Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future

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.”

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Comments

I take it you don't read conservative media on a regular basis.
These knuckleheads have been calling for open insurrection for years.

Its easy enought to say it... Show your sources. There are idiots on the right AND the left who call for it, but I would like to see your source that shows the Tea Party calling for the overthrow of our government.

Posse Comitatus: Or have we forgotten this? As someone has said, distrust in Government is at a high. As a former servicemember, I served to protect freedom, not restrict it.

SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Civil, domestic issues are the responsibility of the police, not the US Military.

Whule this scenario is interesting, is it not a more real scenario to have either a replay of the veterans encamping outside Washington DC like they did In the Bonus Army or, an "Occupy" group holding hostage a city, bank , or corporation?

Both of those scenarios have happened in our times and force a military response on our land. The occupy movements are filled with anarchists, felons, and troublemakers who are bent on destruction while the scenario laid out in this article, while interesting, is not as plausible.

This is very upsetting to me as I am an American senior citizen and believe our Armed Forces will not fire upon American Citizens. It will be The U.N. Blue helmets and/or Obama's civilian army he talked so much about. Our son is a former Marine and would never shoot his own parents, family, and neighbors. This is America not a third world country. Dear God I pray this never comes to pass. The Japaneese did not go into the mainland of America after Pearl Harbor, they said "because behind every blade of grass would be an American with a gun". The American population will never give up their guns, and we will not give up our country.

Hey SWJED, (David D.)

Why did you remove your comment? was it because I called you on it? so in order to save face you remove your entire comment and my answers and questions to you, very classy, next time try and stick it out for a while before you censure yourself and my comment along with it. if you cant defend your comment to some one like me, maybe you need a different profession.

Col Benson, I am one of your former students no longer on active. I understand what you are trying to do, but the American public perceive's it very differently. This article is really scaring allot of people and causing them to distrust the Government even more. The DoD cannot afford to sacrifice its credibility with the American people, especially with demographic groups who constitute the majority of its ranks.

Please explain your rationale for using the Tea Party before this gets uglier.

When we have Occupiers, Black Panthers, White Supremists, Muslim extremists etc, calling for open insurrection and violence against us, who does Leavenworth decide to write about as a danger to our country? People who believe in fiscal responsibility and enforcing the Constitution. I was deployed when the Tea Party emerged, so have had to research to figure out if they are worth any effort. I had thought that I should wait until after I retire from the Army before I become politically active so as not to worry about crossing any lines. Reading this has made me decide that I will join the Tea Party within the next few days. I'm sorry that that will make me an enemy of the state. I am disappointed that the Army would endorse this leftist vituperation.

An interesting article with very interesting comments.

A lot of people seem to have taken offense to the scenario using the Tea Party as protagonists.
This a tactical response exercise and must use an exaggerated but plausible setting in order to make the participants think about their roles and how difficult real world scenarios must be tackled.

If they used a scenario where a bunch of Jihadis take over a chunk of Wyoming then the military could be sure of quite a lot of support for carpet bombing the entire state 'just to be sure we got 'em all'. (hell, it might even get an unpopular incumbent re-elected). The responses from the participants would be predictable and wouldn't require any special consideration.

If they use a scenario where a group who are homegrown, not particularly radical, have a large broad based support and use arguments that go to the heart of the constitution, then the possible responses that the military can make are littered with situations that can rapidly get out of hand in all sorts of really bad ways for the military themselves, the civilians caught up, the perpetrators of the alleged insurrection, and the Government.

In the outlined case, any tactics used might have an enormous impact both immediately and in the situation going forwards, hence the emphasis on intelligence gathering, verification and analysis before any action is authorised.

When you read the responses from people commenting here you can see how difficult it would be for the military to make the correct decisions in order to protect the interests of all parties and how easy it would be for it to spiral well out of control given one wrong decision.

That is why this scenario was chosen, not because they think that it will happen but to learn how to read difficult situations and act appropriately and proportionately for each specific situation and not just reach for 'the standard way of doing things'

Bob,

You're justification doesn't add up. There is no tea party militia or has the tea party a racist organization which has been violent. In fact, it's been the opposite.

Why not use the occupy movement? They have no problem with violating laws, inciting violence, and openly talking of overthrow.

No, the tea party was used to incite.

I'm with Carl on this one. It stinks of left leaning, PC BS. You can rationalize it all you like. If they wrote it with Muslim extremists, they'd be fired like the guy at the war college(?) a few years ago. Lets face it, they painted the Tea Partiers as racists and extremists because that is the best way to demonize those who threaten the left's power.

