The U.S. Army’s Operating Concept 2016-2028 was issued in August 2010 with three goals. First, it aims to portray how future Army forces will conduct operations as part of a joint force to deter conflict, prevail in war, and succeed in a range of contingencies, at home and abroad. Second, the concept describes the employment of Army forces at the tactical and operational levels of war between 2016 and 2028. Third, in broad terms the concept describes how Army headquarters, from theater army to division, organize and use their forces. The concept goes on to describe the major categories of Army operations, identify the capabilities required of Army forces, and guide how force development should be prioritized. The goal of this concept is to establish a common frame of reference for thinking about how the US Army will conduct full spectrum operations in the coming two decades (US Army Training and Doctrine Command, The Army Operating Concept 2016 – 2028, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-3-1, dated 19 August 2010, p. iii. Hereafter cited as TD Pam 525-3-1. The Army defines full spectrum operations as the combination of offensive, defensive, and either stability operations overseas or civil support operations on U.S. soil).
A key and understudied aspect of full spectrum operations is how to conduct these operations within American borders. If we face a period of persistent global conflict as outlined in successive National Security Strategy documents, then Army officers are professionally obligated to consider the conduct of operations on U.S. soil. Army capstone and operating concepts must provide guidance concerning how the Army will conduct the range of operations required to defend the republic at home. In this paper, we posit a scenario in which a group of political reactionaries take over a strategically positioned town and have the tacit support of not only local law enforcement but also state government officials, right up to the governor. Under present law, which initially stemmed from bad feelings about Reconstruction, the military’s domestic role is highly circumscribed. In the situation we lay out below, even though the governor refuses to seek federal help to quell the uprising (the usual channel for military assistance), the Constitution allows the president broad leeway in times of insurrection. Citing the precedents of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and Dwight D. Eisenhower sending troops to Little Rock in 1957, the president mobilizes the military and the Department of Homeland Security, to regain control of the city. This scenario requires us to consider how domestic intelligence is gathered and shared, the role of local law enforcement (to the extent that it supports the operation), the scope and limits of the Insurrection Act--for example maintaining a military chain of command but in support of the Attorney General as the Department of Justice is the Lead Federal Agency (LFA) under the conditions of the Act--and the roles of the local, national, and international media.
The Scenario (2016)
The Great Recession of the early twenty-first century lasts far longer than anyone anticipated. After a change in control of the White House and Congress in 2012, the governing party cuts off all funding that had been dedicated to boosting the economy or toward relief. The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade. By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises. Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high. A high-profile and vocal minority has directed the public’s fear and frustration at nonwhites and immigrants. After almost ten years of race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues, nearly one in five Americans reports being vehemently opposed to immigration, legal or illegal, and even U.S.-born nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites.
In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest. Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering. In truth, this is hardly necessary. Many law enforcement officials already are sympathetic to the tea party’s agenda, know many of the people involved, and have made clear they will not challenge the takeover. The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.
With Darlington under their control, militia members quickly move beyond the city limits to establish “check points” – in reality, something more like choke points -- on major transportation lines. Traffic on I-95, the East Coast’s main north-south artery; I-20; and commercial and passenger rail lines are stopped and searched, allegedly for “illegal aliens.” Citizens who complain are immediately detained. Activists also collect “tolls” from drivers, ostensibly to maintain public schools and various city and county programs, but evidence suggests the money is actually going toward quickly increasing stores of heavy weapons and ammunition. They also take over the town web site and use social media sites to get their message out unrestricted.
When the leaders of the group hold a press conference to announce their goals, they invoke the Declaration of Independence and argue that the current form of the federal government is not deriving its “just powers from the consent of the governed” but is actually “destructive to these ends.” Therefore, they say, the people can alter or abolish the existing government and replace it with another that, in the words of the Declaration, “shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” While mainstream politicians and citizens react with alarm, the “tea party” insurrectionists in South Carolina enjoy a groundswell of support from other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups. At the press conference the masked militia members’ uniforms sport a unit seal with a man wearing a tricorn hat and carrying a musket over the motto “Today’s Minutemen.” When a reporter asked the leaders who are the “red coats” the spokesman answered, “I don’t know who the redcoats are…it could be federal troops.” Experts warn that while these groups heretofore have been considered weak and marginal, the rapid coalescence among them poses a genuine national threat.
The mayor of Darlington calls the governor and his congressman. He cannot act to counter the efforts of the local tea party because he is confined to his home and under guard. The governor, who ran on a platform that professed sympathy with tea party goals, is reluctant to confront the militia directly. He refuses to call out the National Guard. He has the State Police monitor the roadblocks and checkpoints on the interstate and state roads but does not order the authorities to take further action. In public the governor calls for calm and proposes talks with the local tea party to resolve issues. Privately, he sends word through aides asking the federal government to act to restore order. Due to his previous stance and the appearance of being “pro” tea party goals the governor has little political room to maneuver.
The Department of Homeland Security responds to the governor’s request by asking for defense support to civil law enforcement. After the Department of Justice states that the conditions in Darlington and surrounding areas meet the conditions necessary to invoke the Insurrection Act, the President invokes it.
(From Title 10 US Code the President may use the militia or Armed Forces to:
§ 331 – Suppress an insurrection against a State government at the request of the Legislature or, if not in session, the Governor.
§ 332 – Suppress unlawful obstruction or rebellion against the U.S.
§ 333 – Suppress insurrection or domestic violence if it (1) hinders the execution of the laws to the extent that a part or class of citizens are deprived of Constitutional rights and the State is unable or refuses to protect those rights or (2) obstructs the execution of any Federal law or impedes the course of justice under Federal laws.)
By proclamation he calls on the insurrectionists to disperse peacefully within 15 days. There is no violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. The President appoints the Attorney General and the Department of Justice as the lead federal agency to deal with the crisis. The President calls the South Carolina National Guard to federal service. The Joint Staff in Washington, D.C., alerts U.S. Northern Command, the headquarters responsible for the defense of North America, to begin crisis action planning. Northern Command in turn alerts U.S. Army North/Fifth U.S. Army for operations as a Joint Task Force headquarters. Army units at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and Marines at Camp Lejuene, N.C. go on alert. The full range of media, national and international, is on scene.
“Fix Darlington, but don’t destroy it!”
Upon receiving the alert for possible operations in Darlington, the Fifth Army staff begins the military decision making process with mission analysis and intelligence preparation of the battlefield. (Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield is the term applied to the procedures performed by the intelligence staff of all Army unit headquarters in the development of bases of information on the enemy, terrain and weather, critical buildings and facilities in a region and other points. Army units conduct operations on the basis of this information. The term is in Army doctrine and could be problematic when conducted in advance of operations on U.S. soil. The general form of the initial intelligence estimate is in figure 1.) In developing the intelligence estimate military intelligence planners will confront the first constraints on the conduct of full spectrum operations in the United States, as well as constraints on supporting law enforcement. The analytical steps of the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, or IPB, must be modified in preparing for and conducting operations in the homeland.
The steps of the IPB process are: define the operational environment/battlespace, describe environmental effects on operations/describe battlespace effects, evaluate the threat/adversary, and determine threat/adversary courses of action. (PSYOP was changed to Military Information Support Operations, MISO, by Secretary of Defense directive in June 2010.)
While preparing terrain and weather data do not pose a major problem to the G-2, gathering data on the threat and under civil considerations for intelligence and operational purposes is problematic to say the least.
Figure 1: The Intelligence Estimate (FM 2-01.3, p. 7, chapter 1)
Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities, dated 4 December 1981, relates mostly to intelligence gathering outside the continental United States. However, it also outlines in broad terms permissible information-gathering within the United States and on American citizens and permanent resident aliens, categorized as United States persons. (The executive order included in its definition of “United States persons” unincorporated associations mostly comprising American citizens or permanent resident aliens; or a corporation incorporated in the United States, except for a corporation directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments. The basic thrust of the rules and regulations concerning intelligence collection and dissemination are focused on protecting American citizens’ Constitutional rights. These rules and regulations are focused, properly, on support to law enforcement. They do not contain much guidance concerning the conduct of full spectrum operations such as the situation facing the corps. While the best practice as described in FM 3-28 is to retain just enough for situational awareness and force protection the situation facing the corps strains the limits of situational awareness and could place the G2 and commanders at some risk once the dust has settled in the aftermath of an operation within the homeland.) The Fifth Army intelligence analysts will have a great deal of difficulty determining tea party members’ legal status. Because the Defense Department does not collect or store information on American civilians or civilian groups during peacetime, the military will have to rely on local and state law enforcement officials at the start of operations to establish intelligence data-bases and ultimately restore the rule of law in Darlington.
