in our city.” Chicago’s mayor does “not welcome dictatorship”.

The one encouraging note – analogous to Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark – is the absence of the US military. Unlike Trump’s lapdog attorney general, William Barr, the generals don’t want any part of it.

The Trump campaign is running fictitious ads portraying cities as overrun by violent leftwing mobs, and Trump’s shameless Fox News lackeys are depicting protesters as “rioters” and the “armed wing of Democratic party”.

At the same time, Trump is trying to suppress the truth about the coronavirus. The White House is instructing hospitals to report cases to the Department of Health and Human Services rather than to the CDC. Trump has muzzled the federal government’s most prominent and trusted virologist, Dr Anthony Fauci, while the White House tries to discredit him. In the upcoming coronavirus relief bill, Trump doesn’t even want to fund more testing and tracing, or the CDC.

After railing against the CDC’s guidelines for reopening schools as “very tough [and] expensive”, Trump this week pressured the CDC to issue more lax guidelines, some of which were written by White House officials instead of CDC experts.

Yet Trump won’t be able to shift public attention from the virus to the streets of America. The violence he’s trying to fuel and exaggerate is far less frightening to average voters than the virus, which is worsening by the day, especially in Texas, Florida, and other states that went for Trump in 2016. His blatant failure to contain it is causing people to die.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His new book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, is out now. He is a columnist for Guardian US

Trump’s All-Stick, No-Carrot Approach Has Brought Two US Adversaries Together
July 23, 2020
by Daniel R. DePetris
Defense One

The blooming China-Iran bilateral relationship serve as a warning to U.S. policymakers.

Chinese investment in Iran is not a new phenomenon. The Persian Gulf nation is a critical corridor for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s $1 trillion Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. Iran has increasingly benefited from tens of billions of dollars in credit from China’s state-backed financial institutions. Beijing has a hand in wide swaths of the Iranian market, including the transportation, nuclear, and energy sectors.

A draft strategic partnership agreement, however, takes Beijing’s investment in Iran to a new level. Reports that Beijing and Tehran have settled on a $400 billion accord covering 100 separate projects across the Iranian banking, telecommunications, port, and oil industry—not to mention increased cooperation between the two nations in weapons development and intelligence—is a reflection of the importance the Chinese Communist Party attaches to the untapped Iranian market.

But the stronger China-Iran bilateral relationship is also an indictment of Washington’s Iran policy: an all-stick, no-carrot blunt instrument that has brought Beijing and Tehran, two U.S. adversaries, closer together.

The Trump administration’s May 2018 decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action severely blunted the Iranian economy. Banking restrictions and secondary sanctions targeting foreign entities doing business with Iran in any way, shape, or form have forced President Hassan Rouhani’s administration to make do with a lot less. European companies prepared to jump into Iran after the nuclear deal was signed have instead stayed clear of Iranian commerce. In April 2018, before the most serious sanctions were issued, Iran’s crude oil exports averaged 2.5 million barrels per day. Today, daily exports have plunged to 100,000 to 200,000 barrels—a 96% decline.

By its own admission, the Iranian government is in extreme need of cash. Mohammad Bagher Mobakht, the official in charge of the Iranian state budget, told parliament that Iran received a paltry $8.9 billion in crude export revenue last year—a fraction of the $119 billion Tehran earned a decade earlier. In President Rouhani’s own words, the Iranian people are going through “the most difficult year” in the Islamic Republic’s 41-year history.

The sanctions are so indiscriminate that even Chinese companies have occasionally backed out of joint projects with the Iranians. China National Petroleum Corporation pulled out of a $5 billion natural gas project last October, a demonstration of just how concerned some Chinese financial firms can be of getting on the wrong side of the U.S. Treasury Department.

While the White House can brag of successfully strangling Iran’s economy, the policy objectives the administration is striving to accomplish through its maximum pressure campaign are nowhere in sight.

The Trump administration assumed that, faced with the prospects of bankruptcy and poverty, the leadership in Tehran would return to the negotiating table, fulfill U.S. demands and radically transform its foreign policy to Washington’s liking.  However, Iran, like many mid-tier powers, puts a high price on capitulating to a larger power—particularly if those powers are historic adversaries. Iranian officials see no legitimate reason why they should introduce even a sprinkle of reform when the U.S. is offering little to nothing in return. Surrendering to U.S. diktats would only put the current leadership in Tehran at high risk, all the while confirming in Washington’s mind that uncompromising financial pressure is a strategy worth pursuing far into the future.

Washington’s maximum pressure campaign is not only sadly lacking in positive results—it is also inherently prefaced on escalation. Newton’s third law of motion—every action has an equal and opposite reaction—is as relevant in geopolitics as it is in physics. In Tehran’s case, maximum pressure has resulted in maximum resistance. Far from offering concessions, Tehran is using its mastery of asymmetrical tactics to unleash pressure of its own while reaching out to China in an attempt to balance out pressure from Washington. China, increasingly battling the U.S. across multiple strategic domains, is the one big power both willing and able to serve as Iran’s balancer of last resort—and Beijing intends to profit off Washington’s mistakes in the process.

The overarching lesson of this story is clear for those in the Beltway open-minded enough to heed it: not only can sanctions force targets to adapt and harden their position, but their punitive effects very often have negative, second-order consequences detrimental to U.S. national security interests. The Trump administration is learning in real time how launching economic pressure tactics against multiple adversaries at the same time can push those very same adversaries into greater alignment at U.S. expense.

Relying on America’s enviable financial power and overusing the sanctions tool, however, weakens their impact over time and gives other countries added incentive to find alternatives to U.S. banking systems. Let the blooming China-Iran bilateral relationship serve as a reminder to U.S. policymakers—if not tied to reasonable policy objectives and a willingness by the U.S. to actually negotiate in good-faith, financial warfare can create geopolitical openings that will dampen U.S. influence in the long-term.

Daniel R. DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities, and a columnist for the Washington Examiner.



