Yves here. I’m gobsmacked to see Michael Klare take a relatively sunny view of the greatly increased role the US armed forces have already been taking in responding to climate-change-induced disasters. Long term military planners have been writing since at least the early 2000s that climate change would result in destabilizing mass migrations as well as conflicts resulting from more competition for critical resources like potable water.
Yet Klare can’t even consider the possibility that the same factors will be at work here. Notice the disconnect:
With this in mind, a group of officers — active duty as well as retired — endeavored to persuade top officials to make climate change a central focus of strategic planning…because climate change was sure to generate more conflict abroad and more emergencies at home.
It is naive to think that climate change won’t also produce conflict at home. All Klare flags as dangers of the routinization of military operations at home via participation in disaster response is that the US has committed itself to even more misadventures abroad, like poking China in the eye in the South China Sea (which we should have addressed a long time ago if we were so inclined) while having bigger duties in the US:
As a result, decisions will have to be made about ending American conflicts abroad and refocusing domestically or that overstretched military will simply swallow even more of the government’s dollars and gain yet more power in Washington.
This seems awfully understated. The endgame, if climate change is not addressed, is a US with the military effectively in charge as it becomes more difficult to deal with increasing numbers of people who become permanently displaced as a result of climate change.
By Michael T. Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and the author of 14 books including, most recently, The Race for What’s Left. He is currently completing work on a new book, All Hell Breaking Loose, on climate change and American national security. Originally published at TomDispatch
Deployed to the Houston area to assist in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, U.S. military forces hadn’t even completed their assignments when they were hurriedly dispatched to Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to face Irma, the fiercest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. Florida Governor Rick Scott, who had sent members of the state National Guard to devastated Houston, anxiously recalled them while putting in place emergency measures for his own state. A small flotilla of naval vessels, originally sent to waters off Texas, was similarly redirected to the Caribbean, while specialized combat units drawn from as far afield as Colorado, Illinois, and Rhode Island were rushed to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, members of the California National Guard were being mobilized to fight wildfires raging across that state (as across much of the West) during its hottest summer on record.
Think of this as the new face of homeland security: containing the damage to America’s seacoasts, forests, and other vulnerable areas caused by extreme weather events made all the more frequent and destructive thanks to climate change. This is a “war” that won’t have a name — not yet, not in the Trump era, but it will be no less real for that. “The firepower of the federal government” was being trained on Harvey, as William Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), put it in a blunt expression of this warlike approach. But don’t expect any of the military officials involved in such efforts to identify climate change as the source of their new strategic orientation, not while Commander in Chief Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office refusing to acknowledge the reality of global warming or its role in heightening the intensity of major storms; not while he continues to stock his administration, top to bottom, with climate-change deniers.
Until Trump moved into the White House, however, senior military officers in the Pentagon were speaking openly of the threats posed to American security by climate change and how that phenomenon might alter the very nature of their work. Though mum’s the word today, since the early years of this century military officials have regularly focused on and discussed such matters, issuing striking warnings about an impending increase in extreme weather events — hurricanes, incessant rainfalls, protracted heat waves, and droughts — and ways in which that would mean an ever-expanding domestic role for the military in both disaster response and planning for an extreme future.
That future, of course, is now. Like other well-informed people, senior military officials are perfectly aware that it’s difficult to attribute any given storm, Harvey and Irma included, to human-caused climate change with 100% confidence. But they also know that hurricanes draw their fierce energy from the heat of tropical waters, and that global warming is raising the temperatures of those waters. It’s making storms like Harvey and Irma, when they do occur, ever more powerful and destructive. “As greenhouse gas emissions increase, sea levels are rising, average global temperatures increasing, and severe weather patterns are accelerating,” the Department of Defense (DoD) bluntly explained in the Quadrennial Defense Review, a 2014 synopsis of defense policy. This, it added, “may increase the frequency, scale, and complexity of future missions, including defense support to civil authorities” — just the sort of crisis we’ve been witnessing over these last weeks.
