by Ed Beakley
Essential Elements of Information for a Culture of Preparedness
“At this stage, the drug cartels are using basic infantry weaponry to counter government forces,” a U.S. government official in Mexico said. “Encountering criminals with this kind of weaponry is a horse of a different color,” the official said. “It’s not your typical patrol stop, where someone pulls a gun. This has all the makings of an infantry squad, or guerrilla fighting.”
[From INTERSECTIONS II (Scenarios for Training to the Ace Level) – 4. The ‘Cat 5? Next Door: Drug Cartels’ New Weaponry Means War describing the on-going drug based vilolence in Mexico. ]
In “What Kind of War Is It,” EEI#15, it was offered for consideration four broad types of user/method 4GW operations that include mixes of terrorism, insurgency, small unit tactics, media warfare, and cyber warfare. These methods can be characterized as manifesting themselves as follows:
1) war-within-war to include counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism (Iraq, Afghanistan)
2) expeditionary attacks (Mombai, World TradeCenter/Pentagon)
3) lone wolf attacks (murders at Ft Hood)
4) adaptation of 4GW concepts and methods by criminal elements and gangs (Mexico’s drug war).
As a continuation of “essential elements of information for a culture of preparedness,” and several previous posts under EEI on the impact of current high level government decisions on how we fight in future conflict, the following three articles/links discuss the over-here aspects of continuing war, warfare, violence in the context of fourth generation warfare (4GW). Discussion of counter operations then continues on the INTERSECTION pages: III. Crime and Fourth Generation Warfare- A really bad Intersection.
On War #323 Milestones by Bill Lind
Excerpt: 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. … 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.
Border Zones and Insecurity in the Americas by John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus
Excerpt: Border zones are incubators of criminal instability and violence. Weak state presence and the lucrative drugs trade is combining to challenge state sovereignty in acute ways. Consider Mexico, where the northern frontier with the US and southern border with Guatemala are contested zones. The bloody center of gravity of Mexico’s drug cartels is the ‘plazas’, the drug smuggling corridors that link the borders….While some have fretted that these zones could harbor jihadi terrorists, the real danger lies in the violence produced by bloody competition over these lucrative areas and the spread of criminal reach and power throughout the state and across frontiers.
The ‘Lone Wolf Problem’ poses security challenges for feds - Dallas Morning News
Excerpt: What made the Fort Hood case so hard to prevent, Zarate said, “was that Maj. Hasan allegedly acted alone, in lone wolf fashion, and may have used his medical research to mask his own inner turmoil and attraction to a violent ideology.”… It is impossible for the government to identify and, if necessary, take pre-emptive action on every person who espouses violence – to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“In many ways, the lone wolf insider threat is the most challenging and difficult of problems for the counterterrorism and law enforcement communities,” said Juan Zarate, former deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism for President George W. Bush.
Please continue further: III. Crime and Fourth Generation Warfare- A really bad Intersection.