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 8



Four elements make up the basic crowd control formation:

  • Base element. This is the front line of the formation. This element is made up of two ranks. The first rank is shield holders while the second rank contains the nonlethal weapons.
  • Support element. The support element forms in a column formation behind the base element. It may be used to replace the base element members as needed or provide lateral or direct support. It performs extraction team operations.

A diamond formation is used to enter a crowd. It is the formation of choice for extraction teams. As a defensive formation, the diamond is used when all-around security is required, such as in open areas


The circle formation is used for the same purposes as the diamond formation.

The decision to use either the diamond or circle formation is based on the conformation of the crowd.


Vehicles may be employed with troops in control force formation especially when a large rioting crowd is on hand. When using vehicles, cover the windshield with sturdy, close mesh fencing and the standard safety glass. Create a buffer space between the two surfaces. Shields and or mobile barriers may be built by mounting a wooden or metal frame strung with barbed wire across the front of a vehicle.

Members of the formation should walk as near to the front corners of each vehicle as possible to keep rioters from attacking the sides and rear of the vehicles.

When up-armored HMMWVs or other armored vehicles are used in crowd control formations, leaders ensure that they are able to see and control the formation.


  • Leaders choose their options based on an assessment of the crowd. Leaders select the combination of control techniques and force options they believe will influence the particular situation most effectively (based on METT-TC). Leaders choose the response they expect to reduce the intensity of the situation. Options to consider for crowd control are—
  • Monitor the crowd to gather intelligence and observe to determine whether leaders have emerged, volatility has increased, and movement.
  • Block the crowd’s advance upon a facility or area.
  • Disperse the crowd in order to prevent injury or prevent the destruction of property.
  • Contain the crowd to limit it to the area it is occupying. This prevents it from spreading to surrounding areas and communities.


Dispersal may result in a crowd breaking into multiple groups, causing greater problems and continued threat to the control forces. A contained crowd has a limited duration; their numbers are likely to diminish as individual needs take precedence over those of the crowd. Issue a proclamation to assist with dispersing a crowd. A proclamation officially establishes the illegal nature of a crowd’s actions, and it puts the populace on official notice regarding the status of their actions. If a proclamation is issued, ensure action is taken to enforce it. Nonaction will be seen as a sign of weakness. When issuing a proclamation, remember the following:

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

Intent cannot exceed response capability.

Do not disclose the type of force/munitions to be used.


Use the following techniques to control crowds:

  • Ensure that ROE, levels of force and uses, and the commander’s intent (to include non lethal weapon and lethal options, if necessary) are clearly understood by all.
  • Determine in advance the recent psychological characteristics of demonstrations and mobs.
  • Establish command relationships and the authority to fire nonlethal weapons munitions.
  • Make an extraction plan and have flexible withdrawal drills.
  • Always maintain a lethal overwatch of a control force. When marksmen are deployed, keep them covered and out-of-sight. Designated marksman teams build confidence in the members of the control force.
  • Always maintain a reserve force to reinforce the control force. Hold reserves out-of-sight.
  • Know who the media representatives are and where they are located. Ask them in advance the theme of any story and information they are developing.
  • Be reasonable and balanced. However, a mob’s perceived lack of risk encourages rioters.
  • Move the crowd, but don’t smash them. They will fight if smashed.
  • Maximize distance and barriers between crowd and control formations. Use nonlethal weapons munitions to create a standoff distance.
  • If the use of force level escalates to a deadly force, adjusted aim points (head shots) with nonlethal weapons munitions can produce lethal effects.
  • Create nonlethal weapons range cards for static positions.
  • Consider environmental conditions and their effect on the performance of less-than-lethal munitions. Keep in mind the potential for a lethal outcome is possible in all types of missions.


The force applied will continually change dependent on the threat levels and ROE. As the threat increases or decreases, the level of force increases or decreases based on ROE.


The M9 pistol is the weapon of choice for extraction/apprehension teams. Use of the M203 grenade launcher and 12-gauge shotgun are recommended with nonlethal weapons munitions capability, especially for overwatch of frontline personnel. Add nonstandard weapons, such as shotguns, for a greater nonlethal weapons capabil-ity. Example: the shotgunner is used to protect the M203 gunner as he reloads. Balance weapons mix and munitions according to METT-TC.

Soldiers in the front line of the formation should be armed with their standard weapon carried across the back, butt up and muzzle down. The weapon is cleared and the magazine is in the appropriate ammo pouch.


“Attention! Attention! Soldiers are present in this area. They are preparing to advance. Order must and will be maintained. Disperse peaceably and leave this area. To avoid possible injury, leave at once. Disperse now and avoid possible injury! Disperse now and avoid possible injury!” * (Repeat until Soldiers are committed.)


“       Soldiers are advancing now. They will not stop until this crowd is dispersed and order is restored. To avoid injuries, leave the area at once. Return to your homes as peaceful citizens. Soldiers have their orders, and they will not stop until the crowd is dispersed. Avoid injury. Leave this area.” *



“Attention! Attention! This area must be cleared at once! Further unlawful behavior will not be tolerated. Clear this area at once or the necessary force to do so will be used.” *


“Disperse and retire peaceably! Disperse and retire peaceably! Attention all demonstrators!

“The demonstration in which you are participatingends at _____. The permit that was agreed to by the leaders of the demonstration expires at that time. All demonstrators must depart from the _____ NLT _____. All persons who wish to leavevoluntarily may board the buses. These buses will go to the ______. Those who wish to take buses should move to ______. Those demonstrators who do not leave voluntarily NLT ________ will be arrested and taken to a detention center. All demonstrators are urged to abide by the permit.” *


“Return to your homes! Someone may be looting them at this moment! During a disturbance, criminal activity is at its peak. Your family and/or your property may be in danger.” *

(Used in conjunction with other announcements.)