As this statement suggests, any increase in climate-related extreme events striking U.S. territory will inevitably lead to a commensurate rise in American military support for civilian agencies, diverting key assets — troops and equipment — from elsewhere. While the Pentagon can certainly devote substantial capabilities to a small number of short-term emergencies, the multiplication and prolongation of such events, now clearly beginning to occur, will require a substantial commitment of forces, which, in time, will mean a major reorientation of U.S. security policy for the climate change era. This may not be something the White House is prepared to do today, but it may soon find itself with little choice, especially since it seems so intent on crippling all civilian governmental efforts related to climate change.
Mobilizing for Harvey and Irma
When it came to emergency operations in Texas and Florida, the media understandably put its spotlight on moving tales of rescue efforts by ordinary folks. As a result, the military’s role in these operations was easy to miss, but it took place on a massive scale. Every branch of the armed services — the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard — deployed significant contingents to the Houston area, in some cases sending along the sort of specialized equipment normally used in major combat operations. The combined response represented an extraordinary commitment of military assets to that desperate, massively flooded region: tens of thousands of National Guard and active-duty troops, thousands of Humvees and other military vehicles, hundreds of helicopters, dozens of cargo planes, and an assortment of naval vessels. And just as operations in Texas began to wind down, the Pentagon commenced a similarly vast mobilization for Hurricane Irma.
The military’s response to Harvey began with front-line troops: the National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard, and units of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), the joint-service force responsible for homeland defense. Texas Governor Greg Abbott mobilized the entire Texas National Guard, about 10,000 strong, and guard contingents were deployed from other states as well. The Texas Guard came equipped with its own complement of helicopters, Humvees, and other all-terrain vehicles; the Coast Guard supplied 46 helicopters and dozens of shallow-water vessels, while USNORTHCOM provided 87 helicopters, four C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft, and 100 high-water vehicles.
Still more aircraft were provided by the Air Force, including seven C-17 cargo planes and, in a highly unusual move, an E-3A Sentry airborne warning and control system, or AWACS. This super-sophisticated aircraft was originally designed to oversee air combat operations in Europe in the event of an all-out war with the Soviet Union. Instead, this particular AWACS conducted air traffic control and surveillance around Houston, gathering data on flooded areas, and providing “situational awareness” to military units involved in the relief operation.
For its part, the Navy deployed two major surface vessels, the USS Kearsarge, an amphibious assault ship, and the USS Oak Hill, a dock landing ship. “These ships,” the Navy reported, “are capable of providing medical support, maritime civil affairs, maritime security, expeditionary logistic support, [and] medium and heavy lift air support.” Accompanying them were several hundred Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, along with their amphibious assault vehicles and a dozen or so helicopters and MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.
When Irma struck, the Pentagon ordered a similar mobilization of troops and equipment. The Kearsarge and the Oak Hill, with their embarked Marines and helicopters, were redirected from Houston to waters off Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. At the same time, the Navy dispatched a much larger flotilla, including the USS Abraham Lincoln (the aircraft carrier on which President George W. Bush had his infamous “mission accomplished” moment), the missile destroyer USS Farragut, the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, and the amphibious transport dock USS New York. Instead of its usual complement of fighter jets, the Abraham Lincoln set sail from its base in Norfolk, Virginia, with heavy-lift helicopters; the Iwo Jima and New York also carried a range of helicopters for relief operations. Another amphibious vessel, the USS Wasp, was already off the Virgin Islands, providing supplies and evacuating those in need of emergency medical care.
This represents the sort of mobilization you would expect for a small war and is characteristic of how, in the past, the U.S. military has responded to major domestic disasters like hurricanes Katrina (2003) and Sandy (2012). Such events were once rarities and so weren’t viewed as major impediments to the carrying out of the military’s “normal” function: fighting the nation’s foreign wars. However, thanks to the way climate change is intensifying the weather, disasters of this magnitude are starting to occur more frequently and on an ever-larger scale. As a result, the previously peripheral mission of disaster relief is threatening to become a primary one for an already overstretched Pentagon and, as top military officials are aware, the future only holds promise of far more of the same. Think of this as the new face of “war,” American-style.
Redefining Homeland Security
Even if no one else in Donald Trump’s Washington is ready or willing to deal with climate change, the U.S. military will be. It’s already long been preparing in its own fashion to take a pivotal role in responding to a world of recurring natural disasters. This, in turn, will mean that in the coming years climate change will increasingly dominate the domestic national security agenda (whether the Trump administration and those that follow like it, or even admit it) and such domestic emergencies will undoubtedly be militarized. In the process, the very concept of “homeland security” is destined to change.
