Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Parapolitical violence notes from all over

Here's a promising trend: domestic counterinsurgency warfare. Salinas, CA, previously best known for being John Steinbeck's hometown, apparently has a ridiculously bad gang problem. Its homicide rate is three times the national average. It's a war zone out there! So they've called upon the experts to deal with it:
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.
Lind basically invented the notion of 4th-generation warfare. He comments further:
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  œnational 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.
It recalls to mind an earlier flamewar I participated in, where I (in quasi-anarchist mode) tried to convince some wingers that there was no fundamental difference between General Petraeus and a Chicago gang leader. This line of argument went nowhere, despite the venue proudly proclaiming its refusal to be sentimental about the uses of political violence.

On a rather different note, Goldman-Sachs honchos are apparently stocking up on firearms in case the proles start to get any ideas (via Taibbi).

Also, Digby explains very slowly to a conservacretin why it might actually be in his self-interest to support the distribution of food stamps.

Are these signs of a more general fraying-at-the-edges of the existing order? Who knows. I don't mean to sound the least bit celebratory of this sort of stuff, but given the certainty that the US will be continuing to contribute to violence and chaos abroad for the foreseeable future, having some at home seems both just and possibly even corrective over the long term.

1 comment:

hoyhoy said...

I didn't realize how crazy some of these backwater cities were getting in California. Once in Modesto, I saw a fight spontaneously erupt in the center of town. I just shrugged it off as local youths sowing their wild oats. Now, I'm not so sure.