“Attention! Attention! Do not attempt to cause further disorder. Disperse now in an orderly manner and avoid possible injury to children. Return at once to your homes.” *

* Indicates the method, the streets, and direction that the crowd should use when dispersing.


There are advantages and disadvantages in using nonlethal weapons. Nonlethal weapons can be used alone, when they are backed up with the ability to use lethal force, or in conjunction with lethal force. Leaders apply ROE to determine when and where nonlethal weapons may be used. ROE should not jeopardize the right of Soldiers to protect life where necessary with lethal force.Employ nonlethal weapons consistent with extant treaties, conventions, and inter-national and national laws. Their use should be morally and ethically justifiable. Use nonlethal weapons proportionately (the least destructive way to defeat insurgents) and discriminately (protect noncombatants from direct intentional attack). In planning the employment of nonlethal weapons, fully rehearse the operational response to all possible reactions. Anticipate, coordinate, and prepare for responses from the civil, public affairs, medical, and legal authorities as a consequence of unintended results and side effects caused by the use of nonlethal weapons. Nonlethal weapons should be fully integrated with lethal weapons in order to provide a graduated response to a situation based upon the perception of the threat and use of minimum force.

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without considering countermeasures to possible crowd reactions to their use.

Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without political-military consideration for instructions that may be given.

Civil-Military Operations Assessment Checklist


  • Obtain a map of the area or the community. If no map is available, draw one to scale.
  • Indicate road networks (include main and secondary roads).
  • Show location of such important places as religious institutions, schools, community halls, and marketplaces.
  • Indicate distances to adjacent communities.
  • Describe what determines the center of the community and what factors are most important in giving the community its identification.
  • Describe the relation of the community as to the political, trade, school, and religious areas with that of the adjoining communities.
  • Describe the weather and terrain features directly affecting the location or life of the community.


  • Identify important people and events in the community’s history. Consider the following:
  • Natural crises in the history of the community.
  • First settlement.
  • Incidents giving rise to conflicts or cooperation in the community.
  • Immigration and emigration.
  • Outstanding leaders and famous citizens in the community.
  • Prior interaction with foreign militaries.


Obtain the following information:

  • Common occupations of inhabitants.
  • Ethnic groups present, if applicable.


Determine how inhabitants, groups, organizations, and governmental entities communicate  within the community and with other communities. Consider the following:

  • Transportation (roads, water, rail, air).
  • Electronic (telephones, television, radio, internet, telegraph).
  • Printed material (newspaper, posters, magazines).
  • Mail facilities.
  • Connections with other communities.
  • Degree of self-sufficiency or isolation.


Determine the groups or individuals that are independent of the local government; for example, groups or individuals directly responsible to an outside or higher government. Determine the effects they have on the community. Determine the attitude of the local citizens toward these individuals.


Consider the following factors when assessing the economic situation:

Natural resources.

  • Agriculture.
  • Crops and products, markets, ownership, and tenancy.
  • Who are the landlords?
  • Are they in the community or absentees?
  • Are there any local merchants? What is their influence on the community?
  • Professional (teachers, doctors, ministers).
  • Credit associations and their relations to the community.
  • Relative economic status of the people (debt, savings, taxes).


Consider the following factors when assessing the economic situation:

  • Number, make-up, attitude, and membership of each religion/sect.
  • Buildings and equipment.
  • Schools run by religious institutions.

Relationship of each religion/sect with the others. Do they clash or cooperate?


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of educational organizations:

  • Schools (number, size, territory served, buildings, equipment, libraries, and administrative structure).
  • History (how and by whom were the schools constructed?)
  • School activities and relation to the community.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of voluntary organizations:

  • Number, types, composition of membership, equipment, activities, and relation to
  • other phases of community life.
  • Farmers’ co-ops (4-H-type organizations, home economic organizations).
  • Other occupational groups.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of recreational facilities:

  • Civil-Military Operations Assessment Checklist
  • Organizations for recreation (community buildings, athletic clubs, soccer teams, ball fields and courts).
  • Traditional forms of and local attitudes toward recreation needs.


Consider the following factors when assessing the health and health care situation:

  • Physicians, health workers, nurses.
  • Public and private health organizations, national and international (hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, school health program).
  • Health status of the people.
  • Prevalence, incidence, and types of diseases.


Consider the following factors when assessing the political situation:

  • Political structure and government (solidarity or strife and causes).
  • Dominant personalities.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of community activities,

customs, and ideals:

  • Community events other than religious observances.
  • Community customs or traditions (taboos or social disapprovals)?
  • Activity characteristics and pastimes.
  • Community attitudes on all types of progress?


Consider the following factors when assessing the leadership situation:

  • Dominant leaders. Family control.
  • Is leadership representative, democratic, or autocratic?
  • What is being done by whom to develop new leaders?
  • Attitude of people toward old and new leaders.
  • Motivation—politics, religion, economic power, prestige, or a combination of these?


Consider the following factors when assessing the community organization:

  • What is being done to integrate the community?
  • What are the needs for community organizations?
  • Consider the following factors when assessing the status of law and order:
  • Organization and capabilities of law enforcement agencies.
  • Police techniques.
  • Crime rate and trends.



Population and resources control provides a broad base of security in which counterinsurgency operations and national and community development programs, including civic action, can be executed. Population and resources control is a mechanism to collect social and economic intelligence. Principles that apply to a population and resources control operation


  • Deny insurgents access to the population and resources.
  • Deny the enemy the ability to live.
  • Cut them off from food, water, clothing—everything.
  • Identify and prioritize population sectors and resources to be secured and protected.
  • Unify and coordinate all civil and security forces and assets within the community with special attention given to around-the-clock security, intelligence collection, PSYOP and civil affairs.
  • Include local law enforcement forces in security-related plans and operations to the maximum extent possible. Mobilize, arm, and train the local population to provide their own local community security.
  • Structure security force activity and actions to lead to the populace overtly picking a side. However, these activities and actions must not be abusive.
  • Establish leverage. Use advice, equipment, and money to attempt to change people’s attitudes and behavior positively. US and multinational personnel are trainers for HN personnel, but not advisors.