Using all intelligence disciplines from human intelligence to signals intelligence, the Fifth Army G2 and his staff section will collect as much information as they need to accomplish the mission. Once the rule of law is restored the Fifth Army G2 must ensure that it destroys information gathered during the operation within 90 days unless the law or the Secretary of Defense requires the Fifth Army to keep it for use in legal cases (Field Manual 3-28, Civil Support Operations, pp. 7-13. The FM cites Department of Defense Directive, DODD, 5200.27). Because of the legal constraints on the military’s involvement in domestic affairs and the sympathies of local law enforcement, developing the initial intelligence, a continuing estimate, and potential adversary courses of action (what the insurrectionists holding Darlington and surrounding areas might do in response to Army operations) will be difficult. (The closest guidance on handling information collected in the course of civil disturbance operations is in Department of Defense Directive 5200.27 and Department of Defense Directive 5240.1R. These directives state: “Operations Related to Civil Disturbance. The Attorney General is the chief civilian officer in charge of coordinating all federal government activities relating to civil disturbances. Upon specific prior authorization of the Secretary of Defense or his designee, information may be acquired that is essential to meet operational requirements flowing from the mission as to DOD to assist civil authorities in dealing with civil disturbances. Such authorization will only be granted when there is a distinct threat of a civil disturbance exceeding the law enforcement capabilities of State and local authorities.”)
Fifth Army terrain analysts continue using open sources ranging from Google maps to Map-quest. Federal legal restrictions on assembling databases remain in effect and even incidental imagery, aerial photos gathered in the conduct of previously conducted training missions, cannot be used. Surveillance of the tea party roadblocks and checkpoints around Darlington proceeds carefully. Developing legal data-bases is one effort, but support for local law enforcement is hindered because of problems in determining how to share this information and with whom.
Despite these problems, receiving support from local law enforcement is critical to restoring the rule of law in Darlington. City police officers, county sheriff deputies and state troopers can contribute valuable local knowledge of personalities, customs and terrain beyond what can be found in data-bases and observation. Liaison officers and non-commissioned officers, with appropriate communications equipment must be exchanged. Given the suspicion that local police are sympathetic to the tea party members’ goals special consideration to operational security must be incorporated into planning. Informally communicating to the insurrectionists the determination of federal forces to restore local government can materially improve the likelihood of success. However, informants sympathetic to the tea party could easily compromise the element of surprise. The fact that a federal court must authorize wire taps in every instance also complicate the monitoring of communications into and out of Darlington. Operations in Darlington specifically and in the homeland generally must also take into account the possibility of increased violence and the range of responses to violence.
All federal military forces involved in civil support must follow the standing rules for the use of force (SRUF) specified by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff. Much like the rules of force issued to the 7th Infantry Division during operations in Los Angeles in 1992 the underlying principle involves a continuum of force, a graduated level of response determined by civilians' behavior. Fifth Army must assume that every incident of gunfire will be investigated. (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction, CJCSI, 3121.01B, Standing Rules of Engagement/Standing Rules for the Use of Force for US Forces. There are many similarities between rules for the use of force and rules of engagement, the right of self-defense for example. The fundamental difference is rules of engagement are by nature permissive measures intended to allow the maximum use of destructive combat power appropriate for the mission. Rules for the use of force are restrictive measures intended to allow only the minimum force necessary to accomplish the mission.) All units involved must also realize that operations will be conducted under the close scrutiny of the media.
Operating under media scrutiny is not a new phenomenon for the U.S. military. What is new and newsworthy about this operation is that it is taking place in the continental United States. Commanders and staffs must think about the effect of this attention and be alert when considering how to use the media. The media will broadcast the President’s proclamation and cover military preparations for operations in Darlington. Their reports will be as available to tea party leaders in Darlington as they are to a family watching the evening news in San Francisco. Coupled with a gradual build-up of federal forces in the local area, all covered by the media, the effect of this pressure will compound over time and quite possibly cause doubt about the correctness of the events in Darlington in the minds of its’ citizens and the insurrectionists who control the town. The Joint Task Force commander, staff and subordinate units must operate as transparently as possible, while still giving due consideration to operational security. Commanders must manage these issues even as they increase pressure on the insurrectionists.
The design of this plan to restore the rule of law to Darlington will include information/influence operations designed to present a picture of the federal response and the inevitable defeat of the insurrection. The concept of the joint plan includes a phased deployment of selected forces into the area beginning with reconnaissance and military intelligence units. Once the Fifth Army commander determines he has a complete picture of activity within the town and especially of the insurrectionists’ patterns of behavior, deployment of combat, combat support and combat service support forces will begin from Forts Bragg and Stewart, and Camp Lejuene. Commanders will need to consider how the insurrectionists will respond. Soldiers and Marines involved in this operation, and especially their families will be subject to electronic mail, Facebook messages, Twitters, and all manner of information and source of pressure. Given that Soldiers and Marines stationed at Forts Bragg and Stewart as well as Camp Lejuene live relatively nearby and that many come from this region, chances are they will know someone who lives in or near Darlington. Countering Al Qaeda web-based propaganda is one thing, countering domestic information bombardments is another effort entirely.
The design and execution of operations to restore the rule of law in Darlington will be complicated. The Fifth Army will retain a military chain of command for regular Army and Marine Corps units along with the federalized South Carolina National Guard, but will be in support of the Department of Justice as the Lead Federal Agency, LFA. The Attorney General may designate a Senior Civilian Representative of the Attorney General (SCRAG) to coordinate the efforts of all Federal agencies. The SCRAG has the authority to assign missions to federal military forces. The Attorney General may also appoint a Senior Federal Law Enforcement Officer (SFLEO) to coordinate all Federal law enforcement activities.
The pace of the operation needs to be deliberate and controlled. Combat units will conduct overt Show of Force operations to remind the insurrectionists they are now facing professional military forces, with all the training and equipment that implies. Army and Marine units will remove road blocks and check points both overtly and covertly with minimum essential force to ratchet up pressure continually on insurrectionist leadership. Representatives of state and local government as well as federalized South Carolina National Guard units will care for residents choosing to flee Darlington. A focus on the humanitarian aspect of the effort will be politically more palatable for the state and local officials. Federal forces continue to tighten the noose as troops seize and secure power and water stations, radio and TV stations, and hospitals. The final phase of the operation, restoring order and returning properly elected officials to their offices, will be the most sensitive.
Movements must be planned and executed more carefully than the operations that established the conditions for handover. At this point military operations will be on the downturn but the need for more politically aware military advice will not. War, and the use of federal military force on U.S. soil, remains an extension of policy by other means. Given the invocation of the Insurrection Act, the federal government must defeat the insurrection, preferably with minimum force. Insurrectionists and their sympathizers must have no doubt that an uprising against the Constitution will be defeated. Dealing with the leaders of the insurrection can be left to the proper authorities, but drawing from America history, military advice would suggest an amnesty for individual members of the militia and prosecution for leaders of the movement who broke the law. This fictional scenario leads not to conclusions but points to ponder when considering 21st century full spectrum operations in the continental United States.
The Insurrection Act does not need to be changed for the 21st century. Because it is broadly written, the law allows the flexibility needed to address a range of threats to the Republic.
What we must consider in the design of homeland defense or security exercises is translating the Act into action. The Army Operating Concept describes Homeland Defense as the protection of “U.S. sovereignty, territory, domestic population, and critical defense infrastructure against external threats and aggression, or other threats as directed by the president” (TD Pam 525-3-1, p. 27. Emphasis added.) Neither the operating concept nor recently published Army doctrine, FM 3-28 Civil Support Operations, goes into detail when considering the range of “other threats.” While invoking the Insurrection Act must be a last resort, once it is put into play Americans will expect the military to execute without pause and as professionally as if it were acting overseas. The Army cannot disappoint the American people, especially in such a moment. While real problems and real difficulties of such operations may not be perceived until the point of execution preparation will afford the Army the ability to not be too badly wrong at the outset.
Being not too badly wrong at the outset requires focused military education on the nuances of operations in the homeland. Army doctrine defines full spectrum operations as a mix of offense, defense and either stability or civil support operations. Curriculum development is a true zero sum game; when a subject is added another must be removed. Given the array of threats and adversaries; from “commando-style” raids such as Mumbai, the changing face of militias in the United States, rising unrest in Mexico, and the tendency to the extreme in American politics the subject of how American armed forces will conduct security and defense operations within the continental U.S. must be addressed in the curricula of our Staff and War Colleges. (The Kansas City Star, 12 September 2010, “The New Militia.” The front page story concerns the changing tactics of militia movements and how militias now focus on community service and away from violence against the government. Law enforcement agencies feel this is camouflage for true intentions. The story covered armed paramilitary militias in Missouri and Kansas.)
