Contra Praeteritum: Why patriots today are gearing up for the last insurgency


lmg100000
Forever Scotland! – Lady Butler

My experience this weekend and the excellent article by JC Dodge HERE started a train of thought I couldn’t shake. I went to a training event a local group hosted and was treated to a particularly frustrating experience. Someone was there in Gucciflage all pretty and matchy-matchy (if George W. can invent words then so can this Texan) but failed to bring a holster for his sidearm (because who needs a holster when you look that good), so the planned iterations of transitions from long gun to handgun were interesting to say the least. Not that it mattered, as most had difficulty putting a controlled pair into steel at a 1/4 sized target 10 yards away with a handgun. I kid you not. The PT standards I and others had screamed for were scrapped for some feel-good joke of a run ( 11:30/mile is NOT a standard…it’s a brisk walk) and pushups on your knees, Girl Scout style. It deteriorated to a lot of back-patting and insistence that we all wear the same man-jammies (multicam of course) with a few pointed looks in my direction since I came in something less threatening. While I attempt to refrain from expressing my frustrations and admittedly caustic sarcasm on here, as I feel I owe the readers a modicum of maturity and good-taste, I use the former to illustrate my point. I see much of the modern patriot movement doing exactly what we sneer at the Pentagon and military brass for doing, namely fighting the last war.

Society, industry, culture, warfare and just about every other aspect of civilization evolve. It is a natural and healthy part of a functioning ecosystem, whether that is literal or financial or martial in nature. Clubs begat swords and spears which begat muskets which eventually arrived at things like the Dillon Aero M134. Similarly, the way in which the last two wars were prosecuted against insurgencies were rather bungled, though exactly who should shoulder the blame I will leave to others more qualified. Many patriots point to the insurgencies in Iraq, Afghanistan and some Ireland as examples of how insurgencies can and do defeat regular forces. While there are salient points to be drawn from these historical events, very little critical and realistic thinking is done on the part of Captain Awesome running his ‘mulisha.’ I very much agree with both JC Dodge and Max Velocity on the abandonment of military uniforms, nomenclature and patches. Partly because I view it as a lack of creativity, someone who cannot think of an original name should not be counted on to think outside the box in operations, but also because I believe one should not act like the 800 lb. gorilla in the room unless you ARE the 800 lb. gorilla in the room…and probably not even then. While the uniform issue is easily enough remedied, I think it is endemic of a systematic failure of critical analysis of what and who the Taliban, Isis and IRA were. Three issues in which the patriot movement has significantly overestimated themselves and misidentified the success of these various groups is in funding, cultural influence and what I will refer to as population motivation.

1. Funding

The best guesses for the Taliban’s funding put their annual income somewhere between $100-300M between profit’s from the poppy industry along with a healthy slice of all the aid that flowed into Afghanistan. Current estimates on ISIS run anywhere from $30M to $50M all the way up to $2B a year. The IRA was similarly well funded by Americans, various illegal behavior and allegedly the Soviets and Libyans. The current funding for any single militia, is what exactly? We can’t even create any type of leadership structure let alone compete with that type of funding. Maybe a few thousand dollars or ten would be the best the local community would be able to scrap together. The Oathkeepers and even the NRA could not compete with that kind of cash if you scale what $300M buys in Afghanistan to the equivalent in American purchasing power. Certainly nothing on the scale of what the aforementioned organizations had. This is important because money matters. It buys cool toys, it buys expertise whether through training or outsourcing, it buys contacts, information and influence. Money buys full time employees, meaning ideally you have all those smart guys focused full-time on furthering your goals instead of working 50-70 hours a week and doing it part-time.

2. Cultural Influence

One of the more memorable passages I remember from Killcullen’s Counterinsurgency was his description of how influential the Taliban social structure was. Summons to Taliban courts would be served even in Kabul and individuals were more likely to show up than a summons from the official Afghani government. To me this illustrates the realpolitik of the average Joe (or Achmed in this case). There was certainly a sizable segment of Afghanistan that did and still does support the Taliban, similarly ISIS seems to have built a coalition of support. The IRA originally built a rather impressive base of support, even spanning the Atlantic until the shifting cultural dynamic turned against them, partly because of their own actions (Omagh 1998, whether perception or reality), partly because of the absorption of Sinn Fein into the government, and partly because of how terrorism was perceived by the public in Western countries after 2001. During their heyday both the historical and modern IRA enjoyed support among the indigenous population to one extent or another. The patriot movement enjoys no such support among the population. While some may support it online, how many in the local community would look the other way or actively harbor someone the government deemed a ‘domestic terrorist?’ I know of a handful of people that know me personally who would, but the brand is MY name, not of any organization. Other tribes enjoy support here in the US so I contend this is a lack of organization and effort, not a cultural issue. Ask local LEO how many people saw something after an incident in a primarily black community, particularly if it is in a gang’s territory. Other examples exist, but that is the first one that comes to mind. So while Captain Awesome may think he will ride about in multicam and it will be some kind of Red Dawn type groundswell of popular support for his merry band of matching ‘operators,’ the fact of the matter is he has not a fraction of the cultural standing, authority or support any of these insurgency movement leaders that he so gladly is willing to use as historical evidence. Pray tell, who is the American Michael Collins?