  • Typical objectives for a population and resources control operation include the following:
  • Sever any relationship between the population and insurgents:
  • Identify and destroy insurgent support activities within the community.
  • Identify and destroy insurgent organizational infrastructure.
  • Identify and eliminate the insurgent political apparatus (communications).
  • Institute harsh penalties for those caught supporting the insurgents. Create a secure physical and psychological environment for the population, one in which people are free to go about their business and prosper without worrying about insurgents taking their freedom and prosperity from them. Counteract enemy propaganda. Conduct a national IO campaign strategy with interagency planning and resources that distributes its message and is responsive to current events to ensure relevancy. Execute it in the districts and locales. Provide a discreet means for citizens to provide information about insurgents. People tend to submit reports based on rumors or grudge reports. However, some of these are true. Be alert for them.

Population and Resources Control

Within each town draw a diagram (or use satellite imagery) and number the buildings in each square block. Within each building establish who and how many people are living in each apartment or room. Record the names, gender, age, and relationship to the other occupants. Take pictures of each where possible (there may be cultural sensitivities in this area). Then, build a card/digital file with this information categorized. Use GPS devices to establish exact locations and to locate huts, houses, or  neighborhoods.Two to three weeks later, cordon-and-search a block during the evening or night to verify the data. Avoid establishing a target sequence/pattern.

Plan and contract for the upgrade and re-equipping of local security forces as required so these forces have a superior level of arms as compared to the insurgents, for example, with weapons such as technicals. Technicals are field expedient vehicles used as weapons platforms.  Purchase pick-up trucks and equip them with crew-served, pintle-mounted weapons, such as .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers. Be prepared for increased interest in these weapons by all sides. Use IO planners to develop a PSYOP program designed to win the confidence and support of the population and establish a base of political allegiance. Ensure the US, and local law enforcement forces are making the populace’s life better on a daily basis. Ensure the townspeople all know what you are doing. Start with clean water, sewage disposal, health care, dental checks, and schools. Plan for and coordinate local intelligence development, gathering, and analysis operations. Develop sources among the populace, while recognizing underlying purposes.

Children are nondescript collectors of information for you as well as about you. They are very effective as lookouts and in surveillance. They will divulge incredible information as a reward for kindness. Verify and vet the information. Plan for development and issue of an identification card to each resident. Use this card to track personnel movement and as identification for elections. Checkpoints should have mobile card reader technology that feeds movement data into a computer chip/database to track and enable identification of personnel movements and patterns.

Where no card reader exists, track movement by assigning a color and stamp to the community or district (close group of villages or towns). Ensure all citizens have the appropriate color. Anyone from outside the community/district will have a different color, or no color. Record the five Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) at all checkpoints. Pass this to intelligence personnel for analysis. Plan to establish civil-military coordination committees. Find out the populace’s priorities and fears. Find out what you and the security forces are doing that works, and what does not work. Listen to your soldiers, who are listening to the people. Beware of local leaders who might be working for their own interests. Publicize and inform the people of what you are doing for them. Plan and coordinate civil programs.


Assign subordinates responsibility for each of the above and below-noted tasks. All brief          their initial concept and the commander deconflicts and prioritizes; then, rebrief. The populace of each town (and officials such as the mayor, police and teachers) must be secure around the clock. The security force families must be protected to prevent indirect threats and intimidation.

Establish general surveillance measures and movement control on the roads leading into the town as well as those inside the town.

Organize, combine, and carry out training for the security forces. The graduation exercise is an actual patrol against the insurgents, to include scheduled surveillance. The local village/community must be trained to secure and police their village. Start recruiting, vetting, training, equipping the local security people as soon as possible.

Establish covert surveillance of the marketplace and stores. Record discreetly who buys what, how much and how often (frequency). Look for unusual amounts of food, clothing, equipment, fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate and phosphates (not purchased by farmers), and abnormal frequency. Recruit/draft locals to do this work, but crosscheck them to determine who can be trusted. Reward the trusted ones.

Perform a daily comparison of the supplies purchase and movements information against the census card file information. Answer questions such as: Why is someone buying a 50-lb bag of rice and 8 pairs of boots and ten pairs of pants or rolls of cotton cloth when they have only a wife and four children to feed and clothe? If they are underemployed, where did they get the money to buy the food and clothes? Look for breaks in patterns such as a farmer traveling to a nearby village at midday when he is usually working in the fields. Select and organize civil guards. Draft those with a stake who will benefit from the security. Train and arm them. You must help the populace choose a side. If they are in some type of civil defense force where they are exposed to insurgent attacks but they have the weapons and training to defeat such attacks, they are far less likely to help the insurgents.

Establish security coordination centers. All intelligence-related information comes here, is recorded and analyzed, and goes out to the security forces. Establish separate facilities for prisoner detention and interrogation. Use psychological profiling to set the conditions for gaining information. If prisoners are mistreated or tortured, the populace will find out and the flow of insurgents turning themselves in will dry up. Mistreatment can seriously damage US objectives and motives.

Establish, exercise, and refine security and alert systems.

Intensify intelligence collection and analysis to identify the insurgent political and support apparatus.

Establish a system of block wardens with reporting procedures as well as incentives.

Hold the wardens accountable for knowing what is going on in their block and environs. For example, do any residents go out surreptitiously in the evening and return late (but are not regulars at a coffee house or bar)? Are there any visitors in the block? Where are they from, and whom are they visiting? Are they suspicious, and in what way?

Establish systems of coordination with security and military forces in the area.

Intensify PSYOP to win the political allegiance of the people.


The decisive operation is preventing any population support for the insurgents.

Supporting operations focus on preventing any popular support for the insurgents.

Secure vital infrastructure using local personnel as the security force.