When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established in November 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, its principal missions included preventing further terrorist assaults on the country as well as dealing with drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and other similar issues. Climate change never entered the equation. Even though FEMA and the Coast Guard, major components of the DHS, have found themselves dealing with its increasingly disastrous effects, the department’s focus on immigration and terrorism has only intensified in the Trump era. The president has ensured that this myopic outlook would reign supreme by, among other things, calling for a sharp increase in the number of Border Patrol agents (and greater infusions of funding for border control issues), while working to slash the Coast Guard’s budget.
He has also, of course, ensured that all parts of the government other than the military that might in any way deal with climate change were staffed and run by climate-change deniers. Only at the Department of Defense do senior officials still describe climate change in a more realistic fashion, as an observable reality that will pose new dangers to America’s security and create new operational nightmares.
“Speaking as a soldier,” said former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon Sullivan back in 2007, “we never have 100 percent certainty. If you wait until you have 100 percent certainty, something bad is going to happen on the battlefield.” The same, he continued, was true regarding climate change. “If we keep on with business as usual, we will reach a point where some of the worst effects are inevitable.”
General Gordon’s comments were incorporated into a highly influential report that year on “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change,” released by the CNA Corporation (formerly the Center for Naval Analyses), a federally-funded research center that aids the Navy and Marine Corps. That report focused with particular concern on the risk of an increase in overseas conflicts from the impact of climate change, particularly if prolonged droughts and growing food scarcity inflame existing ethnic and religious schisms in a range of poor countries (mainly in Africa and the Greater Middle East). “The U.S. may be drawn more frequently into these situations, either alone or with allies, to help provide stability before conditions worsen and are exploited by extremists,” the report warned.
The same climate effects that could trigger a more embattled world would also, military analysts came to believe, produce increased risk for the United States itself and so generate a greater need for Pentagon involvement at home. “Extreme weather events and natural disasters, as the U.S. experienced with Hurricane Katrina, may lead to increased missions for a number of U.S. agencies, including state and local governments, the Department of Homeland Security, and our already stretched military,” that CNA report noted a decade ago. In a prescient comment, it also warned that this could lead to clashing strategic priorities. “If the frequency of natural disasters increases with climate change, future military and political leaders may face hard choices about where and when to engage.”
With this in mind, a group of officers — active duty as well as retired — endeavored to persuade top officials to make climate change a central focus of strategic planning. (Their collective efforts can be sampled at the website maintained by the Center for Climate and Security, an advocacy group former officers established to promote awareness of the issue.) These efforts achieved a major breakthrough in 2014, when the Pentagon released a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, a blueprint for Pentagon-wide remedial action in a warming world. Such an effort was needed, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel explained in his foreword, because climate change was sure to generate more conflict abroad and more emergencies at home. “The military could be called upon more often to support civil authorities, and provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the face of more frequent and more intense natural disasters.” As a consequence, the DoD and its component organizations must begin “integrating climate change considerations into our plans, operations, and training.”
For a time, the armed forces embraced Hagel’s instructions, taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions and better prepare for just such a future. The various regional combatant commands like NORTHCOM and the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which covers Latin America and the Caribbean, responded with increased training and other preparations for extreme storm events and for sea-level rise in their areas of responsibility, a change reflected in a 2015 DoD report to Congress, “National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate.”
In the past, such efforts, only beginning, were never allowed to distract the services from their main presumed function: contesting America’s foreign adversaries. Now, as with Harvey and Irma, the military’s domestic responsibilities are on the rise just as the president is assigning them yet more (or more intensified) missions in the never-ending war on terror, including a stepped-up presence in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq and Syria, more intense air campaigns across the Greater Middle East, and a heightened pace of military maneuvers near North Korea. As shown by a series of deadly collisions involving Navy vessels in the Pacific, this higher tempo of operations has already stretched the military to or even beyond its limits in various conflicts it has proven incapable either of winning or ending. The result: overworked crews and overstretched resources. With the massive response to Harvey and Irma, it is being pushed yet further.
