It was a boring day at the office thanks to the crappy economy which is provided to us by out-of-control government spending, unpayable deficits and endless wars in foreign countries not to mention to banking cartels diddling the markets so, I thought I might scribble a few lines, pondering for a moment, the implementation of ‘martial law’ were it imposed on an unhappy American State or States. Most rational, thinking people in this country would find any attempt to use our military to curtail Rights of Americans through the implementation of martial law as wholly foolhardy and with good reason. The internet is awash with claims that such a move is right around the corner resulting in much hand wringing. Perhaps it’s just a bit of paranoia on the part of Americans seeing those Homeland Security nitwits buying up billions of rounds of ammunition and tens of thousands of battle rifles or maybe those folks in DC really are thinking about it, believing that there would be nothing that regular folks could do to stop it were ‘their troops’ to hit the streets. Perhaps there really is a mindset that, as the evil Borg in Star Trek said “Resistance is futile.” Indeed, if Washington orders troops into our streets (for whatever goofy purpose), they and a good many folks might assume that nothing could possibly stand in their way. Who knows.
While I must admit to having never passed a math course in my life, let’s ponder martial law by crunching some numbers, shall we?
A significant problem for the martial law crowd is shear numbers. A great deal of our military is operating outside CONUS (the ‘continental United States’) running around in various sandboxes and sitting in one of the many bases within 150 countries spread across the planet. There are approximately 1.4 million “active” personel in our military (Army, Marines, Navy & Air Force) of which about a million are sitting within the United States waiting for their chance to (again) get sand in their boots. A “million” troops sounds like allot until you understand the ratio of ‘trigger pullers’ (combat riflemen) to support personel (called “tooth to tail”) which is about four to one in the Army & Marine Corps. Since the Navy and Air Force would be of little value in a martial law scenarion, for the purpose of argument I’m going to lump their trigger pullers into that “million” in my calculations to help the government’s numbers. One should note, however, that a million is damned optimistic when you deduct those two branches from the equation. That said, the martial law crowd, using the “tooth to tail” ration can actually only throw around 200 thousand troops into the fray, the goal of which would, presumably be, scaring the crap out of the public into relinquishing their Rights or doing as DC says.
Here’s where the illusion of omnipotence of our military starts to head into the toilet for DC. The current US population is roughly over 300 million of which some 120 million are fit for service or, if push comes to shove, potential resistance. Add to that some 4 million reaching service age (18) every year, which doesn’t take into account those 21.2 million between 16-19 years of age, who are certainly old enough to use a rifle, which equates to 140 million folks of sufficient maturity to pose a problem for the 200 thousand military personel tasked with keeping them ‘in-line’. Is the 140 million a real threat to the authorities? Likely not. However, were we to consider that in our nation’s fight for independence it’s said a mere 3% took part in the fray and apply that to the figure above it translates to 200 thousand troops expected to overawe 4.2 million pissed off Americans who would likely actually get off their ass or put down their Budweiser long enough to take a shot at some government representative coming to a neighborhood near them. As any military commander will tell you, wars of attrition favor those with more people to throw at the cause.
Based on the configuration of forces that might be arrayed – 200 thousand to 4.2 million – the math certainly doesn’t favor DC or the military even if the 4.2 were limited to sticks and stones but every American knows that’s not the case. The fact is 100 million civilians own, at least, one weapon so (again) based on the 3% rule articulated above, 3 million of the aforementioned 4.2 million are going to be armed which means, any forces sent against the People are going to have their hands full when deployed to American streets. Based upon ‘attrition’, even being math challenged, these forces will be wholly screwed if not eviscerated in short order.
Then, there’s the fact that as good as our military is, the first question I might consider is just how many of the active military personel may not look fondly on imposing DC’s will on their fellow countrymen when ordered to? How many of those down home boys are going to obey orders that entail shooting their fellow Citizens and that’s before they give five minutes of thought to their Oath when they joined the armed forces wherein they swore “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same” which sort-of precludes them from blindly carrying out orders from some Führer wannabe in DC saying “do as your ordered” and that our Constitution doesn’t apply under these circumstances? (The same lying yahoos, I might point out, that ‘promise’ our veterans benefits yet allow thousands of our ex-soldiers to die while the bureaucracy keeps their benefits.) Consider, for instance, the Marine Corps credo is “Semper Fidelis” meaning ‘Always Faithful’. Just what do you suppose they’re “always faithful” to? Ask one. Is it the leadership in DC, Congress or the Pentagon or might it be that they honestly believe they’re expected to be and will “always (be) faithful” to America and her People? How many Marines will suddenly switch loyalties from the American People and their Constitution to a temporary regime in DC who’s decided the People are a threat to the ruling class? Our Special Forces motto is “De oppresso liber” meaning ‘to free the oppressed’. How many of our elite, special operations folks who’s forte is unconventional warfare, training insurgency tactics, reconnaissance, foreign internal defense and direct action – in other words, to train and lead unconventional warfare (UW) forces, or a clandestine guerrilla forces in an occupied nation – will ‘suddenly’ perceive their job as not “to free the oppressed” but to, indeed, lead the oppression of their own people on American soil?