  • All firearms, to include pistols, rifles and shotguns, to be seized and impounded.
  • No ammunition to be sold and any found to be confiscated.
  • National ID card to be carried by all American citizens and carried at all times
  • All unemployed Americans to be inducted into a CCC type organization and put to work on public projects like forest clearance, road work, governmental construction projects. Youths between 18 and 25 will be inducted and then sent to work projects sufficiently distant from their homes to discourage and prevent desertions, escapes, etc.
  • Certain breeds of dogs, such as German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers will be subject to confiscation and euthanasia
  • Citizens on Social Security or other governmental support programs must present the National ID card in order to collect benefits
  • All current US passports will be revoked and new ones with tracking chips embedded in them will be issued.
  • It shall be strictly forbidden to make or fly any kind of radio controlled aircraft, under penalty of law.
  • The possession or wearing of any garment or covering designed to deflect infrared observation shall be prohibited by law.

Population and Resources Control

  • Establish restrictions and controls (curfews, pass systems, surveillance, road blocks).
  • Coordinate use of police and military units as backups.
  • Increase intelligence and PSYOP activities.


Military police support the commander and civil affairs personnel in conducting population and resources control operations during counterinsurgency missions. These operations

may consist of—

  • Enforcing movement restrictions and curfews.
  • Resettling dislocated refugees.
  • MSR regulation and enforcement.
  • Amnesty programs.
  • Inspecting facilities.
  • Guarding humanitarian assistance distribution sites.
  • Military police also direct dislocated civilians and refugees to resettlement areas and work closely with local and district law enforcement agencies during this process.
  • Military police training, firepower, and mobility, coupled with their interface with and acceptability to the local populace, make them an asset in certain security-related population
  • and resources control tasks.


Checkpoints and roadblocks are set up to check and control the movement of personnel, vehicles, and materiel, and prevent actions that aid the enemy. During counterinsurgency operations, checkpoints and roadblocks assist the commander in maintaining the initiative against the insurgents by disrupting, interfering with, and deterring insurgent operations, and disrupting the insurgents’ decision making cycle. It is important to conduct checkpoints and roadblocks with locl law enforcement, or other security forces.

When conducting checkpoint operations, soldiers need the following support:

Engineers to build obstacles and barriers to channel traffic.

  • Local law enforcement units
  • Trained interrogators.
  • Barrier equipment.
  • Signs and lighting.
  • Communications equipment.


Attitude and mindset. Think of a checkpoint as an ambush position with a friendly attitude. Trust no one outside of your checkpoint team members while on duty. To reduce misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the local populace, recommend posting instructions on signs at the entrances to checkpoints.

Checkpoints site selection should be based on a leader reconnaissance. The site must allow for a vehicle escape route and include plans to destroy a hostile element that uses such a route. If the checkpoint is completely sealed off, insurgents may only penetrate it by attempting to run over or bypass emplaced barricades.

Duration of the checkpoint may vary from 1 to 72 hours depending on the purpose of the operation. Checkpoints that are established early, operate for several hours during periods of peak traffic flow, and then reposition to a different location may lessen the risk of insurgent attack and increase the probability of detecting and attacking or capturing insurgents.

Lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom indicate checkpoints lasting over 72 hours were less effective for reasons related to predictability and fatigue.

  • Checkpoints are deliberate and hasty, but always must consist of the following:
  • Obstacles or barriers emplaced in a serpentine design to slow or stop speeding vehicles.
  • Search areas for personnel and vehicles.
  • Security overwatch and fighting positions.
  • Holding areas.
  • Lighting for night operations.
  • Population and Resources Control
  • Designated assault/reaction forces to attack or pursue individual, groups, or vehicles that attempt to maneuver through, or turn around and attempt to avoid the checkpoint.
  • Deliberate Checkpoint
  • A fixed position set up on a main road in a rural or built-up area that can be classified as either a heavy or light traffic checkpoint. A heavy-traffic deliberate checkpoint normally requires a platoon for manning. Squads can only operate a light traffic checkpoint for a short duration (12 hours or less).
  • To operate a heavy traffic checkpoint, task organize the platoon into—

Headquarters element responsible for C2 and maintaining communications.

Search element, normally a squad that—

Halts vehicles at the checkpoint.

Guides vehicles to the designated search point.

Performs personnel and vehicle searches.

Directs cleared vehicles through the checkpoint.

Security element that provides early warning to the search and assault element, observes and reports suspicious activity, and monitors traffic flow up to and through the checkpoint. It should have an antiarmor capability to protect the site from an armored vehicle threat. Assault element, an additional squad responsible for destroying any insurgent element that forces its way past the search team. Soldiers are positioned beyond the search point and emplaced obstacles/barriers.

Deliberate Checkpoint Legend

A – Search Area/Team: Includes at least one indigenous military or police officer

for language capability.

B – Berm/Obstacle/T-Wall to mitigateblast effect.

C – Vehicle turn-around.

D – Passenger holding area.

E – Crew-served weapons.

F – Fighting positions.

G – Central point.

H – Counter mobility serpentine barriers.

I – Concertina wall barrier.

Organization of a Deliberate Checkpoint

Due to possibility of a suicide bomber attack, place the search area outside the unit’s perimeter.

Placing the search area to the side of the road permits two-way traffic. If a vehicle is rejected, it is turned back. If vehicle is accepted for transit, it is permitted to travel through the position. If the vehicle is enemy, the checkpoint leader determines whether to attack or apprehend.

Everyone at the checkpoint must know the mission and commander’s intent. Be methodical, detail-oriented, and focus on security.

Be friendly and professional to all. Nonetheless, don’t trust anyone! Young women have been very effective suicide bombers. Children have unknowingly and knowingly carried bombs into and through checkpoints.

Soldiers prepare and occupy fortified fighting positions. Stop all vehicles for an initial search outside the obstacle areas. When confronted by a potentially threatening vehicle—

The search element alerts the checkpoint leader, moves to a safe/fortified position, and may engage or allow the vehicle to pass based on leader instructions and ROE.