No your argument doesn't wash. "Not particularly radical" doesn't fit in with wildly radical actions. That combination doesn't fit the plausible part of "exaggerated but plausible". It is just a fantasy that appeals to the prejudices of the "right" kind of people who live inside the beltway-the tea party is really violently inclined, white supremacists, KKK, militias, anti-immigrants and last but not least, that old and always PC bit of bigotry against those violent crazy noose carrying Southerners.

A further bit of fantasy is there is that there are "sensitive issues" involved here. What was described was massive breaking of criminal statutes. No need at all for the military to get involved. This article is almost as silly as an article about how the military should best respond to a Zombie attack.

Zombie attack would be dealt with by the military but under the command of FEMA and DHS, they probably have used that in scenarios to get the participants to think outside the box as regards possible actions and outcomes.

It's wargaming, battle preparedness, call it what you will, the object of the exercise is to treat each situation as unique because if you don't then you will just apply the last winning solution in each new situation till you find yourself in really deep trouble.
The Europeans discovered that after many ill thought campaigns such as the Maginot Line in WW2 which was a response to the trench warfare of WW1, the Germans just drove round it (because trench warfare wasn't successful for them they tried something new)

If they used an extremist 'Occupy' group scenario (which they probably have modelled) the responses would be more standardised as the normal moderate 'Occupy' group doesn't have the broader middle America support base that the normal 'Tea Party' does.

I have attended and participated in more "wargames and battle preparedness" sessions then I care to remember, and never did we use an actual organization during any of those sessions!
We always used a made up organization, terrorist cell, or country, this is not a war-gaming session but a direct attack against the tea party in name, by authors who themselves have a skewed and biased opinion of the tea party.

Well if you are looking for a group that has broad middle America support why not imagine that the American Cancer Society secretly infiltrated Beverly Hills because they figured all the big shots weren't coughing up enough dough and their infiltration was facilitated by the Nicaraguan nannies and Mexican pool cleaners? No, this is an obvious play to appeal to the prejudices of a certain political class.

The scenario you presented is a joke. The scenario you should have written is the federal government has been taken over by a group of corrupt politicians, lobbyists, and lawyers. Now plan how to return our nation to a republic which follows the Constitution and the rule of law. Oh and by the way, when you have the final draft -- implement it immediately.

I can imagine these two funded by Soros and the Hard Left-amazed how bold Kevin is to come out of the Leftard closet he's been in for the last 20 years or more. I've seen this level of radicalism in PETA and enviro terror groups but not from an Army Colonel..kinda like Prez NOBO12: a reverse bizarro version of reality.
I also imagine Kevin as the pussified USN Captain I knew who sucked his way up to rear Admiral rather quickly: a politician to the core who fake cried at the ceremony to hand the boat over to him, his command. The men were disgusted. The very rare times you ever possibly saw him on the boat he was surrounded by a security force of marines who all, incl. him, gave you the thousand mile stare while you're in full uniform maintaining his reserved Flag Rank walkway for him: this was 1991. Oh, and he drove a diesel Rabbit which he parked in space #1 so everyone had to look at it getting on the boat.

In reality, coward scum with social talent. I mean, you've seen the pics of Pelosi chumming it up with top brass. Moral character equivalent...I'm not even going to mention the Army glory hound generals who killed our own guys in friendly fire incidents, impatient with nothing to shoot, and how they were promoted by the dept. of the Army while the victim family members were shunned, ignored and otherwise humiliated.

Anyway, this intimidation piece is gross-trolling for opposition thoughts. We would adopt the tactics of al qaeda and hezbollah if necessary, Kevin and Jennifer might last be seen in one of those rusty butcher knife snuff vids. It would get ugly. Blue on blue assassins as in afghanistan. Enormous IED's cutting hmmv's and traitorous men to ribbons. Snipers on every corner. Our sheer numbers would prevail as we captured their comparitively minimalist warmaking technology. Material and weaponry via mexican mafia, los zetas, and any others using the porous border against them. We would win, and quickly. They would lose, and badly. Cheers ;o)

Is this what passes for military intelligence?

J-H-C, I could come up with a more plausible scenario than this and I have exactly zero military experience.

First off, why would a small group take over one small town? For what purpose? What good would that do them?