The Army must address the how to of intelligence/information gathering and sharing, liaison with local law enforcement and conduct of Information Operations in focused exercises, such as UNIFIED QUEST, given a wider range of invited participants. The real question of how to educate the Army on full spectrum operations under homeland security and defense conditions must be a part of an overall review of professional military education for the 21st century. We cannot discount the agility of an external threat, the evolution of Al Qaeda for example, and its ability to take advantage of a “Darlington event” within U.S. borders. How would we respond to this type of action? What if border violence from Mexico crosses into the United States? The pressure for action will be enormous and the expectation of professional, disciplined military action will be equally so given the faith the American people have in their armed forces. The simple fact is that while the Department of Justice is the Lead Federal Agency in these operations the public face of the operation will be uniformed American Soldiers. On a TV camera a civilian is a civilian but here is no mistaking the mottled battle dress of a Soldier with the U.S. flag on his or her right sleeve.
The table of organization and equipment of Fifth U.S. Army/Army North must be scrutinized. The range of liaison parties that must be exchanged in the conduct of operations on American soil is extensive. Coordination with federal, state and local civil law enforcement and security agencies is a vital element in concluding homeland operations successfully. The liaison parties cannot be ad hoc or last minute additions to the headquarters. At a minimum such parties must routinely exercise with the headquarters.
In 1933 then Colonel George Marshall criticized the education that the Army Command and General Staff College provided as inadequate to “the chaotic state of affairs in the first few months of a campaign with a major power” (From a 1933 letter from COL GC Marshall to MG Stewart Heintzelman, cited in a report on the US Army Command and General Staff College conducted in 1982 by MG Guy Meloy. The report is held in the Special Collections section of the Combined Arms Research Library, Fort Leavenworth, KS.) We must continue on the path of ensuring the avoidance of the “chaotic state of affairs” in the opening moments of future campaigns, defending the nation from within and without. As Dr. Sebastian L. v. Gorka wrote in Joint Forces Quarterly (p. 33), “[N]o concepts are immune to critique and reappraisal when it comes to securing the homeland.”
About the Author(s)
I'm closing this comment thread as the most recent commentary (which I eagerly and willingly deleted) boils down to beating a dead horse and by extension giving certain quarters a forum to to espouse their I am right, you are wrong, by God, diatribes. Enough has been said here for any reasonable man or women to form a rational opinion and move on if they so desire. If you would like to express an irrational opinion - happy surfing - you most certainly will discover many fringe echo chambers more than willing to accommodate. - Dave D.
After reading this article and the many diverse responses, I concur with some of the critiques related to the sensational nature of this work and the lack of a scientific method or valuable analysis, especially given the merits of the authors. While a creative piece, it is not very scholarly and additionally falls short by not using the most current doctrine.
I agree with the authors, however, of a couple points. First, the media we experience today is like nothing before, especially in regards to the range of coverage medium and response time. The turnaround for media info would be so rapid in this scenario that operators would have to be very clandestine in their mission execution to be successful. Additionally, I concur that it may be worthwhile to relook the equipping of the Fifth U.S. Army/Army North as we downsize to ensure when they have less, that they have more of what’s required for their potential mission set. The rest is critique…
The authors state, “The analytical steps of the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, or IPB, must be modified in preparing for and conducting operations in the homeland…While preparing terrain and weather data do not pose a major problem to the G-2, gathering data on the threat and under civil considerations for intelligence and operational purposes is problematic to say the least.” How? I’m not sure they would need to be. When you’re facing a “threat/adversary,” you’re facing a “threat/adversary,” and the way you approach can take numerous factors into consideration and be tailored to the situation, location, and population to minimize causalities and other concerns. The basic premise remains the same, however. How do we look if we say what we do in other countries would not be acceptable in the U.S.? Once you are a true threat, you surrender a certain level of privacy. How would IPB be harder here than in combat? If anything, it should be easier. We are experts at the language and culture and can easily blend into the local populace…
Finally, for the doctrine lovers and haters, despite the fact that this work was clearly written in the last year or so and uses somewhat current constructs and doctrine, since it was just posted in July 2012, the authors should have recognized somewhere the Army’s shift from Full Spectrum Operations to Unified Land Operations (ADP 3-0, October 2011). Through either a complete overhaul of the work to a note somewhere recognizing the change, something should have been added. ADP 3-0 and the tenants of Unified Land Operations specifically address Department of Defense support to U.S. civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement support, and other domestic activities. This new doctrine might have given the authors more options on how to approach their fictional scenario and provided more value to the military or the audience through the use of the most contemporary doctrine.
Finally an adult has entered the room. This is pretty tame stuff compared to other more turbulent times in our history. Having come from the 82nd Airborne during the early 70's where we were stationed in MIAMI,FL for the Presidential conventions. I am more scared of DHS than some splinter group militia. The Colonel should be brought out of retirement and promoted to General for being a competent military leader. The SWJ should be given a million dollar prize from the Department of Defense.
What truly surprises me is the shortsightedness of so many of the readers.
I am a member of the Tea Party and immediately saw that the insurrection was not representative of the Tea Party to which I belong.
Further, I question the loyalties of the participants in this scenario. Would the soldiers really carry out their mission? Would the internet be shut down so a possible violent outcome could not be reported? Would the tea party (note it’s not capitalized) get a sensible message out that would stir others across the nation to similar action?
I have always said that the day right wing extremists get their act together is the day we will face a true battle for freedom in America.
Personally, as a former Army officer and career intelligence officer, I would rather face an insurrection mounted by uber-liberals than one mounted by right wing extremists. Why? Because it is far more likely the right wing extremists were trained by the world’s foremost military; the United States military, and will understand planning and combat operations.
This was an exercise in imagination, a true "what if" scenario, the authors - no matter their political leanings - did a good job at making every one of us think about the outcome.
<a href="http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/swj-editorial">SWJ Editorial</a> concerning this article and the commentary it has evoked; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Two comments from the article I found worth exploring:
"Army doctrine defines full spectrum operations as a mix of offense, defense and either stability or civil support operations. Curriculum development is a true zero sum game; when a subject is added another must be removed. Given the array of threats and adversaries; from “commando-style” raids such as Mumbai, the changing face of militias in the United States, rising unrest in Mexico, and the tendency to the extreme in American politics the subject of how American armed forces will conduct security and defense operations within the continental U.S. must be addressed in the curricula of our Staff and War Colleges."
I'd be interested to know what parts of the curriculm the authors think should be dropped from PME programs to focus on domestic operations.
"The table of organization and equipment of Fifth U.S. Army/Army North must be scrutinized. The range of liaison parties that must be exchanged in the conduct of operations on American soil is extensive. Coordination with federal, state and local civil law enforcement and security agencies is a vital element in concluding homeland operations successfully. The liaison parties cannot be ad hoc or last minute additions to the headquarters."
Everybody wants a piece of your very limited T\O and in an age of cutbacks, the T\O isn't going to get bigger. This is just the reality we live in right now. With so many other competing requirements, where would liaison officers fall in the list of priorities?
Adding liaison officers, growing the staff, and revamping our professional education have been cited as the solutions to so many problems in so many articles over the year that they seem to be nothing more that throw-aways (IMHO). We only have so many resources, and there isn't enough to go around. Adding PME or liaison officers to every pet problem is not a viable solution.
Hmmm, in 1942, the draft age was lowered to 18 so let's assume your dad was drafted in 1945 at age 18 prior to the end of the war. Five years later in 1950 at the start of the Korean War he was drafted at age 23.
Thirteen years later in 1963, he was drafted to serve in Vietnam at age 36, except I believe the upper limit for conscription was 26? He then went to law school graduating in 1965 at age 38 and was a professor until he was 78 in 2005. Except he died four years earlier just after 9/11.
At least we aren't seeing stolen valor for yourself. And of course we all know that 9/11 was a zionist or white supremacist conspiracy, correct?
This was a great piece of fiction, this is seemingly what most of the posters had forgotten ranting a ragging on, it's fiction till it bits you in the butt like the book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.
In my own experience passed on from my dad who was drafted into the last three world wars, the first at 15/16 yrs old (WWII), the second time at 18/19 yrs old (Korean War), and third was the Vietnam War but he was disqualified after being deployed and it being found that he was accepted to a Law program. My dad earned a JD and taught law at a Junior college for over 40yrs. He also read three different news papers a day, promoted and organized the Junior College Law Day Program celebrated on May 1 and founded some mediation organization.
He never spoke much about his military service or what he had seen, but did reminded me of how he got there at that young age from a forgotten little old slave town in Georgia and the ill effects of war has on society. On the days following the (911) incident where 3000+ were murder without any questions as to forensic analysis of the scenario or perpetrators, except for the "OJ" like investigation from the 911 Commission (complacent sheep)-(See:Loose Change), and where many continue to die from the toxic fallout - it was easy to see him glued the analysis of the incident, reading an listening to report while reminding me and my brothers of the striking similarities to his past experiences in war time, civil rights riots, KKK hangings rallies in his old town and the recent Bush Election "Hanging Chadd BS", the argument was more like (Hanging Dingle Berry).
He passed away (4) days later, thank god he's not living through all the "lies and omissions".
Educators are paid to engage, inform and make the dialogue begin, sometimes in public domain and sometime in ones own head, so thank you Mr.Benson and Ms.Weber.!
I think this is a bunch of wild-eyed baloney. First of all, obviously the OP doesn't know the definition of TEA party. I was partaking in TEA Party events far before the 2008 election cycle. The TEA party groups met EVERY tax day at the post office to advise people that they are Taxed Enough Already. Get it? TEA party? TAXED ENOUGH!
Yet, your article talks about TEA party groups stopping people on roads and collecting taxes. That doesn't make any sense. Furthermore, TEA party groups (as you refer to them) are all about individual liberty. They would not stop people on the road. And even if they tried... I'd run over some idiot standing in the middle of the highway trying to stop me.
Second of all... MAPQUEST? What planet are you from? Mapquest probably won't even exist in 2016 and even if they do, they will be far inferior to Google.
What a load of garbage. Just fear-mongering is all. Someone trying to collect a paycheck from others who will buy into this junk.
Just plain garbage. Nothing but a bunch of bigoted and sterotypical LIES told by a person with no credibility and all in attempt to get others to believe his cons. Typical power-hungry thug who just so happened to join the military all so they could kill. You f'in meet the definition of LIBERAL to the T.
If this scenero were to ever come true, rest assured, people like you will be strung up and hanged on the court house lawn for all to see.
This is an unimaginative and abbreviated scenario and analysis at best. An unstated assumption is that those in Darlington are not operating constitutionally when the reality is that the ONLY reason an insurrection would occur is due to the federal goverment having vacated their responsibility to follow the constitution. Those who would actually need to invoke the Insurrecton Act would already have conducted the affairs of their offices in such a patently un-American, unethical, illegal, unconstitutional and treasonous manner (anybody we know?) that the elected official should uave already been arrested and put on trial. Only if for a protracted period the citizenry feels patriotically obligated to follow the constitution (the part about abolishing a corrupted government) to the point where knowing the US military will become involved, do it anyway. The authors (this article needed two?) presume there is no possibility of American soldiers choosing to take the side of the people. The most likely scenario (foreign troops invited by the government) will be one of martial law on a national level and is by mandate to last AT LEAST 6 months. During that time, mercenaries unrestrained by law or international treaty like the Geneva Convention are how government could and is preparing to defend the balance of their term in a government office, and NOT the constitution. By definition, the government can not defend the constitution from the citizens to whom it gives the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Even if that happiness means cleaning the halls of congress of the arrogantly criminal "representatives" with a blood seeking mob.
Don't like it? Find a job in another line of work besides government wastefulness.
The debate (albeit fairly one-sided) here reminds me of a scene from the movie 'Red': Bruce Willis and his comely tag-along show up at the compound of a retired spook played by (aptly) John Malkovich. As Malkovich and Willis are admiring her from a small distance, she picks up the receiver of a phone and Malkovich goes crazy: 'telephones? satellites? Hello!!!!!'.
Well, here's your sign: NorthCom, "Homeland" security (wtf???), TSA, FEMA, the 1033 program, Katrina response, drones overflying sovereign borders, car license plates being replace with RFID chips, UN treaties even discussed as possibly being ratified impacting Americans on U.S. soil, unhooking the dollar from oil (look it up; Nixon did us a favor back then), dogs and cats living together, real wrath of God type stuff. And oh, yeah, absence of God.
Whew. Can't see we didn't see this coming.
To begin with, I seriously doubt that this describes accurately the response to such an incident. I think that if things had gone this far, the President would send in the first full-capability military units he could get his hands on. It would be the same type of mess we saw after Katrina but FAR worse. This paper did NOT describe a "threat to America" - it described a threat to the unconstitutional behavior of the Federal government, and a Constitutionally appropriate response by the American people in this one place. It WILL happen too, I'm sure. It could happen almost any time now.
As for whether troops would fire on Americans, in this scenario I think they would have order to make their response a punitive one, and yes they would. Like the troops who there after Katrina (and there were regular military there taking guns with orders to kill if gun confiscation was resisted; it was NOT just NOPD), they will be the youngest available who have the training desired. I've heard a confession from one such who was In New Orleans after Katrina who said he was young and completely ignorant. He'd had no idea there could even be such a thing as an "illegal order". it wouldn't matter anyway; the military has strongly punished anyone who has refused to follow an order even if it WAS illegal. This usurped, unconstitutional government does NOT follow the Constitution. There's usually an attempt to use some legalistic trick to get around it, but it has only worked because every appointee, like Eric Holder, the SCOTUS, the Executive - every agency or individual who could act per the Constitution to remove an illegal government like this are ALL COMPLICIT. Otherwise Obama would have been arrested and tried for usurpation and other crimes. He cannot be impeached; he is not legitimately qualified to be the President.
The "elites" who planned and executed this takeover have both stolen and spent impossible amounts of money, and they have made certain that the mind control efforts against the American populace, the economic destruction/distractions that make fighting back that much harder, the intimidation factors from overly-violent and unaccountable militarized police, the Executive Orders that supposedly "get around the Constitution", and the threat that Americans are under if they disagree with the government, which now include warrentless arrest, accusationless and unending incarceration or simply assassination are all calculated to hold the American people motionless long enough for the takeover to be consolidated. We are on the edge of the precipice now; of course they would fire on people classed as "homegrown terrorists," which people would be by definition in this scenario - according to our government.
I agree that the authors never finished what they were doing. I felt as though someone had lopped off the last couple of pages, and I finished the article wondering where the rest of it was. Also, you're right about their reliance on "doctrine", some of which I'm sure they're unaware of. It was all very sterile. For one thing, doctrine only provides a framework to hang behavior on while planning, and behavior when the rubber hits the road NEVER fully meets expectations, just as no strategy survives contact with the enemy. When something like this happens, I believe that a bloodbath is very likely to result. This false government behaves like any other budding dictatorship that's still in the relatively early takeover stage - they're somewhat cautious, but militarized police and the actual military are both extremely violent, and are NOT held accountable for wanton violence. It's seen as being useful for quelling possible resistance, and I'm sure it does. Even legal attempts to find remedy for what's happened to our economy and political structure are violently attacked. In a case like this, I think there would be nothing to stop a massacre.
SWJ always publishes articles that are provoking, and often disruptive because they challenge the military community to think, and think about how we think (meta-cognition; problematization; reflective practice...all common design theory themes). In this over-arching perspective, I welcome articles such as this one. It troubles me to see the significant comments below that remind me of some of our darker periods for humanity- eras where the call to silence those that propose radical (or highly introspective) thoughts are silenced, threatened, or ignored with hypocritical logic. This is problematic because paradigms are shattered not by the herds, but the nomads and explorers. That said, this article is by no means a paradigm shift.
For the content, I am disappointed that the authors (with significant academic and professional credentials) have put forth an essentially incomplete and sloppy product. It is a rough draft, a crude idea where the fusion of military doctrine, historical analysis, and linear concepts are wrapped in what is clearly a social commentary from within the traditional military-political landscape of Clausewitz, Jomini, and modern western democratic perspectives on warfare and the state. There are some valid and nomadic positions scattered within this article, but they are far too brief and unpolished for publication at SWJ or elsewhere. Specifically, the quote below concerns me.
"This scenario requires us to consider how domestic intelligence is gathered and shared, the role of local law enforcement (to the extent that it supports the operation), the scope and limits of the Insurrection Act--for example maintaining a military chain of command but in support of the Attorney General as the Department of Justice is the Lead Federal Agency (LFA) under the conditions of the Act--and the roles of the local, national, and international media."
The authors started out in the right direction within this paragraph, but never got to the meat. The above paragraph deals with questioning western world-views on some core phenomenon; why does our society value a separation of military power from domestic application...why do we bound law enforcement within a relationship of valued items that are legal, and valued items that we as a society associate intentionally as "illegal." What does "illegal" mean to us- and why do we balance the scope and powers of our laws (such as the Insurrection Act) in current form? Lastly, what do the roles of media (building narratives within economic entities that cooperate, compete, and communicate) have within this system where we see the significant actors of the population, elected officials, law enforcement, our military, and the perpetual dissent of human groups? The authors never get there.
Instead, there is far too much emphasis in this article on DOCTRINE, as if that is the only variable for regulating military-political action. Doctrine is merely a manifestation of the larger institutionalisms that are regulated just as much by root metaphors and other self-relevant phenomenon that continue to drive organized behaviors...the military is not simply an entity that blindly follows law, regulation, and decree without thinking...or thinking about thinking.
In closing; I never want to be associated with those that seek to silence dissenting thinkers because they challenge our institutions. At the same time, those that strive to challenge us must do it in a manner that is well composed, and ultimately effective in creating valid discourse. Consider that often the best meals are the simplest to prepare; the best steak or fish is served with perhaps light seasoning and tastes amazing because of the quality of the meat. This article is more akin to those obnoxious carnival treats like fried butter or a hamburger with donuts for the buns; the entire concept appears designed to shock, but for no real purpose other than to add to our waistlines.
Tea Party - KKK - Anti-Immigrant coalition taking over a city?
Why not use drug cartels subverting a border or state (it's happening in Mexico)? Maybe even make this super fictional and create some zombie apocolypse but tieing a law abiding organization to the KKK and Anti -immigration groups sounds as bad as Napilatano's vportraying vets as potential radicals.
A retraction is required at a minimum. More likely the authors need to be separated from instructing officers in any capacity. It's been done when officer's discussed radical islam as the enemy.
To let this lay unadressed is asking for the equivalemnt of what Hasan did at ft. Hood but potentially on a much larger scale.
We paid for Col Benson from USMA to today. He obviously has totally lost touch with the real word as he abuses (With Dr. Weber) the US Tax Dollars and the US Tax Payers. Years and years of living in the false security of a socialistic military model have clouded his judgement and caused his to forget the purpose of the military and resent the people of this country.
It is time that the Retired Col. be completely removed from the inventory, so that he thinking (or lack there of) are not spread to others in the military. We have spent a huge amount of money on this man and will continue to honor his retirement, so we need to stop throwing good money after bad.
We need the best and brightest working on officer development and obviously we are far from that.
There's nothing new about the use of Regular Army troops against civilians engaging in actions against the government, or against corporations which control infrastructure vital to national defense:
"[F]ederal troops quelled civil unrest during the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, Fries' Rebellion in 1799, Dorr's Rebellion in 1842, at the Kansas Border in 1854, during the Mormon Troubles in 1857-58, and quelled the unrest at Harper's Ferry and captured John Brown in 1859. This long history of assisting civil authorities enforce the nation's laws included the 1863 New York City Draft riots.
In the post-Reconstruction era, the Army was heavily involved in quelling violence associated with labor disputes and enforcing court injunctions against striking union workers. The Army's intervention in the railroad strikes of 1877, the labor disputes at the Coeur d'Alene Mines in Idaho in 1892, and the Pullman strikes of 1894, created the most turbulence within the officer corps. ... During the eleven year period between 1885 and 1895 military forces were mobilized 328 times for riot duty; 118 involved labor conflicts.
During the twentieth century the Army's role in quelling civil disturbances was both more frequent and more diverse. The Regular Army suppressed civil unrest at the Nevada gold mines in 1907; at the Colorado coal mines in 1913 and 1914; at the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, riots in 1918; at the Washington, DC, riots in 1919; at the Omaha, Nebraska, riots in 1919; at the West Virginia mines in 1921; and thwarted the activities of Army veterans during the Bonus March in Washington, in 1932." (source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/war-plan-white.htm and references cited therein.)
In many of these actions, Federal troops fired upon and killed American civilians. For a case in point, there's the example of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877:
"At Camden Station, near Baltimore, a crowd numbering 2,000 engaged in pitched battle with three companies of the Sixth Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. The fighting, which extended from the Centre Market to the corner of Baltimore and St. Paul Streets, resulted in the death of at least 10 people. By the time the three days of violence had ended, 13 were dead and 50 had been wounded. ... When the fighting was over, strike sympathizers had burned 500 freight cars, 104 locomotives, and 39 buildings. On July 19, militiamen killed 30 people at the 28th Street rail crossing in the Strip district, near the roundhouse behind Pennsylvania Station." (source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/great-railway-strike.htm)
The economic conditions out of which this strike arose are quite similar to what Drs. Benson and Weber cite in their article:
"At the beginning of Ulysses Grant's second term, several Eastern financial institutions ran out of funds as a result of bad loans. The subsequent Panic of 1873 ravaged the nation; banks closed, the stock market temporarily collapsed, and an economic depression affected Americans for approximately five years. Within the first year, 89 railroads (of the 364 then existing) went out of business; their failure left farmers with no means of transporting products, and they too became casualties. The new industrialized economy was so intertwined that a vicious downward cycle began: by 1875, more than 18,000 companies collapsed. With no money and no visible relief on the horizon, Americans took out their frustrations on the available targets: government, corporations, banks, immigrants." ibid.
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 16, and had been entirely crushed by August 1, so it lasted 14 days, but in that time it had spread from Martinsburg, WV to the West Coast:
"Ultimately the strike involved more than 100,000 railroad workers in fourteen states; they walked off their jobs, smashed cars and pulled up tracks in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Toledo, Louisville, Buffalo, and San Francisco. Before service was restored, more than 100 were dead, hundreds injured, thousands jailed, $5 million ($1.6 billion in today's money) of property destroyed." ibid.
Perhaps the use of the Tea Party in the present is unfortunate, but it's a logical choice: people on the political Right tend to own firearms much more so than people on the political Left (as typified by the various anarchist groups and Occupy Wall Street) and tend to have fairly extensive knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and its statements about the legitimacy of government and the right of the people to "alter or abolish it". Most of the Tea Party people are middle and working class, and most of them tend not to have advanced degrees or be employed or engaged in academia.
The reason cited for the failure of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was that "the very spontaneity of the strike was its own undoing; the workers were, after all, unorganized. ... The workers overthrew established authority and control, but were unable to sustain the momentum or unity as the strike grew. After initially being ousted, forces of law and order regrouped in short order and were able to marshal their forces swiftly and confidently. ... The general public feared the violence of the workers; many editorials and pundits aligned their actions with those of the 1871 Paris Commune uprising. Whispers and headlines included the words "socialists," "anarchists," and "communists." Behind all local and state efforts to break the strike was the federal government, with its military and legislative muscle." ibid.
The current situation is a bit different - in the 1870s, the government and Congress enjoyed far greater popular support and approval than they do today, and there was not the great crisis of legitimacy that we see today, either, as described here:
"We have seen plenty of equally tawdry scandals in the United States of late ... the Obama administration’s systematic refusal to bring charges against any of the financiers whose spectacularly blatant acts of fraud helped fuel, and then pop, the recent housing bubble. ... By giving the country a remarkably good imitation of the third term of George W. Bush, the Obama administration has convinced a sizable fraction of Americans that they have nothing to hope for from either party. It’s symptomatic that a recent Rasmussen poll found that only 17% of respondents thought that a choice between Obama and Romney for president represented the best that America could do." (source: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-crisis-of-legitimacy.h…)
Now, if these conditions written about in the article persist, namely:
"After a change in control of the White House and Congress in 2012, the governing party cuts off all funding that had been dedicated to boosting the economy or toward relief. The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade. By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises. Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high."
then the problem will not be based on race or immigration or anything remotely like that, and the chances of a rebellion arising solely in a small town in South Carolina - and nowhere else in the US - are miniscule. Sure, the scenario given shows the possibility of a successful resolution to a local problem using the US Army, but that's not likely to be the situation at hand.
What I think is more likely is that entire states will adopt "Tenth Amendment Resolutions" and the like, in which they assert their right and ability to nullify Federal laws. To some extent this has already begun, see http://www.repealamendment.org/supporters.html , in which such action is supported by the Senate President in Florida, the Speaker of the House of Delegates in Virginia, and the Speakers of the Houses of Representatives of Utah, Indiana, South Carolina, and Texas, amongst others. If the Federal Government continues to run trillion-dollar deficits, and continues to run up the national debt, while refusing to aid states and individuals but instead focussing its largesse on large corporations, and perhaps while curtailing or sharply limiting entitlement programs (such as Social Security and Medicare: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/obamas-second-term-agenda-cuttin…), it's going to get into a situation where people view the Federal Government as a hated enemy - and this will go nationwide, not just in rural small towns, populated by racist rednecks.
I think the more likely scenario down the road, probably not in 2016 but more like 2020 is one in which there is a fiscal crisis on the national level, as a result of which all Federal aid to states gets cut off, limiting Federal expenditures to defense and debt service on the national debt at first, then a rolling default on Federal obligations, starting with Series EE savings bonds.