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, 90% decide to “just follow orders” which I find incredulous but let’s use the number for giggles. That leaves the effective force to be thrown at Americans as being only 180 thousand shooters not to mention the 80 thousand LESS folks carrying out support duties such as supply/logistics, intelligence, transport, security, communication and command. What does a loss of ten percent efficiency in supporting the trigger pullers do to their combat effectiveness I wonder?
Another factor to consider is the fact that operations within the United States against Americans means that members of the military deciding to take part in subduing and subjugating their neighbors are NOT going to work every day (as they did during a foreign deployment) knowing their families and loved ones are at home, safe, eating a McDonalds Happy Meal, while they do their jobs. Rather, their families, loved ones, wives, husbands and children are present within the AO (area of operations) and thus, quite exposed to reprisals by the very people they are tasked to carry out acts of aggression against. It will only take a few dead, overrun families or civilian bodies in the street to insure that those opposing military rule conclude there are no “innocent civilians” ie: that dependents of military personel are fair game with no bag limit. That fact might just cause a bit of a moral problem as well as unease when they make their decision to carry out orders to subdue an angry population. Quite simply, “war” will come home to their families and no longer be an abstract.
The DC administration and Command structure would, no doubt, try to accommodate the families of active personel by moving them within the confines of their bases where security might be insured but this would entail HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of additional people (dependents) that the bases couldn’t protect or support with either housing and/or food therefore every reprisal carried out against immediate or even extended family members would result in more and more military personel either walking away from their posts (to protect their families) or actually going over to the other side.
Then there’s the issue of these base’s locations. They are simply NOT defensible being, presumably, within the AO and reliant upon the good graces of those surrounding them (the subjects of martial law) to supply food, water, fuel and electricity. Take Fort Bragg for instance, on 251 square miles of real estate with 39 thousand plus people having 4 thousand plus households of which 89% are married couples, 85% of which contain children under 18 years of age. Were it to try to exist within a hostile environment, surrounded by insurgents from Cumberland, Hoke, Harnett and Moore Counties in North Carolina, the ‘fort’ would be foraging for food and necessities within three weeks, were the civilian population to see them as a threat to their ‘liberty’ and freedom and withdraw their support of the perceived ‘oppressors’.
Then there’s logistics. In the environment of martial law, when the military, DHS and local police are running around raiding homes, stomping civil Rights, kicking our Constitution under a bus and, presumably killing/jailing a bunch Americans under the NDAA or Patriot Act, does anyone suppose that government offices and bases are going to get their vending machines refilled? Who supplies the food, fuel, bullets, weapons, electricity and water to these facilities? The occupation of various sandboxes around the world is only possible because these necessities are flown in to them from the States. I highly doubt they could purchase their needed supplies mentioned above from the Afghans when they’re killing Afghans. Do you? Thus, once the People realize the military is aiding a repressive regime in DC, resupply of these forces becomes VERY problematic. Especially since anyone who can fog a mirror can fire a pistol/rifle into a few power transformers on any number of telephone poles and take out power to whatever infrastructure is providing support to their oppressors.
Further, so as not to have to ‘embrace the suck’ the military is going to have to tread very lightly on the People of the good old USA while the would-be rulers in DC insist on maximum ‘effect’. This means that much of the cool technology that gives the US the edge when dealing with OPCs or ‘other People’s countries’ such as smart bombs (hell, even dumb bombs), artillery and or just good, old fashion, wholesale slaughter is going to be off the table because when one goes into some town like Dodge City, Kansas and initiates collateral damage (to non-combatants) or dropping clusterbombs in the town square, one is going to HIGHLY MOTIVATE large blocks of the civilian population to go over to the resistance such that Kansas would eat the oppressors for breakfast. Kiss goodbye to ‘getting out of Dodge’, expect to learn a new meaning for calling Kansas “The Cyclone State” and likely a good number of government representatives will find themselves dangling from a Kansas Cottonwood tree while listening to the reprise of the State’s theme song “Home on the Range”. Indeed, a heavy hand will very quickly lead to a form of Déjà vu as twenty first century Quantrill’s Raiders take to the plains of Kansas to, once again, make a certain point.
