Are We Approaching A Domestic Conflict? – Forward Observer

Are We Approaching A Domestic Conflict?

A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.”   Robert E. Lee, 23 January 1861

Robert E. Lee, still a Union Army officer in January of 1861, penned these words in a letter to his son just three months before resigning his commission and joining in the defense of the State of Virginia.

Over the course of five Aprils that followed, the nation threw itself into a catastrophic war that in many ways still affects us today. Some 620,000 soldiers died, and that’s not counting the civilians who lost their lives and livelihoods as collateral damage during the war.  Past the statues, flags, heritage, and myths that surround the Confederacy, the United States — which appear to be quite disunited — struggle with the proper role of the federal government, appropriate limits on federal power, and fundamental civil rights issues some 226 years after the Bill of Rights was ratified by the Congress. It’s been over 150 years since the War of Northern Aggression and we remain as entrenched in our beliefs as ever.

Some argue that we’re now reaching another 1860 moment in American history. Op-eds in national media outlets lend credence to the idea, even as they fan the flames of racial and ideological division, emanating from centuries-old national wounds and exploited to the risk of increased violence.  Identity politics pushes us closer to a collection of competing tribal groups, which is often a characteristic of domestic conflicts.

A few weeks ago I was shooting the breeze with a group of veterans about whether or not a civil war would start in 2018 or beyond, and what it might look like.  And that’s how this blog was born.  Welcome to the very first post as we put our thoughts into words and chronicle the development and likelihood of a domestic conflict in the United States.

I’ll quickly give you my take:  we’re already in a “domestic conflict,” albeit a low grade one on the grand scale of things. It’s difficult for me to see the widening ideological gap, the increasing inequality, and the sporadic political violence and not arrive at or near the conclusion that we’re already here.  What we’re seeing is called a low intensity conflict.

FM 100-20, Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict (1990, which I believe is no longer valid), provides us an official definition of the term:

Low intensity conflict is a political-military confrontation between… groups below conventional war and above the routine, peaceful competition… It frequently involves protracted struggles of competing principles and ideologies. Low intensity conflict ranges from subversion to the use of armed force. It is waged by a combination of means, employing political, economic, informational, and military instruments. Low intensity conflicts are often localized, generally in the Third World, but contain regional and global security implications.

In other words, low intensity conflict is marked by politicized tribes and social bases who wage irregular, small-scale wars.

What I’m specifically looking for in this conflict is a development of organized political violence; graduating from sporadic, opportunistic attacks into coordinated insurgent action.  I don’t know how soon we’ll see that, or if we even will.  For me, that’s the Rubicon that differentiates politically-related violence and a small war.

And it just so happens that the men who write for this blog are not just scholars of war, but also veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other “small wars” — places where we, for right or wrong, grew intimately familiar with insurgent warfare in low intensity conflicts.

Composed of former intelligence and special operations soldiers, our goal is not to be overtly political, but to describe what’s happening in this country and to peel back the hype and misinformation/disinformation out there.  So I hope that you’ll join us as we examine, analyze, and explain this burgeoning conflict that we see unfolding in the United States.

Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper

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. 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.



photo via Montecruz Foto

Mike Shelby is a former Intelligence NCO and contractor. He's now the CEO of Forward Observer.


  1. Yes… I feel it too. Having been born right after WWII to parents who both participated in the war effort, and growing up through the 50s and 60s, joined the USMC during Vietnam… well, I’ve seen things. And I’ve watched things, the news, the undercurrents, and like many people today I have never seen the country this divided since the 60s. I’m reading “The Fourth Turning” right now, and see that we are (according to the authors) in an age of crisis. How that will play out has yet to be determined, but if I were offering advice, I would say get your spiritual house in order, stock up on things that will become scarce quickly in a conflict, keep your powder dry, prepare for the worst, and pray for the best.