If the vehicle passes through the escape lane, the checkpoint leader may direct the assault element to engage and attack the vehicle based on ROE.

If a vehicle turns around and attempts to avoid the checkpoint, a designated element pursues and engages them. Shoot the tires first. Approach carefully, and assume the worst. However, the occupants may simply be tired of waiting in line.

Overall don’t hurt people unnecessarily. Some people simply don’t understand what you are directing them to do.

        Hasty Checkpoint

Hasty checkpoints should be set up to last from 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes in duration.

One technique is the maximum use of organic vehicles to serve as additional security and to assist in funneling traffic through the checkpoint in addition to concertina wire and, if available, tire spikes.

The short duration (5 to 30 minutes) reduces the risk of an insurgent organizing and conducting a mortar or car bomb attack against the checkpoint. Additionally, this may disrupt the timing of another planned insurgent action.

Characteristics of a hasty checkpoint are—

  • Located along likely avenues of approach.
  • Achieves surprise.
  • Temporary and moved often.
  • The platoon is able to carry the construction materials.
  • Uses vehicles as an obstacle between the vehicles and personnel, and reinforces them with concertina wire.
  • Soldiers are positioned at each end of the checkpoint.
  • Soldiers are covered by mounted or dismounted automatic weapons.
  • Reaction force (at least one squad) is concealed nearby to attack or assault in case the site is attacked.
  • Soldiers establish hasty checkpoints where they cannot be seen by approaching traffic until it is too late for approaching traffic to unobtrusively withdraw. Effective locations on which to set up hasty checkpoints include—

Population and Resources Control

  • Bridges (near either or both ends, but not in the middle).
  • Defiles (either end is better than in the middle).
  • Highway intersections. These must be well organized to reduce the inherent danger.
  • The reverse slope of a hill (hidden from the direction of the main flow of traffic).
  • Just beyond a sharp curve.
  • Vehicle Search
  • The following is a vehicle search checklist:
  • Stop the vehicle at the search area.
  • Direct the occupants to exit the vehicle and escort them away to a nearby search area.
  • Direct the male occupants to lift all clothing to ensure explosive devices are not attached to their body (females must check female occupants). When female inspectors are not present, an effective method is to search women by having them pull their garments tight to their bodies so that any contour formed by an explosive device or material will stand out. Use explosive detection devices, if available.
  • Soldiers remain behind a secure and fortified position while this process is being conducted. Direct the occupants to open all doors, the trunk, the hood of the vehicles and the gas cap (to include inside enclosures such as glove compartments).
  • Conduct a visual inspection while the occupants of the vehicles lift any and all obstructions from the soldiers’ field of view while remaining behind the fortified positions.Such obstructions could include blankets or clothing on seats.
  • The driver removes any loose items that are not attached to the vehicle for inspection.
  • Once the leader determines it is safe to approach the vehicle, two members of the search team position themselves at both rear flanks of the vehicle. These soldiers maintain eye contact with the occupants once they exit the vehicle.
  • Two soldiers armed only with pistols conduct the search.
  • One soldier conducts interior searches and the other performs exterior searches.
  • Use mirrors and metal detectors to thoroughly search each vehicle for weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other contraband. Depending on the threat level, the vehicle search area should provide blast protection for the surrounding area.
  • Personnel Searches
  • Personnel searches are only conducted when proper authorization has been obtained
  • per the ROE, HN agreements, or status of forces agreement. Planning considerations are—
  • Plan for same-gender searches.
  • Local police, whenever possible, should conduct or at least observe searches of local residents.
  • Preserve the respect and dignity of the individual.
  • Consider local customs.
  • Be polite, considerate, patient, and tactful.
  • Make every effort not to unnecessarily offend the local population.
  • Search for weapons and ammunition, items of intelligence value, currency, drugs,
  • other inappropriate items, and anything that seems out of the ordinary.
  • Soldiers conduct individual searches in search teams that consist of the following:
  • Actually conducts the search. This is the highest-risk position.
  • Maintains eye contact with the individual being searched.
  • The observer is a leader who has supervisory control. He provides early warning.
  • The two most common methods used to conduct individual searches are frisk and wall searches.
  • Frisk search. Quick and adequate to detect weapons, evidence, or contraband. A frisk search is more dangerous because the searcher has less control of the individual being searched.
  • Wall search. Affords more safety for the searcher. Any upright surface may be used, such as a wall, vehicle, tree, or fence.
  • The search team places the subject in the kneeling or prone position if more control is needed to search an uncooperative individual.
  • .Strip searches should only be considered when the individual is suspected of carrying documents or other contraband on his or her person.

Additional Checkpoint Considerations

The following should be considered when operating a checkpoint:

  • Team duties and reactions must be well-defined, backbriefed by all, and rehearsed.
  • Standardize the following three mandatory minimum signals at every checkpoint:
  • Get out of the car.
  • Lift your shirt.
  • Prepare and emplace signs in the local language instructing indigenous personnel what to expect and do at the checkpoint.
  • Determine if it is necessary to apprehend or detain those who see the checkpoint ahead and attempt to turn around.
  • Use local police when available.
  • Position a response force close to the approach route to block or detain vehicles that try to avoid the checkpoint.
  • Clear and maintain control of all buildings and terrain that dominate the check-point.
  • Stay alert for any change of scenery around the checkpoint. Crowds gathering for no apparent reason or media representatives waiting for an event are all indicators that something may happen.
  • Use artificial illumination for night operations.
  • If local law enforcement personnel are used to assist, ensure they do not represent a national, ethnic, or religious group or faction that is feared or hated by the majority of the local population.
  • Move the checkpoint location and change the method of operation at random to avoid setting patterns. The longer your position remains static, the greater the risk you will be attacked.

