The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 4 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Chasing Ghosts, Ep 025 “Technicals: Toyotas Go To War”

7 months ago

Chasing Ghosts: An Irregular Warfare Podcast by Bill Buppert, one-year anniversary episode. It’s about the Toyota Technical, an iconic, beloved, and endlessly memed, light, reliable weapons mounting platform used by irregular warfighters the world over. Who purchases, distributes, and modifies these vehicles is not the topic. The many uses and myriad weapons employed are examined, and that’s a much better subject. We discussed Mr. Buppert’s first episode here.

Khalifa Haftar Libya toyota wars 23mm HIlux technical mad max gun truck ...

Episode notes: In the one year anniversary episode (!), we chat about the use of thin-skinned vehicles in the modern age and the asymmetric nature of the fight. The employment of commercially produced vehicles for conduct of raids and ambushes employing a wide array of weapons medium- to heavy machine guns to mortars to ATGMs and everything in between. Please note that Toyota outside of Japan does not produce these for purpose built military employment. And, to my fellow CruiserHeads, I salute you.

Neither “Private Armies” Nor “Foreign Forces” Are Heading Up The Potomac

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 5 months ago

Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., writing at The Small Wars Journal.

Recently Professor Mary McCord published an essay in which she rhetorically re-makes the reality of a scattered collection of rag-tag right-wingers who call themselves “militias” into potent “private armies” akin to what she calls “foreign forces prepar[ing] for potential violence.”

Regrettably, Professor McCord‘s essay lacks a sufficient military perspective to adequately gauge the true nature of the threats.  While we obviously must be concerned about the risks far-right extremists can pose, her essay counterproductively distorts the threat, imperils civil liberties, and – most troublingly – gives these fringe groups the kind of inflated stature and psychological power they so desperately crave.

Professor McCord cites President Trump’s tweet about a comment controversial Pastor Robert Jeffress made on a news program.  Jeffress said: “If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.”  Jeffress later said:

“I was not advocating or predicting an actual civil war if Trump is removed. What I said was such removal would cause a fracture in our country like our country experienced after the Civil War. The Civil War ended 160 years ago, and yet the wounds did not completely heal, and I think if you remove a president for the first time in history — a president who received 63 million votes — it will have the same kind of long-lasting impact.”

While Professor McCord doesn’t address Pastor Jeffries explanation, she nevertheless apparently interprets “Civil War like” as meaning, literally, “like” the Civil War in terms of an actual clash of armies.  She seizes upon tweets from a right-wing group called the “Oath Keepers” said to be “associated with the white supremacy and militia movements” including one that says in relevant part:

“We ARE on the verge of a HOT civil war. Like in 1859. That’s where we are. And the Right has ZERO trust or respect for anything the left is doing. We see THEM as illegitimate too.”

Although she concedes that “no violence has yet resulted” from the tweets, she still conjures up a physical peril that she likens to hostile ““foreign forces prepar[ing] for potential violence,” and blames Trump for it.  As a result, she intimates that the response to what she depicts as “private armies” needs to be one sufficiently militarized as if they were to counter the “violence” that the invading “foreign forces” have the capability to inflict.  That goes much too far.

Who are these “Oath Keepers” who worry Professor McCord so much?  A news source says it “bills itself as a ‘non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic’.”  The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels the group an “antigovernment movement” founded in 2009 by a Yale law school grad.  SPLC says the Oath Takers once “improbably claimed more than 30,000” members, and in 2015 contemptuously characterized them as “boys with big guns crying wolf, and we can only hope they don’t wind up shooting someone by accident.”

I haven’t read Ms. McCord’s essay, and don’t need to.  I will offer some analysis of what Mr. Dunlap says though.

Notice first of all that their concern isn’t over the state of social, cultural and religious dissociation ripping asunder the fabric of America, nor of the thugs with Antifa, but over “the threat that far-right extremists pose.”

