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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
The Coming War on China
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Patrick Cockburn
Why Everything You’ve Read About Syria and Iraq Could be Wrong
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Michael Hudson – Steve Keen
Rebel Economists on the Historical Path to a Global Recovery
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Steve Horn
Donald Trump’s Swamp: Meet Ten Potential Energy and Climate Cabinet Picks and the Pickers
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Stephen Kimber
The Media’s Abysmal Coverage of Castro’s Death
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix the ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Barbara Moroncini
Protests and Their Others
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Alex Jensen
The Great Deceleration
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Stephen Martin
From ‘Too Big to Fail’ to ‘Too Big to Lie’: the End Game of Corporatist Globalization.
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
David Yearsley
Haydn Seek With Hsu
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail