By John Whitehead
The U.S. military plans to take over America by 2030.
Above Screen grab from Pentagon video
(image by Pentagon) License
According to “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. military plans to use armed forces to solve future domestic political and social problems.
What they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.
The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints an ominous picture of the future–a future the military is preparing for–bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.
And then comes the kicker.
Three-and-a-half minutes into the Pentagon’s dystopian visionof “a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers,” the ominous voice of the narrator speaks of a need to “drain the swamps.”
However, while Donald Trump promised to drain the politically corrupt swamps of Washington DC of lobbyists and special-interest groups, the U.S. military is plotting to drain the swamps of futuristic urban American cities of “noncombatants and engage the remaining adversaries in high intensity conflict within.”
And who are these noncombatants, a military term that refers to civilians who are not engaged in fighting?
They are, according to the Pentagon, “adversaries.”
They are “threats.”
They are the “enemy.”
They are people who don’t support the government, people who live in fast-growing urban communities, people who may be less well-off economically than the government and corporate elite, people who engage in protests, people who are unemployed, people who engage in crime (in keeping with the government’s fast-growing, overly broad definition of what constitutes a crime).
In other words, in the eyes of the U.S. military, noncombatants are American citizens a.k.a. domestic extremists a.k.a. enemy combatants who must be identified, targeted, detained, contained and, if necessary, eliminated.
Suddenly it all begins to make sense.
The events of recent years: the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active-shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers.
This is how you prepare a populace to accept a police state willingly, even gratefully.
You don’t scare them by making dramatic changes. Rather, you acclimate them slowly to their prison walls. Persuade the citizenry that their prison walls are merely intended to keep them safe and danger out.
Desensitize them to violence, acclimate them to a military presence in their communities and persuade them that there is nothing they can do to alter the seemingly hopeless trajectory of the nation.
Before long, no one will even notice the floundering economy, the blowback arising from military occupations abroad, the police shootings, the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and all of the other mounting concerns.
It’s happening already. Their tactics are working.
Still, you can’t say we weren’t warned.
Back in 2008, an Army War College report warned that the military should be prepared for “widespread civil violence inside the United States [that] would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”
In 2009, reports by the Department of Homeland Security surfaced that labelled right-wing and left-wing activists and military veterans as extremists (a.k.a. terrorists) and called on the government to subject such targeted individuals to full-fledged pre-crime surveillance. Almost a decade later, after spending billions to fight terrorism, the DHS concluded that the greater threat is not ISIS but domestic right-wing extremism.
Meanwhile, the government has been amassing an arsenal of military weapons for use domestically and equipping and training their “troops” for war. Even government agencies with largely administrative functions have been acquiring body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition.
Rounding out this profit-driven campaign to turn American citizens into enemy combatants (and America into a battlefield) is a technology sector that has been colluding with the government to create a Big Brother that is all-seeing, all-knowing and inescapable. It’s not just the drones, fusion centers, license-plate readers, stingray devices and the NSA that you have to worry about. You’re also being tracked by the black boxes in your cars, your cell phone, smart devices in your home, grocery loyalty cards, social-media accounts, credit cards, streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and e-book-reader accounts.
All of this has taken place right under our noses, funded with our taxpayer dollars and carried out in broad daylight without so much as a general outcry from the citizenry.
So what exactly is the government preparing for? You tell me.
Better yet, take a look at the Pentagon’s training video.
It’s only five minutes long, but it says a lot about the government’s mindset, the way its views the citizenry, and the so-called “problems” that the military must be prepared to address in the near future. Even more troubling, however, is what this military video doesn’t say about the Constitution, about the rights of the citizenry, and about the dangers of using the military to address political and social problems.
The future is here.
We’re already witnessing a breakdown of society on virtually every front.
By waging endless wars abroad, by bringing the instruments of war home, by transforming police into extensions of the military, by turning a free society into a suspect society, by treating American citizens like enemy combatants, by discouraging and criminalizing a free exchange of ideas, by making violence its calling card through SWAT-team raids and militarized police, by fomenting division and strife among the citizenry, by acclimating the citizenry to the sights and sounds of war, and by generally making peaceful revolution all but impossible, the government has engineered an environment in which domestic violence has become almost inevitable.
Be warned: in the future envisioned by the military, we will not be viewed as Republicans or Democrats. Rather, “we the people” will be enemies of the state.
As I make clear in my book, Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re already enemies of the state.
For years, the government has been warning against the dangers of domestic terrorism, erecting surveillance systems to monitor its own citizens, creating classification systems to label any viewpoints that challenge the status quo as extremist, and training law-enforcement agencies to equate anyone possessing anti-government views as a domestic terrorist. What the government failed to explain was that the domestic terrorists would be of the government’s own making, whether intentional or not.
“We the people” have become enemy #1. (In a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy this is inevitable.—Eds.)
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