In short, as the planet continues to heat up, the armed forces and the nation at large face an existential crisis. On the one hand, President Trump and his generals, including Secretary of Defense Mattis, are once again fully focused on the increased use of military force (and the threat of more of the same) abroad. This includes not only the wars against the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their numerous spin-offs, but also preparations for possible military strikes on North Korea and perhaps even, at some future date, on Chinese installations in the South China Sea.
As global warming intensifies, instability and chaos, including massive flows of refugees, will only grow, undoubtedly inviting yet more military interventions abroad. Meanwhile, climate change will increase chaos and devastation at home and there, too, it seems that Washington will often see the military as America’s sole reliable response mechanism. As a result, decisions will have to be made about ending American conflicts abroad and refocusing domestically or that overstretched military will simply swallow even more of the government’s dollars and gain yet more power in Washington. And yet, whatever else the armed forces might (or might not) be capable of, they are not capable of defeating climate change, which, at its essence, is anything but a military problem. While there are potential solutions to it, those, too, are in no way military.
Despite their reluctance to speak publicly about such environmental matters right now, top officials in the Pentagon are painfully aware of the problem at hand. They know that global warming, as it progresses, will generate new challenges at home and abroad, potentially stretching their capabilities to the breaking point and leaving this country ever more exposed to the ravages of climate change without offering any solutions to the problem. As a result, the generals face a fundamental choice. They can continue to self-censor their sophisticated analysis of climate change and its likely effects, and so remain complicit with the administration’s headlong rush into national catastrophe, or they can speak out forcefully on its threat to homeland security, and the resulting need for a new, largely non-military strategic posture that puts climate action at the top of the nation’s priorities.
so you’ll have a police force that looks like and is armed increasingly like the military and you’ll have the military preforming unarmed civilian emergency tasks. This won’t end well.
Yes if Climate Change is actually to be addressed at all at least within the US borders (like our hosts said, we get what we get) why does it have to be the military that addresses it? What good is an M16 or a tank against Mother Nature? What is it going to shoot at?
Why can’t we have a civilian corps (expand the US Forestry service?) properly equipped for this problem? Oh, that’s right, the military is the only part of the budget where we allow an MMT-type approach.
>The result: overworked crews
I get it. But
>and overstretched resources.
WTF? A trillion dollars a year is sent their way, hookers and blow can only chew up so much. Give me a break. The resources exist.
I think we should have a civilian equivalent called the Climate Corps. Think CCC and WPA with a climate change mitigation mission.
Especially since the military is one of the greatest polluters in the world.
I can’t see this working out well either. The irony is that the U.S. Defense department is the biggest polluter on the planet and now they want to put their hand up to take responsibility for dealing with some of the consequences of global warming? As for using the US military here, well…mostly the wrong equipment, the wrong skill set and the wrong doctrine to deal with this particular mission.
Perhaps it would be better to set up a dedicated organization under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security as it can coordinate responses with not only the military but the Coast Guard and other organizations. The frequency of climate disasters is not going to decrease with time as a guess so a permanent response will have to be organized sooner or later.
NONONONONO to any kind of “other thing” as another flesh-eating part of the Department of Homeland State Security!!! Don’t say even that it would be “the easiest way” because of “existing bureaucracy!”
Absolutely nope. I agree. The best way to put in the final screws of Big Bro would be letting them have that. Instead we will need to take advantage of the chaos to dismantle their powers.
There’s a now slightly dated document generated by the “Defense Science Board,” a nice small set of “credentialed think-tank” types who wag a long tail connected to Smaug the “Defence” Dragon. (We got no iron arrows and brave citizens to slay this one…)
I’ve been noting the document, a 2011 publication titled fairly blandly “Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and International Security,” http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA552760, since I first read through it several years ago. (Here’s what the Defense Science Board says about itself: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/ .)
I read it first for the science, a little dated as noted, but the “world order” vision written into that document ought to make folks more than a little nervous. The US Imperial military has huge ambitions — “full spectrum dominance” everywhere, at all times, on and over the planet, “ex centrum ad astris.”
This document is one large piece of the PERT chart to getting to that point — not just technologically, via the “global interoperable battle space” real-time panopticon and brute force projection and “special ops”, but via insinuation of US military control into the politics and society (particularly via “interoperability” with various nations’ militaries and national police). All these climate disasters become reduced to “threats,” which the warfighters assume will be their turf.
