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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/27/21

The growing U.S. military & intelligence worries of civil war

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In 1895, Cecil Rhodes admitted that the exploitation of the colonized is the only thing stopping the imperialist countries from undergoing revolution:

I was in the East End of London (a working-class quarter) yesterday and attended a meeting of the unemployed. I listened to the wild speeches, which were just a cry for 'bread! bread!' and on my way home I pondered over the scene and I became more than ever convinced of the importance of imperialism.... My cherished idea is a solution for the social problem, i.e., in order to save the 40,000,000 inhabitants of the United Kingdom from a bloody civil war, we colonial statesmen must acquire new lands to settle the surplus population, to provide new markets for the goods produced in the factories and mines. The Empire, as I have always said, is a bread and butter question. If you want to avoid civil war, you must become imperialists.

With the decline of the U.S. empire, this nightmare scenario for the bourgeoisie edges ever closer. This is the future that the imperialists are growing desperate to prevent, and that they were already worrying about over a century ago as evidenced by Rhodes' statement.

Beneath all of the rhetoric about China and Russia posing an "existential threat" to Washington, the U.S. empire's military intelligence operatives see such an outcome as inevitable. Our government is preparing for an imperialist war turned inward, tasked with crushing the kind of lower class rebellion Rhodes warned about. To catch on to this, one only needs to read between the lines of the recent language that these operatives have been putting forth, and assess the conditions in which their plans are being laid.

U.S. military prepares for countering irregular warfare-with ulterior motives

This August, West Point's Modern War Institute published a "status check" on the U.S. Army's "preparation for the next war." In response to the pivot in resource investment that the U.S. military has been making amid the Afghanistan pullout, where Washington is shifting its focus from counterinsurgency operations to military buildup against China, it expresses anxiety over Washington's ability to navigate the modern warfare domains:

Despite the Army's strategic, operational, and tactical pivot, the transition from two decades of counterinsurgency operations is daunting. To be sure, there is still work to be done. Not only does the service need to prepare for a form of conflict radically different from recent wars, but change must also be rapid enough to keep pace with the changing character of warfare-and the growing capabilities of our potential adversaries. Great power competitors like China and Russia are undertaking efforts to modernize their militaries for increasingly complex battlefields. They are engaging in irregular tactics using proxy forces, seeking advantage in the information environment and cyber domain, and advancing technologies for contested environments like dense urban terrain.

This sounds innocuous enough. Of course the U.S. military is concerned about keeping up with the combat advancements of its adversaries. But in this and other parts of West Point's statements, there are subtle affirmations of the ideas the U.S. military has been expressing in recent years about the wars being at risk of coming home.

For instance, after describing the advancements in sensory and robotics technologies that U.S. forces have been attaining, West Point concludes:

These technologies are designed to increase the speed, lethality, and all-domain superiority of Army formations. A critical element of Army efforts is focusing on tasks only the Army can perform in combat. While all services are experiencing similar transitions and developing technologies at a fervent pace, Army leaders know that dominating ground combat and influencing populations are areas specifically relevant to the Army, and vital to succeeding in future conflicts.

This is the kind of language that's been prevalent within the most provocative recent Washington/NATO military documents. The ones which articulate the growing paranoia of the imperialists. What are they paranoid about? That sometime in the next several decades, capital will weaken to the point where the conditions in the imperial center become far more dire than they are even now, and that this will prompt revolts which force the imperialists to apply these counterinsurgency tactics within their own borders. Thus the ongoing concern over countering irregular warfare.

One of these documents is the 2020 NATO-sponsored report on cognitive warfare, which warns of "an embedded fifth column, where everyone, unbeknownst to him or her, is behaving according to the plans of one of our competitors." The narrative pushed by this document and other military/intelligence sources is that Russia, China, and Iran are destabilizing the country by exposing its people to propaganda, thus justifying the U.S. war machine's classification of these countries as existential threats. It's a transparent attempt to destroy the perceived credibility of anti-imperialist information sources by portraying them as tools for subversive foreign "disinformation."

But why has this narrative emerged at this moment? And why has West Point been echoing the report's sentiments about how influencing populations will be particularly vital in future conflicts? Because military experts have expressed in other statements throughout recent years that they see an internal uprising as an inevitable consequence of the rise of U.S. inequality.

Reports from leadup to pandemic era warned of civil war & a need for domestic military intervention

The two most revealing of these statements came out in 2016, the year when the narrative about "Russian interference" was embraced by the media and when Big Tech stepped up its censorship following Trump's victory. These were preemptive attempts to maintain ideological dominance over the population in anticipation of the civil war scenario the military was now openly considering.

A Pentagon training video warned of an "unavoidable" dystopian future where the military would need to adapt to combat within the impoverished megacities that were expected to define the next generation of war, clearly showing U.S. urban areas as examples of the places where these conflicts could arise. A report from the U.S. Army War College listed several U.S. cities as potential spots for the "contemporary Stalingrads" that the military would need to fight, with mass radicalization from growing inequality being described as the catalyzing factor for this new series of counterinsurgency wars.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=11988744

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