Since the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks, I've been watching developments and thinking about how those attacks fit into the social dysfunction that can be seen in both countries. In France, some banlieues (particularly those dominated by Muslim immigrants and their offspring) are virtually ungovernable, forming a 'safe haven' for terrorists and criminals. In the USA, some inner city areas (particularly those riddled with gangs and crime, and those that are havens for political correctness such as the 'Black Lives Matter' movement - often one and the same, of course) also provide a 'safe haven' for criminal activities, and are often places where police won't go alone or in small numbers. In both countries, the political 'establishments' have (until recently, at any rate) acted and spoken in favor of those living in such areas, and of the 'culture' they've established there - even when law enforcement authorities have diametrically opposed views. Political correctness had trumped reality and practicality . . . until events forced a re-evaluation of the situation, which is still ongoing.
I was struck by some recent comments from other bloggers. First, Herschel Smith pointed out that military-style counter-insurgency and stabilization tactics are coming to dominate inner-city policing.
... what the Marine Corps couldn’t accomplish is fixing millennia-old hatred over rights to succession between Sunni and Shia. What they couldn’t do is fix the seed of hatred and violence inherent in Islam. Thus, the root problem remains today. And this is the point of analogy between COIN in Iraq, stability operations in Israel and stability operations in Chicago.
While we aren’t dealing with millennia-old problems, we are in fact dealing with at least fourth or fifth generation entitlement, with fatherless families, SNAP payments, welfare, “free” medical care, and so on. Just enough government largesse to keep the inner city blacks on a leash, not enough (yet) to create revolution against it. And therefore the elites get their voting bloc, which is the intended outcome all along.
But the monster this created is ugly and difficult to control. I’ve read comments about the rioters in Ferguson, to the extent that any protest against “the man” (or the state) is a good thing and they must be our ally (I’m not sure who “our” is). Such a view is a sign of lack of attention to detail, immaturity and weakness of mind. Most of the rioters in Ferguson would sooner gut you groin to throat with a knife and then rape your wife and daughter as to look at you. Anyone who feels an alliance with the rioters in Ferguson is a fool.
This is a monster the government and effete urbanite elitists created. The hive is coming apart at the seems, and the only way to keep it together is harsher and harsher stability operations. Make no mistake about it. The Chicago Mayor knows all about the tactics in use in Chicago and approves of them. The firing of the chief of police was a sacrifice to the masses.
The lesson for us is that police departments are more and more using stability operations as a model or paradigm for their work, with the approval of those in charge. As these tactics want to work their way into the fabric of American society like a cancer, one goal will be to kill the cancer before it takes over the host. This battle will be gradual, fought initially on the fields of town hall meetings, boards, blogs, and so on. If the battles are lost there, it will expand, and if lost entirely, dystopia (and maybe insurgency) will come to the American countryside.
The wars for the inner city cannot be won. America is going broke and the largesse cannot continue forever. Sooner or later, the riots will expand. The more important thing will be what happens to the medium and smaller towns of America? Stability operations can lead to COIN if not successful (and couple this with Islamic terrorism and the influx from South of the border, and the potential for success seems bleak), and neither COIN nor stability operations is an acceptable model for this country.
There's more at the link. Highly recommended reading. Note, in particular, how he identifies the welfare system and the creation of controllable 'voting blocs' with urban 'ghettoes'.
In the latest edition of his 'Woodpile Report', commentator Ol' Remus has this to say:
If you want to know what collapse looks like, look around. We're living in an ongoing collapse—civil, economic, military and moral. Everything's political, acquiescence is mandatory, dissent is a crime . We have fallen far. We shall fall much further. Emergencies and disasters follow each other ever more closely, each more astonishing than the last. Sociopaths and madmen—the mainstream, the real lunatic fringe—have neither the capability nor the will to fix them. And so we fall. The collapse will end when we can fall no further.
. . .
The "Ferguson Effect" is everywhere now. It's rank extortion , and violence is an accepted part of the process. When an unruly mob (wink wink) invaded the library at Yale, threatened and criminally assaulted students at their study, Yale apologize for being Yale and humbly caved to their demands, a lesson fundamentally different from what had been taught since 1701. What was unbelievable is unbelievable no more. In turn, the unbelievable will give way to the unthinkable, the unthinkable to the unimaginable. Violence works. It works because we are in collapse.
Again, more at the link.
In his classic analysis of so-called 'Fourth-Generation Warfare' (found in the September-October 2004 edition of Military Review, pp. 12-16), William S. Lind observed:
In Fourth Generation war, the state loses its monopoly on war. All over the world, state militaries find themselves fighting nonstate opponents such as al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Almost everywhere, the state is losing.
Fourth Generation war is also marked by a return to a world of cultures, not merely states, in conflict.
. . .
Nor is Fourth Generation war merely something we import, as we did on 9/11. At its core lies a universal crisis of legitimacy of the state, and that crisis means many countries will evolve Fourth Generation war on their soil. America, with a closed political system (regardless of which party wins, the Establishment remains in power and nothing really changes) and a poisonous ideology of multiculturalism, is a prime candidate for the homegrown variety of Fourth Generation war, which is by far the most dangerous kind.
. . .
Fourth Generation [warfare] is not novel, but a return—specifically a return to the way war worked before the rise of the state. Now, as then, many different entities, not just governments of states, will wage war, and they will wage war for many different reasons, not just “the extension of politics by other means.” They will use many different tools to fight war, not restricting themselves to what we recognize as military forces. When I am asked to recommend a good book describing what a Fourth Generation world will be like, I usually suggest Barbara Tuchman’s 'A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century'.
. . .
The fact that no state military has recently succeeded in defeating a nonstate enemy reminds us that Clio, the patron goddess of history, has a sense of humor; she teaches us that not all problems have solutions.
More at the link.
When you put those three excerpts together, and look at our situation in their light and from the perspective of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks . . . it makes you wonder. Have our feckless leaders created the breeding-ground for fourth generation warfare in our own inner cities, through pandering to 'the mob' there, creating an entitlement society that's no longer capable of functioning (or even surviving) without such assistance, and denying the reality of crime and violence even as it affects more and more people?
I'm not sure I'd equate current policing trends in our urban areas with military counter-insurgency operations. I'm trained and experienced in the latter, and I don't see a lot of parallels between the two environments . . . at least, not yet. If our inner cities become 'no-go areas', ungovernable except by those living within their borders and shutting out normal administrative and law enforcement authority, that may change. At that point, it'll be a choice between letting them become the US equivalent of some French banlieues (which God forbid!), or taking them back the hard way. I doubt that any 'middle way' will be feasible in reality, even though the politically correct talking heads might try to insist that it'll work. I'm here to tell you, on the basis of many years' experience, that it won't. You can take that to the bank.
What say you, readers?