So, how might the statists be liking that martial law gig faced with just the few issues I’ve brought up? My guess is that, even in a pint sized State such as New Hampshire, they would have one hell of a time trying to gain control let alone maintain order. The feds would find new meaning to the quote (wrongly) attributed to Admiral Yamamoto, when speaking of a potential invasion of the United States by Imperial Japan, that there would be “a rifle behind every blade of grass”. Here in New Hampshire the locals know every backroad and more than 56,000 people aged 16 and and up hunt, which means they’re skilled with a weapon and taking prey from a distance. Fifty six THOUSAND potential snipers!
There are a mere 2 cops for every one thousand Citizens here thus, with a population of 1.3 million thereabouts, there are roughly 1,323 law enforcement folks in the State. Indeed, statewide, police departments have a vacancy rate of 12 to 13 percent and the most recent Police Academy class couldn’t even muster a full roster yet, these folks will be expected to help with any federal martial law gig DC would try to implement here. I’m not a strategic genius but I highly doubt many local cops would join such a party even if ordered to because, not to put too fine a point on it, we know where they live and our kids go to school with their kids. As alluded to above, oppression = those opposing the implementation of martial law would conclude there are no “innocent civilians” ie: dependents of oppressors are fair game with no bag limit.
Ooooh, but they have tanks (MRAPS/BearCats) you say. Civilians can’t prevail against armor! Nonsense. Armor, such that it is in New Hampshire, is used as intimidation or a show of force to convince the uninitiated that they can/will dominate any encounter with civilians. SWAT uses them to ‘approach’ a raid or barricaded suspect affording protection to the ten to twelve people on the team. Once stationary, the ‘vehicle’ is essentially a ‘pillbox’ or machinegun ‘nest’ (which never worked out well for German machinegunners in Normandy) from which they can deploy automatic weapons fire through, depending on the model, 4 to 9 gun or firing ports with an extremely limited field of fire. These vehicles, like any other, can be brought to a halt via the simple police method of a rolling road block with cars boxing it in or simply rolling a vehicle (obstruction) into it’s path and another behind it. Once stopped the age old military axiom that any ‘real’ tank man knows – armor, be it MRAPs or Abrams tanks can’t (shouldn’t) be deployed in urban/suburban environments without a large contingent of infantry lest the armored vehicles find themselves trapped, boxed in and, with a few Molotov’s on the engine compartment, end up as crisp as a Cape Cod Potato Chip while unable to maneuver or bring their weapons to bear.
For that matter cover the exhaust and the engine will die and the crew will too eventually, either overheating, or asphyxiation. Hell, we trained the Afghan people how to stop a tank with a potato shoved in the tailpipe while the Soviet Union was visiting. Oops.
Again, I’m no strategic genius but I think folks both on the initiating end as well as the possible receiving end, need to see how goofy or ludicrous the idea of martial law is. The latter need to stop worrying too much about it while the former need to put the concept out of their minds. We might not like the bozos in DC but Americans have ZERO beef with the men and women in our armed forces. If Washington concocted some reason, policy or ‘event’ to justify sending troops into American streets I’m quite certain it would NOT end well for the government.
The ONLY thing that keeps the People from marching on DC with torches and pitchforks right now is the ‘belief’ in our system of government (even though it’s becoming increasingly clear that it no longer represents us) and our Constitution and the protections it promises. Toss those beliefs under a FEMA bus and DC will need to face the reality that the very optimistic number of 180 thousand shooters available to the military for martial law could well be a huge overstatement if a good number of the elite “Semper Fidelis” and “De oppresso liber” crowd (or a few other serving military professionals) realize that America, its People and our Constitution are what they swore to “protect and defend” rather than some some sycophantic nitwits in DC, some chain of command or some home grown Il Duce who orders them to break their Oath, their duty to their Republic and shoot their neighbors while rolling into American towns, cities or countryside to implement laws, policies and Executive Orders that are contrary to what we know we/they stand for. They may find that 3.79 million square miles needing to be pacified is one hell of a lot of real estate to think they can hold while quelling 140 million folks raised on John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies of which 100 million are armed, 43 million of which ‘hunt’ every year, with statistics demonstrating that 4.2 million will very likely turn off the Kardashians, put down their remotes and get off their couches to say ‘ HELL NO’! Call me silly but it seems one hell of a gamble when the math just doesn’t work and losing the bet might be unpleasant. Just my opinion of course, but sometimes, that which is presented to us may not quite be as real as it appears. Sometimes folks should ‘look behind the curtain’.