Good morning and happy Monday. This morning I want to address something that may be of interest to you…
For the past few months, I’ve outlined in a series of blog posts why I believe we’re already in a domestic conflict. Based on what we’ve seen, there’s zero doubt. We in the United States of America are in a low intensity conflict — it’s here. (Ref: August Update on the Second American Civil War and What will it take to start a domestic conflict?)
There’s ample evidence on the national level, so my focus naturally turned to our home town of Austin, Texas and, more specifically, my own neighborhood. Are there signs of domestic conflict locally?
Look, what happens in Berkeley, or Portland, or D.C., or Chicago, or anywhere else on the national stage is of some importance. But relevance — that’s a game of proximity.
The gang battles in Chicago are important to what’s happening nationally, but they just aren’t relevant to my own security. The showdowns between right wing and left wing groups in Portland and Berkeley are important to what’s happening nationally (and locally for those people), but they just aren’t relevant to my own security.
So, I ask the question for you: if you agree that the United States has entered into a period of domestic conflict, regardless of how violent it is or will become, then what are the signs of domestic conflict that will affect you locally?
Do you have far right or far left groups in your area?
Is there overt right-left political warfare in your area?
Are there signs of economic dislocation based on political ideology (i.e., individuals being fired or losing economic opportunity based on political affiliation)?
Are information operations targeting the populace in your area to garner support for far right or far left causes?
Are there far right or far left teachers indoctrinating students at your local schools?
We have all these things in Austin — this far left city is virtually the Berkeley of the South. But if I were to drive 30 minutes in any direction, I would find a completely different situation: rural Texas is pretty conservative. (As I often opine, the best thing about Austin is that it’s surrounded by Texas.)
But the human terrain in this city is undeniable. The inner city, just like most in America, is very supportive of progressive policies and generally supportive of far left politics. But there are pockets of conservatives here. (I just happen to live in one of those light red splotches in Austin. You can view the entire U.S. map for yourself here.)
And, as far as community security goes, part of being pro-active about my security situation is seeking out those who are like-minded. I want to develop relationships with my neighbors because I want their cooperation in helping to maintain security, whether our concern is routine crime, a natural disaster, or something worse, like a protracted violent conflict.
Our domestic conflict, so far, is not best evidenced by political violence. In fact, relative to other cases of domestic conflicts/civil wars around the world, we’ve seen very little violence at all. And so far, we’ve not seen a lot of organized political violence, which would indicate a coordination of violent action like you’d typically see in a real war.
But we’re seeing an increase in economic and political warfare, information operations/propaganda, and cultural/class warfare, which makes obvious that political violence is not going to disappear from our country.
And my key assumption going forward is that the bulk of political violence — organized or otherwise — is going to occur in high population density areas, followed by areas that are very highly contested in politics.
So our thought exercise for this week is to answer the questions I asked above and arrive at some logical conclusions as to how likely political violence is going to be in your area.
Consider the likelihood of an economic recession in the next two years (which is high, by the way), and determine the role those effects (unemployment and job loss, decreased economic activity, etc.) will play in political violence.
If we can organize our thinking through (roughly) the scientific method (evidence gathering -> hypothesis -> analysis -> conclusion), then we can gain some insight into how and when our areas will be affected by a domestic conflict.
If you expect worsening economic and social conditions in your area, then we can start to identify very specifically what those conditions are going to be. And the better we can identify those characteristics, the better we can prepare for them.
What we’re doing here is reducing uncertainty about the future in our local areas. That’s the utility of intelligence, by the way: trying as best we can to accurately describe how potential conditions will affect us and our security in the future. The more we do now, the more security and safety we can provide for our families going forward.
If this is something that concerns you, I’d encourage you to take a look at Forward Observer’s Intelligence + Training plans.
This month, I’m adding another hour of video lecture and instruction on intelligence and community security. I’ll soon have the entire SHTF Intelligence Course available in 24/7 streaming video format for students.
If you have any questions or thoughts about today’s post, please leave them in a comment below.
(And you can view the entire U.S. election district map for yourself here.)
Always Out Front,
PS. If you’re concerned about where we’re headed as a country, whether on the near-end of the spectrum or the far end of the spectrum (social, political and economic instability; domestic conflict; or collapse of empire), and want to stay informed on what the headlines don’t cover, then I invite you to try us out. Our special operations and intelligence veterans track the day-to-day risk of global and domestic conflict. If you’re not happy within the first two weeks, I’ll refund your monthly or annual subscription cost – no questions asked. You can get access to our intelligence reporting and training area here.