Politics Warfare

Why the Attack on Syria?

I won’t mince words: Trump’s decision to launch missiles into Syria is a disaster.  In reactions across the internet I am seeing justifications but in no way do the advantages come close to outweighing the costs.
I will address a few:

Trump wanted to intimidate China and North Korea
I doubt the Chinese president is easily frightened and making Kim Jong Un too nervous or desperate could turn Seoul and then the whole Korean peninsula into a smoking crater.

Russians and Syrians had time to evacuate/runways weren’t destroyed etc.
It’s still an act of war on another nation’s territory.  You don’t get brownie points or gold star stickers for playing nice at war.  These measures prevented immediate escalation to actual war but has worsened relations that were already pretty bad for no real reason.  If the goal was to get rid of ISIS why is the US attacking the people who were successully getting rid of ISIS?

That’ll Shut Up the Media About Russian Conspiracy Theories!
This didn’t stop Trump in the election when he was far more vulnerable, it certainly wasn’t going to stop his presidency. Wiretapping ploys and Rice unmaskings were already effectively countering the fake hysteria. Nothing about this relatively small problem required a risky foreign policy move.

Trump showed those pansies he’s not another wimpy Obama!
Trump got elected in part because his opponent was openly agitating for war with Russia and Syria that no one wants.   Obama and Hillary’s disastrous Syria policy helped ISIS form in the first place! Now we’re back to square one after spending nearly two years on the election?

The Syrians were gassing their own peoplez! Look at the cute dead kidz!
We all know this was just an excuse.  It’s irrelevant whether it’s fabricated or not. Trump’s whole America First campaign was a reaction to this kind of moralistic world policing.

The most rational possible reason I can think of for this idiocy is Trump has to make some concessions to the neocons or they would have just let the democrats filibuster Gorsuch indefinitely. 

Trump’s administration desperately depends on getting new justices into the supreme court.  For millions of American voters who did not like Trump, that’s the one issue that pushed them over the edge.  Furthermore, he desperately needs to break the impasse that is preventing him from acting decisively on immigration, the single biggest issue that put him in power.

I recognize it’s a tough situation, a sacrifice of some kind may have been necessary to grease the wheels, but I do not think this sacrifice was worth it.
The optics of attacking Syria right as Hillary came out and asked for it, with all the neocons celebrating afterwards is terrible.

It has just been openly demonstrated that no matter who you vote for, you still get pointless bombs and wars in the Middle East while the same old elites pat each other on the back.
Over $100 million dollars worth of cruise missiles just got dumped on a distant land most Americans could care less about for no real gain.
These conspicuous displays of waste while dams are crumbling and highways are burning down at home starts to sound a lot like just another chorus of “let them eat cake.”

So now Gorsuch is in, a key victory for Trump.  But the meta is even more important.
Now that Americans have seen appointed federal judges can block anything they don’t like…
Now that they’ve seen you get war and bombs in the Middle East no matter who you vote for…
The whole democracy really starts to look like a thinly veiled fiction.  And if that last veil gets stripped away, judges are just silly ugly old people in robes playing make-believe and all you have left is force.

From the start of his campaign, Trump shrewdly sought to curry favor with the military.  He understood if he was going to go against the entire political establishment, he would need solid backing to stay in power against contrived coups.

Unfortunately, we might be discovering a hard truth that neo-con politicians are just the political arm of the military top brass.  

Generals tend to be establishment to the core and incestuously in bed with military industrial contractors.  So perhaps we’ve found the limits of what voting can accomplish.  
Some grudging concessions on immigration and jobs perhaps, but the flow of trillions to contractors who pretend to design fighter planes and wars in the interests of the US’ biggest arms customers must continue.

The problem is the country is being bled dry and the farce is becoming obvious to millions.  Generals can’t really seize power directly until their troops are willing to fire on fellow citizens and if they tried that, they’d find their authority doesn’t go as far outside the beltway as they think.

So Trump still has considerable bargaining power even though he’s under a lot of pressure—if he wants to use it.  In retrospect perhaps we can now see the coils tightening.  Flynn replaced with someone more in line with the innermost circles and now possibly Bannon getting edged out of favor?
At this time all we can do is wait and see what happens next.

aesthetics society technology Warfare

Toward A Post-Western Aesthetic

At heart, the problem with Western Civilization is that it falls into the trap of the peacock’s tail striving for constant growth with flashy results but little thought of basic utility, sustainability, or resilience in the face of sudden shocks.

So great is the focus on competing for dominance now that no one has the time to think centuries ahead.

The truth is Western civilization and its philosophy was utterly discredited by the 20th century with its World Wars, Communist mega-states that killed off tens of millions, disasters like the Great Depression and Spanish Flu that the destruction and despair made possible.

Let’s face it, no one really believes in their hearts anymore that the future is good or meaningful and there’s no going back to the way it was.  The mood of the collective subconscious has been pre-apocalyptic since around the year 2000 and now among the most dominant symbols in the modern imagination are zombies that represent social alienation and atomization and evil clowns that represent mass sociopathy and chaos.

Symbol of a society where no one knows their neighbor and has to compete against everyone in a dehumanized rat race. Zombies originally a metaphor among Africans for how slavery took away one’s previous identity.
Symbol of a society where you have to adopt dark triad traits to survive. And our secret dissatisfaction with such a social order. Secretly many of us would just like to watch it all burn but can’t admit it even to ourselves.

The evolution of the West has produced impressive deer antlers but has created a society that is top-heavy and fragile.
The cost spiral started to get out of control with the rise of professional armies and the end of the feudal system until now it costs a trillion dollars to design a new weapon system, let alone manufacture, maintain, or deploy it and nearly a trillion every year to pay for old people and their medical care.  Soon, even all the wealth in the world can’t pay the basic bills and eventually even ever-growing loans can’t fill all the gaps.

Western civilization, with its stock markets, its winner-take-all economic systems and social status markets worships the growth pattern of short-lived weeds that choke the ground in a hurry before winter wipes them all away.  

I would rather worship the growth pattern of lichens that creep slowly, meticulously reinforcing each new growth area against hardship.
I would envision an ideal future civilization as being minimalistic, practical, and durable in its applications of technologies.
Extreme disparity in cost is why a single division worth of guerillas can challenge all the world’s great powers in the Middle East, why a guy with an ak-47 riding on a donkey beats a cruise missile or a drone, why a handful of men with boxcutters can shift the course of a nuclear superpower for decades, why an illegal immigrant Mexican roofer can have 3 kids while a salary striver that makes 70k a year can’t even afford 1 kid.
In future warfare, high technology will be limited to targets of appropriate value and low value forces will try to exert stategic pressure that forces cost-inefficient responses.

Much of the vanity of West is its stubborn insistence dating back to Christianity and reinforced by the Enlightenment that man inhabits a different universe than the rest of nature.  In truth the same laws that govern planets, rocks, animals, and bacteria bind humans just the same.

To set the tone for a society that works with the nature of the universe rather than try to defy it, we must begin to imagine what a Post-Western society might look and feel like.
In my next post I will begin to explore a possible aesthetic for such an order, according to my own sensibilities.  

My aesthetic will be austere, minimal, defensive, yet embrace a sort of stark beauty in contrast to a modern civilization of neon-bright advertisements that overload the eyes as high fructose corn syrup overwhelms the palate.

But it also won’t echo the old West cathedrals and row-houses with their straight lines and rigid rectangles, however pretty or pleasing they may be.
My aesthetic will try to appear more fluid, representing a lack of boundaries between man and nature, between intellect and the flesh.  For it’s precisely such dichotomies that gave rise to the West’s most debilitating neuroses.

Societies society Warfare

Why Wars Are Becoming More Likely

The underlying force behind most developments we now see is very simple: overpopulation.  But there’s something more to it.  In a world that has had lowered levels of violence and modern medicine for awhile, there’s simply too many men.  Normally men die off at a higher rate than women which frees up some extra space.   Under these circumstances it’s easier to have a functional social contract where men cooperate instead of compete.  Without the usual forces of attrition, we end up with a massive sausage fest.   Add to that a declining economy, rampant elite overproduction, hostile state ideologies and it’s now hard for all but apex males to make it.  As the struggle for scarce success slots grows more intense, it drives coalitions of millions of men into direct competition for women and treasure.  As such conflicts grow in intensity, they eventually flare into open violence.  And of course, part of the deal is the violence clears out some of the dead wood freeing up some breathing room for the rest.  Anyone who doubts this principle has only to learn how the black plague ushered in a golden age in Renaissance Europe and Ming China.  When there’s just too many people, even randomly killing 1 out of every 3 improves life for the rest and allows people the space and leisure they need for innovation and achievement.  An environment always saturated to carrying capacity wallows in perpetual stagnation.  When there’s no more frontiers and empty continents to fill up, humans resort to other timeless safety valves, and when all others fail, war tends to erupt sooner or later.  The justifications people make up for history books come after the fact.

War is a gentleman’s agreement.  Two men who stand little chance of securing a pretty woman or property within their clan sometimes agree to risk their lives against a neighboring tribe to take control of scarce resources by conquest.  If both succeed, they both get a payoff, but chances are in war there will be casualties.  So in effect they wager that if they succeed one man will perish in the endeavor and the other reaps all the dividends.  They may fail and both perish of course, but they agree to take the risk because if they try to play it safe at home, they pass the rest of their miserable lives struggling for mere survival, trod on by the successful as unwanted surplus population.  Since the dawn of time, when the incentives are right, groups of men have made the gentleman’s agreement with the tacit understanding they are betting the other guy gets shot while they survive to profit from his efforts.  And of course those most closely related might behave altruistically with less reservation as worker ants devote their being to the genetic code of their queen.  Nature is harsh and living things must often undergo desperate measures against overwhelming obstacles to succeed and continue the species.  So until a transhuman era, humans will be thrust into the Darwinian melee by the necessities of competition for mates and scarce resources whether they will it or no.  Until then, only intelligent stewardship of human societies and the establishment of workable balances of power both internationally and internally makes peaceful times possible.  The foolish elites of Western nations have spent decades undermining a once stable system out of devotion to blind ideology and now act surprised when finally the inertia shifts and the system begins to tip towards entropy.

gaming philosophy Simulations Warfare

The Importance of Strategy

Whether chess, go, RTS, MOBAs or any of the tests we face in real life, there are eternal constants of strategy that optimize the likelihood of victory.
Any society, I think, should groom its bright and curious children for societal leadership from an early age through education in strategy.  Strategy should be one of the core pillars of education in a post-Enlightenment era just as rhetoric was in ancient times.  Games of strategy help teach the mindset required to make important, difficult decisions from a detached and rational perspective.
I will use chess and league of legends for examples.  Chess is a turn based game individual game that requires one to think ahead in discrete steps.  League of legends is a real time team game that requires making correct judgment calls within fractions of a second.
I will try to address some of these great constants.