One really “cool” part of the operable text, and an enthusiastically received selling point, is the notion that US (supranational) corporate entities will also be “integrated” deeply into “managing the threat.” Engineering, construction, sales of “US-made heavy earthmoving and construction machinery, even bottled water, industrial-food sales expansion, everything that is bad about the imperial wet dream is planned to be written into a global “mission” for the MIC, the doctrine being “control of everything, enforceable everywhere.”
Of course, this global reach wil be fueled mostly by carbon emissions from the operating machinery (except nuclear-powered carriers and submarines, and the tiny fraction of solar and alt-energy powered war stuff.) Nice.
The authors know how to pick up and warp a useful quote, and they include a definition by Nelson Mandela of “security” that is to my mind unexceptionable — I can’t get Apple to copy it so I can paste, but you can read it at page 67 of the report. But the institutional reach and grasp of the military-security community goes way beyond and beneath that aspirational statement. Domination is not “security” as Mandela defines it.
And if one goes on to read on from page 76 to the end, one get the same frisson of concern that I feel when I go back over this text which is intended to be and is already acting as a road map and raison d’etre ever bigger, for the “security” apparatus which has the open MMT checkbook to draw on (and whatever sidelines in corruption and drug trade and banking and whatever it might also be involved in) to put the “Combined Command” structure at the top of the global organization chart…
So maybe I’m just Chicken Little on stuff like this — cool heads and judicious studiers of the motions of Empire will pooh-pooh such concerns, “it can’t happen here” and all that — stuff that shows the kind of assumption of global power that the military/.”security” planners are working. But hey, folks, do a search on “defense science board climate change threat” and follow some of the links, and maybe there’s some ravaging fire in all the smoke.
Well, to slightly disagree with Yves and above comments, to me the new and necessary alignment of our military priorities to face the real problems of coping with natural disasters rather than trumped up (sorry) adventures abroad is a Good Thing.
The military may have a lot to answer for in the blame game but ultimately we all in this country have contributed with our life styles to global warming, we just have – even us poorer folk.
Not only does the military actually helping folk in need bring a warm glow to my heart – it has to do the same for members of the corps. I really don’t care what they call thmselves; I care what they do. And time was that the National Guard was primarily a national disaster oriented organization.
I agree that this cannot be a subterfuge for continuing to be an aggressive force, but it looks very much as though nature and financial practicalities will prevent that.
Ever been in the military thing, or looked at the modes of thinking and long term operation and the form and nature of the vast military bureaucracy? Or the ambitions of the generals who “live like kings,” and their buddies who run the global military supply chains?
Expecting the Leviathan not to turn and eat you is not a survival-fit idea.
The impact of consumption-related decisions is of trivial significance compared to the impact of production-related decisions, which largely determine the range of consumption options that will be brought to market (and thus made available to consumers) and which are made by that tiny fraction of the population that controls the deployment of capital, driven purely by the logic of profitability (and not at all by the logic of what is needed or useful). The notion that the market “responds” to consumer wishes is a convenient fiction that elides this profound difference in power and responsibility, but it is pure ideology – hardly different from the doctrine of original sin.
We are seeing this now.
The US government’s failure to deal with climate change, or even speak honestly, is corrosive and further weakening legitimacy.
It is unfortunate to declare so many wars: the War on Drugs; the War on Climate Change, etc., because all those wars just mask the remedies. For drugs we need education and health assistance; for climate change, we need education and decrease in CO2 emissions, and so on. It would be better that the military were not called in for all those so-called Wars!
If we actually “won” those wars, that would end the money stream. What fool would do that?
In my more paranoiac and cynical moments I wonder if the climate crisis was created and engineered for maximizing future profits. It is extreme thinking, but I have read enough history to believe in the possibility. Although, I do realize short term thinking and human foolishness can also work.
The US military, as the world’s largest military by far, is probably the greatest single contributor to climate change — both as a consumer of gas and materials, and as a creator of mass fires and environmental mayhem. This weekend I sat on a commercial flight in front of two National Guardsmen, both of whom base out of Klamath Falls, and listened to them argue about who burned up more jet fuel while “training”. Apparently 80% of their jet fuel is burned up just getting airborne. But no worries! There are tankers to refuel them while aloft. We pay for these bozos’ fun. And the world burns.