Secondly, where are the people of Darlington going to get their food? their water? their energy source? Is the whole town off-grid and food and water self-sufficient for an unlimited time?

J-H-C people in the middle ages had more tactical smarts than these authors. You just blockade the town until they run out of food, medicine, water, energy, etc.

No, if there is going to be in insurgency then it won't be centralized and it won't be in the form of taking over small town and its mayor and city council (that is already being done at the ballot box anyway).

In point of fact, the 'insurgency' began a while back using legal Constitutional means. If it is pushed to go outside legal bounds by clueless gits in political office and their army of rent seekers, we could get the Girl Scouts to organize the resistance ... if this is the level of 'intelligence' we're up against.

While the article has had an obvious impact on people in the political and ideological realm, what struck me was that the scenario implied a single point of rebellion (Darlington, SC) by a single well-armed group. Aside from the sympathies of local law enforcement and government officials, the group is described as limited in mobility and reinforcements. Also, the group lacks heavy weapons beyond machine guns.

My American history is a little rusty, but I seem to recall that the first battle of the American Civil war (excluding the bombardment of Fort Sumter) did not pit an overwhelming Union force against a handful of Confederate soldiers occupying a small town. The First Battle of Bull Run/First Manassas was a set piece battle complete with artillery and cavalry and fought by two sides that were as professional military as was standard of the day.

A true large-scale rebellion in the United States would not be a platoon or even company-sized element taking territory in a manner that guarantees their extinction at the hands of a larger and more well-equipped force. Perhaps a better scenario (and one Ms. Weber might be more familiar with) would be the defection of a National Guard unit(s) en masse to a secessionist-driven ideology, such as occurred in the American Civil War. A more modern anology might be the Flemish situation in Belgium or the collapse of Yugoslavia into the current Balkan puzzle. Now there's a subject worth delving into.

How very sad of you folks to show your cards like this. Are you so enamored by the "Impostor In-Chief" that you are willing to subjugate the last freedom loving people in America? Sure, you call them KKK sympathizing Tea Partiers, but what you really mean is anyone who believes that true freedom comes from a restricted Federal Government and self-determination.

Perhaps you think, "to hell with the Constitution... I'd rather be on the wrong side of history than the wrong side of Obama!" You seem like smart people, so do your homework on repressive regimes. As soon as their utopian plans begin to fail, they begin to seek scapegoats within their own ranks (Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam,Qaddafi, Assad). By the way, all of these regimes eventually crumbled under the direct or indirect weight of a freedom loving America. Who will save you?

Oh, I know... things will be different this time... RIGHT!!!

This is one of the most ignorant and irresponsible things I have ever read. The unfounded and baseless use of the Tea Party, the use of the "right wing", and the fact that it rarely ventures into accurate or detailed operational processes simply shows these amateurs were out to either get noticed or spread an agenda. They should be ashamed and the Journel should be ashamed for publishing this filth. Stupidity at its finest.

radglock:

I think when you said "get noticed" you hit upon the main objective of the article.

SWJ should not be ashamed at all for publishing this. The function of the Journal, or one of them, is to promote discussion and boy did this article do that. Also there is utility to seeing how some people who hold respected positions think, or in this case fantasize.

This article is so not plausible and ignorant it leaves me gaping.

Now, if they would have inserted something where Obama tells the millions of illegal immigrants that if they join his side against the "rebels" that they will inherit full citizenship and get their property and possessions, then the ranks of DHS would swell like a balloon and a real war would take place on US soil.

Even if the authors had used the tried-and-true Army method of labeling the enemy by a pseudonym, like the Krasnovians, so they didn't look like they were targeting the hard working, patriotic, law abiding Tea Party, this would be drivel. Can anyone even imagine the silly scenario posited that is used as a call to action in this piece? To build a strawman threat, then say we "must" scrutinize the organization of the 5th Army is bad logic and worse scholarship. The authors almost swerved into an idea when they mentioned considering the military's reaction to the threat from Mumbai-style attacks, but they just as quickly avoided it when they lumped that threat together with militias and "extreme" US politics.

I guess if the authors wanted to be controversial to get noticed, they did. Too bad they didn't do it in a way that was scholarly, well thought-out, or remotely plausible.

You can muddy the facts of this tale however you want, but this inflammatory scenario is only different from how our military has been fighting for the last 12 years by the fact that it takes place on American soil. My military will still be protecting innocent civilians while looking for a target that is hard to tell from the general population. Something they do very well, and in 10 years when our current crop of general officers are retired, the young LtCols and Cols who follow them up the ladder (already experts at this), will know what to do.