Don’t Get Greedy

This is probably the first and greatest lesson every game of strategy teaches.  When we’re children or just trying it out for the first time, we try what seems intuitive and simple and fall flat on our asses.  You have an objective you have to achieve whether it’s checkmating the king or destroying the enemy base but if you try to take your objectives by trying to grab it all at once or simply lashing out emotionally, you lose.  You lose every single time; it’s like fighting against a law of physics.
In chess your attacks are obvious and impotent without planning ahead.  Lashing out impulsively merely exposes you to attack and quickly loses you the game.
In League of Legends harsh experience teaches you to know exactly what level of risk and what price is worth paying to achieve any objective in a given situation.  It is very easy to get greedy in the moment and succumb to the temptation to try to get those last few hits on a turret when you know you will probably be surrounded by the enemy team and killed if you wait those extra 2-3 seconds and still fail to capture the objective in a pointless self-sacrifice.  Anyone who’s played the game awhile will have had this kind of frustrating experience many times over towers and dragons.  Knowing exactly how much closer you can move to your goal without getting greedy and overextending that extra inch is the difference between victory and defeat.
I can’t think of a single contest of strategy that doesn’t harshly punish greed.  It’s a law of the universe and therefore one of the most useful lessons for dealing with real life challenges.

Sunken Cost Fallacy

Humans are really bad at dealing with sunken costs.  Our first impulse when we have material or emotional investment is to keep investing.  Then we find ourselves drained dry with nothing to show for it.  That’s how you lose.  Every game of strategy requires you to clear your head when you suffer a loss and keep going without panicking or throwing good after bad.
In chess you can quickly end a game by throwing a tantrum when your piece gets captured by retaliating recklessly until suddenly you realize you traded at a disadvantage and now your army’s gone.  Soon you learn to think ahead and only make trades you think will improve your position.
In league of legends, everyone has tried to rescue that one teammate who always seems to be out of position only to get killed along with them and make the situation even worse.  At a point you start to develop the snap judgment to know when to cut your losses and understand your teammate will get themselves killed no matter what you do.  You learn exactly how much power you have to change a situation and when you must retreat.
Every game of strategy forces the player to deal with sunken costs.  It teaches us to confront one of the universal weaknesses of the human mind and develop the discipline to deal with losses proportionately rather than emotionally.

Finding the Golden Mean

All strategy games require finding the right balance of aggression and defense.  Not attacking at all leaves the opponent free to go for a fatal blow at the time and place of  their choosing.  Attacking recklessly opens one to instant defeat.
Every strategy game is about finding the right shades of gray while extremes of any kind are typically losing strategies.
In real life, inflexible idealists lose to pragmatists every time.
Strategy allows us to test a conflict scenario over and over in a controlled environment until we find where that sweet spot lies.  All too often, that sweet spot is relevant to real life.  We learn not only to moderate our strategy appropriately, but know exactly when to change our approach.

Choose The Battlefield

You have the advantage when you have the initiative and control the terms of engagement.
In chess, you are in control when the opponent is forced into merely reacting to your moves.
In league of legends, your team has a huge advantage when you are about to take an objective and you know the enemy team has to try to stop you.
When the opponent is forced to react, you know exactly what he will do next while he has no such knowledge of your intentions.
When you dictate when, where, and how an engagement takes place, you of course always occupy the most favorable ground.

Learn to Balance Multiple Needs

In the first few games of chess, it quickly becomes apparent that controlling more space on the board is advantageous, so you advance your pawns to tighten the noose…until you realize that stretching out too far exposes your entire army to attack if a mobile enemy gets behind your lines.  Having the right structure to defend behind your lines is as important as moving forward.  It is a good thing to control more space, but there are other considerations to take into account simultaneously and arrive at the move that best serves these multiple needs.
In league of legends, it is good to get lots of kills.  It gets you tons of gold, disrupts the enemy’s ability to get gold, and reduces the ability of the enemy team to act.  But it is ultimately a team game that’s decided on teamfights and control of objectives, not individual prowess.  A one-sided strategy is a losing strategy.

Opportunity Cost

There are often many choices we can make that will bring us closer to victory, but the ideal is to make the single best choice.
In chess, focusing too much on dislodging an enemy pawn from an important square can lull the player into thinking small and not focusing enough on bigger goals.
In LoL, the position of jungle best emphasizes this problem.  The jungler is a troubleshooter who is responsible for events anywhere on the map and has to have the judgment to know when and where their presence is most likely to give their team the greatest possible advantage.  Merely avoiding disaster is not enough.  The price of sub-optimal decisions is defeat.
In real life everything we do carries a price when we could have been doing something else instead.  Strategy invites us to reflect on this eternal principle.
This one especially addresses the most insidious pitfall of modern life.  With just a smartphone we could google anything we wanted for the rest of our lives and we wouldn’t even scratch the surface of the content that’s out there.
The abundance of information and stimulation makes it especially important for us to be able to inhibit our impulses and make strategic decisions about where to most effectively invest our extremely finite time and attention.

Keep Cool When Things Are Going Badly

When a queen breaks through the front line in chess and has the king in check with multiple other pieces in jeopardy, it can be easy to panic and by doing so pretty much forfeit the game.  Panicking when there’s a setback ensures defeat.
If you keep your composure it’s possible you may still lose, but there is then still a chance you can
-turn things around–maybe even turning the situation against your opponent, by persevering and winning the trade,
-or simply control the damage as best you can and wait for your opponent to make a mistake.
In a team game like LoL, dealing with group dynamics is hugely educational.  There’s always that player who despairs at the first minor setback and types in “gg ff20″(surrender at the first opportunity) when the other team gets first blood or the first dragon.  If you’re in bottom lane, you’ll always have that support or ADC who criticizes everything you do.  If you’re jungle, there’s always someone, or even more than one person that blames you when they lose their lane.  This situation tests your ability to stay focused and keep the big picture in mind even when there’s chaos and dissent all around you.
Whether on your own or in a group, training in strategy prepares the mind to treat adversity in real life as a momentary setback that can be dealt with if we just stay calm.  Just once coming back to win a game you thought was lost, and were tempted to quit, is an experience that changes how you think forever.

Practice Ahead of Time

Anyone who’s ever been in a real-time or fast-paced contest of strategy has learned the hard way why armchair generals are worthless.
Mike Tyson may have summed it up best: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
It’s a perspective-changing experience to freeze up and fall apart under pressure while getting completely destroyed.  Losing like this destroys delusions of grandeur and forces us to acknowledge exactly what our capabilities are, no more, no less.
Then we learn the game and practice until we begin to be able to react appropriately when things start happening fast.
Strategy games teach us that the intuition that fails us so spectacularly at first can be trained until we can make those split second decisions under pressure.  That intuition is itself an algorithm derived from previous experience.  To function, it needs the appropriate conditioning.
It teaches the worthlessness of talent without experience.  Starting out a game like league of legends or starcraft, there are legions of toxic morons that destroy you effortlessly simply because they know how the game works and you don’t.

Your Hand is Better Than You Think

When you first play any game of strategy, you get crushed by anyone with even a bit of experience and it seems a monumental endeavor.  The opposition seems invincible.  But by the time you win your first victories, you begin to see everyone else has flaws and doubts they constantly struggle with.  When you see people with good jobs and pretty women in the real world, it’s easy to be jealous with inexperience.  But when playing games of strategy vs. humans you get glimpses of your opponents’ character and realize even those who may be better than you are just people who have their own baggage to contend with.  You learn to value the advantages you have and exploit them to the fullest against your opponents’ weaknesses.  Once you start thinking like this, you ponder how to turn the situation to your advantage instead of getting jealous.
Strategy teaches you not just to avoid overestimating your own capabilities–even more importantly it gives you the imagination to not see any opponent as inevitable or invincible.  Once you internalize this, you find yourself capable of much more than you thought possible.


Strategic training and ability should be absolute prerequisites for any position of responsibility in a competent society.  Games of strategy simulate high stakes struggles with both sides evenly matched.  The ability to repeat the experience in a controlled environment with nothing real at stake teaches lessons in a few months that would normally be hard-won over decades or even generations.  One can make the many blunders of inexperience with pieces on a board instead of with real people.
A simple game doesn’t approach the complexities of real life, but that’s the point.  Like with any other experiment you remove as many variables as you can so you can isolate the individual moving parts.   This works because the laws of physics are always the same, even if we are faced with the complexity of a giant pool table with thousands of balls colliding.
Above all, learning the principles of strategy changes the way we think, allowing us to override the simian kneejerks that dominate the vast majority of human responses and actually become capable of behavior that is somewhat rational.

See Also:  Life Lessons From Starcraft 2

history International Affairs Politics Religion Warfare

The Myth of A Europe United Against the Turks

Many modern day nationalists look back fondly on a fabled age where the Turks were twice driven back from the very gates of Vienna.

What they never seem to mention is that plenty of European powers would have liked to see the fall of Vienna and with it the threat of Habsburg power.

The Habsburgs were the European superpower of the time, with the crowns of the Spanish and Austrian empires united under one family, which included enormous bullion rich territories in the New World.

European powers such as France were more than willing to make deals or even alliances with the Ottomans if it meant taking some pressure off of them by diverting the overwhelming military power and wealth of the Habsburgs.

I’ve met far too many people who like to interpret Euro history first as a conflict between Christianity and Islam when the truth is far more complex.


France and Ottoman
Francis I of France and his ally, Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire
history Warfare

MacArthur Style “Containment Policy”

“In interviews published posthumously, MacArthur said he had a plan that would have won the war in 10 days: ‘I would have dropped 30 or so atomic bombs . . . strung across the neck of Manchuria.’

Then he would have introduced half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and then “spread behind us — from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea — a belt of radioactive cobalt . . . it has an active life of between 60 and 120 years.

For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the North.” He was certain that the Russians would have done nothing about this extreme strategy:

“My plan was a cinch.”


MacArthur knew his push deep into North Korea might trigger a counter-offensive from China and he had a plan to prevent a possibility that soon became a nightmare reality.
MacArthur knew his push deep into North Korea might trigger a counter-offensive from China and he had a plan to prevent a possibility that soon became a nightmare reality.



Entertainment Warfare

What Martial Arts Does Batman Use?

“Possessing no super-powers and using no weapons (save for what he carries in his ‘utility belt’), he instead relies on his cunning, vast fortune, and, above all, his skills in hand-to-hand combat to defeat his opponents. It has long been known Batman is one of the – if not the – most skilled unarmed combatants in the world, but just how good of fighter is the Dark Knight, and in what disciplines?”




history International Affairs Warfare

An American Mercenary Who Invaded Mexico With An Army of 45 Men

Back in the 1850s, a Tennessean named William Walker and his band of mercs launched an offensive on Baja California and successfully captured the Baja del Sur capital City, La Paz.
He proceeded to declare a Republic of the Sonora complete with territorial boundaries and its own flag.