Given this situation, the legislatures of several Western states, say Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, and Montana pass Tenth Amendment Resolutions reserving to those states the right to issue money and to regulate their own financial affairs, independent of the Federal Reserve Bank, and the governors enact the legislation. They go on to form a currency union, making a common currency for all of their states independent of the US dollar.
The Federal Government reacts, and intemperately so, and the Attorney General orders the arrest of the Governors and Legislatures of those states on charges of sedition under the Insurrection Act and orders Army units into those states to effectuate those arrests. The Legislatures quickly pass secession resolutions and the states secede from the Union. The states of California and Washington follow suit, soon after.
You're the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and you've been tasked with defeating the secession and bringing the wayward States back into the Union. What do you do?
A breathtakingly stupid and offensive article. This piece would have been appropriate for a Soviet journal of military studies, but is terribly inappropriate for a country where citizens' rights are supposedly respected, in addition to states rights. So military thinkers are supposed to be devoting time to the study of how to murder American citizens? Creepy does not even begin to describe the sort of warped, uninformed "thinking" displayed in this article.
It is pretty clear where the Author's politics lie. This whole scenario starts off with the defeat of Obama and an end to his policies. Right there you must understand that they don't have a clue about much of anything. I am sure that they are doing fine and have a fat paycheck and can't understand why the rest of us don't get it. They are probably afraid that if responsible leadership prevails in D.C. that they might have to suffer and that would truly be a tragedy. I think they suffer from I've got mine screw you. And as far as being afraid of the Tea Party. Look it was Obama and Zuckerberg that got the Arab Spring rolling. And the Arab Spring though touted as Democracy budding in the middle East, has only brought us more Radical Islamic States to join Iran (Carters gift to the world). And it is Obama and Van Jones that were behind Occupy Wall Street. The author's are blind to who is a threat to this country. Obama is doing everything he can to wreck the economy and he is testing the social network to coordinate mobs. Obama supplied guns to Mexican Drug Cartels to ramp up the violence along our borders so he could make the case for stricter gun control. What a couple of morons. But wow that Tea Party what a bunch of nut jobs. Not like the sane people running the Democrat Party Like Harry and Nancy and Obama. Obama the man who can't speak without the help of a teleprompter, and who thinks there are 59 states in the Union. My God these people are scary. including the authors of this piece. The biggest threat to the nation is white Americans? Yea they are the threat. The authors are stuck on the Civil War. Get over it already. The biggest problem in America isn't the Tea Party. It's idiot's in academia.
Janet napolitano would be so proud. col Bensn is a traitor in waiting. Your oath is to the Constitution, Col. - not to your masters in the white house. it's easy enough to see where your coauthor got her bile - Princeton is a well known home for all who hate our great nation - but to get such trash from the highest levels, of our military - even from one who is retired, is shocking indeed. You must be made of the same soft metal as those who serve under this traitorous regime without complaint. You watch as our sons are told not to defend themselves, not to kill those who seek their blood - the same regime that strips them of their right to vote, guts their pay, and sends them to battle without equipment or ammunition. The others who have posted here have covered your ill informed attack on today's true patriots, the tea party. The one Thing we can all be thankful for is that traitors like yourself feel so free to expose yourselves, now that your fellow travelers have come to power.
The intensity of the comments to this article is an interesting clinical study in perceptions and generic response, similar to prodding a tightly coiled and very venomous snake that lies hidden in the shadows.We know the 'snake' is there but we do not like to think about its presence. Domestic unrest is not a pleasant study to discuss but the military is required to be proactive, not reactive, and have contingency plans in-place to deal with incidents of civil unrest. These two writers are serious academics who have presented a scenario and a contingency plan to deal with domestic civil unrest. The location and events are fictional but the real-time potential for such domestic insurrection is very real. Even as I write this comment, American soldiers are training alongside foreign nationals on a military post in the Western U.S. at a state-of-the-art replica of a typical American small town, nicknamed 'Mayberry USA.' This is not fiction. It is real.
My take on this leftwingnut scenario is here:
COL. Benson and Ms Weber would do well to remember this:
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
I agree with many other posters that the scenario is ludicrous, UNLESS the current group occupying the White House remain there from 2012 through 2016 and unless there is an ongoing op to infiltrate the Tea Party and mount a false flag insurrection according to the scenario.
Hi folks, I've thought about this for a while now. I find it disturbing on so many levels, not the thought that some day and probably someday soon, our active duty armed forces will be required to deal with either a homegrown insurgency or terror campaign on our own soil, but rather the multiple layers of arrogance of the authors.
Unlike many of the respondents here, I totally understand where Drs. Benson and Weber are coming from. I, like them, am an academic. I know the overwhelming majority of my fellow academics are profoundly uninformed or misinformed about the nature of the TEA Party and the overwhelming percentage of people that adhere to the principles of the TEA Party. I understand the virulent hatred of and disdain for the ordinary American that pervades our college campuses' faculty offices. But unlike them, I don't live in the ivory tower, I live in the country among farmers, roofers, carpenters, HVAC workers, store owners and pastors. And unlike them I am a TEA Partier, have been from day one of the movement in 2009. I know the people that are libeled by the statement: "While mainstream politicians and citizens react with alarm, the “tea party” insurrectionists in South Carolina enjoy a groundswell of support from other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups." I know them because they are my friends and neighbors, the people I have stood with under brilliant "Tea Party skies" and in snowy blizzards exercising our right to assemble and petition our government and our elected officials. I have stood with immigrants from Latin America and Asia whose proudest day was when they raised their hands to take the oath as American citizens. I have stood with Black folks that value free enterprise, personal responsibility, and liberty just as much as my 'redneck' friends. I have stood with veterans of all our nation's wars since the Second World War of all races, colors and creeds. I have stood with four generations of the same family, all working to protect the liberties of that youngest generation that was there as well the next generation. I've stood with deputy sheriffs, fireman, policemen, paramedics, national guardsmen and even some active duty soldiers holding signs that read -- "Lower taxes, Less Government, More Freedom". We don't much like racists in the TEA Party because 99.9% of us honestly believe that no one, NO ONE is condemned by their birth, that all are free to chose their own destiny and to change the destiny that our culture seems to impose on people. A lot of us in those crowds have changed our destinies. So the fact that these two "colleagues" of mine feel safe enough to spew their hate so openly is disturbing to me, it tells me that they don't accept that simple idea, that they and many like them do think people are condemned by their birth.
Second, I find it disturbing that a former soldier would think that any group of people would be so stupid as to seize control of a town to start an insurgency. I understand the necessity to set the stage somehow for any exercise, but if this is the level of thinking that went into Operation Iraqi Freedom and its aftermath; I can understand why we had some initial difficulties. Clearly, Colonel Benson never understood the concept that the enemy generally has both a brain and a bit of common-sense. If this is the level instruction has fallen to at Fort Leavenworth I am sorely disturbed for the long term fate of my nation’s security. Luckily I know many of the professors there and most of them are clearly more cognizant of the realities of war than Colonel Benson. There are other levels on which I find this disturbing as well, but so many that this is not the venue to air them as most of the people that read Small Wars Journal actually have something constructive to do with their time.
On the other hand there is one more level on which I find this profoundly disturbing and that is the ‘glib’ way in which the authors seem to disregard legal, constitutional, and ethical constraints on action. But then they are products of our modern academic environment. I was like that once too. Hopefully like myself, they will one day have an encounter with their conscience and emerge the better for it.
Long ago and far away (1984) there was a book, called "Siege", by Edwin Corley. It detailed the turning through personal tragedy (the murder of his family) of a black USMC BG, and his subversion into a radical Black Separatist movement. The Marine became the movement's chief military officer. He then (using movement recruits and funds) assembled, trained, planned and conducted the seizure of Manhattan Island, in order to hold it and its inhabitants to ransom by the movement, in exchange for the territory of the State of New Jersey, as a separate and independent "black homeland"...
...As whack as that story is, it is better-thought out than this scenario.
Too many people have made excellent comments on this prior to me, so I will not attempt to expand on well-trodden ground, except to say that I am rather dismayed at the thought that this is what passes for staff courses being taught at C&GSC.
Col. Benson and Dr. Weber -- if you need assistance in constructing domestic combat/COIN operational wargaming, may I offer my services? I have a well-thought out scenario that functions at multiple levels, ready to go to help you teach better.
I have been thinking about this whole affair for a couple of days now. I think it is highly important that a serious push on the part of those of us who recall our oath and incorporate into that the idea that academic integrity and accuracy are very important for a free Republic, ESPECIALLY when it arises from centers of military planning and thought, to press this issue with our representation and demand accountability from our leadership.
Our institutions have proud heritages and we do them a disservice by allowing frankly erroneous material to be proffered as serious academic thought.