Rather than fund the agencies we already have like FEMA and even ramp up just the Army’s Corp of Engineers, they want to bring in the whole military.
As the other commentators alluded to, it’s not about dealing with a crisis, it’s about empire building and greed. This will end so well.
Does no one realize the Pentagon is already fully engaged in fighting the war on Climate Change? The fought the Vietnam war with Agent Orange. What do you suppose they are fighting the Climate Change war with? Dispersion of toxic heavy metals – such as aluminum and mercury.
Its another lethal experiment without consent.
Aluminum isn’t a heavy metal and is non-toxic. To kill a person who weighs 150 lbs. using a dosage of aluminum you’d have to find a way to administer 5.28lbs into their body.
Better off turning the Al into a club to beat the 150lbs. person with than using it as a poison.
Caveat: unless it is fine aluminum powder in which case severe lung problems await, but that can be said for inhaling and fine particulate matter.
Depleted uranium IS a toxic heavy metal, a gift that will keep on giving (along with thousand of unexplored munitions) for maybe many generations. Steel-jacketed lead can also interfere with life functions, along with the steel used to make shrapnel-generating munition shells. And just think of all those long-lived REAL weapons of mass destruction, the AK-series and other assault weapons that are being “introduced,” wholesale, into large parts of the world that are most threatened by climate change. How’s that likely to play out, over the long haul?
Yes, that is exactly problem. The metals used in chemtrails are in nanosized particles in aerosol or aromatic form, and therein lies the danger, toxicity through inhalation. Ad Dr Russell Blaylock explains,
” It has been demonstrated in the scientific and medical literature that nanosized particles are infinitely more reactive and induce intense inflammation in a number of tissues. Of special concern is the effect of these nanoparticles on the brain and spinal cord, as a growing list of neurodegenerative diseases,”
“The intranasal route of exposure makes spraying of massive amounts of nanoaluminum into the skies especially hazardous, as it will be inhaled by people of all ages, including babies and small children for many hours. We know that older people have the greatest reaction to this airborne aluminum. ”
“I pray that the pilots who are spraying this dangerous substance fully understand that they are destroying the lives and health of their families as well. This is also true of our political officials. Once the soil, plants, and water sources are heavily contaminated there will be no way to reverse the damage that has been done. Steps need to be taken now to prevent an impending health disaster of enormous proportions if this project is not stopped immediately. Otherwise we will see an explosive increase in neurodegenerative diseases occurring in adults and the elderly in unprecedented rates as well as neurodevelopmental disorders in our children.”
This seems relevant:
“The cities that grow the fastest will be the most challenged, as resources become constrained and illicit networks fill the gap left by overextended and under-capitalized governments. The risk of natural disasters, compounded by geography, climate changes, unregulated growth, and substandard infrastructure intersect to frustrate humanitarian relief. Growth will magnify the increasing separation between rich and poor. […] Stagnation will coexist with unprecedented development, as impoverishment, slums, and shanty towns expand alongside modern highrises, technological advances, and ever-increasing levels of prosperity.”
“Infrastructures will vary radically, with concentrations of high-tech transportation, globally connected air and sea ports, contemporary water, utilities, and waste disposal intermixed with open landfills, overburdened sewers, polluted water, and makeshift power grids. Living habitats will extend from the highrise, to the ground level cottage, to subterranean labyrinths, each defined by its own social code and rule of law.”
“This becomes the nervous system of non-nation-state, unaligned individuals and organizations that live and work in the shadows of national rule.”
“These are the future breeding grounds, incubators, and launching pads for adversaries and hybrid threats. Linked globally, these are manmade labyrinths that provide refuge and movement across the vast sections of these cities where alternate forms of governance have taken control.
The advice of doctrine, from Sun Tzu to current field manuals, has provided two fundamental options: avoid the cities, or establish a cordon to either wait out the adversary, or drain the swamp of non-combatants, and engage the remaining adversaries in high-intensity combat within.”
Echoes Mark Bylth’s statement about how the working class are now something to be policed. Only our ‘elites’ are planning for a future in which everyone who isn’t in the at least the top 5% has to be patrolled and contained.