Republic of Sonora Flag

Republic of Sonora map

More amazing still, he and his men managed to get out of there alive again after the Mexican government started sending armies into the region.

Walker was a real filibuster. Not one of our modern gerontocrats deadlocking sessions of congress. No he was a filibuster in the original sense of the word. A freebooter trying to conquer a sovereign state without permission from any state.
The age of manifest destiny in America fostered an entire generation of filibuster mercs who tried to take over countries and found their own colonies.

For Walker, his personal war with Mexico was just the beginning of his career.

Next, he showed up in Nicaragua with a private army of 60 men and tried to take over the country. He actually succeeded and declared the foundation of (another) new country complete with (another) new flag.

Walker's Nicaraguan Flag

As if taking on one country wasn’t enough, Walker soon found himself at war with Costa Rica as well.
He held on for awhile despite the odds and still managed to escape with the help of the US Navy.

Still not discouraged, Walker next tried to invade Honduras but this time he was caught by the British Navy, who had no intentions of allowing an American to mess around in a zone of influence so close to where they were already planning a canal.

The British simply turned Walker over to the Hondurans, who lost little time in putting him in front of a firing squad.

Walker had no military experience and little grasp of strategy, achieving many of his impressive victories with superior firepower. Both in Mexico and Nicaragua his campaigns were ended by disastrous incidents that led to his forces being cut off from their supply lines.
An impulsive fool, he actually seized steamships from Vanderbilt, the Robber Baron sponsor who was supplying him with food, arms, and transport.
Vanderbilt retaliated by giving gold and guns to Walker’s enemies instead to get revenge and to recover his steamships.
Predictably, Walker found himself suddenly stranded in a foreign country and would have gotten himself and his men killed then if the US Navy hadn’t picked them up.

Walker got his way as a crazily charismatic dreamer in spite of his ineptitude. Newspaper articles about his crazy exploits always got him new followers no matter how badly he screwed up…until his luck finally ran out.

William Walker picture
William Walker, a 5″2 120 pound dynamo of reckless ambition that got himself and lots of his followers killed while trying to found a private Latin American empire.


Africa International Affairs Warfare

M23 & Congo – 4GW In Action


For a period of about 2 weeks, the rebel M23s occupied the city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The government forces didn’t fight back, instead choosing to flee the city for secure government compounds. The U.N. forces concentrated themselves there, leaving the city to be plundered by the rebel forces. This isn’t a surprise as most of the Army officers had already been bought off by the rebels. Any political supporters of the government in the city could then be killed on a whim by the rebel forces. After the 2 weeks, M23 pulled out before international resistance could be formed. Both the US and UK pulled their aid from bordering Rwanda, who were likely supporting the rebels so that they could destabilize the Congo government, making it easier to gain access to the mineral rich area.


In other words, the rebels pulled out on their own terms after they had taken everything worth taking. As is standard operating procedure, many rebels simply took of their uniform and stayed behind to disrupt government infrastructure and programs, thereby further reducing the support and legitimacy of the government. The lesson is fairly simple, pay very close attention to the loyalties and self interest of everyone in a conflict region if you want to understand how it will develop. Look at the extended social networks, friends of friends.
“The soldiers we see here are the ones that took over this city? Is that it?” the 78-year-old said. “I think they are still here in hiding.”

Many residents are convinced that M23 soldiers swapped their military fatigues for civilian clothing and will remain in the city as “infiltrators”.

“Look, I am a Congolese. I am from this place. I can tell the difference between a civilian and a soldier. And, for sure, they are here,” 33-year-old mechanic Thierry Bisimwa told Al Jazeera. “Taking off their uniform and putting on civilian dress is a strategy.”

“We have a situation where army officials, in the middle of a war, were selling weapons to the M23 … what is going on?”

He was referring to General Gabriel Amisi, the DRC’s chief of land forces, who was suspended on November 23 when the UN alleged he had been “smuggling arms” to multiple rebel groups in the region.

According to people here, he was not the only military official playing both sides.

“We have an army with high-level officers selling arms and information to the other side. This is why they are so incompetent,” Bisimwa said.

There is a smouldering disdain for the United Nations here, as well as rage directed towards neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda for their roles in the crisis.

history Warfare

Did the USSR Defeat Germany Because of or In Spite of Stalin?

Stalin’s purges of officers in the Soviet military destroyed its experienced leadership, a failing which became all too clear in the war with Finland.  Worse Stalin ignored numerous warnings that Germany was about to attack.  To cap it off, Stalin had a mental breakdown when the Nazi attack finally came, leaving the nation without sure leadership for days at the most critical time.
On the other hand:
Could the Soviet Union have pulled together the single minded ability and organization to fight back without an autocrat like Stalin in power?

history Warfare

Mullah Mohammed Omar On Why He Ordered Bamiyan Buddha Statues Destroyed

I did not want to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. This shocked me. I thought, these callous people have no regard for thousands of living human beings — the Afghans who are dying of hunger, but they are so concerned about non-living objects like the Buddha. This was extremely deplorable. That is why I ordered its destruction. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha’s destruction.  — Mullah Mohammed Omar

A prime example of the kinds of talking points these groups make up after the fact. It was a Japanese organization that wanted to restore the statue. They had nothing to do with the UN embargo, which was started because the Taliban were thought to be harboring fugitives wanted for the Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings.

In fact, they could of just as easily of gotten paid for having the statues moved out of the country, they could of just as easily of created a win-win situation while feeding the hungry. Win-win situations are never taken by these kinds of groups, there is always an evil antagonist forcing their hand to commit more destruction and violence. Officials around the world had been trying to get them moved after locals defaced the Budhha’s and drilled holes for explosives in the statues:

Abdul Wahed, a Taliban commander operating in the area, announced his intention to blow up the Buddhas in 1997 even before he had taken control of the valley. Once he was in control of Bamiyan in 1998, Wahed drilled holes in the Buddhas’ heads for explosives. He was prevented from taking further action by the local governor and direct order of Mullah Omar, although tyres were burnt on the head of the great Buddha.[18] In July 1999, Mullah Mohammed Omar issued a decree in favor of the preservation of the Bamiyan Buddha’s statue. Because Afghanistan’s Buddhist population no longer exists, which removed the possibility of the statues being worshiped, he added: “The government considers the Bamiyan statues as an example of a potential major source of income for Afghanistan from international visitors. The Taliban states that Bamiyan shall not be destroyed but protected.”[19] In early 2000, local Taliban authorities asked for UN assistance to rebuild drainage ditches around tops of the alcoves in which the Buddhas were set.[20]

However, Afghanistan’s radical clerics began a campaign to crack down on “un-Islamic” segments of Afghan society. The Taliban soon banned all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.[21]

Information and Culture Minister Qadratullah Jamal told Associated Press of a decision by 400 religious clerics from across Afghanistan declaring the Buddhist statues against the tenets of Islam. “They came out with a consensus that the statues were against Islam,” said Jamal.

According to UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, a meeting of ambassadors from the 54 member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was conducted. All OIC states – including PakistanSaudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, three countries that officially recognised the Taliban government – joined the protest to spare the monuments.[22] Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates later condemned the destruction as “savage”.[23] Although India never recognised the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, New Delhi offered to arrange for the transfer of all the artifacts in question to India, “where they would be kept safely and preserved for all mankind.”, but these overtures were rejected by the Taliban.[24] Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf sent Moinuddin Haider to Kabul to try to prevent the destruction, by arguing that it was un-Islamic and unprecedented.[25] According to Taliban minister, Abdul Salam Zaeef, UNESCO sent the Taliban government 36 letters objecting to the proposed destruction. He asserted that the Chinese, Japanese and Sri Lankan delegates were the most strident advocates for preserving the Buddhas. The Japanese in particular proposed a variety of different solutions to the issue, these included removing the statues to Japan, covering the statues from view and the payment of money.[26]

A statement issued by the ministry of religious affairs of Taliban regime justified the destruction as being in accordance with Islamic law.[27] Abdul Salam Zaeef held that the destruction of the Buddhas was finally ordered by Abdul Wali, the Minister for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice.[28]

Again, we see that political concessions have very little effect. If you want to deal with them, become the biggest tribe and negotiate from a position of strength. Terrorism is slightly different in poorer countries like Afghanistan versus the 1st world, in many cases local militias will recruit young men who are poor because their family was widowed. The target is not the political structure, instead dissolve the social and the economic bonds beneath them. The same approach should be taken with other irrationally militant groups. Whatever political platform is in fashion does not dictate the actions of these groups, the underlying psychology must be understood.

For example, several of the 9/11 hijackers planned to fight in Chechnya, but they didn’t have the right paperwork so they attacked America instead. The mujahedeen had no idea whom they would attack after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, so they sat around until they came up with a new enemy: America. Pakistani terrorists regularly defect to another terrorist group with a totally different political platform. Link

There will never be a shortage of talking points to inspire outrage, always look deeper and strike the root of the problem.

See previous article:

biology economics pharmacology Science Societies Warfare

Sir Macfarlane Burnet Recommended Use Of Biological Weapons Against High Population Asian Neighbors

World-famous microbiologist Sir Macfarlane Burnet, the Nobel prize winner revered as Australia’s greatest medical research scientist, secretly urged the government to develop biological weapons for use against Indonesia and other “overpopulated” countries of South-East Asia.

The revelation is contained in top-secret files declassified by the National Archives of Australia, despite resistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Sir Macfarlane recommended in a secret report in 1947 that biological and chemical weapons should be developed to target food crops and spread infectious diseases.

His key advisory role on biological warfare was uncovered by Canberra historian Philip Dorling in the National Archives in 1998.

The department initially blocked release of the material on the basis it would damage Australia’s international relations. Dr Dorling sought a review and the material was finally released to him late last year.

The files include a comprehensive memo Sir Macfarlane wrote for the Defence Department in 1947 in which he said Australia should develop biological weapons that would work in tropical Asia without spreading to Australia’s more temperate population centres.

“Specifically to the Australian situation, the most effective counter-offensive to threatened invasion by overpopulated Asiatic countries would be directed towards the destruction by biological or chemical means of tropical food crops and the dissemination of infectious disease capable of spreading in tropical but not under Australian conditions,” Sir Macfarlane said.

The Victorian-born immunologist, who headed the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, won the Nobel prize for medicine in 1960. He died in 1985 but his theories on immunity and “clonal selection” provided the basis for modern biotechnology and genetic engineering.

Its use has the tremendous advantage of not destroying the enemy’s industrial potential which can then be taken over intact.

Africa Intelligence International Affairs Uncategorized Warfare

US Expanding Intelligence Operations In Africa

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — The U.S. military is expanding its secret intelligence operations across Africa, establishing a network of small air bases to spy on terrorist hideouts from the fringes of the Sahara to jungle terrain along the equator, according to documents and people involved in the project.