I am capable of understanding an offensive opinion, I am capable of understanding an offensive fact. What I am incapable of accepting is an offending lie offered as the truth, especially when it so villifies forces determined to preserve the Republic and individual liberty. We ALL need to contact our representation and be very vocal about this. The American Legion and VFW should also be made aware of this as well as MOAA and the other representative agencies.
This article is needlessly provocative and not very scholarly. It's a shame, because this could have been a very good piece on domestic counterinsurgency operations. Unfortunately, the authors felt the need to clumsily inject their own political views into it by gratuitously insulting other Americans. And given the scenario, why go after the Tea Party? If the Republicans take control and start drastically cutting government spending, why would this inflame the Tea Party? Reducing government spending is one of their explicit goals. Why would they rebel against their co-ideologists? In this case, it would be far more likely that some far-Left group would be the insurgents. I guess the authors were trying to be "edgy," but they've failed badly.
I challenge the authors of this essay to identify a single Tea Party rally conducted in a public space for which the organizers did not go down to City Hall and take out permits.
I challenge the authors of this essay to identify a single Tea Party rally at which violence or property destruction comparable to a "Black Bloc" action at an "Occupy" event took place.
This article is flat out is horrible researched and written. The scenarios is unrealistic and it is obvious the writers did not do their homework. It is obvious the writers and even a few readers have not done their research on posse comitatus and its history. (Brinkerhoff 2002)
As a student in Intelligence studies with a concentration in Homeland Security, I can honestly say the scenarios cannot and will not happen. There is no connection between the Tea Party or conservative radio with any militia group. No militia group has the capability to carry out such a operation. They do not have the manpower, training, logistics or the quality of manpower to carry out such a operation.
This article is not of academic quality. I am enclosing some articles I recently used for some papers I just did, that will support my comments.
Best, Richard. Sharing Law Enforcement and Intelligence information: The congressional role. Congressional report, Washington D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 2007.
Brinkerhoff, John R. The Posse Comitatus Act and Homeland Security. unk, Institute for Defense Analyses, 2002.
Famous trials. Oklahoma City Bombing trials. n.d. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mcveigh/mcveightrial.html (accessed 08 08, 2012).
George, John & Wilcox, laird. American Extremists. NY: Prometheus Book, 1996.
Kate, Martin. Domestic Intelligence and Civil Liberties . unk, SAIS Review, 2004.
Stewart, Scott. Stratfor Global Intelligenced: Cutting through the lone-wolf Hype. Sept 22, 2011. http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110921-cutting-through-lone-wolf-hype (accessed 07 31, 2012).
unk. "THE INTEGRATION OF HOMELAND SECURITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT." Homeland Security and Law Enforcement. n.d. https://edge.apus.edu/access/content/group/69b4c9c4-6e26-4ea3-b48d-0dc5… (accessed 01 13, 2012).
unknown. "Foundation of Homeland Defense and Security." n.d.
Dr. Weber and Col Benson: After reading your article I'm speechless except to say that your insult to honorable Americans is beyond the pale. Also, in order not to seem intemperate may quote the esteemed patriot an original "Tea Partier" John Adams. "We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
I am reading your hard-copy article sitting in the smallest room of my house. I am now not lacking in paper to conclude my "business". I highly recommend the widest dissemination of your article to others in like manner. I also recommend you do the same with your diplomas.
Here is the future the Colonel's political masters dream about:
I am extremely offended by this article. Col. Benson is clearly writing to incite an insurrection here in South Carolina.
Suppose I taught the same course at Leavenworth, and created a scenario where the popular Governor of South Carolina, the Hon. Nikki Haley, was elected president of the United States and Rev. Jessie Jackson (born in Greenville, South Carolina)invaded the state with an army of NAACP types, took over our capitol at Columbia and held president-elect Nikki Haley hostage. Then my old unit from Vietnam, the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) had to be recalled from the Middle East to put down the NAACP insurrection, rescue the president elect, and hang the Rev. Jessie Jackson for treason?
There would be a leftwing firestorm over my scenario. ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times would whine it was unfair because Jessie Jackson has never advocated overthrow of the government and neither have most members of the NAACP. I would be called a "racist" for even suggesting the idea.
Col. Benson's scenario is incredibly insulting on numerous fronts. He attempts to inject race to the Tea Party movement where there is simply no racial element involved.
News flash Col. Benson, the tea party movement did help elect the current, and very popular, Governor of South Carolina, the Hon. Nikki Haley from Bamburg. She was also endorsed by Gov. Sarah Palin, and both Governors are very supportive of tea party goals and objectives. Now, for the fly in your ointment - the popular, tea party supported, conservative, Republican, Governor of South Carolina is both female, and she is non-white! Just for your information, the Tea Party groups in the lower part of South Carolina also elected a pro-Tea Party man to Congress in the 1st district of SC (Includes Charleston.) With Tea Party help, he beat Strom Thurmond, Jr. in a GOP primary. His name is Tim Scott, he is a friend of mine, and he is Black as the ace of spades!
All of this says your scenario for both South Carolina, and the tea party movement in general, is hogwash. Your scenario is either lies and propaganda, or in the alternative, incredibly sloppy scholarship that indicates a total lack of simple research and clearly no fact checking.
At one place in his repulsive article, Col. Benson actually says the Army will not stand for the people uprising against the constitution. Colonel, I have a news flash for you. What you are describing, in chilling detail, is the government violating the constitution, and the people rising up to restore our constitution!
I have taken that oath to preserve, protect, and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic - I have taken it six times. I took it at age 15 when I joined the Civil Air Patrol, I took it twice when I enlisted, and reenlisted, in the US Army, I took it two more times when I served six years in the SC State Guard, and I took the same oath when I was sworn in as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. My country has awarded me 22 medals and ribbons for service, combat, and valor. My Comrades in the VFW elected me a Post Commander - twice - and also a State Chaplain for South Carolina... three times.
Col. Benson, next time you teach your insane course at Leavenworth, I suggest you start off by showing your officers the movie THE PATRIOT starring Mel Gibson. That will give them a good idea of what would be waiting for them here if they decided to invade South Carolina and treat us like we were Bosnia. Have you ever heard of the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion? He operated not too far from Darlington. Do you know what we did to British Major Tarleton at Cowpens? Do you know that Lt. Col. William Barrett Travis was born down the road from here at Abbyville, South Carolina? Have you ever read his last letter from the Alamo?
Have you considered how you are going to get your federal troops from where they are now, to Darlington, SC? How do you plan to secure your supply lines? Do you really think you will have an easy time in North Carolina or Georgia? Could your forces stop at a truck stop in the South without somebody letting the air out of your tires and urinating in your coffee?
I doubt if Col. Benson and "Associate Professor" Jennifer Webber have studied any American history. If you had studied history, you would know only five states secceeded before Lincoln's Army comitted an act of war and attempted to reinforce Ft. Sumter. [Actually, Major Anderson occupying Ft. Sumter on Christmas eve 1860 in the dead of night, was an act of war too.] That prompted secession movements in eight other states from Texas to Virginia.
Forget the tea party, invade Darlington, SC and you are going to have to deal with 60,000 very pissed off NASCAR fans. Colonel, that's roughly three or four infantry divisions, only NASCAR fans are not infantry, and most of them already have Confederate flags.
White Tea Party members in South Carolina are not randomly killing non-whites, we are helping elect them Governor and Congressman, as noted above. In fact, both Nikki Haley and Tim Scott are regular speakers at Tea Party events all over SC. They are not simply tokens either, we (tea party activists) worked very hard to elect these two non-white officials over RINO establishment candidates in primaries. Those RINO establishment candidates, incidentally, are all white.
The tea party movement does not need to take Darlington, SC or anything else by the use of force or illegal means. We just took over the majority of the US Congress in 2010 - at the ballot box! Did you miss that development?
White people are not randomly shooting non-whites in South Carolina. There was a fellow who opened fire on a bunch of Sikhs in church this past Sunday morning... in Wisconsin, not South Carolina. No, he was not tea party either. Are you gaming the wrong scenario? Do you remember Maj. Hassan who killed 14 people at Ft. Hood? He was not tea party either, he was a Moslem with ties to one of the Imams who planned 9/11.
The only open racist in South Carolina politics, as far as I am aware, is State Senator Jake Knotts who embarassed our state, and our Republican Party, a few years ago by calling Governor Nikki Haley a "Raghead."
Col. since you did very little in the way of research before insulting the government and people of South Carolina, allow me to give you more facts:
Our Governor, whom Sen. Jake Knotts called a "Raghead," is of Indian descent and race. Her parents are members of the Sikh faith. Her father is one of those devout Sikhs who has never cut his hair and wears it under his big red turban. He wore the big red turban proudly to the inauguration - when his daughter was sworn in as our Governor. Governor Haley converted to the Methodist faith 15 years ago, when she married her husband Michael Haley.