Population and Resources Control

Record the following information:

  • The number and type of vehicles stopped. Report identifying markings, license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers (where present), and any signs displayed on the vehicle.
  • The point of origination and destination of the vehicle.
  • The number of passengers in the vehicle. Report the nationality, ages, and gender of passengers.
  • The condition of passengers (general health, dress, attitude).
  • The stated reason for travel by passengers.
  • The type and quantity of cargo.
  • Possible or actual sightings of weapons.
  • Explosives or threatening action by the passengers.
  • A description of arms, ammunition, explosives, and sensitive items found and confiscated
  • from the vehicle.
  • Anything unusual reported by the passengers.
  • .Search Areas for Family Cars


A roadblock is defined as a barrier or obstacle (usually covered by fire) used to block or limit the movement of vehicles along a route. Position the roadblock so obstacles like cliffs, swamps, or rivers channel vehicles toward the roadblock.

Select a defendable site for the roadblock. Ensure that defensive positions—

Include a fighting position for crew-served weapons to provide overwatch and covering fire for the roadblock. Establish fields of fire that cover avenues of approach that lead to the roadblock to prevent breach.


Monitor local media (radio, newspaper) both for rumor control/counterpropaganda purposes (essential in population control) as well as intelligence tip-offs (for both current intelligence and tactical indications and warning). You will notice a different slant from the news at home (observed in Bosnia and Haiti).

Identify and listen to what influential local leaders say in public and compare it to their actions in private. These people are leaders in political, government, criminal, ethnic, religious, and family realms. It is important to live with the local people and listen to what they are also saying.

Infrastructure protection and repair/rehabilitation (for example, electrical power and water, electrical pole repair teams) are critical both for improving the populations’ physical well-being as well as for the positive psychological effect it creates. The electrical grid is a good confidence target (very visible), and there is no effect equivalent to the lights going out. “Turning on the lights” in Port-au-Prince contributed to reducing criminal activity (as measured by the murder rate) by about 40 percent in a two-month period (observed in Haiti).

Intelligence screening and selected debriefing of migrants/refugees can yield tactically useful intelligence, especially when coupled with humanitarian relief/civic action activities. Asking the individuals who have turned themselves in to identify any of the people working for you is a very effective way to catch planted agents. Expect them to be there.

Indicators of pending insurgent offensive actions are the theft of medical supplies, car and money thefts, and International Red Cross representatives observed in the area when they are not otherwise present (Bosnia and Haiti).

In urban areas, monitor electric power usage and telephone records. Deviations from normal usage may indicate terrorist activity (United Kingdom Royal Marine observation in Northern Ireland).

        Order of Battle Factors

During counterinsurgency operations, the nature of the threat requires order of battle intelligence be produced in greater detail than is found in conventional operations. All larger organizations must be analyzed, mapped-out, and understood. Often the focus starts with individuals or cells. However, order of battle development should not be linear. An insurgency’s “foot soldiers” are often easily identified and analyzed due to their more public exposure. However, it is paramount to identify the leaders and their relationships at all levels to accurately establish an initial order of battle. In counterinsurgency operations, the categories of personalities, culture, and internal organizational processes are added to the usual list of order of battle factors that are studied from the same perspective as in conventional warfare and include—

  • Disposition. Strength.
  • Tactics and operations.
  • Logistics support.
  • Combat effectiveness.
  • Electronic technical data.
  • Miscellaneous data.

Typical insurgent tactics and operations include, but are not limited to—

Assassination. A term generally applied to the killing of prominent persons and symbolic personnel as well as “traitors” who defect from the group.

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. The IED is the insurgent’s or terrorist’s weapon of choice. IEDs can be inexpensive to produce and, because of the various detonation techniques available, may be a low risk to the perpetrator. However, suicidal bombing cannot be overlooked as an employment method. Other IED advantages include their ability to gain publicity, as well as the ability to control casualties through timed detonation and careful placement of the device. It is also easily deniable, should the action produce undesirable results.

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.

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 unless the kidnapping is accompanied by acts of barbarism that extend news coverage. 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.

Order of Battle Factors

Intimidation/Blackmail. Insurgents may attempt to gain coerced political, fiscal, or logistic support from local government officials, local businessmen, or other influential community leaders through intimidation or blackmail. This could be in the form of threats on the individual’s life, kidnapping of people close to the individual, or threats to disrupt or destroy (for example, bombing or arson) infrastructure that is important to the individual.

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 and may opt to use force to resolve the incident, especially if few or no innocent lives are involved.

Raids or attacks on facilities. Armed attacks on facilities are usually undertaken for one of three purposes:

  • Gain access to radio or television broadcasts to make a statement.
  • Demonstrate the government’s inability to secure critical facilities or national symbols.
  • Acquire resources (for example, robbery of a bank or armory).

Sabotage. The objective in most sabotage incidents is to demonstrate how vulnerable a particular society or government is to insurgent actions. Industrialized areas are more vulnerable to sabotage than less highly developed societies. 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 identifying the target while making a statement of future intent. Military facilities and installations, information systems, and information infrastructures may become targets of insurgent sabotage.

Hoaxes. Any insurgent 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. False alarms dull the analytical and operational efficiency of key security personnel, thus degrading readiness.

Use of technology. Technology has important implications for the insurgent threat. Infrastructure technologies provide attractive targets for insurgents, who can apply a range of rudimentary and advanced attack techniques to disrupt or undermine confidence in a range of systems. Key elements of the national infrastructure— transportation, telecommunications, energy, banking, public health, and water supply—are becoming increasingly dependent on computerized systems and linkages.

Use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. Some insurgent groups may possess chemical and biological weapons, and there is a potential for use of both chemical and biological weapons in the future. These types of 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 chemical and biological weapons could be attractive to a group wishing to make the world take notice. Although an explosive nuclear device is acknowledged to be beyond the financial and technical reach of most insurgent groups, a chemical or biological weapon, or even a radiological dispersion device using nuclear contaminants, is not. The technology is simple and the payoff is potentially higher than conventional or nuclear explosives.