At the heart of the surveillance operations are small, unarmed turboprop aircraft disguised as private planes. Equipped with hidden sensors that can record full-motion video, track infrared heat patterns, and vacuum up radio and cellphone signals, the planes refuel on isolated airstrips favored by African bush pilots, extending their effective flight range by thousands of miles.


Don Vandergriff: Raising The Bar – Creating & Nurturing Adaptability To Deal With The Changing Face Of War

As John Schmidt described in Command and (Out of) Control: The Military Implications of Complexity Theory, when applying the complexity theory to war:7 “The great Prussian military theorist-philosopher Carl von Clausewitz was an avid amateur scientist who relied heavily and explicitly on the physical sciences to provide metaphors for his military concepts. Two of his greatest and most enduring concepts – friction and the center of gravity – come straight out of the science of the day. Of course, science for Clausewitz was a Newtonian science. The Newtonian paradigm is the mechanistic paradigm: the world and everything in it as a giant machine. The preferred Newtonian metaphor is the clock, consisting of finely tooled gears meshing smoothly and precisely, ticking along predictably, measurably and reliably, keeping perfect time.”

“the TA should always encourage the student to treat the situation as if he or she were living it. In many of the scenario events, the student has literally fractions of a second to react, and allowing each one to ponder the situation for hours reduces the benefits of the exercise. Spontaneity is the key. Teachers must tell the student leader that the first reaction is probably the best one. Again, this is a good tool to build character, especially when a student’s course of action is being attacked by the rest of the class. After the TDG is conducted, the TA should require the student to defend his or her course of action. No matter what the course of action, if the student thinks he or she is right, the teachers must require him or her to defend it.”

“However, this does not imply that the use of traditional, Industrial Age testing techniques should be continued, because those techniques only reinforce rote memorization. These negative techniques include “true or false” questioning, “fill-in the blank” or “multiple-choice” examinations. However, cadre like to save time by using these linear evaluation techniques. They also provide quick feedback to the tested student, the cadre, and the chain of command when utilized for reports and Power Point slides. But these teaching techniques cheat the student because they focus on short-term results. Since “knowledge” and “social judgment” are also part of the traits of adaptability, continual observations and evaluations of how a leader chooses to communicate decisions to subordinates or to inform the chain of command must occur. If leaders do not communicate decisions effectively to their subordinates or units, it makes no difference whether they are decisive or timely. Thus, teachers should use essay-based evaluations in the classroom. The use of essays will require that teachers have a firm grasp on the English language, grammar and style, and essays will also take more time to evaluate, but in the end they will provide a much deeper sense of the students’ educational progress. What should teachers look for in evaluating student leaders? A teacher should look for leadership failures that suggest weak character. For instance, if a student changes his original decision in order to go along with the instructor-recommended solution, or if the student stays with a poor or out-of-date decision from higher authority simply because that is what “higher” told him to do, teachers should mark these traits as a failure. The worst thing a student could do is to make no decision at all.”


“Current Army instructional approaches lack opportunities for experiencing the emotional trauma of failing within a safe environment – something that is needed to promote maturity.” … “The Army’s highly technical environment and its mission to fight uncertain and complex foes in the 21st century demands that the emphasis from the outset be on growing by “learning to learn,” and not learning information alone.”

“allowed to fail, as long as they show signs of learning, and do not repeat mistakes (those who made a mistake in the act of doing something will attempt to explain why they made their error); and pushed to seek answers, and to produce adaptive leaders familiar with tasks that may comprise their solutions to tactical and non-tactical problems. They understand how to employ tasks together to solve problems.”


Politics Warfare

The Coup d’Etat, “Get your tanks off my lawn!”

List of coups d’état and coup attempts

In 1931, Italian journalist and political writer, Curzio Malaparte, published a book in Italy entitled
This work was based on his own personal observation of the activities in Russia at the time of theRevolution, Poland at the time of the Bolshevik invasion of 1920 and Berlinduring the Kapp putsch. Malaparte was an early supporter of Mussolini and had first-hand knowledge of the means by which Il Duce had come to power in 1922
Related reading: Edward Luttwak – Coup D’État: A Practical Handbook
The Coup Checklist from “How To Stage A Military Coup From Planning to Execution by David Hebditch & Ken Connor
The pattern checklist for Coup D’Etat
1. Former Colony or overseas posession?
2. Lies in tropical latitudes?
3. Religious, ethnic or/and tribal divisions?
4. Substantial natural resources, especially oil?
5. Endemic corruption and nepotism?
6. Strategically located?
7. Long-term despotic regmine?
8. Army staff officers trained overseas?
9. Finance available for mercenaries?
10. Had a coup d’etat previously?
International Affairs Warfare

Fundamentals of Company-Level Counter-Insurgency + Urban Infrastructure Disruption + Black Market Supply Chain

Break any rule, sooner than lose the initiative.

In counterinsurgency, the initiative is everything. If the enemy is reacting to you, you control the operation and, provided you mobilize the population, you will win. If you are reacting to the enemy – even if you are killing or capturing him in large numbers – then he is controlling the environment and you will eventually lose. This is because, in counterinsurgency, the enemy almost always has the tactical initiative. He initiates most attacks, targets you unexpectedly and withdraws too fast for you to react. So instead, you must focus on the local population, build your own solution to the environment and its systemic problems, further your own game plan and fight the enemy only when he gets in the way. This helps you keep the initiative. Link

The key to unlocking the disruptive potential of cities within this new form of warfare, is to attack key points (systempunkts) within target infrastructure and social networks to force a change in the city’s dynamic. Infrastructure attacks, particularly on power/fuel/water, negate the ability of the government to deliver political goods (for example, in October Baghdad only received 2.4 hours of electricity a day). This halts economic activity and forces the population to rely upon primary loyalties for daily survival (families, neighborhoods, religious organizations, gangs, etc.). It also damages the ability of the government to deliver political goods, which are the key to legitimacy. As a result, primary loyalties rise and nationalism falls. Next, attacks on the social fabric along fault lines (religious, ethnic, class, etc.), are then used to force these primary loyalty groups to arm themselves for security. Finally, as these manufactured groups naturally come into conflict (for access to resource, protection, or revenge), the city’s intrinsic interconnectedness allows it to assume its own emergent dynamic, replete with feedback loops that accelerate conflict. Link

By all accounts the amount of money involved is immense. In aggregate, the networks that form this parallel “black” global supply chain, have a “GDP” of $1-3 trillion (some estimates are as high as 10% of the world’s economy) and are growing seven times faster than legal trade. These networks supply the huge demand for:

  • Drugs (both recreational and pharmaceutical).
  • Undocumented workers (for corporations, home services, and the sex trade).
  • Weapons (from small arms to RPGs, many come from cold war arsenals).
  • Rip-offs of intellectual property (from digital content to brand named consumer goods).
  • Laundered and unregulated financial flows.

This supply chain isn’t run by the vertically integrated cartels and mafias of the last century (those hierarchies are too vulnerable, slow, and unresponsive to be competitive in the current environment). The new undifferentiated structures are highly decentralized, horizontal, and fluid. They specialize in cross border movement and therefore can handle all types of smuggling simultaneously. They are also very reliant on modern technologies to rapidly transport and coordinate their global operations.

The similarity between these commercial networks and those of modern terrorism (my global guerrillas) is not incidental. These networks are optimized for the melted map we currently live in. There is also considerable crossover between these networks since terrorists/guerrillas use these networks to both fund and execute their operations – and – smugglers see terrorists/guerrillas as a means to free areas from state control. Link

What’s more interesting than the actual fighting is what the conflict was about. In summary, the government made an attempt to slow the expansion Hezbollah’s fiber optics network, which provides secure/robust communications and surveillance (via automated cameras) to the group. Specifically, the government tried to shut down surveillance nodes of the network overlooking Beirut International Airport. Hezbollah responded by defining the network as a core part of its organization and that they were willing to defend it with violence if necessary.

So, we can now conclude that in addition to 4GW militias and parallel social services, a parallel communications/surveillance network is a core feature set of virtual states. This tracks with our emerging experience in Sadr City. It also implies we may see interesting virtual variants of this via the parasitic piggybacking of open source insurgencies (the PCC, al Qaeda, etc.) on cell phone networks and the Internet. Link

Understanding how to break the back of an insurgency will be very useful for individuals creating communities in proximity to unstable areas.

See also:

How To Be The Biggest Tribe

Narco-Cartels & Tunnels

Osama Bin Laden Didn’t Use Encyrpttion

Informal Banking: The Hawala Systtem

Intelligence Warfare

More On Snitches

Previous Post Is Here

Behaviors of Brandon’s or others that enabled this kind of damage to be done.

      1. Deferring or listening to men, as opposed to women and/or attacking women in leadership positions. Our patriarchal society has taught us this and we need to deconstruct it.
      2. Charisma and confidence enabled him to assume leadership and control — people deferred even though he had little experience. He cultivated a handful of women and men to become personal assistants who did a lot of his work for him.
      3. Assuming credibility by his associations — Brandon tried to associate himself with other high profile organizers in the activist community.
      4. Preying on and exploiting people’s vulnerabilities and insecurities, particularly using alcohol or other addictions. He liked to “play with people’s minds.”
      5. Bullying. All bullies abuse their power and people let them do what they want because they are afraid of what will happen if they do not go along. They use their physical prowess to intimidate both women and men.
      6. Disrupting group process in meetings, derailing agendas, questioning process, challenging others, or not coming to meetings at all to avoid accountability. Or using secrecy and sub-groups to divide the whole.
      7. Pointing fingers at and ‘snitch-jacketing’ other people, accusing them of being cops, FBI agents, etc. This kept everyone on guard, and created an environment of suspicion and distrust.
      8. Seducing people using power or sex, leaving a lot of pain and destabilized situations in his wake or provoking people to do acts they would not do on their own.
      9. Being persistent and pursuing people, by calling them repeatedly or showing up at their homes, inviting them for coffee, he would wear you down, or find other ways back into important relationships.
      10. Being an emotional/physical wreck, becoming very needy and seducing people into taking care of him. Then people would defend him because of his emotional vulnerabilities or physical needs.
      11. Time and energy suck. Talk endlessly, consuming hours of time and energy — confusing, exhausting, and indoctrinating.
      12. Being helpful or useful — showing up when you most needed support. Brandon would arrive with tools, money, or whatever was needed at just the right time.
      13. Documenting through videotaping or photographing actions but never using it or working on communications systems which he attempted at the RNC. Link

With the growing wave of repression by the state towards direct action oriented struggles, radicals have been bombarded with the shameful concern of snitches and informants. In a struggle which is purely of choice and individual realization, as opposed to a rich cultural or family heritage, a valor dedication to one’s community has been shamefully neglected by some. The following article provides a brief look into how radical communities of the past have approached traitors to the community, while at the same time proposing how more unique struggles can learn from it. It is an excerpt from the zine; “Got the Hollow Points for the Snitches”.