The people who will need the training are the Attorney General and the DOJ. They will have no clue how to handle this, they may know the law, but our military (both SNCOs and commissioned officers) will know what the hell they're doing. And I dare say, you won't have the opportunity to train the AG or much of the DOJ in how to work effectively as a team with our military, but they will be the weak link.

Also, because the authors felt the need to use the Tea Party, and other existing groups, rather than going to the trouble to make a construct that wouldn't distract people from the true subject (how our military should operate domestically, if required), I have to wonder what the ulterior motive was. The goal should have been to foster a discussion that drew out rational points needing consideration prior to mounting this type of operation. You can't expect that when the leaders of the discussion are writing bigoted epithets toward a legitimate and peaceful group.

I don't think either author should have a hand in education my military if they cannot do so without imposing, or at least limiting, their personal political and social biases in the process.

In spite of very public transparency of the Tea Party movement and its motivation, the authors choose to identify and associate them with the KKK? Seriously? This is either a gross demonstration of the utter waste of funding on what is happening at Fort Leavenworth or it is a concurrent exercise to villify anyone who suggests that perhaps Consitutionality is not the motivation of the Department of Defense.

I was worried when DHS suggested that returning veterans might be potential domestic terrorists. Now I am truly fearful that of all the domestic threats we face the Active Duty is war gaming against the one movement that consistently expresses a desire to adhere to Constitutional principles and avoid public disobedience or violence. We have seen this before and Deitrich Bonhofer and Martin Neimuller provide a stark witness to what happens when Orwellian diatribes isolate the good and peaceful of society who are seeking to ask the uncomfortable questions to protect individual freedom and liberty.

This nation has faced horrible self-destruction in the past and I suspect that preceding that was rhetoric generated like that in this wargame that sought to achieve some OER bullet point at the expense of the truth and accountability on the part of those who are charged with protecting the People from the true threats to their liberty and freedoms.

God help us if this is what the taxpayers are funding under the auspices of a serious military academic activity.

Why don't you start looking at Fort Hood and Detroit for REAL threats to American sovereignty and then when you get done go look in the mirror and seriously ask yourself if you are part of the solution or part of the problem.

I am impressed and honored to read the majority of the comments here. There are still many true Americans out there and as long as there is, we will remain free men.

Kevin Benson and Jennifer Weber may be aware from the comments here that they stirred up a hornets nest. They obviously don't know that if this scenario were to materialize, that the response from free Americans would be the same, only on steroids.

These two have some impressive credentials, but I submit that they may be educated beyond their intelligence. I say that because there are several things they don't understand. One of those things is how effective a guerrilla force can be against a conventional army.

As a former member and veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces, I'll give a brief example of the "real world."

Back in the 1970s, the A team I was on parachuted into a mountainous area of North Carolina, took 60 volunteers from the 82nd Airborne division and conducted a "war game" against the rest of the 82 division. That's about 72 against 15,000 and they had heliocopters and sophisticated equipment.

The exercise was intended to last a month, but the umpires stopped the exercise after 2 weeks because they determined that the 82nd division was no longer an effective combat unit.

Having said that, imagine the challenge that would face the U.S. military if it took offensive action against the civilian populace of this country.

It is abhorant to think of firing on my fellow Americans. I know that is how the rest of Americans feel also. Having said that, consider a situation where the government forces such a scenario.

American patriots have taken it on the chin many times lately. We have peacefully put up with being pushed around by most special interest groups, a bunch of goverment officials pushing things down our throats against our will and slowly taking away our freedoms, but if the government were to force us to fight our countrymen, we would not stop until we were walking into the government buildings in D.C. and cutting the cancer out by the roots.

There is a principle of physics called equilibrium. For quite some time, those that do the work, pay the bills and fight the wars have known that there is a growing imbalance in the way this country is administered. If the government does not recognize this and continues to the breaking point, they that caused it will regret the correction which will ensue, because it will be like a huge pendulum swinging the other way.

Sir:

In your opening reasons for the fictional operation, you have presented a very unlikely trigger. This one is more plausible:

In the closing days prior to the 2012 election, sensing a resounding defeat, the incumbent president seeks to hold onto supreme executive power at any cost. While watching the election returns from Chicago, a small tactical nuclear weapon is detonated in Washington, DC. The president quickly appears before the nation on live TV to declare that a state of national emergency exists, and is therefore cancelling the general election until “the situation can be stabilized.”