To analyze these far-right extremists, Dunlap turns to none other than the SPLC, the most laughable, trivial, sophomoric source available, the subject of derision by everyone but the employees of SPLC (and sometimes by the employees themselves).  It’s apparently important to Dunlap that the SPLC “contemptuously” characterizes them.  As for shooting someone by accident, that’s saved for active duty LEOs, whose negligent discharges are cataloged here.

But for now, let’s continue with the dismissive analysis by Dunlap.

How many “troops” could the “private armies” Professor McCord cites actually assemble?  (For comparison, in the Civil War the Confederacy fielded between 750,000 and 1 million soldiers in its losing effort.)  In 2018 Wired noted the difficulty in assessing the size of far-right groups – which are more than just “militias”.  Wired points out that the best estimates of the 2017 Charlottesville rally – the largest such right-wing gathering in a decade – put the figure at just 500-600 participants (only a few of whom were armed).  This, Wired observes, is “only a tiny fraction of what you’d expect from their [overstated] digital footprint.”  Nonetheless, Professor McCord’s post is illustrated with a photo from Charlottesville of a couple of alleged “Oath Takers” provocatively costumed in a hodge-podge of military-like accoutrements, apparently as evidence of the existence of the “private armies” she dreads.

How do the few hundred people the “Oath Takers” have been able to muster in recent years match up to America’s security forces?  By comparison to their “improbable” number, the U.S. has over 680,000 sworn police officers, and 2.15 million active, reserve, and National Guard troops – not to mention as many as 100 million men in the “militia of the United States.”  In addition, the U.S. has, among other warfighting assets, over 6,200 tanks, and almost 40,000 armored fighting vehicles.  The Oath Takers?  Zero.

[ … ]

Does anybody really think the tweetsters that so agitate Professor McCord have any appetite for taking on even a SWAT team, let alone the U.S. military?  Put another way: are we really facing a truly unprecedented crisis from these so-called “militias” that requires extraordinary measures as if we we’re facing “foreign forces prepar[ing] for potential violence” as Professor McCord characterizes it?

Dunlap has now adopted the derision he applied earlier to the SPLC, “tweetsters.”  Dunlap is firmly ensconced in the military protocol of the eighteenth century, and has spent too much time assessing alleged law of war violations in OIF and OEF to have participated in or learned any lessons from them.

So let’s cover some important ground, shall we?

Intrastate warfare does not, cannot and will not adopt the protocols of large formations of troops lining up in great fields of battle with large military hardware requiring fuel, operators, maintenance, spare parts, Milstar uplinks, lines of logistics, and all of the support staff required to keep the necessary people fed, bathed, supplied with munitions, and medicated.

Big Army has never learned to deal with Fourth Generation warfare, and thus now focuses on fifth generation warfare with the Milstar uplinks even more important than they used to be.  I’ve already discussed in some detail the vulnerability of the electrical grid, and those vulnerabilities have only slightly been ameliorated (a few more large step-up transformers have been deployed by utilities, but that’s about it).  In a financial collapse, or even another FedGov shutdown, the inner city of Atlanta is 24 hours from violent riots from lack of SNAP payments.

But in order to put “meat on the bones” of this analysis, let’s turn to another, more detailed discussion from an alleged red team planner.

Former red team planner for the government here.

The United States Government has extensively studied the concept of second American Civil War (along the assumption that it will be left versus right. HMM. I WONDER WHY THEY MIGHT POSSIBLY DO THAT.)

Their conclusion is as follows: They don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning. The moment civil war is declared, the government loses. No scenario or outcome ends in their success. Period. It’s just a matter of how long it takes.

A longer analysis will follow, but here are the salient points.

30% of the American population will actively revolt.

This alone is enormous and damning. Historically, you only need 10% of the population to actively participate in a rebellion to successfully overthrow the establishment: We only had 15% of the population actively attempting to throw out the British during the Revolutionary War; roughly 70% of what remained was neutral and simply stood by. By contrast, 30% of Americans in modern America would support a revolution to stop their own government if it happened tomorrow That’s how discontent the people are and how much the people don’t support the government.