To order a copy of this pamphlet, you can contact the email below:

As Anarchists, we fight in the face of what appears to be insurmountable odds; our project of liberation is the natural enemy of the culture of authority and capitalism we now live under. Considering that our revolt against the institutions of domination are not isolated pockets of resistance, and that we do not live separately from the rest of society, our communities are inevitably affected —and perhaps infected— by the culture we are aiming to destroy.

Snitch Culture is not exclusive to Communities in Resistance, but is one thread of control in the larger social fabric of America. Those in power want people to snitch on each other— especially those from communities that are targeted in particular by the government and are therefore more vulnerable to Snitch Culture— because snitching works to create a climate of fear and mistrust that can fragment the populations that threaten the structures of power.

For example, in the war against the poor and people of color —those that fill the prisons of America— the State promotes snitching as a means to perpetuate crime by creating a ‘revolving door’ in which low-level drug dealers, addicts, and other petty offenders are arrested and released with orders to provide more information in order to create more arrests in order to fill more prisons. The effects of this cycle of snitch-and-prison are that entire communities are torn apart, families broken up, and the United States has the largest prison population in the world.

In Anarchist circles everyone knows that Snitch Culture breaks solidarity among activists and paralyzes our ability to wage effective resistance. Though there is much complaining and handwringing about the divisive role snitches play in our communities, we have engaged in very little constructive action about this serious and persistent problem. This zine is an attempt to educate and foster dialogue in our communities in order to develop effective strategies for dealing with snitches and to forge a resistance that can withstand the attacks of power.

To start, we must realize that Snitch Culture is not a new phenomenon or only particular to Anarchists, and that many Communities of Resistance in North America and Europe have come up with a number of different ways—some more effective than others—to deal with Snitch Culture while maintaining their core values.

There are three components —perhaps of unequal importance— that resistance groups and others have traditionally used to determine their response to snitches: practicality, the agreeability to the core values of the group, and tactical benefit.

The ultra-militant Red Army Faction (RAF) in West Germany tried to use something called “Revolutionary Discipline” to respond to a growing number of snitches. This discipline drew heavily on the promise of immediate personal reprisals for snitching. Snitches both in jail and out were subject to vicious beatings and in one case, a snitch was blinded. This type of response was practical for the RAF because they had a number of supporters both inside and outside of jail. Most snitches could be easily located and jumped by supporters or actual RAF members. It was agreeable to the RAF because it fit in with their concepts of both Revolutionary Discipline and a glorification of violence. However, it did not prove to be an effective tactic for reducing the impact of snitches. By the end of the RAF’s existence, snitches were an important part of the State’s efforts to not only disrupt, but to arrest numerous members of the RAF— including its leadership.

The tactics they employed did not seem to reduce Snitch Culture within their own ranks or of other contemporary militant radical organizations in West Germany. The Weather Underground (WU) also had an extreme but somewhat different strategy when confronting the problem of snitches. The WU used terror as a way to stop the effectiveness of snitches. They required all members to give the names and addresses of close friends and family and were explicitly warned —sometimes while on psychedelic drugs— that if they snitched, they and their family would be subject to violent reprisals. In one rambling message from the WU —written after an AIM snitch took the stand against former comrades— published in radical periodicals at the time and believed to have been written by Bernadine Dorn, stated that the WU was not afraid to support the “[Charlie] Manson approach” when it came to “bringing hell on Earth for pig-snitches.” It went into detail about how violently the WU would deal withsnitches and their friends and family. This approach ended up being completely impractical for the WU because they had neither the members nor the support to pull off such grandiose plans. By the nature of being underground, they were marginalized and had little ability to strike out at snitches in any way. In fact, there is no evidence that any snitch on the WU was ever even bothered by the group. Whether this approach of terror was agreeable to the core values of the WU is hard to say since the WU position on violence and acceptable violence seemed to change constantly. It was however, consistent with the ultra-violent streak in the core leadership of the group. As a tactic is was counter-productive— it caused considerable debate in radical circles and most of it was negative. The cops also had little trouble turning folks associated with the WU, and a number of the most rhetorically violent members of the leadership either turned themselves in, or cut deals.

No resistance group in recent times can compare to the Black Panther Party (BPP) —and its factions— in terms of being completely infiltrated by snitches as well as law enforcement! The BPP, in the popular mind, is associated with violence and ultra-militancy. The image of a tough leather-clad Black Panther carrying a shotgun is an ever present part of the iconography of the radical left. One would think that the BPP’s approach to snitches would be similar to the RAF and the WU; however, they took a completely different approach and relied on community shame as a mechanism for dealing with snitches.

This was a somewhat practical approach because they had a number of widely circulating publications and outlets to get information about snitches out. They also were followed closely by the radical left and had access to a staggering number of mediums to report to the broader cultures of resistance. It was certainly agreeable to the ideals of the BPP, which claimed to be the voice of specific communities and saw itself as a community-based organization. Tactically, the record speaks for itself. There were a large number of snitches, many who were not named until well after the fall of the BPP, and the government —which was particularly brutal and repressive in dealing with the BPP— never had trouble turning members affiliated with the BPP against the organization. In Chicago, for example, the number of snitches was nearly epidemic.

While the above examples are not particularly positive, they illustrate some of the difficulties we face in dealing with snitches today in our own communities —and thus the need for dialogue. However, groups like the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Basque Separatists (ETA), and namely the WWII French Resistance Fighters (The Maquis), are positive examples of Communities in Resistance that dealt successfully with Snitch Culture. The Maquis, according to Gestapo/Vichy records, show that less than 5% of all detainees were “cooperative”. William Volman, in his book, Rising Up and Rising Down, says that the Spanish —and French— governments have “never been successful in creating a culture of informants”. The key is to learn from the mistakes of the past and forge our own response to snitches that is practical, agreeable to our core values, and tactically beneficial.

To understand why these groups —IRA, ETA and the Maquis— were successful, we have to look not only at their formal and informal policies regarding snitches, but at the movements as a whole. There is precious little written in English about ETA, but from the few sources available, Clean Hands, Dirty Wars, it seems that ETA has been able to avoid widespread Snitch Culture by the very nature of its resistance. It is heavily family- and community-based; nearly everyone knows everyone else and every Basque community has been affected by the draconian repression of the Madrid- State. Since most Basque are deeply attached to their homeland, even the non-nationalists, the idea of snitching on neighbors and comrades is wrought with practical difficulties. Raising the stakes for squealing, neighbors, co-workers and friends would react negatively to the appearance of a snitch, and so anyone caught snitching would not only have to create a new social circle, but relocate.

The IRA put a tremendous amount of energy into prisoner support. In fact it was estimated by Gerald O’Mann that nearly a 1/3 of all money raised by the IRA was spent directly on prisoner support. The Irish nationalist concept of prison support is more extensive than ours and includes family support, the glorification of prisoners, treating ex-prisoners like returning veterans, as well as in-jail support. An IRA prisoner was even elected to parliament while still in jail! This support seriously diluted the benefits of snitching and the consequences (often violent reprisals) greatly outweighed the benefits. The IRA, more than any other group, was successful in reducing the punitive nature of incarceration.

The Maquis used a combination of violent attacks on snitches as well as “reframing” propaganda. There is much written about the beatings and shootings carried out by Maquis, but the historic record actually shows that the Maquis ability to carry out such attacks was extremely limited. They made use of very public reprisals, in no doubt due to the monopoly on news by the occupiers, which, in turn, increased their effectiveness. However, the use of violence can only be seen as a partial explanation for the success of the Maquis in resisting Snitch Culture. The Maquis used an effective propaganda that was based on the idea that they soon would be victorious, which made less attractive the cooperation with illegitimate authorities that would soon be removed. What is surprising when one reads the memoirs of resistance fighters and the historical accounts of everyday French living under occupation is their firm and unshakeable belief that they would be liberated. In fact, most French not only believed they would be liberated, but liberated by the combined French Resistance forces. This belief gave legitimacy to the Maquis and made crossing them a more consequential prospect, since they believed they would come to power— which in fact many did.

In our own present Communities of Resistance there seems to be no clear theory or discipline regarding the issue of snitches, however, as Anarchists, our inherent critique of authority and power, knowledge of security culture, and decentralized style of organizing are certainly beneficial in fighting Snitch Culture. That said, the few approaches we have used in dealing directly with snitches have not been very successful. We seem to mainly operate under some loose code somewhat akin to the “Revolutionary Discipline” of the RAF. The idea that ‘Snitches get Stitches’ is prevalent and agreeable to our politics, however it is impractical in that we lack the sheer numbers — both inside and outside of the jails— to make this a reality. ‘Snitches get Stitches’ functions more like the WU idea of terror and with the exact same results in preventing Snitch Culture: absolutely none. Knowing this, communities have also tried the BPP model of shame, but with the recent evidence of government infiltration of radical groups and organizations, former comrades turning into collaborators with wiretaps, and friends arrested or under Grand Jury subpoenas naming names and cooperating with authorities, there is ample evidence that this too is ineffective and unlikely to stem the continuing tide of snitches.

It is easy to look at all of this and grow desperate. Snitch Culture is not a problem that can be easily solved and the very issues at the core of it run right through the heart of everything we are attempting. And perhaps that is the question and answer to this issue: what are we attempting? Why are some groups, like ETA, the IRA, or The Maquis able to successfully deny attempts by those in power to fracture and break their cultures of resistance? Why do Anarchists, with the goals of destroying power and creating a new world of freedom and mutual aid, turn into ‘cooperating witnesses’ and sacrifice not just their own dreams but those of the communities they belong to?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves if we want to build Communities of Resistance that will hopefully, one day, win. We must think of ways to strengthen our communities of autonomous individuals and build a resistance that is effective and sustainable in the long-term, instead of the current haphazard and reactive scrambling to each and every blow of government repression.

What we can learn from the Communities of Resistance that were successful in defeating Snitch Culture is that they believed wholeheartedly in their struggle. Those that were actively fighting, as well as those who supported them, did not see any choice but to liberate themselves from illegitimate authority and therefore saw themselves individually as part of something larger. This should not be read as a call for individuals to sacrifice themselves on the altar of the collective, but to illustrate that people who believe in what they are fighting for, and identify themselves personally with the success or failure of that fight, are less likely to betray that struggle because that struggle IS them.

However, it must be said that it is probably easier for people to identify intimately with national liberation struggles that have —in a sense— simpler goals, than with something as complex and far-reaching as Anarchy. The Maquis wanted to overthrow the Nazi-collaborator Vichy government and to oust the German occupiers from France. The IRA wants to kick the English out of Ulster. ETA wants autonomy from Spain and France and to preserve the Basque language and culture. These groups are fighting against one particular source of power, whereas Anarchists are struggling to destroy all power.