The president calls out the Department of Homeland Security, which responds with amazingly fast mobilization of their new armored vehicles and “defensive” para-military equipment. All Military personnel are placed on alert, and National Guard units are federalized and mobilized.

In the following days, the bomb fragments and analysis of the bomb material is determined to have come from Iran. The great bulk of the American Military is sent into harm’s way towards Iran. The president then declares that DHS and FEMA are the new “guardians” of the homeland.

Soon after, isolated incidents of DHS and FEMA personnel are found to have been shot while “ensuring domestic tranquility.” This leads to a de facto and official revocation of the 2nd and 4th Amendments, all in the name of “security.” Soon enough, hundreds of reports of citizens resisting DHS security forces flow in, causing the president to use remaining Military forces to “pacify” the embattled areas.

Now to point out a couple of glaring errors in your fictional study. First of all, as an Active Duty Soldier, I can say with some degree of certainty that I, nor those with whom I work each day would NOT turn our weapons on other American citizens, especially those in our own communities. Secondly, activating a National Guard unit in the area where there is an incident such as the one you propose would be inviting desertion. Those men and women would no sooner hunt down and maim or kill their own neighbors than the mailman would. Thirdly, you assume that no one on the outside of the suggested “tightening noose” would assist the rebels. Darlington is close to the ocean. I-95 is already a smuggling highway, both literally and figuratively. Thus you would have to bring in the Navy and/or the Coast Guard in order to blockade the South Carolina coast. Even then, smugglers would get through. That is assuming the USN and/or USCG would cooperate fully (see my first reason).

Facts: DHS has been wargaming the detonation of a small tac-nuke in Washington D.C. The Department of Homeland Security has purchased over 450 Million rounds of .40 caliber hollow-point rounds, and has been buying up 5.56mm (NATO standard round) ammunition as well. The DHS has no foreign warfighting mission or capability. 450 Million rounds is excessive for any agency to claim for training purposes. This essay only serves to provide another “dot” to connect.

I think that your scenario is much closer to reality than the one put forth by the authors... UNLESS

Unless what they are doing is projecting the true posture and intent of this presidential power. The scenario that they have presented is truly implausible in that resistance of that magnitude will not be centralized in a single geographical location. It will be decentralized into cells to take advantage of guerrilla tactics necessary to fight a massive foe.

What they may be projecting is the government's intent to disguise an offensive maneuver as protecting the homeland. That one incident will grow into a perpetual state of emergency where the goals of the regime are achieved by other means. We already know that there is nothing militant about the Tea Party, but to 80% of the uninformed world, they are the next incarnation of Hitler. They are a straw man in a fake conflict. I believe they call that a False Flag.

How about a new scenario. A traitorous Federal Government orders the National Guard and US Military to install Martial Law. Reason for it your choice. The National Guard and US Military decide to uphold their Oath to the Constitution and under Full Spectrum weed out all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC. Traitors Forewarned.

Must admit that I was very gratified by the number and tenor of responses to this article. The purely tactical responses were disturbing as they avoided and ignored the more significant issues. Thanks for the reassurance that not everyone believes the only response to this scenario is to go out and smoke some countrymen. (cause that is what would happen and then things would get very ugly)
This is also IMHO another reason to reevaluate the all volunteer force. If the Army had some significant draftee component, even the authors might understand that their scenario is flawed.
Thanks guys.

Interesting choice of descriptors by the authors of this article. The Tea Party has proven to be one of the most peaceful and civilized of any political party in the country, proclaiming only a desire to unify the country around the Constitution and the rule of law. Why did they authors choose an actual, existing party to use in their "Wargames" article? Have they been to a Tea Party meeting? Where most of the members are middle class, middle aged working people? Did they really wish to spit in the face of tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of their fellow citizens? Their neighbors, friends, countrymen? Are they that full of hatred, ready to slap the face of fellow Americans they disagree politically with? Is this how Goebbels and Saddams and Stalins are created? What breath taking arrogance on the part of the authors. Have they been sitting too long behind their desks? If the "Tea Party", made up of their fellow citizens, deserve to be mass murdered by American troops, what does that say about the authors state of mind? Are they so naive of history? Are they so ignorant and arrogant they think such an event will be a fun little bloody cake walk? Do they look forward to hearing about the hundreds, perhaps thousands killed in the streets, in front of their own homes? Why the Tea Party? Why not about a Marxist stealth coup by a Manchurian candidate president and the military coup to retake the republic? They are so sure of their own rightness? What if the US Army crushes the revolt in the little town but then finds out that it faces not one town but 150,000 across the country? What will they do when they, like the Redcoats marching for Lexington, find themselves surrounded on all sides, their supplies cut off, water cut off, electricity cut off, sabotage every where, even by their own troops and officers, who refuse to fire on their own people, even as many Chinese soldiers did during Tianamen Square? The average rural, heavily wooded county in America has tens of thousands of hunters of all ages. Hunters. Men with scoped rifles, camo gear, who know how to disappear into the forests and hunt things down. Imagine that multiplied across the entire United States. An irregular guerrilla force of millions of snipers. Millions. Blood would run in rivers. Is this what these Armchair Army officers want? Is this how they spend tax payer money? To sit at their computers and type out hate screeds against peaceful citizens? Despicable. Sickening. Twisted.