3. Population Motivation

Religion. Politics. Culture. These things make people to fight the status quo, fight to preserve the status quo and generally motivate people to stop sitting in their own blood and go spill their enemy’s. ISIS and Taliban, if what I read can be believed, are motivated along all three of the aforementioned lines. Establishing a political structure that suits their religious beliefs, a religion that commands and supports their actions, and their cultural rejection of Western values and politics. The IRA was motivated along similar lines, though in my opinion less so by religious beliefs than the other two. An essential precursor to money and cultural influence is a base of support sufficiently motivated to support an organization because they represent an ideal they espouse. It has to be idealistic in nature because the existing regime has the benefit of discouraging support through prosecution, curfews, taxation, and a myriad of other soft and hard political force.  My point being is that one of the symptoms and perhaps the most damning one of this long con we have been victim of is that of the demographics of the nation. One look at the comments section of WRSA reveals how fractured we are on all three fronts. Not quite a three legged stool, but two would be nice if you’re trying to solidify support for a movement. Those conditions simply do not exist at this point in America. The suburbanites in Captain Awesome’s AO do not have his ideals most likely, in some cases they may, but in most they do not. They are increasingly not sharing his religion and most especially not his politics. They are not ideologically motivated and the portion that are call themselves Black Lives Matter, Bernie supporters and social justice warriors. Motivated populations also provide a pool of potential recruits, as we have found out the last several years in the Middle East.

 

In conclusion, it is the height of folly to blindly point at some historical examples that seem to support a pie-in-the-sky assessment of the future battlefield. These insurgencies had things that will not exist here in America. While this may fly in the face of my thoughts about being optimistic, one should not allow a positive outlook to cloud hard facts and real assessments. I fail to see how modeling any patriot groups, or tribes after a semi-regular insurgency forces that have taken place under vastly different circumstances is anything but a recipe for disaster. It success impossible? Not at all. However rather than model things after an unholy bastardization of the US military, Taliban, Chechens, IRA and other historical examples we need to stop making the same mistakes as the Pentagon has since Vietnam. It’s a sobering thought to think that patriots have less support, less money and fewer friends than any of these historical insurgencies. It is all the more reason for us to be extremely critical of ourselves, our skills, our tactics and our tribe-building. This is not meant as a Chicken Little assessment, but rather a reason to motivate us to be serious. Things will not just work out, it will require planning and God-awful amounts of perseverance. We are Americans and we do it better, so let’s get to it…and for goodness’ sake get a pair of khaki or olive pants and quit being a gear queer!

 

Jesse James

 

Advertisements

18 thoughts on “Contra Praeteritum: Why patriots today are gearing up for the last insurgency

  1. ” Three issues in which the patriot movement has significantly overestimated themselves and misidentified the success of these various groups is in funding, cultural influence and what I will refer to as population motivation.”
    AMEN!!!

    Like

  2. Could not agree more. In a small group, 15 -20, agreement on any given issue is like pulling teeth. With most groups out there “Playing Army”, which quickly degenerates into either measuring dicks or showing off their “$2500 dollar AR”, I wonder how, in this country, can we garner community support or come together as an effective unit.

    Like

    1. David Sir, Freaking boy scouts . Seen too many good people walk away from the gear head and 4 eyed (hawkeye ) bench shooter in safari hat. That and the really positive guy that’s on Psycho drugs do stupid shit and cant, wont be on time. They will get their shit in one sack, stenciled body bag. But if… they go hungry for a week, crap and wipe with a snow cones because the MRE will not leave, then they might get the sight picture of whats going on. They see us (do ers ) as hard ass GI joes, Killers, and they will not play with the bad boy’s who just want to, get better and learn more that the TeeVee will teach them. I say follow my lead and be TEACHABLE……… will get thru this.

      Like

  3. “However rather than model things after an unholy bastardization of the US military, Taliban, Chechens, IRA and other historical examples we need to stop making the same mistakes as the Pentagon has since Vietnam. It’s a sobering thought to think that patriots have less support, less money and fewer friends than any of these historical insurgencies. It is all the more reason for us to be extremely critical of ourselves, our skills, our tactics and our tribe-building. This is not meant as a Chicken Little assessment, but rather a reason to motivate us to be serious. Things will not just work out, it will require planning and God-awful amounts of perseverance. We are Americans and we do it better, so let’s get to it…”

    Truer words have NEVER been written

    Like

  4. Sir,
    The things you mention here have been questions for some time. Ironic, isn’t it, that in an environment where every opinion is sacred and equal, where each person does their own thing, and where the option to vehemently disagree is considered sacrosanct, the ability to arrive at the consensus necessary for concerted and cooperative action is completely negated.