Considering the fact that Anarchy is more than just the liberation from one particular illegitimate authority and there are as many battlefields as there are stars in the sky, it can become easy to feel disillusioned or ineffective. After all, authority and capitalism still exist and we are drowned in the propaganda that we have reached the End of History; that the Way Things Are will continue unabated, forever. Snitches in Communities of Resistance are often people whose identity with the struggle for total liberation has become fractured, or those who, in the face of the repressive power of the state, betray their communities because they feel there is little chance those communities can win.

If we are to defeat Snitch Culture in our Communities of Resistance, we must refute the propaganda of those in power. It means tearing up the history books because the end is not predetermined by anyone but us. The ways and means of building a resistance that can refute their history and can engage in a sustainable and long-term struggle for freedom, are the same ones needed to give Snitch Culture the final blow. Clearly, the solution is not as simple as the suggestion ‘Snitches get Stitches,’ but is complex and takes us in many directions.

As detailed earlier, there have been plenty of failed experiments in dealing with the issue of snitches and the current epidemic of snitching cannot be stopped through random beatings or through empty threats. While violence against snitches or collaborators may be necessary (for example, the very public targeting of snitches utilized by the Maquis could prove useful) it is often harmful or useless in ending Snitch Culture. Not only can the State outmatch us in terms of the violence it can expend, rendering moot a wholesale campaign of violent reprisals —as in the case of the RAF— it also seems counter to our politics of freedom to use the idea of terror to coerce people into line and could put off sympathetic or interested individuals —much like the WU did. This should not be read as a dismissal of the tactic of violence in our resistance, but as strong critique of violence as a useful tool in combating Snitch Culture.

What has the greatest possibility of working —although it is currently not practiced to the extent that it needs to be— is community shame coupled with prisoner support. Community shame has the benefit of not being irrevocable —how can you make amends for shooting or beating someone terribly if it turns out they were wrongly accused?— as well as providing a powerful disincentive for snitches by denying them friendship and support. Prisoner support is obviously positive in that it helps remove the power of violence that the State holds over people. Prisoners who feel supported and know they will be cared for have less reason to abandon their principles and betray their friends. Coupled together, a strategy of strong communities of autonomous individuals that will not allow collaborators back in, along with a prisoner support in which the benefits of not snitching far outweigh any measure put forth by the State, seems to be the best course of action. Presently, however, these tactics have proved ineffective in the prevention of Snitch Culture. Snitches know that they will be reviled by some, but they can remain in our communities by moving to where they may be anonymous or because there are people who will not ostracize them and allow them to return. And even though our prisoner support is one of our strongest attributes, it fails to be the linchpin that prevents Snitch Culture, mainly because it is limited in scope.

What this leads us back to is the idea of building stronger communities capable of long-term resistance to the powers of the State. Community shame and prisoner support lack their necessary bite precisely because our Communities of Resistance are fractured, with no real communication or trust amongst groups. In tightly-knit societies like the Basque, snitches have nowhere to go because word will travel and they would face social isolation wherever they go.

Shame only works when communities can communicate in a way that is informative and trustworthy. Without information about snitches, communities cannot take steps to isolate or shame that person; and without trust, communities have no idea if the information is reliable or that others will also take steps to ostracize a snitch.

In terms of prisoner support, our current Communities of Resistance offer a heartfelt support; however, due to our lack of infrastructure and support outside of traditional Anarchist circles, we cannot provide the all encompassing prisoner support of the IRA. For instance, in most cases, we cannot offer jobs, money to families, or pay for legal representation. Most prisoners are shunted from public view and only a few are known on a national or international basis. On the contrary, IRA prisoners were glorified and at the height of the Troubles, the majority of the murals in IRA neighborhoods were dedicated to celebrating prisoners and their deeds. The culture of prisoner support in the IRA fostered an environment that made it desirable to not snitch, a desire based on a total community support for the prisoner and family. With some exceptions, this is something that we cannot currently provide. Where this leaves us is on the brink of a solution. While we do seem to utilize the effective tactics in combating Snitch Culture —prisoner support and community shame— they are not actually effective in stopping it. Snitch Culture is not an isolated problem, as mentioned earlier, but an interrelated issue with other problems facing our Communities of Resistance. It comes as no shock to hear that our communities are fragmented and that there is little communication or mutual aid between them. The same also goes for the lack of infrastructure or support of people not traditionally identified with Anarchists or other radical groups. We must seriously and critically examine our communities and search for ways that we can do things better, not just to defeat Snitch Culture, but to win!

The way to strengthen our communities and increase our resistance to Snitch Culture would begin by practicing real mutual aid. Very few groups actually work together in a way that is interrelated and that would actually help build our counter-infrastructure. For instance, people in cities who want to grow their own food and those who already live on farms could participate in projects like the Victory Gardens in Athens, Maine, which helps disenfranchised people in both urban and rural communities develop their own sources of organic food; groups in different cities could pool money and have benefits to pay for the legal costs of prisoners in other places; and those choosing not to work could help provide daycare for working people who have to. The ways in which we can work together and support each other are limitless, and working together on projects and actions is a simple but unrivaled way to build trustworthy lines of communication based on experience— as well as creating networks of autonomous communities that support each other and would not tolerate a snitch among them.

Infrastructure is important if we are to provide support for people in prison that would actually function as a deterrent to snitching. For instance, we cannot always give people jobs —if they want them— when they are out, or provide for people’s families if they are put away. The counter-infrastructure we do have is largely based on entertainment, and while this is a positive thing in our communities, we must move beyond this into other territory. For many obvious reasons, creating an infrastructure that does not rely on capitalism, but is our very own, is absolutely vital to our ability to wage effective resistance. We must also address the lack of support for our resistance in communities outside of Anarchist circles. One way other Communities of Resistance have been effective is that they had a large network of support in larger society. Besides the obvious, this larger support functioned as a way to propel resistance and created a climate of hope —a climate that Snitch Culture does not function very well in. This lack of support may be due to the fact that our definition of Anarchist culture is rather narrow. Although not true in the least, the image of Anarchists as young black-clad punks certainly does persist and is to an extent perpetuated by Anarchist culture. Anarchists should proudly proclaim themselves, but should also move beyond the stereotype and show our many faces: young and old, queer and straight, crusty and freshly-showered.

And obviously, our current prisoner support must continue —and increase— while working on the long-term projects of building infrastructure and widening our circles of support. Prisoner support needs to become something that everyone in our community is working on. Comrades must have the full support of their communities when facing down the courts, the jails, and the prison terms of the State. We need to make prisoner support public and visible, and we need to show comrades on the other side of the wall that they are not forgotten. Murals, benefits, sending letters and birthday cards, attending court dates, and solidarity events are all easy ways to show that we celebrate and stand behind those from our communities who are behind bars. We need to make good on the saying: they are in there for us, so we are out here for them!

It should be clear that there is no simple solution to the persistence of Snitch Culture in our Communities of Resistance. This zine set out to begin a dialog on how we can destroy Snitch Culture once and for all. As we have seen, we may currently be unable to prevent snitches in our fight for liberation because we lack the community support and infrastructure we need. This does not mean that we should ever, ever condone snitching. Snitching represents the most vile betrayal of one’s self and one’s community and although we may not be able to prevent Snitch Culture now, this does not mean that we should not continue in the active removal of snitches from our communities at present and withdraw support from all collaborators immediately. But now we know that this is not enough. To eradicate Snitch Culture we must set ourselves upon the task of building a long-term resistance that can withstand the attacks of power, and that will take time and a lot of hard work. We must create strategies that look beyond today and will allow us to proactively deal with State repression, not only to defeat Snitch Culture, but to create a world made of our desires.

The key to Israeli success was an informant network within the Palestinian community. The Israelis have hundreds of police and military operatives who can pass as Arabs (their families came from Arab countries shortly after Israel was founded in 1947). These Israelis speak fluent Arabic (with a Palestinian accent) and are Arab in appearance. These agents dress as Palestinians and  enter Palestinian areas and, backed up by regular troops, grab suspects and hustle them off, or kill them if they resist. But these agents also move about recruit and run Palestinian informants. Many of these Palestinian informants are doing it for the money. Israelis pay for information. They also use other inducements (help with the bureaucracy, medical care, etc). If that fails, they use blackmail and threats. Palestinian terrorist organizations have been unsuccessful in their attempts to shut down the informant networks, and many innocent Palestinians have died simply because they were falsely accused of being informants.

Actually, the Israelis gain a lot of information on terrorists via electronic intelligence work and UAVs that are constantly in the air over Palestinian neighborhoods. They seek to make the terrorists think that its the gadgets, not informants, that is gathering the information. To the Israelis, inducing paranoia among the Palestinians is seen as a successful weapon. All this has kept helped keep the terrorists out of Israel for the last three years, something no one thought was possible. Link

Future Trends technology Warfare

Two Contrasting Views On Future Warfare

The State will have become technocratic – fascism by remote control – the dream of control, coveted by evil men for generations, will have come to fruition. We have a scant few years to arrest the development of these technologies or to rearchitect the social foundations of liberty to survive a situation where combat robots leave the population largely powerless to resist tyranny, whether they have their rifles or not. To develop the technology to defeat the rifle utterly in the field is roughly equivalent to absolute, final, global disarmament of the population.

I am not suggesting that these combat robots will have human intelligence. I am not suggesting they will be effective policemen in the crime solving sense. They will start as remote controlled weapons platforms, then evolve common sense on navigation, then target selection, then tactics and strategy. What can be automated successfully will be automated, and the rest will be left to men in bunkers viewing screens where blood is rendered in black or blue, not red, and the faces of the fallen are fuzzed out as distractions from the real work of identifying and terminating enemies among the living.


So what do we do about this future of oppression at the hands of robots developed to defeat the improvised weapons of freedom fighters, revolutionaries and insurgents everywhere? What do we do about a future where little guy finally has no chance at all against the State, should the state turn against him and seek to drive him to the wall? What indeed can we do about that situation?

I want you to get serious about putting aside your political differences about the economy, and to get serious, left and right, about making sure that our children don’t grow up in a world where men they will never see or vote for control the box on the corner that tortures you with an invisible ray any time you get out of line.

I will note that the development of a remote mass torture device contravenes all human and natural law, and the insistence that it will “save lives” is based on a simple misunderstanding: if the people are taking to the streets and screaming for change, and you torture them where they stand to make them stop asking for change, eventually they will turn to real violence and kill the hand that tortures them to make them comply, if they can. And if they cannot kill that hand, what has been created is a hell: a torture state which one cannot overthrow or escape from. What hand will wield these torture machines in a few generations?