An interesting thought piece, which some of you would have realized had you actually read it and not gotten wrapped around the axle about the "Tea Party." It could have easily been an Occupy movement gone amok. Unfortunately, some of your own ideology has blinded you to a piece of scholarship designed to get folks thinking about "what if" we had to engage Title X force against our own people. For those of you calling for LTC Benson to be tried for treason; you are seriously delusional.

You don't get it. In the past 5 years I can cite numerous examples where government agencies have set out to demonize particular groups of people, mostly conservative groups. 20,000 troops have been specifically trained for CONUS ops. The military has been supplying local police forces with uber mil-spec gear that they don't need. But you don't need to worry, you just sit there with your head buried in the sand. Just keep those blinders on. Stay in your fantasy land.

I just realized, this has really NOTHING to do with logistics in theater. This is a psyops operation. Probe the mentality, push it, see the reaction. Nice one! You get a donut.

Mr. Kramer, I have considered that as well. They are probably trying to determine if 400 million hollow points is enough. I can assure them that its not!

This troubles me. I spent a number of years on active duty in the United States Army. I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. I don't know where Kevin Benson's loyalties lie, but it isn't to the US Constitution. He should know better, but it just goes to show that sometimes higher education obliterates common sense. I find this article lacking in facts and based on a lot of contrived nonsense. The tea party has been a peaceful movement about returning back to our constitutional values. Tea partiers don't defecate on police cars, rape women, beat people with differing views or destroy personal property like some "movements". The occupiers are simply looking for cheap excuses for bad behavior. Even then, the government does not have the right to unleash the military against them (the occupiers). The Tea Party is made up of citizens. Citizens who feel that DC is ignoring them. They have the right to do what they do. What right do you have to paint them as insurrectionists. The word insurrection is used at least 25 times in this boiler plate article.

I'm a patriot and I love my country. My government gives me great pause for concern though. It seems like in years since 9/11, there are 2 Americas. One is still the same old America that believes in Constitutional law. The other resides solely in government and has consistently demonized the first America. Mr. Benson is a disgrace to the uniform and in my opinion is a traitor. You sir discredit the honorable men and women of the United States Army.

Everyone else has pretty much covered the fake sceanario you have created being what it is, despicable, so I will not address that issue. What I would address is the already sad state of our political structure. We are currently in a state of chaos with the Republic. There are little fiefdoms spread out in the US where the political structures believe they set the law as they see fit. You have cities, and states that believe they do not have to follow any federal law regarding immigration. Then there are areas that are not allowed to actually enforce these laws. You have politically connected people stealing billions and destroying markets without being placed under arrest, let alone even prosecuted. You have movements funded by private individuals and the government itself, that have blocked ports, kidnapped security guards at those ports, and no action is taken against these individuals. You have instances where actual terrorist activities are planned and this is not even covered in the media.

Then, you have the CIC blatantly breaking the very separation of powers by creating legislation in regards to immigration. He stated outright that he would be breaking the law if he even attempted to change immigration law without the Congress. What happens? He breaks the law. Response, nothing is done. Balkanization is happening in the powder keg created by the system that has grown too centralized.

One last note, if you actually believe that you would be able to contain that little insurrection, you are not as learned as you believe. Read up on some of the later USSR papers regarding the break up of the US of A, this scenario would ensure that situation.

Gentleman and gentleladies, you need a few more folk in your think tank. Because the instant you attempt to use the military against any Americans, even if they were lefties, the Tea Party would join them to put you down. This is not some socialist, communist, anarchist, or theocratic nation you are talking about here. Katrina has taught us a lesson, and that folks is it is not happening again.