The government would need infrastructure more than rebels would.

Already working with significant handicaps, the establishment would need electricity, access to the Internet, bridges, and airports to coordinate any active campaign against the rebellion. By contrast, the rebellion can work in the dark. Considering how easy it would be to sabotage US infrastructure, one of the first things the rebellion would do is collapse bridges, destroy, or seize power plants, and cover the Interstate in IEDs. This is relatively simple to accomplish, and it would inflict enormous damage on the establishment’s ability to restore order. It would also cost an enormous amount of time and effort to fix any sabotage, because the establishment would need to provide military protection to any workers attempting to rebuild, which is a drain their active fighting personnel resources that they could not afford.

Taking America in a land war is almost impossible.

The United States is absolutely full of natural terrain chokepoints, making marching an army across it against armed resistance almost impossible, and it is large enough that no sustained air campaign would be possible. The Japanese Admiralty realized this themselves during WWII, which is why many of them were against attempting to invade. Also, by an interesting coincidence, most of those chokepoints are in hard conservative states, where the resistance would be strongest. The government would lack the ability to reclaim its own land by force, especially when the previous point about infrastructure is taken into account. President Lincoln, on the matter of potential European involvement in the first American Civil War, stated, “All the armies of Europe with a Bonaparte as a commander, could not take a drink from the Ohio.”

A significant majority–between 55 and 70%–of the military would defect to the side of the citizens.

The problem with suppressing the people with a military, that literature and fantasy tend to overlook or ignore, is that the military is the people, too. In order to get any military to fight their own, you first have to convince them that it is necessary to do so–that it is justified. The Communists also ran into this problem, but they overcame it with psychological conditioning and creating a dog-eat-dog atmosphere within the military. The American government having actively recruited people who are patriotic, practical, brave, who have civilian families, and having reinforced those values throughout their training process, lacks the ability to convince the majority of their fighting force to engage against their own people. The moment a civil war breaks out, over half of the American military will defect to the rebel side. They will bring military gear with them and, more dangerous, military training. lt only takes one Navy Seal or Army Ranger to potentially train hundreds of civilians into a dangerous resistance force. They’ve done it before, in other nations. You can be damn sure they can do it on their own home turf.

But it gets better.

At least 10% of the people who defect to the civilian side would not do so openly, and they would not abandon their posts.

The moment a civil war starts, not only does America lose over half its military to the cause, but their own command structure will suddenly be infested with moles, plants, and “traitors.” There would be almost no way of knowing who is actually on their side and who is supporting the uprising. Worse yet, if one of those people happens to be the captain of one of the nuclear submarines on standby in dark water, the civil war is already lost before it even gets started.

Russia has already publicly stated that it will support any rebellion in the United States against the established government and will send troops and aid to support the resistance. This is pretty self-explanatory. The last thing the government would need during a civil war is Russia breathing down its neck, but they would get exactly that. To supplement two-thirds of their own military leaving and civilians being trained by military elites, Spetsnaz would drop in and the resistance would get armor and air support from the only other nation on the planet that stands a decent chance of fighting us openly and winning.

The media fearmongers because it’s profitable.

The media, for all of its paid shillery, would give coverage of everything the resistance does because it is immensely profitable for them to do so. It would be guaranteed views. The only response the establishment would have would be to either allow it or order a total media blackout on the rebellion. Either way they lose, because both outcomes would awaken hundreds of thousands–if not millions–of people. We can only win on the media arena, and they can only lose. It’s merely a matter of what they think will minimize their losses.

American civilians are armed and dangerous.

In spite of all of the illegal attempts from the political left to disarm the American people, there are approximately 89 guns for every 100 Americans. Furthermore, we are one of the top three arms manufacturers on the planet (the others being Russia and France). The establishment would be in trouble even if their opponents were unarmed, but any rebellion of the people in America is, by definition, an armed one. They could be easily armed further by stealing weapons or even outright being given them by sympathetic interests (unsurprisingly, an overwhelming number of weapons manufacturers on American soil are deeply traditionalist, and the odds are good that many minor–and at least one major–would side with the rebels).

