Academic study wargames using U.S. troops to quell revolution.
An academic study about the future use of the military as a peacekeeping force within the United States written by a retired Army Colonel depicts a shocking scenario in which the U.S. Army is used to restore order to a town that has been seized by Tea Party “insurrectionists”.
The paper, entitled Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A “Vision” of the Future, was written by Kevin Benson and Jennifer Weber. Retired Colonel Benson, a seminar leader at the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, also served with the 5th Infantry Division, the 1st Armored Division, the 1st Cavalry Division, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps and Third U.S. Army. Weber is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas.
The paper begins by emphasizing how the U.S. Army’s Operating Concept 2016-2028 dictates that the military’s “full spectrum operations” will include “operations within American borders.”
A scenario in which a group of “political reactionaries,” later described as “Tea Party insurrectionists” forcibly take control of a strategic town is then outlined.
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.
In May 2016 an extremist militia motivated by the goals of the “tea party” movement takes over the government of Darlington, South Carolina, occupying City Hall, disbanding the city council, and placing the mayor under house arrest. Activists remove the chief of police and either disarm local police and county sheriff departments or discourage them from interfering. In truth, this is hardly necessary. Many law enforcement officials already are sympathetic to the tea party’s agenda, know many of the people involved, and have made clear they will not challenge the takeover. The militia members are organized and have a relatively well thought-out plan of action.
Citing the Declaration of Independence and the fact that the federal government is not deriving its “just powers from the consent of the governed,” the Tea Party rebels draw support from, “other tea party groups, militias, racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, anti-immigrant associations such as the Minutemen, and other right-wing groups.” The paper goes on to add how Al-Qaeda terrorists also may hijack the crisis outlined in the scenario or join forces with the Tea Party rebels.
The study then depicts how the federal government would respond to the crisis, with the Governor of Darlington contacting the Department of Homeland Security for help and the President eventually invoking the Insurrection Act, allowing for U.S. troops to be used to quell the insurrection.
The study then goes into great detail as to how the Army would set about its “preparation of the battlefield” in taking back the town, primarily through the use of intelligence gathering and informants.
“The pace of the operation needs to be deliberate and controlled. Combat units will conduct overt Show of Force operations to remind the insurrectionists they are now facing professional military forces, with all the training and equipment that implies,” states the paper.
“Representatives of state and local government as well as federalized South Carolina National Guard units will care for residents choosing to flee Darlington. A focus on the humanitarian aspect of the effort will be politically more palatable for the state and local officials. Federal forces continue to tighten the noose as troops seize and secure power and water stations, radio and TV stations, and hospitals. The final phase of the operation, restoring order and returning properly elected officials to their offices, will be the most sensitive.”
The study also focuses on how authorities would use propaganda through the media to “present a picture of the federal response and the inevitable defeat of the insurrection.”
“This fictional scenario leads not to conclusions but points to ponder when considering 21st century full spectrum operations in the continental United States,” write Benson and Weber.
Reaction to the paper has been negative and in some cases vitriolic, with respondents pointing out that not one act of violence has occurred at a single Tea Party rally or event. Indeed, many of the respondents complained that the study seemed more intent on demonizing Tea Party members as right-wing extremists than anything else.
“Interesting choice of descriptors by the authors of this article. The Tea Party has proven to be one of the most peaceful and civilized of any political party in the country, proclaiming only a desire to unify the country around the Constitution and the rule of law. Why did they authors choose an actual, existing party to use in their “Wargames” article? Have they been to a Tea Party meeting? Where most of the members are middle class, middle aged working people? Did they really wish to spit in the face of tens of millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of their fellow citizens? Their neighbors, friends, countrymen?” writes one commenter.
“I just realized, this has really NOTHING to do with logistics in theater. This is a psyops operation. Probe the mentality, push it, see the reaction. Nice one! You get a donut,” opines another.
“This troubles me. I spent a number of years on active duty in the United States Army. I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. I don’t know where Kevin Benson’s loyalties lie, but it isn’t to the US Constitution. He should know better, but it just goes to show that sometimes higher education obliterates common sense. I find this article lacking in facts and based on a lot of contrived nonsense. The tea party has been a peaceful movement about returning back to our constitutional values. Tea partiers don’t defecate on police cars, rape women, beat people with differing views or destroy personal property like some “movements,” adds another.
The study dovetails with a recently leaked U.S. Army manual which reveals plans for the military to carry out “Civil Disturbance Operations” during which troops will be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.
The manual also describes how prisoners will be processed through temporary internment camps under the guidance of U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations, which as we reported earlier this year, outlines how internees would be “re-educated” into developing an “appreciation of U.S. policies” while detained in prison camps inside the United States.
Benson and Weber’s white paper serves as a shocking reminder that it’s not just the federal government or the U.S. military, but also academia, who are all eagerly preparing for a future scenario where the U.S. Army will be used to quell civil unrest and a potential revolutionary uprising within the continental United States.