Lines are being crossed here. Technologies which stand every chance of enslaving us all are being developed to win the Iraq war, because the Iraq war is typically of armed resistance to government anywhere. It is disorganized, angry men with rifles and bombs dying for what they believe in, however misguided. If the ability to defeat such groups is developed and placed into the hands of the current incumbent governments and power groups, the same processes that gave rise to a free revolutionary America will no longer operate, and there will be no more stands to be made against the Empire. Those who stand will be ceaselessly and cheaply cut down by replaceable robot warriors manufactured far from the fray, operated from bunkers, and deployed far away from TV cameras. There will be little or no home front pressure to stop unjust and unnecessary wars because only the blood of the enemy will be shed in armed conflicts. The human cost of war will be borne entirely by the underdog, and therefore the underdogs will have lost their primary means of making the incumbent power groups change course. And, let me tell you, we are all potentially that underdog.


But note that current drone crews do suffer from PTSD, they are far from being dehumanized. Drones may also change how the battlefield terrain is shaped through construction.

But you’re in luck, all you thin healthy smiley bastards: I don’t think it’ll happen like that. It’s going to be weirder, slower, and a lot less Star-Wars-ey than people think.

It’s easy to get all excited about blasters, space battles, lasers and all that Luke Skywalker stuff. But my job is to give you my best guess on what’s really gonna happen. And you know, I’m not even sure war will survive. War seems too good for people like you: you beach volleyball people. You’ve made getting healthy and thin a religion, so why would you want war? Well, one thing: it won’t be the cool sci-fi war you like to think about, you saving Carrie Fisher from Jabba with your Jedi mind crap….

Spacewar — Killer satellites, orbital lasers…won’t happen. Nothing but lame NASA fundraising ideas, cooked up by corrupt lobbyists and corporations that make a living off the federal budget. Never convinced anybody this side of Newsweek. 150 years from now there’ll be nobody on the moon, nobody on Mars — just some fragile, expensive tools floating up there, not worth blasting, far too expensive to risk.

By now we can keep a Predator RPV hovering week after week, waiting for a target. When they finally persuaded the USAF to give the Predator RPVs a chance in Afghanistan, they had to admit the damn things worked even better than their advocates were promising. They’re amazing: too small to spot, damned hard to shoot down, and cheap enough that we don’t lose much even if it does get hit. And you know the best thing about RPVs? They don’t react to torture. No pilot to go on Iraqi TV looking like Jake LaMotta after twelve rounds with Sugar Ray Robinson and start apologizing for disturbing Baghdaders’ beauty sleep.

The trouble with this nice clean automated-war scenario is that nobody wants to play with us. The US can play that game, but who else can? The Israelis? They’re the only real combat-tested RPV-using army. And if it came to a US vs. Israel war, let’s face it: the US Congress would back Israel all the way, and the US’d have to surrender before a shot was fired.

Try plugging the hi-tech, RPV-heavy war plan to a more even-sided war: say, an all-out struggle for world domination between the US and China ten years from now. The first thing you realize is that it’ll come down to production rates. You’re gonna lose a lot of hardware in a hurry. Like aircraft in the early days of WW I, RPVs will go from surveillance to attack, and that will lead to interceptor models designed to destroy enemy RPVs. There’ll be unmanned dogfights, and since these things are easy to make, the dogfights will be unbelievably massive, maybe hundreds of thousands of individual combats in the sky over the battlefield. It comes down to our factories vs. theirs. If you can replace it faster than they do, maybe you win. It’ll all be as harmless as a nerd picnic on the school field Saturday afternoon, with the Asian kids and the pasty white kids each piloting their little remote-controlled MiG’s and F-16s and arguing about who killed who, then going off for pizza.

As the two-tier war system develops, the hi-tech nations won’t even associate war with death any more. War will be a demolition derby: our machines beat your machines. Nobody has to die. When the dogfight between a Chinese and an American RPV finishes, nobody will die; the US controller will disconnect from his monitor and have a beer, and so will the Chinese.

Production dominance will tilt one way or the other, at last: you own the skies. They can’t send up any more RPVs, and you can. OK; you’ve won. Now what? Do you start carpet bombing their cities? What the Hell for? The civilian population won’t even matter any more. Kill a hundred million Chinese — so what?

because an ICBM isn’t the only way to deliver a nuke.

I mean, just think for a minute. You’re Mao. You hate the US, you have a few big ripe homemade nukes, and you want to be sure the Americans know they can’t push you too far. Do you build ICBMs? Sure, a few — enough to keep the Japanese and the Russians awake. But you don’t really trust those homemade missiles. And — this is kinda the key point, so lissen up here — you don’t need to. Because a regime like Mao’s (or Stalin’s or Kim Il Sung’s) does one thing really, really well: spy stuff.

And if you’ve got a good spy service, delivering nukes is a cinch. A pickup truck is a perfectly effective way to deliver a nuke. How many pickup trucks cross from Canada or Mexico every year? Every day? You think every one of those gets searched? How many ships call at US ports every year? How many get really carefully searched? How hard is it to carry a nuke to an American harbor in a harmless-looking Liberian-registered cargo ship, then dump it over the side somewhere near the East River, or the Bay Bridge?

Why bother killing a few million civilians? Won’t settle anything. Just makes you look bad. In fact, nothing seems to be on the line anymore — not people’s lives, not even their jobs, no matter how much they fuck up.

The only enjoyable wars will be the mismatches, when the machine armies are unleashed on the savages. We’ve seen some of them lately: the NATO air forces working out on Serbia, the US and British planes playing with the Iraqis like a couple of kittens with a half-dead mouse. They’re the wars people will enjoy, because the targets are so easy, so undefended, that there are lots of good gun-camera shots.

But these wars have a little weakness: they never solve the problem. NATO killed a few thousand Serbs too stupid to realize their fellow Christians didn’t give a fuck about them. And the Serbs pulled back. But the Albanians moved in. You go into a slum like the Balkans, try to fix things up by slapping around one gang — and the gang next door comes in, kills their families and takes their houses. It’s embarrassing. From what I hear, a lot of NATO soldiers dream non-stop of the day they’ll be allowed to fire on the Albanian thugs they’re supposed to be protecting.

The answer is obvious: annihilation. The two-tier wars will get really annoying. How many times do you go in (and “you” could be the Chinese, the Indians, or whoever’s running the show 100 years from now) and separate these drunken smalltime thugs? Sooner or later somebody will suggest the neutron-bomb option. Nothing dramatic, just a Raid commercial on a larger scale.

They’ll be provoked. That’s a sure thing — before the ruling countries take the annihilation option, they will be HELL OF provoked. The lower tier will have one weapon: the willingness to die and to kill. You don’t need hi-tech to kill a lot of people. You think Mohammed Atta could pass a course on jet engineering? Physics? He couldn’t’ve got into Solano Community College, and all you need to pass there is two-thirds attendance. The loser countries, the ones who can’t do math, are gonna skip shop class, skip the machine crap, and go back to basics: kill a lot of people. They’ll do Columbine on a worldwide scale. All the losers will come to the lobby with guns. Serbs, North Koreans, Tamil Sri Lankans, will walk into the lobbies of the machine peoples’ towers like Keanu in The Matrix. They will splatter those security guards, they will smash up the decorative marble, they will disrupt office routine with drums of gasoline and vials of pesticide and rerouted sewage floods; they will turn the cities against their citizens and kill, kill, kill.

And the upper tier will respond. They’ll be patient. They’ll endure the first twenty or so urban massacres in a civilized way. Then they’ll think of the obvious: the Raid solution. Every pesticide commercial they ever saw will occur to them as they decide what to do with the Haitians, the Tamils…and finally somoeone in a government office in Beijing or Washington or Delhi will decide to do something permanent about the vermin. Ah yes, the Balkans: nice country. Too bad it’s infested with two-legged varmints. Why not clean ‘em out? It’ll strike somebody as a good idea, sooner or later. And that’s how we’ll have our first nuclear war: not the old Cold-War scenario where two nuclear-armed nations wipe each other out, but a perfectly logical one-sided version: China, or India, or us, or whoever, will simply sterilize the Balkans. (Or Java, or the South Bronx).


So key questions right now are:

  • What countermeasures can be deployed versus drones? (Electronic warfare, jamming, masers, drone leader targeting ect…)
  • If the focus is exclusively on electronic elements, what about other spheres that are under-utilized?
  • Will the Nation-State exist in it’s current form, despite the crisis of legitimacy and economic disincentives?
  • Will the economy of scale favor large or small operational groups?
  • Will the production of drones favor mass drone warfare, or a mix of quality and quantity?
  • How will production facilities balance quality and quantity?
  • What is the size of the organization best suited for mass production, refinement and deployment of drones when factoring in automation?
  • What vulnerabilities exist in the all important supply chain?
Drug War Warfare

Narco-Cartels & Tunnels

An article on the use of tunnels by Narco-Traffickers is linked below. The Narco Cartels are much more effective and sophisticated than Al Qaeda, the primary branch of which didn’t even bother using encryption. They are not an ideological small time non-profit trying to inspire global change (however perverse that change may be), rather they are an efficient and expanding business operation. Contrast the Narco-Gangs and their private cell phone networks and capture of most of the Mexican government. When they are threatened by vigilante groups they respond with threats (they use torture more than words), kidnapping or executions. They are much larger threat overall considering their proximity and the ease with which they can pass as normal Americans.

The discovery of the Calexico tunnel brought a moment of reflection. As of April 2003, 21 tunnels had been found since 1990 — a number a thousand feet long. Drug traffickers are relying more on tunnels to avoid tightened US port security following 11 September. Four of the 21 tunnels had cart and rail systems while nine were equipped with lights and ventilation systems. Some had steel rails to support carts to be drawn through. Seven were in the San Diego County region and 14 were in the Arizona region. Twenty were near ports of entry.

Finding these tunnels is not simple. Soil and geological variations in concert with power line interference makes the use of radar, sonar and electromagnetic radiation tools problematic. Examination of likely areas in concert with background checks and property record examinations on persons of interest carry much of the load. Tipoffs and chance are a major boon.

The rising question is whether terrorists could, for a price, be permitted to smuggle weapons, components, and personnel into the US. If illicit drugs and aliens can be brought across, then terrorists or WMD components can also come across.

Intelligence International Affairs Warfare

Cutting Off Water/Electricity/Food – Standard Asymmetrical Warfare Tactic

No water usually means people will have no way of bathing or disposing of their sewage, people will get pretty smelly after about 3 days. If they are cramped into tight spaces it makes them much more likely to crack. If guerrilla’s do any of these forms of disruption, it makes the government look bad because they can’t provide essential services that people pay taxes for.

1. The rebel Chinese village of Wukan, which has driven out the Communist party, has resorted to smuggling in food past a police ring of steel which has cut off its population of more than 20,000.

2. JERUSALEM — Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government.

3. Greeks threatened with power cuts if they fail to pay property tax

4. Israel is planning to demolish ‘illegal’ solar panels that are the only source of electricity for Palestinians in West Bank villages

5. SLEPTSOVSK, Russia, Sept 20 (AFP) – The pump at the Chechen refugee camp here stands forlorn, its handle dangling uselessly. The Russian authorities passed by two hours ago and cut off the water.