The last resort Catch 22.

The United States has an enormous stockpile of munitions and explosives, up to and including a massive number of nuclear warheads. But they cannot use any of this in this Civil War. The establishment has to play a game of “we’re the good guys” with the rest of the world while this is all taking place. There will be lines they cannot cross, because to do so would elevate the issue from being an internal matter to an international one. The moment they throw an ICBM at Ohio or drop a nuke on Austin, Texas, it stops being a civil war and becomes an international relief effort where the other militaries of the other first world nations come to save the American people from their own out-of-control and tyrannical government. The rebellion, meanwhile, is not nearly so limited re: the hypothetical nuclear submarine captain. The rebels could threaten–without bluffing–to nuke Washington DC, but the establishment has no equivalent threat they could return.

Deeper Analysis:

If there was a revolution in the US, the rest of the world would get involved, fast. Depending on the type of uprising, there is a large chance that it would not be a quick affair. It would be brutal, it would be bloody, and the US government could start a global scale war.

Here are the top ten issues that came up:

  1. The US power grid can be taken down by a series of “surgical strikes” with the exception of the Texas grid. By surgical strikes, I mean a few marksmen (US army-tier Marksmen–the minimum requirement) hitting certain spots on the grid would fuck a lot of the military and government because they need the grid more than Bubba and his friends do. Additionally, while all government agencies have backup generators, they will be hard pressed dealing with the resultant looting and other madness that would come with power outages. This would effectively create another front for the military. It would also turn the people against the government more quickly and paralyze the government’s propaganda machine. Worse still–the key points of the US power grid are publicly obtainable information, and not only are the points too many to be effectively guarded, they are not guarded anyway.

  2. The estimated desertion rate in case of a civil war is 75% in the case of a left-wing president. 50% of that would be assumed to immediately betray the president. The remaining (treasonous) military would be fighting its own. Yet another front created in the war. Additionally, there is an assumed 25-50% desertion or outright betrayal rate in three letter government agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, ATC, TSA, etc.). Additionally, it is assumed that 5% of the initial 50% betrayers would stay in their job and become saboteurs. 10% of that 50% would contain key information that would be of critical danger to the US government. Of that 10%, 1% would be able to deliver that information to the US’ foreign enemies. What you should get from this is that the second the United States government declares war on its own is the second it ceases to exist as the state we know it.

  3. “Tea baggers,” “right-wing extremists,” and “oath keepers” which are considered untrained racists who aren’t “good with a gun” often are A) veterans who now have more time to have fun at the range, sometimes more than some Army units or Marine units. In addition to previous military training, B) often camp and do other outdoor activities–more than many in the military do, as the focus has gone away from field exercises, and C) often have better equipment–outside of armor and heavy weapons–than the military. However, C) is kind of irrelevant because many of the places in which these people could hide would make the kind of war the US fights with the equipment they use pointless.

You can read the rest of the analysis at the link provided.  Here is another analysis of this material.  This all follows the format of red team planning, to be sure, as a team of people sitting at a table have limited time to wargame the scenario.  But I think any analogous problems in America will go down a little differently (or at least, they will start that way).

For a starting point, let’s turn to the recent elections in Virginia and what will certainly result from them.

Regarding gun control, he referred to eight “common-sense” bills he proposed for the special legislative session he convened in July, in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Virginia Beach on May 31. Republicans who controlled the General Assembly shut down that session after 90 minutes — sending all of the bills to the crime commission and promising to reconvene after the election.

Northam mentioned universal background checks, banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, restoring the law that limits purchases to one gun a month, and a red flag law that would empower a court to temporarily remove a gun from a person deemed to be a risk to himself or others.

Reporters asked Northam if he was going to begin taking “assault weapons” from gun owners, and Northam’s answer was straight out of an Orwell novel.

“That’s something I’m working [on] with our secretary of public safety,” he said. “I’ll work with the gun violence activists, and we’ll work [on] that. I don’t have a definitive plan today.”

Virginia is a very divided state, as are many states these days.  If you doubt me, you know nothing.  I recommend that you spend some effort sporting around Southern and Western Virginia, learning the folk, talking with them, and spending time with them learning their world and life views.

If you believe that folks in those parts are going to turn in weapons because the governor of Virginia and the legislature says so, you simply haven’t spent enough time with them.  Oh, the laws may be passed, but making this happen will exacerbate the divisions, not heal them.

LEOs live among the people.  They have neighbors, go to church, shop the same grocery stores, and hunt the same land as the people they are supposed to serve (but rarely do).  Upon the very first attempt to confiscate a weapon, husbands everywhere in Western and Southern Virginia will tell their wives in private, “Do not talk any more to Mary Jane, because her husband is Jeff.  Remember, Jeff is a cop, and we can’t trust cops any more.”

Before long, Mary Jane will begin to notice that no one stops to talk with her at the grocery store any more, and everyone avoids them at church.  Mary Jane will talk to Jeff about it, and Jeff is under some degree of stress because the current discussion at the station isn’t whether they will enforce the new state laws, because they’ve all decided they won’t.  The current issue causing such a problem is whether they will stop any federal agents from enforcing any new FedGov laws at risk to their careers or even lives.  He’s so sorry, but needs to support his family, so she’s going to just have to deal with it.  She doesn’t want to just deal with it, she wants her friends back and he needs to do something to fix it.  The marriage is now under stress and duress.

Workplace discussions about guns, politics and religion become much more private, and divisions and subdivisions begin to develop.  Jeff’s life begins to get much more complicated, as the new red flag laws now target men who have been online discussing “second amendment remedies.”  A cop in Northern Virginia has been shot trying to confiscate weapons from one of these raids, and Jeff doesn’t want to die doing something that violates his conscience and beliefs.

Jeff knows that noncompliance with weapon turn-in was literally 100 percent in his area, and doubts it’s much lower in the rest of Virginia.  Cooperation with the police has been driven to virtually nothing except flea-bitten, drug addled, untrustworthy bums, and the judges are beginning to get testy that their warrants are becoming ill-informed and unreliable.

You can use your imagination to add to the problems that Mary Jane and Jeff are going to have in their marriage.  In the mean time, you might want to ponder the frenzied state of the stock, bond and futures market today, and whether current monetary polices and global food control by Monsanto and Archer-Daniels-Midland are actually sustainable.

If any of the divisive problems I’m describing do become violent, the military problem isn’t going to be deploying tanks against a formation of troops.  It will be how you find a shooter who fires from underneath a Ghillie suit, melts into the landscape in terrain so formidable that you can’t bushwhack your way through more than four miles per day, and disappears, never to be seen again.

Mr. Dunlap would be wiser to listen to the words of the red team planner: “The moment civil war is declared, the government loses.”  If this concerns Mr. Dunlap, he would be better to spend his time trying to ameliorate divisions rather than dismissing them.

The commenters at SWJ demonstrate just how implausible this is.

Those fellow Americans who do not see the world in much the same parochial, backwards-looking, return to a former “golden age” status quo ante way that Trump (think “Make America Great Again”) appears to do?

(Herein, Trump’s such parochial, backwards-looking, return to a former “golden age” status quo ante agenda appearing to be based on the same general foundation as that of the Islamists; to wit: their [common?] determination to stop — and to reverse — necessary modernization, progress and change?

Mr. Trump isn’t the problem.  He is the symptom.  The divisions in America, which may prove to be fatal, were there before Trump, and will be there after Trump.  The divisions are only becoming wider and deeper with time.  That’s what should worry Mr. Dunlap.  It won’t take armies marching up the Potomac.  Armies won’t march anywhere in 4GW.