Unless they're national guard, I implore our Federal government NOT to do this. It will more than likely result in the death of those men and women.

Please understand something. Political force=Physical force and people know this.
Once the federal government ventures into the realm of physical force on a scale such as this, there WILL be repercussions and probably escalations.

I don't care how good our military is, they won't withstand 150 MILLION citizens with guns.

Them that fight will die and the people who made the decision to put them in harms way will more than likely flee the country until such a time as we can return them to the united states to be hanged.

For academics who are removed from the every day life of work in the heartlands and in Appalachia and in the Alleghenies or the swamps of the Low Country, I will explain it in such a way as to make it painfully clear to you:

All the well wishing in the world won't stop the blood bath when you put blood in the eyes of free men and women. Plan all you like. Imagine an Afghanistan AT HOME with 150 million insurgents.

Then think about that before you decide to poke that bear with your short stick.

NO tea party members have ever been arrested at their protests. They have abided by the laws of the land.
To insinuate that they would do something like this is an insult both to their integrity and to your own common sense.
Only a fool would create a scenario like this. Even writing it proves that they're disconnected from reality.

I'm not a soldier anymore but I can tell you that I AM a citizen. There will be no more incidents like Katrina where they disarmed the citizens.
Not free ones anyway.

This sort of military science resulted in losses in Vietnam, Iraq, and soon Afghanistan. If the Battle of Blair Mountain occurred today, with today's information systems, any military action against civilians would spiral completely out of control. The US military, with complete freedom of fire and complete superiority in every area, cannot handle 50,000 poorly educated Afghan tribesmen - imagine the havoc that could ensue in the US.

This is not 1861 where the world goes on as normal while the US self-destructs, Blair Mountain, or worse, a Grozny event, would shake the world economy to the core as old certainties become uncertain. Economic activity in the US would cease as citizens hunkered down. The bond markets would consume the Federal government in months.

The tea party has a history of peaceful, law abiding conduct. The target for this study should be the Occupy Wall Street followers. They have a history of criminal activity and civil disobedience. Do your homework next time.

The article asserts: "nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites."

Where are the news reports of this?

Hell, where are the youtube videos of this?

One might chalk the absence of news reports up to the absence of news reports of routine flash-mobs of "youths" (code-word for non-whites; which is a given since the success of the race replacement policies of the Western governments) looting and pillaging.

We can ignore, for the sake of argument, the obvious fact that the news media outlets relish promoting any story that might possibly be interpreted -- even at a stretch -- of white "supremacist" violence on non-whites.

Even without those news reports, there should be TONS of youtube videos given the numerous youtube videos of non-white on white violence -- usually posted by gloating non-whites.

Among the assumptions made in this article there are several very important ones absent. Perhaps the most important is the ability of this government and military to actually function under collapse conditions, especially if the global supply chain collapses. There would be no way for this government to actually function much less enforce a military action as asserted in this article. Aside from that, the assumption is that those in the military will obey the orders to attack the People of these Free, Independent and Sovereign States...opps, yeah, that's happened before with the cirminal acts of Lincoln.

When the People can no longer trust their own government what is left?

This is what you get when you shovel money into a bloated pentagon with too many employees with nothing to do. Paranoid, despotic threat assessments and leadership analysis articulating the desire to cannibalize its own citizenry. I don't know one soldier who would participate in a operation like this. Americans do not go to war against Americans.we learned this from the last civil war that we had. Any situation leading to offensive military action against a "grass roots" type group inside the United States is a invitation for a foreign government to pour in money and support in an effort to destabilize and subsequently Balkanize this country.It would be an unmitigated disisaster for everyone involved.The MINUTE it gets to a point like that is the moment the united states will cease to exist. The kind of thinking being put forth in this artticle is EXACTLY what our enemies want.

China is laughing at the show of weakness discussed in this article.It should be erased.It is an embarrassment to our military. And to our country. Benson and Weber should be fired.

Fired?

Benson should be Court-Martialed and tried for treason.

Recommending the imposition of martial law; violations of the Posse Comitatus Act among other federal laws; ordering that American citizens (IN America) be fired upon; riding roughshod over the U.S. Constitution (which, I believe, he took an oath to uphold and defend) and every principle of liberty upon which this union was based; and essentially endorsing a bizarre sort of murderous Pogrom against his own personal political enemies.

