Small Wars Journal


Gangs and the Military Note 4: The Role of the East Coast in the Development of Military-Trained Gang Members

Sat, 02/15/2020 - 1:43pm
This research note reviews the state of military-trained gang members (MTGMs) in the Eastern United States. In each wartime era since the Revolutionary War, there have been MTGMs who engaged in criminal activities in civilian communities. The earliest MTGMs in the United States received their training in the colonial militia. One group started as a New York City street gang, received military training and experience in Mexico during the Mexican-American War, and were released from active duty in San Francisco, just before the Gold Rush of 1848. An individual MTGM started as a well-known crime boss in New York and joined the military to fight in World War I. Contemporary MTGMs challenge military discipline and threaten community security.

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Gangs and the Military Note 3: The Role of the West Coast in the Development of Military-Trained Gang Members

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 7:35am
This note reviews the current state of military-trained gang members (MTGMs) in the United States military. MTGMs, whether from Street Gangs, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs), or Domestic Terrorist Extremist (DTE) groups, have endangered U.S. communities since before the birth of the country.

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Power Imbalances and Drugs: Some Transferrable Lessons Between Counterinsurgents and Law Enforcement

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 4:12am
“Jim Roussell and the Marines he works with broke the Abu Ali cell of the Iraqi insurgency in much the same way he caught gang leaders on Chicago's West Side,” according to a 2007 article from the Chicago Tribune. Sgt. Russel’s success illustrates that counterinsurgents can learn from U.S. law enforcement, and vice-versa.

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