  2. Civil War has always been in the George Soros Strategic Plan for taking down this country. Rioting, burning, looting in major cities across the nation evolves into Martial Law. In the blink of an eye, gone is the Constitution, Civil Right, Courts, Congress and FEMA runs the country with military as their enforcer. Of course, they would need a Soros Democrat President to do their dirty work. When long shot Donald Trump was elected, that threw a monkey wrench into their plan. We must stand behind the President and assure he is not removed from office. If the President falls, the country is likely to fall with him.

  3. The United States has not been this divided since 1860. The political parties are both corrupt and thus have corrupted the government. The rank and file of each party are seeing the other as the enemy of America. The democrats sees Trump and his supporters as trying to stop their march for socialism/communism. Which obama had pushed us to the edge of the cliff into socialism/communism. H. Clinton was suppose to win and make the final push over the cliff and into civil war. The republicans, pretending to want to return the country to its Constitutional roots, actually agree with the democrats. But they want to move at a slower pace, so the people won’t notice, until its too late to stop it. The American people, the ones who actually want to remain a Constitutional Republic, see both parties for what they really are. The election of President Trump in 2016, was the American people saying we’ve had enough. Both parties and the deep state, the bureaucrats that actually control the government, hate Trump and the American people. They think we are too stupid to realize what’s happening. While that is partially true, there are some people that as long as they have their sports, music, drugs and devices, have no idea as to what is happening in the country. This group includes both young and old of both parties.

    All the while the deep state attempted a coup against the current president and no one seems to care. Clintons, obama, and a host of others of both parties are corrupt and thus have corrupted the government. When the democrats are exposed for their corruption, nothing happens to them. But republicans, who are suppose to be moral, are forced to resign at the whiff or hint of scandal.

    With the corruption in the government and at the top levels of the democrat party, to include the corruption of the FBI and DOJ, Americans are seeing a two tier justice system. If you are rich, powerful and corrupt, nothing will happen to you, especially if you are democrat. And anyone else committing the same crimes are raided in the middle of the night with the full force of the corrupt FBI and have the book thrown at them. American people see this and are slowly coming to the sense that the America we grew up in doesn’t exist anymore. And a deep anger is growing within the breast of these patriots.

    Race relations, prior to obama, was being resolved and the people were coming together as a people. Then came obama and starting pitting the races against each other, rich against poor, rural against urban, until we are on the verge of civil war. Only the majority of the people are so oblivious as to what is happening.

    As they say there are 3 types of people: Those that make things happen. Those that watch what happens and those who wonder what happened. Some of the people are waking up.

    During the American Revolutionary War, the country was divided into three groups: the Rebels, the Tories and those who didn’t take either side or just wanted to be left alone. In war no side is left untouched. The war effects everyone, the good, the bad and the ugly.

  4. And this was all BEFORE the current covid-psyop’ and racial tension, staged scenarios.

    ‘It can’t happen here’ is always said, but who would have thought Amerikans would allow themselves to be such cuckholds to illegal and tyrannical orders based on an easily exposed flu-hoax?

    As Jeff Berwick of the dollarvigilante said;

    ”This started as a flu and evolved into an IQ test, because if you haven’t figured it out by now, well…….”

    No wonder Kill Bill Gates invested so heavily in estrogen-loaded ‘Beyond Meat’ types of products, then helped facilitate the waste and slaughter of so much meat (as well as produce) to drive people to eat his feminizing soiboi products, under 2 false flags; Covfefe (as a friend calls it due to censorship now running rampant), and ‘Global Warming’ – during a Grand Solar Minimum. Go figure.

    My 250# heavyweight boxer buddy ASSURED ME – and of my ‘conspiracy theories’, that NO ONE would accept a second lockdown, but that’s exactly what I said would happen (to ridicule) and is exactly what is happening – although he won’t admit such to me, again, being right.

    There appears to be no end to what Betamerican males will put up with. I went over to an ex-SEAL buddy’s house, and he put out an elbow to shake hands?

    We’re so done.

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