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Preparing for The Great Western Water War, or something else?
Defense analysts believe that regional water scarcity could increase the risk of conflict. In the US, the drought-ridden Colorado River basin is shared by seven US states and Mexico – rivalry over control of water is largely political for now, but this could change. California’s record 15-year drought, an American Water Works Association (AWWA) study shows, has been accompanied by the depletion of 41 acre-feet of groundwater and 12 million acre-feet of surface water. When the groundwater runs dry, and if the drought persists, US farming will collapse.
In 2008, a report by the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute suggested that the US military must prepare for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” due to a “loss of functioning political and legal order” – triggered potentially by environmental, energy or economic shocks.
This “bleak future” is not inherently inevitable – but it is on our current path.
Asymmetric engagement begins
The Rex 84 Program was established on the reasoning that if a “mass exodus” of illegal aliens crossed the Mexican/US border, they would be quickly rounded up and detained in detention centers by FEMA. U.S. Concentration Camps: FEMA and the REX 84 Program
A coincidental, time sensitive power grab? EPA Broadens Clean Water Regulations – May 27, 2015
(Excerpt) …If the exercise forces were drilling in another discipline of irregular warfare – and we’ll get to that in a minute – the potential for really probing that edge of Posse Comitatus, and even crossing over it, could increase.
There are other reasons for concern. It’s not that there’s nothing to see here. But the speculation about what’s going on does border on demented, at least in some quarters.
Orientation: Jade Helm 2015
Jade Helm 2015 is a major unconventional warfare exercise to be held across seven Western states from July to September 2015. It’s not clear how many total participants there will be; according to briefs given to county officials in Texas, there will be some 1,200-plus people deployed in Texas. We can reasonably assume that’s the largest concentration of live players to be deployed anywhere in the exercise, although the 1,200 probably won’t all be there at the same time.
That said, this is an exercise focused on irregular warfare, and therefore, although it brings together conventional forces as well as Special Forces, its boot-by-boot footprint in any one place is small. Special operations have a huge tail but a very light footprint on the ground in the operations area.
At any given time, the largest concentrations of people may well be at the headquarters facilities reflected on the map, at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and Camp Shelby in Mississippi (a major reserve forces training center). The administrative “tail” of the exercise – which is typically quite large for an exercise of this scope – will probably be bigger than the concentration of front-line forces for many events.
The map shows the notional geography of the exercise, with the status of the states involved reflected as “friendly,” “hostile,” or “leaning” (including a “pocket” of insurgent concentration on the southern border of California). It appears that Texas will be the state where the most land area is affected by the exercise.
The key to understanding this exercise is the fact that it will practice “unconventional warfare.” That has a specific meaning in U.S. military doctrine: it’s a special discipline of irregular warfare, which encompasses multiple forms of operations conducted (mainly) by Special Forces. Fortunately for us, the Department of Defense Directive on Irregular Warfare was just updated, in August 2014, and provides these handy definitions.
IW can include any relevant DoD activity and operation such as counterterrorism; unconventional warfare; foreign internal defense; counterinsurgency; and stability operations that, in the context of IW, involve establishing or re-establishing order in a fragile state or territory.
Unconventional warfare (emphasis added):
Activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area.
In other words, unconventional warfare refers specifically to assisting insurgencies in the “denied areas” of foreign countries. Denied areas are areas to which our forces will not have conventional access, but will have to insert and sustain themselves by unconventional means.
The participants who operate in the red areas of the exercise geography will thus be sneaking around as if they were trying to enter unseen, remain unidentified (even when they are seen), and assist a local insurgency.
As background: the sense has been growing in the special operations community that many of its irregular warfare skills have fallen into disuse since 2001, when the emphasis for SOF shifted to largely “direct action” missions (like killing Osama bin Laden), and combat support for occupation troops. In fact, the impetus for putting out the new 2014 directive came from this community dialogue. (A good introduction to it by a Small Wars Journal writer can be perused here.) The push to build irregular warfare competencies back up is behind the initiative for the Jade Helm exercise.