NOTEJust to make certain the reader understands my position on this, I am not advocating all or any actions outlined here, simply to be prepared to protect your family.  This is all outlined for educational and analysis purposes only.  I didn’t write the article on the global food market causing the suicide of a vital American farmer.  I only linked it.  I didn’t write Mr. Dunlap’s analysis, or Ms. McCord’s analysis.  I just linked them.  I didn’t write the red team analysis above.  I just linked it.  I’m not causing the potential divisions in Virginia, Mr. Northam is.  I just linked the report.  The only analysis advocating violence of any sort is Mr. Dunlap’s analysis.

Juan William And Jesse Watters Clash Over Venezuela And Guns On ‘The Five’

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Fox News:

“Do you think if those people had guns there would be anything but more chaos, more violence and more death?” Williams asked. “Let me ask you, New York City, you think if you have a gun you could stand up to the New York City Police Department, much less the state National Guard or the U.S. military?

“I think if the American people are armed to the teeth,” Watters responded.

“Get them more guns!” Wiliams said in disbelief.

I don’t watch television, so when something like this little debate happens I have to read about it or I don’t know it existed.

This is instructive, yes?  Juan is arguing that the citizens should be willing to accept the chaos and death that is occurring now in Venezuela – from APCs running over people, to starvation, to death and disease from overcrowded medical facilities, to heat stroke because of no electricity, to extreme poverty because of the corruption of socialism – just in order to prevent even more problems.

Or in other words, there is never any justification for stopping governmental abuse, governmental corruption, or death by government (which in the twentieth century alone totaled 170 million souls).  This is a remarkable defense, but you should always remember that this is the way progressives think.  They never have your best interest at heart – it’s always some perceived betterment of a social engineering construct as determined by the central planners, even if the central planners are murderers.

Now, one more time, let’s dispense with this mythos that an insurgency cannot tangle with a uniformed army.  Juan (as most people who offer up this objection) has an overblown view of what a uniformed army can accomplish.

There simply aren’t that many infantry battalions in the armed forces.  A full 80% of enlisted and commissioned people are logistics, intel, transport, maintenance, engineering, and administration.  Furthermore, we’ve seen what an insurgency can do to a uniformed armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although we’ve been through this before many times, let’s do it again.  The MultiNational Force reported years ago at the very height of the insurgency in Iraq that the total number of foreign fighters (the main ones doing the nefarious work) never exceeded approximately 20,000.  Ponder: 20,000 poorly trained and poorly equipped and supplied insurgents fought the entire U.S. military to a virtual standstill in Iraq.

Ultimately, areas of Iraq were pacified, but it came at a tremendous cost, with saturation of Marines in Fallujah in 2007, and other tactics employed that aren’t long term, serving only for temporary pacification because we decided not to stay and work the politics for the purposes of U.S. interests.  Similar results were achieved in the Malayan emergency by the British forces, but it involved brutal tactics and saturation of troops, and was only temporary.

A counterinsurgency is extremely difficult even with a very small insurgency.  An insurgency isn’t about great armies lining up in fields of battle and walking towards each other while shooting.  Insurgent and government live in the same neighborhoods, beside each other, wear the same uniforms, go to the same schools, work the same jobs, and walk the same streets.  In such conditions, it’s impossible to tell insurgent from government.  Juan has watched too many movies about old style warfare.

Talking heads and pundits still don’t understand what 4GW would involve, nor how difficult it would be to stop.  The U.S. armed forces now focuses on 5GW (F35, Milstar uplinks to do everything, etc.) because they never figured out how to win 4GW and believe they’ll never be in one again.

Finally, isn’t it ironic that the very pundits who purvey this crap are the ones who wouldn’t propose allowing citizens to have fully automatic weapons (what do you think Juan would say about repealing the Hughes amendment?), but do want the police and military to have such weapons?  That shows they haven’t come to terms with their own arguments.  They don’t really even believe what’s coming out of their own mouths.

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