    I mention this not to disparage the efforts of the few, but to define the confusions of the many. ‘Tribe’ may be all that can be done, but it will not be enough, not to do the kinds of things that are becoming increasingly needful.

    Force-on-force will fail, but the coordination needed for anything else simply cannot, in my view, be established in the time remaining.

    That leaves the individual.

    God Bless America

    Like

  5. Just keep in mind that the equivalent of 2 full strength battalions of weapons are purchased every month by the general public. All small arms of course, but is has been going on since 2008.

    Like

    1. I agree there had been a significant up-arming of the general population. However, I see few actually developing skills to use the weapon effectively and in all honesty small arms are just that. Small arms. All three groups I mentioned had access to Class III weapons and other assorted, ahem, things that are magnitudes of order more effective at inflicting casualties on the enemy. While your statement is encouraging it further illustrates the point that them and us are apples and oranges in many cases. 🙂

      Like

  6. Comfortable people do not rebel; no surprises there. However the time must come when the house of cards economy falls apart, the bureaucrats and police screw even more people than they have already, people with little resources to fall back on, who then will have nothing left to lose. At some point the conditions you mention will change, and things won’t look so hopeless for rebellion any more.

    Keep in mind there are already hints of this. Why are Americans (including liberals now) buying firearms at such an incredible rate, when crime is falling and has been for decades? Trust in government is eroding; people now understand it is worthless for even one of the most basic (advertised) functions, protection – or at least that a backup is needed. Homeschooling is a gigantic vote of no confidence in the government indoctrination centers, something almost unknown in the rest of the western world. There are other such examples.

    Like

    1. My point sir is not that one cannot occur. It is that it will not look like those examples many hold to. While Balkanization is actively happening, it is doing so along a dazzling amount of lines. Cultural, political, racial, sex, and geographical to name a few. I was merely pointing out the dissimilarities of the patiot movements favorite examples, not making a comment on the likelihood and composition of the coming badness. 🙂

      Like

  7. How much of the support comes from fear of retribution than actual support for the group. I know quite a few vets from the Vietnam war and have plenty of stories about how brutal the Vietcong where to villagers that did not support them. I have also heard third hand stories about insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Like

  8. Outstanding. Well thought-out, well delivered, and with a surgically precise dissection of the causes which make this one different from all the others, with plenty of factual substance to repel the usual fatuous arguments which abound.

    May I point out one other thing, accepting as I do the above comment about battalions worth of small arms being purchased each month by ‘civilians’. My observation is, that this will be the single *most fought war* in all of Western history. In plain language, the term “noncombatant” will be more meaningless in our coming struggle than it has ever been in a western nation. Those who served in Sarajevo and Somalia know exactly what I’m talking about.

    Contrast any of these aforementioned to either of the world wars – durring the European wars, civil society persevered – away from the front lines, there were still functioning communities and a functioning economy. Certainly things were difficult; rationing and shortages were the norm, and the militaries of both sides were well known for commandeering whatever they needed while passing through. In nazi occupied territory there was fear of conscription and the fear of nighttime bombing raids, but society persisted in being…social. Even Viet Nam, which was a quite non-western war, had a surviving civil society in many places throughout much or all of the war, but I honestly doubt that this will be the case in most urban and suburban areas, when widespread conflict takes hold here.

    This will be a guerilla war – fought in every city and suburb, so there will be no “front lines” or “rear areas” – nearly every populated place will be drawn into the conflict. Race, politics, and even religion will divide us, everywhere, as will the appearance of wealth, and possession of resources.

    And as the hatefest gains momentum, there will be those who will rape, loot, pillage and murder not for ideology, but for simple revenge, and even out of sheer desperation. Thus, there will not even be a clear line between warfare and crime – each will adopt the appearance and methods of the other.

    Bracken’s CWII cube is an excellent primmer on the complexities of the division, but even that omits some elements, imho. As I said, there will not even be a clear line between acts of war and acts of crime. For one easily explained example – imagine a gang war raging through a sizable city, concurrent with the racial and class conflicts boiling all around it in the larger sphere. Wars within wars, within an overarching civil insurrection, which has a high probability of itself occurring within a world war.

    In short, I expect that every person old enough to walk will be treated as a combatant, whether they intend to be one, or not. Because in such a multi-faceted civil conflict, everyone is going to be considered “fair game” by one faction or another. To engage such a conflict, in a nation where there are as many guns as there are people, is to functionally guarantee that 9 out of 10 adults will have experienced at least one battle, before the dust settles, and this is what I mean when I call the coming festivities, “the most fought war in western history”, and possibly in the history of the entire world.

    WE HAVE BEEN WARNED

    Like

  9. Just FYI,
    That painting by Lady Butler is not the “charge of the light brigade” Its called “Scotland Forever” as it depicts the charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo. She was an awesome artist and did depict the light brigade in numerous paintings.

    Like

    1. My mistake. Google betrayed me, I was looking for her charge of the light brigade painting and that came up. Apparently the rumors of my fallibility are indeed true. 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s