Incidentally, Michael Haley, the white Methodist, married to our Governor, is also a Major in the South Carolina National Guard. He has just been deployed to Afghanistan for a tour of duty. Another member of our SC Air National Guard is United States Senator Lindsey Graham who is a full Colonel in the Air Force JAG Corps.
The idea you would "nationalize" our Guard, and then turn it against our people is simply ludicrous! You will have more than a few tea party sympathizing local cops to worry about.
By the way, South Carolina is the only state in the nation where the Adjutant General, the commander of the National Guard, is elected by a vote of the people. Ours, Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, commanded the 218th Combat Brigade of the SC Army National Guard in Afghanistan for a year. While there, he distinguished himself, was decorated, and his troops loved and greatly respected him.
The runner up in our recent election for Lt. Governor of South Carolina is a retired Lt. Colonel who also served with distinction in combat in Afghanistan.
Colonel Benson, associate professor Webber,are you aware the Citadel is located in Charleston, South Carolina? Did you know that the Citadel has supplied more officers to the United States Army than any schools except West Point, and Texas A & M? I have a friend who is an Aggie [graduate of Texas A & M] and a retired Brigadier General living in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Know which school educated the fourth largest number of officers in the US Army? That would be VMI... the VIRGINIA Military Institute.
Colonel, if you are going to invade South Carolina, you are going to need to go to Cuba, Venezuela, or Red China to find officers willing to invade here.
Know where the United States Marines are trained? Yep, Parris Island. That is in Beaufort, SOUTH CAROLINA just for your information, and yeah, most of them are Southern boys and tea party sympathizers.
I am calling my friend Nikki Haley tomorrow. She will be calling you, asking for an apology to the people of South Carolina for one of the stupidest and most insulting articles ever written.
The lady in the photo with me is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She is Chairman of the Tea Party Caucus in the US House of Representatives. She also sits on the House Select Committee on Intelligence and gets the same classified intelligence briefings daily the president and Senator Lindsey Graham get.
Do you understand what a nightmare it would be for you to plan an illegal invasion of South Carolina? No. You don't appear to understand much of anything and clearly you did not think your scenario through much as all before shooting off your mouth.
Col. Benson, you need to be in Leavenworth, but not teaching school. You are a disgrace to your uniform and to my United States Army.
In the Roman context, the suggestion would only be offensive to the sort of centurion whose loyalty rested with the Republic, rather than with his supreme leader and benefactor. In any case, I'm not directly addressing issues of morality, but rather the very real and practical problem of getting soldiers to fire on their own people.
Observe the present day conflict in Syria. The government is a Ba'athist dictatorship, designed along the old Soviet model, where provisions were openly made for breaking resistance amongst the people through the use of military force. And yet, the Assad regime has suffered considerably from desertions not only amongst their rank-and-file military, but even amongst members of the military and civilian leadership. The rising casualty rate amongst the civilain population, especially amongst children, has forced the Sryian military to take extreme measure to maintain unit cohesion - to include summary execution, on the spot, of those who refuse to shoot at civilians.
Every Tea Party protest I have seen has been made up of members of the taxpaying public, as well as their dependant children. It is absurd to think that breaking such groups up with the use of violent force will not result in significant civilian casualties. How do you motivate a military force, especially the sort of volunteer citizen military as exists in the US, when such actions will include driving M-1 tanks over baby strollers with small American flags waving from them?
I am an old armchair wargame grognard, and have a long familiarity with conterfactuals and the like. I'm also familiar with the sort of regimes that could engage in the kind of operations that are proposed in this counterfactual exercise. I have no objections to examining such scenarios, so long as the full ramifications of what is being discussed are examined. Too often, these scenarios become dry exercises in how to accomplish this or that static objective without examining the full range of what a commander in the field would have to address. It is in that light, and what I believe to be the spirit of this scenario, that my "modest proposal" is offered.
"Part of this exercise should address how federal troops that refuse to fire upon civilians might be coerced into doing so, or punished for not doing so[?]"
You do realize how offensive this suggestion is, right?
P.S. Perhaps you could take a tried and true method of another empire -- The Roman empire who decimated legions which did not follow orders killing 1 out of every 10 members of those units. The fed seems to be capable of the same outrageous behaviors as the Roman empire -- why not this one too?
At face value, the scenario is simple enough, and is related to speculative analysis of the American Civil War of 1961-65. The question is, how would the US Army respond to the initial phases of an insurrection that has considerable support amongst the US public (and indeed within the US military)?
I think the first part of this question is most important. That is, how legitimate are the governing authories considered, with respect to the rebels? The scenario builders are thinking in terms of a second American civil war, one based on the question of slavery and race, which is why there is such a dissonant attempt to paint one "tea party" motive as racism. Instead, is this isurrection more similar to the Tiananmen Square Incident? Is it more akin to the kind of civil unrest we see in countries like Libya or Syria, or perhaps instead, like the sort of uprisings that overthrew the Bolshevik government of Russia? The perceptions of the general public, and by perculation, the perceptions of the federal and state military forces on the ground will decide whether the units sent to quell the disturbance will fight for the government's interests, sit the conflict out (perhaps through desertion), or actively join the insurgents. Poor early decisions in this regard, such as has unfolded in Syria recently, could put the central government in the unenviable position of fighting a portion of their own military.
The assumption that the US military will necessarily be on the side of the central government is, I think, the strongest failing of this exercise. If there is civil unrest of such magnitude that a benign entity like the Tea Party Movement has graduated to armed insurrection, one in which the federal government can no longer depend on its state governors for support, simply assuming that US Army formations will do as they are told is not realistic. If the federal government is that unpopular, one would assume a prior prudent action would be the establishment of some political force whose loyalty can be assured (such as an American equivalent of the NKVD or Waffen SS). Part of this exercise should address how federal troops that refuse to fire upon civilians might be coerced into doing so, or punished for not doing so.
Otherwise an intriguing exercise. One would hope the results would be made readily available to public scrutiny. I'd certainly be interested to find out how this wargame turned out in the end.
The more I consider this article the worse it gets. As many posters have pointed out, this may just be a plant article, published to get a measure of the reaction, probably all the posters have been traced and identified, possibly for some future action. The takeover of a town by Tea Party/Militia activists is meaningless, if a tyrant needs an excuse to act he will find or manufacture one (atrocities against Suedeten Germans, attacks on US Navy vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin, etc.). There are approximately 120,000 lawyers in the Justice Dept., what do they all do? Not much I suspect, however it should be noted that a large number of affirmative action law school graduates, with no hope whatsoever of being able to successfully practice law in the private sector, have been vacuumed up by the Govt. This may explain why the NBP voting intimidation case was never pursued, because a significant number of DOJ employees are NBP party sympathizers, probably including the Attorney General himself, who just happens to be in contempt of Congress at the present time.
This Dept. of Justice would be the "Lead Federal Agency" , the same crowd who brought us Ruby Ridge, Waco and the fast and furious debacle, which was clearly an attempt to manufacture a context in which the 2nd Amendment could be gutted. Do you trust these people? I sure as hell don't. Let's be quite frank here; full spectrum operations would include the use of Lt. General Stanley McCrystal's special forces death squads, so effective in Iraq and Afghanistan (and God only knows where else) to hunt down and intern or kill "enemies of the state".
Many posters have expressed the view that US soldiers would not open fire on their fellow citizens, some, perhaps many, wouldn't, but this is the joy (for politicians and generals) of a professional army, most would follow orders. Bear in mind that approx. 50% of the population would be supporting the Govt., in whatever measures were deemed appropriate, also the media would be wholeheartedly supporting the Govt. A lot of people fully realise what the term, so beloved of the Tea Party, "Individual responsibility" actually means; no more Freebies!
I am going bring this article to the attention of my Congressman, it screams Congressional Enquiry. We need to get Col. Benson in front of a committee, under oath, so we can begin to find out exactly what he and his fellow travelling fascists have planned for us.
To me, wargaming involves deconstructing scenarios in a wide variety of possible events (correct me if I am wrong). My question is why would something unthinkable like this become "thinkable" enough to explore? Does the DoD consider it likely that future events will create conditions where segments of society will view our country's condition to be so bad they are compelled to engage in open rebellion? I haven't put forth this scenario. The commenters here haven't put forth this scenario. The authors did and their audience (at least in part) resides inside the DC beltway. Why has this idea been given enough weight to actually spend time exploring it? Is this a symptom of warped thinking dangerously out of touch with reality or of a mindset bent on criminal intent? I for one, consider this the more important question.