Monday, November 19, 2007

Open Source Militias

I found this interesting in itself, but even more interesting in light of the governments history of infiltrating organizations it considers subversive, sometimes even coopting entire movements. Will we see a revival of the militia movement in this country that is guided by the hidden hand of power?

The way we have become our own betrayers to the NWO is the result of a series of masterful manipulations. Entrpreneurial litegation, artificially generated debt and its collection, speculative war investment, where are we taking ourselves? A stepping up of organized stalking, (see the video below), is almost sure to follow.

The US military is on the slow path to the realization that nation-building -- from reconstruction to other forms of traditional COIN dogma that serve to return legitimacy to the government -- doesn't work. Politics and populations in our new global environment fragment faster than they can be assembled into cohesive entities. What does work to slow the spread of temporary autonomous zones and open source insurgencies are open source militias. While messy (and many times as bad as what they replace), these militias do work:

  • Colombia. The AUC blunted the spread of the FARC and other revolutionary groups.
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil. Neighborhood militias have purged neighborhoods of the PCC (a criminal drug gang).
  • Iraq. Anbar awakening and other militias have radically diminished al Qaeda's operational sphere.

Open Source Militias

In each case, militias developed organically based on local loyalties that have nothing to do with the central government. Their emergence is spontaneous and a surprise to the government or the foreign military occupation. They develop according to a now familiar pattern:

  • Expansion. Guerrillas or criminal gangs move into a new area in which they have no organic support. They impose their own form of governance which is at odds with local needs.
  • Reaction. These external guerrillas/gangs intimidate/kill local leaders. A militia is formed to force the encroaching groups out.
  • Domination. The local militia begins to run the neighborhoods/area. Soon, they tend to adopt many of the same financial systems of the guerrillas/gangs (from drugs to extortion) and enforcement measures (assassination, torture, etc.). However, they remain less hostile to the government and commercial interests than the guerrillas/gangs.

An Expansible Strategy?

The rapid emergence of these local militias in Anbar came as a surprise to both the Iraqi government and the US military. Despite the lack of loyalty these groups have to the Iraqi government (and the previous involvement of many of these groups in killing US troops), the US military embraced them -- in that have been given a degree of autonomy as well as arms and training. The result has been the return to a slow burning war, a status quo of sorts, that will continue to operate at levels of violence not seen since early 2006. The success of this approach, as opposed to the boondoggles we've experienced in conventional operations, has led the US Special Operations Command to recommend in a new briefing (leaked to the press), that the US replicate the "militia strategy" in Pakistan. Unfortunately, the report makes the following errors:

  • The wrong militia. The US, due to political restrictions, wants to focus its efforts on the Frontier corps. This militia is too tightly connected to the government and has a record of atrocity that makes it unlikely to generate any meaningful form of local loyalty.
  • Bad timing. This process works according to its own rules, it cannot be forced. The guerrillas (a combination of different flavors of Taliban, tribes, and al Qaeda) will eventually overreach. This process is in motion, but the reaction that forms local militias will not occur until much later (the government and the US are still considered the primary enemy).
  • Government opposition. The organic rise of local militias will be an affront to the Pakistani government since it represents a near permanent loss of control over these regions. They will resist it (despite their preoccupation with oppressing Pakistani civil society). Unlike the Iraqi government, they will not roll over on this.

Final Note: The use of a plethora of militias to fight a global open source insurgency from Nigeria to Mexico to Iraq to Pakistan is effective within a grand strategy of delay (it holds disorder at bay while allowing globalization to work). Most beneficially, it eliminates the need for nation-building, massive conventional troop deployments, and other forms of excess. Some questions remain: can the US manage something this complex or this messy? Will the rest of the US military/contractors sit idle (and as a result fall victim to budget cuts) while light weight special operations forces (and their allied private military corporations) take center stage?

The video takes a minute to get going, so just let it load for a bit and be patient.

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