Guest Post by Eric Blair
As we've witnessed recently in Ferguson, Missouri, the difference between police and military is already nearly indistinguishable. In other words, the Army is already taking on peaceful citizens in domestic cities. Tank-supported SWAT teams already grenade and raid homes to serve warrants for victimless, non-violent offenses. What more can they possibly train for?
The U.S. Army is now officially getting into the crime-fighting business. According to the Army Times, the Army is training to fight battles in megacities, not against other armies, but to help local authorities root out shadowy criminals, extremists and, wait for it, wait for it, influential political dissidents.
The Army Times reports on this year's Unified Quest war games drill:
When the Army looks to the future, it sees cities. Dense, sprawling, congested cities where criminal and extremist groups flourish almost undetected by authorities, but who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state.Talk about expanding the role of the armed forces. The Army has been training in urban warfare for decades geared toward fighting insurgents and terrorists (those who commit violence).
And the service is convinced that these “megacities” of 20 million or more people will be the battleground of the future.
That's why this announcement is so stunning. Look closely at the new definition of enemy:
Criminal and extremist groups...undetected by authorities, but who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state.No mention of the word "violence" and it seems like they're targeting political dissent. Indeed. Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster confirms the Army is "expanding these battlegrounds into other contested spaces like organized crime and politics."
Of course they did get around to mentioning terrorists and insurgents to justify operating in cities.
"The emergence of unregulated cities, or zones of disadvantage where traditional rule of law models do not apply, within otherwise functional cities, provides a potential haven for organized crime, terrorists and insurgents, from which they can organize and launch operations," the Army report stated.
If you give the Army a problem to solve they will come up with Army solutions. Here's some more meat from the article:
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno’s Strategic Studies Group delivered a report to the chief in May claiming that “it is inevitable that at some point the United States Army will be asked to operate in a megacity and currently the Army is ill-prepared to do so.”
The team of Army officers and civilian academics continued that “the problems found in megacities (explosive growth rates, vast and growing income disparity and a security environment that is increasingly attractive to the politically dispossessed) are landpower problems. Solutions, therefore, will require boots on the ground.” (emphasis added)Notable buzzwords: income disparity and politically dispossessed.
McMaster said the Army took lessons from Israel's siege of Gaza to use overwhelming force against civilian combatants. By 2030, the Army wants boots on the ground to have video and trigger access to predator drones and at their fingertips. It gets even creepier, they also tested "directed energy" weapons during this drill.
McMaster said that by 2030, the Army wants to provide infantry squads “access to aviation and air support and full-motion video, [along with] the ability to overwhelm the enemy during chance contact.” One of the key things is the firepower of the squad, particularly “shoulder-fired weapons capabilities, counter-defilade capabilities, as well as flying munitions and combined arms … mobile protected platforms capable of precision firepower.”
Army gamers also explored potential directed-energy capabilities that “would allow U.S. to have direct-fire capabilities with significant logistics reduction, and to counter enemy long-range missile capability,” McMaster said.Finally, the Army also got to test out some new toys presumably given to them by the NSA. In the drill, they used technology for "anti-access techniques, conducting malware-like and electronic warfare attacks." This can be used for fun stuff like killing livestream feeds during police brutality, like they did in Ferguson.
In many ways, Ferguson was a not just a test bed for many of these weapons but also to see how much the American people are willing to put up with under the right circumstances. These new Army drills clearly indicate that the "authority of the state" intends to confront politically disruptive Americans with military force.
Claiming the U.S. government was using tax dollars to build a vast militarized police state to be used against peaceful civilians used to be a conspiracy theory -- a paranoid fantasy involving full-spectrum Big Brother surveillance and technology kill switches, tanks rolling through American cities, masked soldiers battering into homes looking for flowers or political activists, armed drones over U.S. cities, columns of battle-trained soldiers patrolling the streets, and indefinite detention of suspected evil doers.
No reason to be paranoid. They are doing it for our safety. To protect us from those who may steal from us or threaten us with dangerous weapons, or from Peeping Toms who may spy on us, or from hackers who may steal our data, or from thugs who may kidnap us at gunpoint or, worse, murder us. Yes, thank goodness the authorities are protecting us from bad guys like that.