The incomplete view we have of the exercise comes from a PowerPoint document used by exercise planners to brief county officials in Texas over the last few months. (Embedded below. Sorry about the “WW3” tag on the Scribd embed. It’s silly but it doesn’t affect the original document.)
The live-play participants will include Special Operations Command, the special forces of the military services, the 82nd Airborne, elements of Marine Expeditionary Unit(s), and interagency partners, which refers to other departments and agencies of the federal government, including – reportedly – the FBI and DEA.
There’s nothing weird or nefarious about this participation, given the competency the exercise will work on. The various forces and agencies bring capabilities that would be used in a real-world unconventional warfare operation. The public hasn’t been given a view of every participant’s role, but an agency like the FBI could role-play as well as acting straightforwardly in its own capacity.
The other military participants will undoubtedly be present – anywhere in the exercise, field or HQ – only in the numbers they would typically muster to support irregular warfare missions. We might expect elements of a Marine Expeditionary Unit or the 82nd Airborne to be deployed over the “border” from the red areas, for example, perhaps with small contingents “in-country” (in red) to facilitate rapid response operations if necessary. That’s just one example. The bottom line is that we won’t be talking about large concentrations of troops anywhere, at any time. Not for an unconventional warfare exercise.
A feature of minor interest in this exercise is the terrain chosen for it. It’s a combination of the Texas “hill country” and “coastal bend,” and remote, arid Western localities, including high country in Utah, the Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border, and the Imperial Valley of southern California. It seems we don’t expect to have to do much insurgency-assisting in tropical jungles or alpine forests.
But we probably could have guessed that anyway. Of greater interest are a couple of other features of the exercise that emerged as I was researching this.
From what I can tell, Texas is the only state where exercise planners have traveled to brief county officials ahead of time, and seek support from county governments for the live deployments that are envisioned. (See, for example, here, here, and here.) It may simply be that there is no online record of such briefs for southern California or Utah, the other “red” areas where there would putatively be unconventional warfare deployments.
The notional geography map indicates that there is, in fact, an exercise event planned for Utah. But no record is readily discoverable of officials in Utah being briefed, as the officials in Texas have been. One possibility is that the live-play in Utah will occur on federal land; there is both federal and privately owned land in the area indicated on the map, so we can’t be certain.
That point introduces another one, however. The exercise planners have emphasized that unconventional warfare training needs to occur, as they put it, in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities with access to towns.” The areas of Texas that they’ve chosen can be said to fit that description.
But so do any number of areas in the rest of the West where there is vastly more federal land to operate on (see map 2): not military land, but land managed by the federal government, with plenty of “access to towns” to go with the “low population densities.”
Headquarters on private property
So it is interesting that so much is being done in Texas, where the exercise will unfold almost entirely on city/county-owned or even private land. And this brings up another interesting feature. In at least three of the Texas counties – and probably in more of them – the exercise participants will be setting up local headquarters on the private property of large landowners. See the links above; in Schleicher County, the HQ will be at the Steve Blaylock Ranch, and in Victoria and Goliad Counties, the HQ will be T. Michael O’Connor’s ranch, which spans both counties.
Putting up local headquarters this way is readily explained by the mission. Unconventional warfare in the real world would probably entail using the property of friendly supporters in-country as local bases.
And the whole enterprise is couched in the friendliest of terms as a request for local accommodation from the armed forces conducting the exercise.
Moreover, it’s not unprecedented for Special Forces to conduct training in the “realistic” environments afforded by the civil population. The Jade Helm brief given in Hudspeth County referred to smaller-scale training events held there in 2011 and 2012. (Many who’ve been been stationed in Virginia Beach may recall noticing activities that look an awful lot like SEALs practicing their warfare skills among unalerted civilians.)
But it’s not paranoid to point out that the precedent being set could turn easily from innocuous to dark. It’s one thing to conduct training on such a minimal scale that the public doesn’t have to be briefed on or aware of it. It’s actually another thing – a significant shift in the proposition – to say that the public needs to be aware of it, and needs to give its assent and cooperation.
That proposition means we’re setting a precedent of buy-in for the conditions of this exercise. But suppose one of the Texas counties did not want to participate? Would the county really have the option of saying no?
Can we actually trust that the day will never come when county officials and ranchers are asked to make an accommodation they don’t feel right about? It seems to me that that is trusting in an awful lot.
We don’t need a specific, conspiracy-minded hazard in view here to know that it’s a dangerous practice. Anyone whose thoughts went immediately to the Third Amendment, on hearing about the ranchers hosting the Special Forces headquarters, is simply showing good sense.
And it’s particularly striking to see the military seeking from the public such overt agreement to a training event in our midst, at a time when the president says we are not at war with anyone, and the secretary of state says Americans have never been safer.
You don’t have to wear a tinfoil hat to find that troubling. It raises what is perhaps the most important question of all. If we don’t draw the line here – where do we draw it?
—J.E. Dyeris a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.
Full Article at Liberty Unyielding
As for that “something else”:
April 14, 2015
Mexican authorities claim they have located an ISIS camp just eight miles south of the U.S. border. From this base camp, terrorists ares aid to be planning attacks on U.S. soil, specifically targeting Fort Bliss.
According to Judicial Watch:
ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.
During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.
Read more at Judicial Watch.
Jade = “Joint assistance for Development and Eradication” *
Helm = “Homeland Eradication of Local Militants”
People who call themselves “Patriots”
People who resist the New World Order
Gun Owners that refuse to turn them in
People who believe in the “Constitution”
People that won’t accept “Open Border’s”
TUSTIN, Calif. (AP) — Gary Whitlock watched water run down to the sidewalk as gardeners hosed down a bed of marigolds outside an Orange County office building and questioned if California’s latest attempt to curb water use would be any more successful than previous ones in the drought-stricken state.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered sweeping and unprecedented measures to save water in California. A survey that day found the snowpack, which supplies a third of the state’s water, almost completely vanished.
“We’re in a new era; the idea of your nice little green grass getting water every day, that’s going to be a thing of the past,” Brown said, standing on a brown field that would normally be covered in snow that melts its way into taps.
The governor’s order calls for cities and towns to cut water use by 25 percent, but many Californians like Whitman aren’t seeing a difference in their day-to-day routines or a hit to their wallets because of the drought. Read more here
Source: Drudge Report
“Some participants will be wearing civilian attire and driving civilian vehicles…”
“Jade Helm is a challenging eight-week joint military and Interagency (IA) Unconventional Warfare (UW) exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado,” according to an unclassified military document announcing the training drill, which runs from July 15 through September 15.
Multiple branches of the US military, including Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division, will participate in the 8-week long exercise, which may result in “increased aircraft in the area at night.”
Troops will be tasked with honing advanced skills in “large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities,” and will work alongside civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues.”
The exercise, in which some participants will be “wearing civilian clothes and driving civilian vehicles,” lists Texas and Utah as “hostile” territory.
According to the document, Texas was chosen due to the state’s “historically supportive… efforts to prepare our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to fight the enemies of the United States.”
Despite the document’s claims, multiple Army training manuals and studies in the past have specifically targeted such states due to concerns over the growing influence of right-leaning ideologies and groups, such as the “Tea Party.”
A leaked 2012 US Army Military Police training manual, entitled “Civil Disturbance Operations,” described how soldiers would be ordered to confiscate firearms and kill American “dissidents.” The manual also revealed that prisoners would be detained in temporary internment camps and “re-educated” to gain a new appreciation of “U.S. policies,” in accordance with U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations.
Also in 2012, a Department of Homeland Security-funded study characterized Americans “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
In the past, large scale domestic military exercises have also included foreign countries.