6. The Ingush refugees’ camp in Karabulak named “Sozidanie” (Creation) housing over 150 forced migrants from Chechnya was left without electricity supply. The refugees view it as an attempt to evict them.

One of the theoritical antidotes, “A space-based power system. The system maintains proper positioning and alignment of system components without using connecting structures. Power system elements are launched into orbit, and the free-floating power system elements are maintained in proper relative alignment, e.g., position, orientation, and shape, using a control system.”

At a more practical level, wikis exist which provide usable countermeasures to disasters, whether they are man made or natural.

Infrastructure technology Uncategorized Warfare

More On SCADA Attacks: In-the-wild attacks against electrical utilities coupled with extortion demands: implications for response to criminal and terrorist action

Dated 2008

 In the past two years, hackers have in fact successfully penetrated and extorted multiple utility companies that use SCADA systems, says Alan Paller, director of the SANS Institute, an organization that hosts a crisis center for hacked companies. “Hundreds of millions of dollars have been extorted, and possibly more. It’s difficult to know, because they pay to keep it a secret,” Paller says. “This kind of extortion is the biggest untold story of the cybercrime industry.” Link

Intelligence Warfare

3 Snitch Stories & How To Spot Snitches

Brandon Darby:

Brandon wasn’t a master of manipulation, he was volatile and unstable, exactly the kind of guy you would want to plant in an organization to fuck it up.


Anna, aka the friendzoner, who managed to stop pot heads who can’t even pay for their own airfare

Jonathan Pollard:

Defeating US security through stupidity

Snitch Spotting 101:

1. Watch people who use drugs or engage in other illegal behavior, if they get charged with anything the police will use that as leverage against them. If they drink or use drugs in a social environment then they will just as likely spill whatever secrets they have anyway.

2. People with large debts generally shouldn’t be trusted, your opponent can offer to help make those debts disappear for the price of turning.

3. If someone is encouraging you to organize for violent actions, they may not be a snitch. But they are unstable enough to get you caught anyway.

4. Watch for people who go around accusing others of being snitches. Accusing others is usually a way for snitches to cover their own tracks.

5. Look for people who magically show up with the critical skills your organization needs at just the right time. Don’t be afraid of subjecting your best friends and best assets to scrutiny.


Tactical Violence Part 2

Part 1 Is Here
This is fast. A decent fighter can hit you eight to ten times a second. Most street fighters aren’t particularly skilled in the nuances of short power generation- they will only hit about six times a second because they are putting weight and power into it.Do those numbers seem high? If so, it is probably a sparring artifact, where the two contestants maintain a balance between offense and defense, distance and time. In an assault the predator relies (with iincredible reliability) on the speed of the attack freezing the victim. He has probably never heard of the OODA loop, but he uses the dynamics. And it works.  Link
    • Anything you teach must have a tactical use. Reholstering quickly doesn’t have a tactical use.Outside of handcuffing, breaking a turtle (the judo guys know what I mean) not only has no self-defense use but there’s no way to do it without being the bad guy, legally.
    • It must work moving or standing still. If you can’t hit hard when both you and the threat are moving, you can’t hit hard. If you can’t put a bullet on target on a moving target while you, yourself are moving, for all tactical purposes you can’t shoot.
    • It must work whether you can see or not (and this is likely the one I added, because JJ is primarily a shooter and there are lots of shooting skills that rely on sight… but at the same time he insisted that everything except target acquisition be done by touch.)
    • The technique must work when you are scared, under an adrenaline dump. If the technique needs a clear head and pinpoint precision to work, it doesn’t work.
    • Link
Groups have rules.  You can call them mores (pronounced moray, like the eel) if you want to go all anthropological/sociological.  A group without rules isn’t a group. NOT because rules are the bedrock of social control but because rules are the bedrock of identity.  Dietary laws may or may not have had survival value in the past.  The fact that they continue even when they do not is a sign that their primary value is one of identification.
RJ Nash, in “Condition Black” notes that the most common attack (male on female) is for the man to merely display a weapon, make a threat, and put his hand on the victim’s upper arm and lead her away. It sounds so docile, so unlikely. Who would go along with a mere threat? Why wouldn’t she simply…
Teja Van Wicklen, of Devi Protective Offense consistently finds the words to make things real: “It’s not like screaming and bullying. Guys don’t get that. He can hurt her and she knows it, but he says, ‘I know you’re afraid. Don’t worry. Just don’t fight me and I won’t hurt you. I promise.’ And she chooses to believe him even though she knows it’s a lie– an unsolicited promise is always a lie– but she doesn’t see another way.”
Teja makes it personal, makes it real. I teach it dry, academic: Predators want you in your social brain. As long as you are being social, thinking you can control or at least influence the outcome by social skills (talking, bargaining, appeasement, flattery…) the predator knows you are both safe and completely predictable. If you are in your thinking, human brain, you might be smarter than the threat. If you are in your reptilian survival brain, there is no limit to the harm you might do. If your attacker can keep you in your social/monkey brain he knows that he is safe.
When I teach that the first hit after you break out of a freeze is done at half power, it is an observation. No one hits hard in their first strike of their first fight, not when they are surprised. For some unknown reason, it is almost always a tentative, half-power, powder puff. Almost more a signal of intent than a strike. I tell students that and caution them against it.
Teja talks of the consequences: “She tries to fight, but that first hit is half power, like you say, more struggling than fighting and he hits her back, hard. She’s never felt pain like that and she is afraid to try again… and he says, again, ‘Just don’t fight me and I won’t hurt you.’ She has to believe it because it seems like the only chance she has is to believe he is telling the truth.” Link
From Richard Belfield’s book “The Assassination Business”
1. Within our lifetimes all 5 permanent members of the UN security council, the “self appointed guardians of morality”, have all engaged in assassination, often to target democratically elected leaders of other countries, and in every case the orders came from the top.
2. Assassination usually takes two or more people, at least, to provide the logistics to the operation.
3. Assassination is most effective against Hierarchical structures, whereas democratic or open organizations can recover from loses.
4. When you kill a leader, you should make sure he will be replaced by a weaker leader.
5. That evidence that is gathered and recorded will often directly contradict the official press releases about the killing.
6. A patsie is often used to deflect the blame.
7. Movements and ideas cannot be destroyed with assassination alone, instead it often inflames them. The key being how media spreads the news of the death.
8. Bodyguards can be compromised to allow the assassin the chance get in on the target.
9. In the very beginning he quotes a ‘senior NSA Officer: “this world is like three-dimensional chess, made more complex by the certain knowledge that there can be two things which are both true and yet which are mutually exclusive and contradict each other.”
Tax protestors outwitted because they invited supporters into their fortress:

PLAINFIELD, N.H. — Federal officials have cut phone, power and Internet service to the property of a couple who’ve been convicted of tax evasion and have refused to report to jail.

But it’s uncertain whether that hinders things for Ed and Elaine Brown, who have been holed up in their fortress-like home and have solar and wind power generators and reinforced concrete walls. Link

PLAINFIELD, N.H. — U.S. marshals posing as supporters carried out the arrests of tax evaders Ed and Elaine Brown, officials said Friday.

The undercover officers were invited in by the Browns on Thursday evening, and before the couple realized they weren’t supporters, they were already under arrest.

“Ultimately, this open-door policy that they seemed to have, which allowed the Browns to have some supporters bring them supplies, welcome followers and even host a picnic — this proved to be their undoing,” U.S. Marshal Stephen Monier said. “They invited us in. We escorted them out.” Link

 Assorted Notes:
So knives are used as intimidation displays. The only reason to let you see a knife is if the threat intends NOT to use it. This can go bad, but usually only if you are stupid. Challenge the threat’s manhood, try to save face, dare him to use the knife and he just might. This is also the only scenario where a knife defense might look like it does in many classes: a half-hearted knife thrust from well out of range. The regular class stuff might work here, as well… but you have to be stupid to escalate it to here. (Survived this once) Link
6) Destroy. This goes back to flipping the switch and qualitative differences. Very few people just run. That’s what makes the tactic so effective. Even fewer can just explode into violence. Destroying is not the same as fighting. You explode while the threats are expecting you to think, vacillate or agree. You do fast, extreme violence. It is not fighting. You don’t defend yourself in anyway, confidant that your attacks will give them no time to react.
It can work. If it is not a simple mugging over stuff but, say, a group taking a hostage for later filming of a beheading, it is one of the few things (along with running) that has any chance at all. At the minimum, with this level of aggression and mindset, you will force the threats to make a choice: they can run or they can kill you then and there. You allow nothing else to work.
It’s an alien mindset and there are more people who believe they could do it if necessary than actually can. Many, probably, that will think this is just like #5, fighting, only harder and more serious. It is nothing like fighting. It is slaughtering. And if you go there, you will kill or cripple someone… For a camera. Link
As a lesson, the key is the ‘adrenaline loop’ as Deputy Dinkheller begins doing the same thing over and over again when it is clearly not working and will inevitably lead to his death. In the safety of the classroom it is so easy to see what must be done, to look into the future, to make the appropriate and justified decision. And that’s the big lesson here- because even if your forebrain knows what to do the hindbrain might be in charge. The hindbrain may only know two things 1)Death is in the air and 2)What you are doing right now hasn’t killed you yet.Given those two facts, the hindbrain is reluctant to change until perhaps, it is too late. Link
(U//LES) Gang members and criminals nationwide are targeting law enforcement officials, military, government vehicles, and residences in search of weapons, equipment, police badges, body armor, and uniforms. Link


Remember the Monkey Dance, dominance, non-lethal jazz? That all goes out the window when attacked by a group. You’re no longer a part of the contest to see who is the bigger monkey. The contest is between the members of the group and they will be competing on your body.


Taser/Grenade Launcher/Shotgun SWAT Drone

technology Warfare

Drone Crews Suffer From PTSD

Crews sometimes see ground troops take casualties or come under attack. They zoom in on enemy dead to confirm casualties. Psychologically, they’re in the middle of combat. But physically most of them are on another continent, which can lead to a sense of helplessness.

“That lack of control is one of the main features of producing stress,” said Air Force Col. Hernando Ortega, who discussed results of a survey of Predator and Reaper crews at a recent conference in Washington, D.C. They ask themselves, he said: “Could I have done better? Did I make the right choices?”

In the survey, 46% of active-duty drone pilots reported high levels of stress, and 29% reported emotional exhaustion or burnout. The data included Air Force crews who have flown drones over Iraq and Afghanistan, but not crews who fly drones over Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia as part of CIA programs.

Active-duty sensor operators, who operate camera and surveillance gear, reported high-stress rates of 41% and burnout rates of 21%. Mission intelligence coordinators, who are often separated from pilots and sensor operators, reported high-stress rates of 39% and burnout rates of 20%.

By comparison, a recent Families and Work Institute study found that 26% of civilian workers were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work,” and a Yale University study found that 29% of workers felt “quite a bit or extremely stressed at work.”