[CONTINUING our discussions of “What If?” when it comes to drastic solutions to the current American experience Kurt Schlichter is on point this morning.]
“Won’t look like rain. Won’t look like snow.
Won’t look like fog. That’s all we know.
— Bartholomew and the Oobleck
Let’s talk terrain and numbers. Remember the famous red v. blue voting map? There is a lot of red, and in the interior the few blue splotches are all cities like Las Vegas or Denver. That is a lot of territory for a counter-insurgent force to control, and this is critical. The red is where the food is grown, the oil pumped, and through which everything is transported. And that red space is filled with millions of American citizens with small arms, a fairly large percentage of whom have military training.
Remember what two untrained idiots did in Boston with a couple of pistols? They shut a city down. Now multiply that by several million, with better weapons and training.
Let’s look at the counter-insurgent forces in the Democrat oppression scenario should they attempt to misuse our law enforcement and military in an unconstitutional manner to take the rights of American citizens. There are a lot of civilian law enforcement officers, but the vast majority of the agencies are local – sheriffs, small town police departments. They will not be reliable allies in supporting unlawful oppression of their friends and neighbors. The major cities’ police departments are run by Democrat appointees, so the commands would be loyal. But the rank-and-file? A small percentage would be ideologically loyal. More would be loyal because that’s their paycheck – they could be swayed or intimidated to support the rebels. Others would be actively sympathetic to the insurgents. This is true of federal law enforcement agencies as well.
And the military? Well, wouldn’t the military just crush any resistance? Not so fast. The military would have the combat power to win any major engagement, but insurgents don’t get into major engagements with forces that have more combat power. They instead leverage their decentralized ability to strike at the counter-insurgents’ weak points to eliminate the government’s firepower advantage. In other words, hit and run, and no stand-up fights.
For example, how do a bunch of hunters in Wisconsin defeat a company of M1A2 Abrams tanks? They ambush the fuel and ammo trucks. Oh, and they wait until the gunner pops the hatch to take a leak and put a .30-06 round in his back from 300 meters. Then they disappear. What do the tanks do then? Go level the nearest town? Great. Now they just moved the needle in favor of the insurgents among the population. Pretty soon, they can’t be outside of their armored vehicles in public. Their forces are spending 90% of their efforts not on actual counter-insurgency operations but on force protection. Sure, they own their forward operating bases, and they own a few hundred meters around them wherever they happen to be standing at the moment, but the rest of the territory is bright red. As my recent novel illustrates, American guerillas with small arms are a deadly threat to the forces of a dictatorship.
But the military is so big it would overwhelm any rebels, right? Well, how big do you think the military is? And, more importantly, how many actual boots on the ground can it deploy? Let’s put it in terms of brigade combat teams, which total about 4,500 troops each. There are about 60 brigades in the Army, active and reserve, here and abroad, and let’s give the Marines another 10 brigades, for about 70 brigades. Sounds impressive. But that’s deceptive.
Let’s put aside a big consideration – the existence of red states that would provide for an insurgent government structure and possibly attract the loyalty of some National Guard and even federal brigades. For example, if President Hillary Clinton put down her chardonnay long enough to sign a ban on privately owned guns, it’s not unreasonable to expect the governor of Texas to reject federal authority – after all, California just taught us that this is totally cool. But in this case, look for several brigades located there to hoist the Lone Star flag.
So, now the blue states are facing unconventional and conventional forces.
Let’s ignore that problem and focus on a different challenge. Even a normal unit has about 10% non-deployable members. Now, if these troops were assigned to combat operations against other Americans, you would have significant additional losses through desertion. Many of the senior leaders would participate – the Obama generation – and there is a certain type of junior officer only too happy to curry favor by sucking up in defiance of their oath (which is to the Constitution, not to some leftist president). You can identify them because they usually have “strategist” in their Twitter bios. But a lot of key, capable officer and NCO leaders, and enlisted troops, would vanish. That is proper. It is a violation of their oath to unconstitutionally oppress fellow Americans; their duty would be to refuse such unlawful orders.
So, you have significantly understrength units going in. Now, how many of the troops in a brigade are actually even front line combat troops? About a third – the rest are support. So a brigade is really about 1500 riflemen tops before you count losses. Cut those in half for sleep, training, and refitting at any one time (which is very generous) and your brigade is really 750 troops on your best day with everyone showing up. Realistically, it’s 300.
That holds one mid-sized town. And there are hundreds of mid-sized towns. Plus there are millions of Normal Americans who would fight back. Nothing would move without their permission – a few guys shooting up big rigs along the interstate would shut down the entire trucking industry. Bottom line: there simply are not enough military forces to clear and hold red America.
What about drones and bombers? Both are useful. But the minute a bombing strike kills some red civilians the families of counter-insurgent drone operators and pilots will be knocking at the base gates to be let inside. Now you’ll need many of those brigades to protect the civilians you now need to protect from retribution.
Civil wars are harsh. That’s why you avoid them.
How about the blue insurgency scenario? That goes even worse for the Democrats. You have the federal government apparatus in the hands of red America, and the insurgents are the opposite of decentralized and armed. They are conveniently centered in gun-unfriendly blue cities. In other words, the blue civilian population is much less of a threat.
A red counter-insurgency avoids the problem of a decentralized insurgency and insecure logistical lines. In the case of California, whose secessionist antics are approaching the point where President Trump could legitimately employ his power to crush insurrections, the tactical problem is relatively simple. For example, San Francisco is a hotbed of treason, but the populace is largely unarmed and is trapped in a confined area. You put a brigade on securing the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, then put a brigade on the San Francisco Peninsula to cut off the I-280 and US-101 corridors. Next you go to the Crystal Springs Dam and cut off the water. Then you watch and wait as the tech hipsters run out of artisanal sushi rice and kombucha.
After about a week, they surrender. After all, you can’t eat and drink smugness. LA is just bigger in scope – more corridors to cut off, but in the end the population concentrations in large liberal urban areas that are their strength also make them extremely vulnerable to logistical pressure.
Then there’s another factor, an intangible but a crucial one. It’s commitment. The Democrat threat to peace is based on its policies designed to deprive Normal Americans of their right to speak freely, to worship freely, and to defend themselves and their rights with firearms. Make no mistake – millions of Normal Americans are willing to risk death to defend those rights. In fact, many swore to do so when they entered our military and law enforcement. But who is the leftist big talker willing to die to impose the fascist dream of censorship, religious oppression, and disarmament on Normal American citizens? Is the screeching SJW at Yale going to suit up in Kevlar? Is the Vox columnist going to grab a M4? Is the Hollywood poser going to switch her gyno-beanie for a helmet?
No. Hell, we just heard our liberal opponents explaining why a cop shouldn’t be expected to go fight a scumbag murdering kids because it’s scary. America might split apart, but it’s highly unlikely Team Kale n’ Vinyl would fight should their big talk finally push Normal America too far.
FOR THE FULL DOSE GO TO: Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War, Too – Kurt Schlichter