I recently read a Washington Times Editorial “The Civil War of 2016” written in response to a Small Wars Journal piece titled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future” authored by retired Army Col. Kevin Benson of the Army’s University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and Jennifer Weber, a Civil War expert at the University of Kansas.
In their paper, Benson and Weber, hypothesize a rather interesting scenario, which I found thought-provoking, not from a military science viewpoint, in that it makes reference to Tea Party “radicals” taking control of a South Carolina town with support from the local police and locking up the mayor etc. Here’s the hypothesis.
“ In this paper, we posit a scenario in which a group of political reactionaries take over a strategically positioned town and have the tacit support of not only local law enforcement but also state government officials, right up to the governor. ..
The Scenario (2016)
The Great Recession of the early twenty-first century lasts far longer than anyone anticipated. After a change in control of the White House and Congress in 2012, the governing party cuts off all funding that had been dedicated to boosting the economy or toward relief. The United States economy has flatlined, much like Japan’s in the 1990s, for the better part of a decade. By 2016, the economy shows signs of reawakening, but the middle and lower-middle classes have yet to experience much in the way of job growth or pay raises. Unemployment continues to hover perilously close to double digits, small businesses cannot meet bankers’ terms to borrow money, and taxes on the middle class remain relatively high. A high-profile and vocal minority has directed the public’s fear and frustration at nonwhites and immigrants. After almost ten years of race-baiting and immigrant-bashing by right-wing demagogues, nearly one in five Americans reports being vehemently opposed to immigration, legal or illegal, and even U.S.-born nonwhites have become occasional targets for mobs of angry whites…”
Needless to say, the Benson and Weber paper is so filled with liberal paranoia that it struck a nerve; leading me to wonder if military planners have in fact been directed to formulate a strategy for this contingency.
Comprehensive full spectrum military planning should devote time to the prospect of conducting military operations in defense of the homeland but does that planning extend to fighting American citizens.
The prospects are undeniably eerie. “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A ‘Vision’ of the Future” is an academic treatise. As in all scholarly writing, it is verbose and replete with references and citations but it’s a worthwhile read.
The Washington Times calls the Benson and Weber vision “hard to take seriously;” I found it to have a rather curious undertow. Perhaps it is an insight into what Secretary Napolitano refers to as “Domestic Terrorism.”