by Ed Beakley
Here as a third PWH INTERSECTION, we offer thinking on counter operations for 4GW type warfare in a violent crime context from among others Lt. John Sullivan (LASD), Adam Elkus (co-author with John on EEI #9 “operational art for policing“), and Lt Fred Leland at Law Enforcement and Security Consulting. Linked title with exerpts are provided:
Police-Military Action Interaction in Mexico’s Drug War by John P. Sullivan
Mexico is engaged in a complex drug war. This war is actually an interlocking series of networked “narco-“or “criminal insurgencies” waged by criminal syndicates and gangs, popularly known as cartels. This situation challenges state institutions and the rule of law as Mexican drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs) seek to penetrate Mexico’s political institutions to further their lucrative drug black market. The situation has profound human and national security implications throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond. This article looks at the current situation in Mexico. It will briefly examine the cartels and related criminal enterprises (i.e., gangs and enforcer organizations), the nature of their assault on Mexico’s institutions, and the impact on Mexican police and Mexico’s military. Finally, it will suggest potential bi-lateral and multilateral approaches for building police and military capacity to counter the threat.
Iraq’s Lessons on the Home Front - Wahington Post
Famed to readers as the birthplace of John Steinbeck and in supermarket produce circles as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” the city of Salinas carries darker renown in the netherworld of California’s prisons. Instant respect is accorded any inmate tattooed with the words “Salad Bowl” or “Salis” — gang shorthand for a city now defined most of all by ferocious eruptions of violence.
… Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city.
At first glance, counterinsurgency (at least the “soft,” population-centric American version) bears a fair amount of resemblance to community policing: It’s all about changing the dynamic in the communities where insurgents operate, encouraging troops to “walk the beat” and bringing in social services. And many of the tools of the modern counterinsurgent — forensic exploitation, pattern analysis and social-network diagramming — would be familiar to any detective. (The Law Enforcement Professionals program for combating roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan even called on retired agents from the FBI, the DEA, and the ATF to help take down insurgent networks.) And if you look at the geographic reach and organizational sophistication of some gangs — think Mara Salvatrucha or 18 — and it’s tempting to draw comparisons with, say, a Hizbollah or a Hamas.
But to the COINdinistas I would say: Be careful what you wish for. Counterinsurgency is still a tool for dealing with political emergencies, and it involves a heavy degree of population control. And at home, it’s a bridge too far.
“Policing can be informed by counterinsurgency – and they are in fact similar at some points,” said John P. Sullivan, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and an expert on transnational gangs. “But at others they really diverge. So you need to be very, very careful.”
Soft targets have been discussed in law enforcement and security circles, but few have given serious consideration to the idea of terrorists exploiting small malls, schools churches and places where small groups from the community gather. In light of recent news of terrorist cells being uncovered in suburban American, it is critical to recognize that any location that is open and available for people to gather is a potential target of extremism and terrorist acts.
Is he a terrorist? Is he linked to an Islamic extremist group? If he is linked, how could he be a member of the United States Military? How could he be right under our noses and no one know whether he was a terrorist planning an attack on those he knew and worked with? All these questions and more surface in the aftermath of the Foot Hood killings; questions that should be asked as part of our efforts to understand and do everything in our power to prevent future acts of violence from occurring.
Threats are often predicted based on behavioral indicators and whether or not a person shows intent, has the capability and opportunity to carry out a violent act. Two of these factors always exist in the United States due to our free and open society; the factors that are always present are capability and opportunity. A willing person who wants to commit a deliberate act of violence or destruction can easily collect the tools he needs to create that violence and destruction, making him capable of carrying out the act. The good news is such acts of violence and destruction is rare. The bad news is, when they do take place, numerous casualties are often the outcome. Columbine, 9-11, Virginia Tech, workplace violence incidents and most recently Fort Hood, TX are a few examples.
Also highly recommended:
Law Enforcement and Security Consulting (Fred Leland)
This subpage is provided in conjunction with FORUM post EEI#16, On War, On Crime – the Intersection as a continuation of discussion focused on Essential Elements of Information for a Culture of Preparedness.