Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mission Creep: Counter-Insurgency in Salinas?

by WILLIAM S. LIND

One of the ongoing themes of this column has been gangs and the role they play in a Fourth Generation world.  Here in the United States they already serve as an alternative primary loyalty (alternative to the state) for many urban young men.  Gangs will likely be a major player in 4GW because gang members are expected to fight.  Those who won’t do not remain gang members.

The November 15 Washington Post had a story about gangs in Salinas, California, that deserves close attention from 4GW theorists.  Salinas is reportedly overrun with Hispanic gangs.  The Post wrote that its homicide rate is three times that of Los Angeles.  It quoted a Salinas police officer, Sgt. Mark Lazzarini, on one of the classic results of state breakdown, chaos:

“Only half of our gangs are structured; the Norteños,” he said.  “The southerners are completely unstructured.  Half of our violence is kids who get into a car and go out and hunt.  These kids don’t know their victims.  How do you stop that?  It’s very chaotic.”

Salinas’s new slogan might be, “Salinas: where even the lettuce has tattoos.”

But what is interesting in the Post’s article is not the gangs themselves.  It is a new response to the gangs. Salinas has brought in the U.S. military to apply counter-insurgency doctrine to a situation on American soil.  The Post reports that:

Since February combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency doctrine, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city…

“It’s a little laboratory,” said retired Col. Hy Rothstein, the former Army career officer in Special Forces who heads the team of 15 faculty members and students (from the Naval Postgraduate School), mostly naval officers…

Rothstein…notes the “significant overlap with how you deal with insurgencies and how you deal with cities that are under siege from gangs.”…

Leonard A. Ferrari, provost of the naval Postgraduate School, embraced the project from the start, hearing…an opportunity for a school “in transition from just a defense institution to a national homeland and even a human security institution.”…

“The idea was, not just Salinas,” Ferrari said, “but is there a national model for this?”

From the perspective of 4GW theory, this is an important development.  The Naval Postgraduate School is a DOD institution, part of the U.S. government.  Its involvement in Salinas marks the federal government’s formal recognition of Fourth Generation war on American soil, and the need for a “national model” to counteract it.  If we must involve the U.S. military to lead counterinsurgency efforts in American cities, then it is difficult to deny that we face something like insurgencies in those same cities.  Again, the significance is that this is now formally admitted by the U.S. government, not merely noted by “outside the beltway” observers of 4GW.

The U.S. military officers advising Salinas on how to wage an anti-gang counterinsurgency are doing so as volunteers, according to the Post, to avoid Constitutional issues.  But the camel’s nose is obviously inside the tent.  Many wars have begun by sending “volunteers.”  If, as likely, the volunteers prove insufficient, regular troops will follow.

As someone who believes in a strictly limited federal government, the government envisioned by our Founders, I find this troubling.  But from a 4GW perspective, I also know it is inevitable.  As I have said time and again, the main Fourth Generation threat we will face will be on our own soil, not halfway around the world, where we are currently pouring our strength out into the sand.  We will come to regret that waste bitterly.

Objectively, what the Washington Post has reported is a milestone, to be neither praised nor regretted but merely noted.  It denotes another step toward 4GW here at home.  It is a step we cannot avoid.  As both imported and domestically-generated Fourth Generation entities ramp up their warfare on American soil, the U.S. military will be drawn in.  As is the case in 4GW overseas, it will probably fail.  Old Uncle Karl was right:  the state will wither away.  But what follows will not be communism.  It will be chaos.

WILLIAM S. LIND, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

 

WILLIAM S. LIND, expressing his own personal opinion, is Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism for the Free Congress Foundation.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]