All based on a delusional (possibly schizophrenic) fantasy scenario that amounts to a totalitarian communist's combination nightmare/wet-dream.

Not to mention that the mere publishing of this politically and ideologically motivated hack job should itself be incitement to insurrection ... for BOTH sides.

On second thought, Maybe instead of a Court-Martial, the Colonel needs a psych eval and indefinite confinement to a mental hospital.

"The safest road to hell is the gradual one - the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts." -- C. S. Lewis

If this scenario were to play out, a large proportion of the American people would conclude that the social contract between the citizenry and the government would be irrevocably broken.

One thing that the authors completely missed: the actions that set this scenario in motion requires the active support--not merely passive compliance--of the citizenry of Darlington. In short, the United States Army, in this scenario, gets to be the Redcoats.

Let's suppose that Darlington is "pacified." A few "radicals" are detained, civil authority is restored, the troops leave--and it happens all over again. OK, this time, the Army stays for a while, conducting house-to-house searches for "contraband" and "fugitives."

There's peace--for a couple days. And then someone snipes a PAO while he's live on CNN; his brains ruin Anderson Cooper's wardrobe. There's a vigorous house-to-house sweep in the immediate area that is NOT a model of respect for such minor things as habeas corpus and the Fourth Amendment. And then someone detonates a VBIED outside Fifth Army Headquarters. And then the Air Force flies a "Protective Reaction Strike" against "teabagger insurgents." Before we know it, we have Fallujah 2: Electric Boogaloo.

What then?

When the government starts shooting at its own citizenry, all bets are off. There's a reason totalitarian regimes collapse so quickly once an insurrection starts--after a while, the citizenry realizes that the government simply doesn't have enough troops to smash enough heads fast enough to defeat the entire populace. We have even fewer head-bashers available; and some of them might support the intended head-bashees instead of the political elites...

Where does it end? What happens when Yemassie revolts? What happens when revolt spreads to North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma...

Before we know it, we will have managed to start the Second American Civil War; and it would be akin to Argentina's "Dirty War" far more than it would resemble the Late Unpleasantness Between the States...

Of course, for those who remember the Draka series by S. M. Stirling, there's always the Barcelona Option for dealing with rebellious serfs: evacuate the political elites, and then nuke the offending region. Use the survivors as a carnival sideshow to show the serfs what happens if they get uppity.

Would things get that far? Not right away. But they would inevitably head there, because the political elites will have cast away the last vestiges of Jeffersonian legitimacy--government with the consent of the governed--and replaced it with main force. Once you decide to use force to maintain power, you must use it ruthlessly and without pity--because if you falter, it will be used ruthlessly and without pity against you.

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?" -- Joshua/WOPR, War Games

I think that's the point. Destabilization and Balkanization of the untitled states would be the logical outcome of any US domestic "intervention".

You can not put us troops on the ground domestically and expect the citizenry to respect it.You can not expect the citizen soldier to pull the trigger on a fellow citizen. It'll be Syria 2.0 in a day.

Unless you use international troops to quell the incident. Our boys are redirected to handle the Latin/South American problem. Everybody wins/loses.

"Our objective was to highlight what we believe is an understudied area of potential operations."
-K.Benson

peer reviewed military journal now discussing use of military against internal political party.

interesting development.

did stalin and sadam use military against internal political party? isn't that where this inevitably leads?

the author's plan seems to be: let' talk it up, to get comfortable with the idea, and sound folks out to see who's onboard. incrementalism toward that day.

this article is a milemarker on the road to

This is a chilling article—it has shocked me to the core.

The Army has been perfecting its counter-insurgency for decades in foreign lands. Terrorism has now become the function of the Department of Homeland Security—only Europeans had this type of machinery, we have always relied on being a people numerous and armed. Our police forces have become para-military forces in a perpetual War on Drugs. Recently, General Ralph E Eberhart expressed the view "that Posse Comitatus will constantly be under review as we mature this command, as we do our exercises, as we interact with FEMA, F.B.I., and those lead federal agencies out there". Now Col Benson and Ms Weber posture the "Tea Party", a movement that has never advocated violence, as the culprits in a future insurrection? Connecting the dots leads to a coordinated intelligence, police, and military system directed at controlling American citizens.

It is little wonder our Founding Fathers feared a standing Army. If this is the line of thinking that is emanating from Leavenworth and our generals, then the inevitable result will be the dissolution of the Republic and the establishment of a military dictatorship.