Psychological Operations. Since insurgents want to win over the support of the population—or at least separate the support of the population from the sitting  government, they will engage in many different types of PSYOP with this intent. They can accomplish this through many different means. For example, insurgents may stage and publicize real or fake atrocities, which they will blame on the US forces. They will also be quick to take advantage of any inadvertent mistakes that the local national government forces or US forces may make when dealing with the local population.


Encyclopedia of American Loons

Steven Myers

Deranged, home-made theories defended with motivated reasoning by “independent scholars” are a dime a dozen, and the Giza pyramid is a common target. Edward J. Kunkel, for instance, argued – in his book The Pharaoh’s Pump – that the great pyramid in the desert at Giza was a water pump. The idea is silly for an impressive range of reasons, but silliness hasn’t stopped independent scholars before and probably won’t in the foreseeable future.

Now, Kunkel is long dead, but his ideas are still ardently promoted by one Steven Myers, who runs a website and a foundation devoted to the idea, The Pharaoh’s Pump Foundation, which, Myers claims, is going to build a pump using ancient Egyptian technology. It’s been going for a while, but we haven’t seen much by way of goal accomplishments. Now, whywould Myers want to build a pyramid pump, you may wonder? Apparently because the “ancient pumping technology is nonpolluting and does not require fossil fuels or electricity to operate.”And now you may wonder precisely how they did operate. Well, according to Myers, the pyramid pump was fueled by fire. It must be a novel type of non-polluting fire, then, presumably fed by the renewable, lush and fertile forests of the Giza area. There seem to be some gaps still in the Kunkel-Myers hypothesis.

Perhaps he has given up on it. Apparently the project was motivated in part by the doomsday rants of Richard Noone, and the pumps ostensibly needed to be built with some urgency to pump away the water from melting polar ice caps following the cataclysmic events of May 5, 2000, when Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were aligned with Earth, a date that came and passed with no notable weather events (or pumps).

Of course, Myers is not without his critics. Christopher Dunn, for instance, has argued that the Giza pyramid is a power plant working “by responding harmonically with the seismic energy contained within the Earth.” As Lakatos pointed out, competing research programs are important to good scientific progress.

Diagnosis: At least he’s harmless. Which is more than can be said of many of the loons covered here recently.

Ned Myers

Not really sure who Ned Myers is, but he is definitely a creationist, and at one point got the opportunity to lay out his delusions about science in a column in the (now defunct?) Daily News Journal. In the column, Myers was concerned that in 2011 “American public school students place 23rd in scientific literacy when compared to 34 other developed nations”. And you know why they did poorly? “A strong case can be made that one reason for this poor showing is that we teach evolution as science” (that they also teach evolution as science in the other countries on the list notwithstanding). You see, according to Myers “Webster’s dictionary defines science as, ‘Knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws, especially as obtained and tested through scientific method.’ Macro evolution, whereby one species evolves into another, falls short of this definition. Evolution cannot be considered a general truth because it cannot be experimentally tested or proven by using scientific methods.” This is false, and evolution is easily testable by standard scientific methods. At the very least Myers himself provides a good indication of some of the reasons for the US’s poor science showing.

Diagnosis: Ignorant dimwit. Probably a very minor figure, though.

Amy Myers

Amy Myers has, over the course of recent years, risen to become something resembling a bigshot in the worthless-supplement industry, with a brand that promises to sell nonsense for often vaguely defined conditions. Now, Myers is, indeed, an MD, but she markets herself as a functional medicine practitioner and is the founder and director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine clinic. Functional medicine stands to medicine like diploma-purchased-online-by-following-the-link-in-a-spam-email stands to education. And her supplements are the kind of supplements that “support MTHFR, adrenal stress, and detoxification efforts” (($43.97 for 120 tablets). Anyone with the faintest knowledge of medicine would of course immediately call “bullshit”. But those with the faintest knowledge of medicine are not in the target audience for these products, of course.

Myers is also the author of a couple of rather popular books, The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases and The Thyroid Connection, both of which should be shunned like the plague by anyone seeking anything remotely resembling medical information. The former claims, without any foundation in fact or reality, that “over 90 percent of the population suffers from inflammation or an autoimmune disorder” – the recipe is simple: convince the reader that she has a disease that doesn’t exist, then push a fake cure that does nothing. “Until now, conventional medicine has said there is no cure,” says Myers, which is technically correct given that there is nothing to cure, and responds with “a cocktail of toxic treatments that fail to address their root cause” – and yes, that is the astonishingly dishonest “doctors-only-treat-symptoms” gambit, no less. Currently, Myers is part of the Goop group, and in particular responsible for developing the Goop vitamin/supplement protocol, Balls in the Air, “designed for women who want to stay on top of their A game”. The protocol is about empowerment, you know; actual health benefits and truth have nothing to do with it.

Myers has been particularly influential on the gluten-free misinfo scene, and has written articles (or rathe rinfomercials) in HuffPo spreading various types of misinformation about gluten. Not all of her writings mention that she, coincidentally, also sells online courses on Celiac/gluten-free diets for the meagre sum of $49.

She has also made a name for herself scaring potential victims with horrid tales of parasites as a likely cause of Hashimoto’s, which is nonsense but surely a good way to lead worried people (including the Morgellons crowd) to her online store and buy her (not cheap) “comprehensive test”. I think we can all tell you in advance what the results of that test and subsequent recommendations are going to be. Suffice to say, the Myers’s Way® Parasite Control Program is not gonna go easy on your wallet. It is certainly not actually going to improve your health, but you may not ever actually realize that: “My objective is to empower you to discover the root cause of your symptoms and be able to self-treat at home with food and supplements,” says Myers – or, put differently: do not seek a second opinion from a different doctor before enrolling or during treatment!

Diagnosis: She’s good at marketing; we’ll give her that. Her claims have no grounding in facts, of course, but that’s never a particularly major obstacle when designing a good marketing strategy.












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