During a training drill in April 2012, the United States trained soldiers from Russia, hosted in Fort Carson, Colorado, on how to target American terrorists.
And just last year, US Special Forces and commandos trained with troops from 16 foreign nations, including Colombia, France and Germany, in Tampa, Fl., practicing how to coordinate aerial, ground and aquatic operations.
Although nations can benefit from joint drills, the exercises also serve to blur the lines of national sovereignty, slowly leading to the formation of a North American Union, as mentioned by former CIA head General David Petraeus.
Another troubling aspect of domestic drills is the apparent erosion of the Posse Comitatus Act, which the 2007 John Warner National Defense Authorization Act scaled back to allow the armed forces to “Restore Public Order” during events declared national emergency.
See the US Army Special Operations Command’s Powerpoint slides regarding the “Realistic Military Training” drills below:
And there’s more:
DES MOINES, Iowa — This week you may notice extra emergency vehicles and public safety officers running around in tactical gear, Hazmat suits, and bomb suits. It’s a part of a statewide drill Des Moines is hosting Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare emergency personnel for dealing with weapons of mass destruction.
Brian O’Keefe with the Des Moines Fire Department said emergency officials in Iowa need to be prepared for anything.
“You know we’re number one seed producer with corn and soy, chicken embryo development, middle of the country heartland. So I’m sure all states access it. But we’re a target like any other large community,” said O’Keefe.
More than 100 emergency response personnel from around the state will participate including bomb technicians, law enforcement and Iowa Homeland Security.
Tuesday morning officials will met at the Wells Fargo Arena and review proper procedures for dealing with potential WMDs. After the review they’ll get into teams and go through various stations assessing different hypothetical situations and practicing with different detection equipment.
Because most teams already know how to handle WMDs on their own, officials say working together with local, regional, and state agencies is what will be most important in these exercises.
“It’s the leadership that’s critical. We will always learn what we can over these next couple of days, but most of that’s already shared. We’ve already standardized the tactics the techniques and the procedures so this is just more of doing the handshake, of making sure we’re both working on the same plan and making sure that what we’ve trained for actually flows smoothly,” said O’Keefe.
On Wednesday personnel will hold a large scale drill at the Wells Fargo Arena and on the east side of Des Moines.
– WHOtv.com, April 14, 2015
If you see some unusual helicopters overhead in the next couple of days, there’s nothing to worry about.
The I Marine Expeditionary Force G-7 will be conducting a Realistic Military Training this week, using the Prescott Municipal Airfield as a helicopter refueling point in order to facilitate a Long Range Raid at Camp Navajo, Arizona.
This Certification Exercise (CERTEX) is directed to be conducted from April 8-21, 2015 at various training locations throughout California and Arizona. The training at Prescott will take place on April 15, 16.
The purpose of the exercise is to “…provide the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) the opportunity to conduct training in unfamiliar environments during the final phase of their pre-deployment program. During CERTEX, the 15th MEU will be required to conduct a series of challenging and realistic training events to test their ability to conduct conventional and specialized missions.
Yavapai Downs Fiargrounds will also be utilized to conduct a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel. A Marine actor will play the role of a downed pilot. MEU personnel will insert by helicopter, set security, search for and locate a downed pilot and extract by helicopter.
Before arriving, military personnel will conduct a thorough site survey and operational risk and safety assessment of all civilian training sites to identify safety issues and concerns, as well as establish mitigating factors required to ensure that all safety measures are taken. Coordination has been conduceted with all property owners and local law enforcement.
According to the information received, “The USMC has conducted similar training exercises throughout the United States and it’s territories safely and without incident since 1985.
Senators John McCain and Flake have been notified, as has Representative Paul Gosar, Governor Doug Ducey, Mayor Marlin Kuykendall, Sheriff Scott Mascher and Chief Jerald Monahan.
“Your support of this exercise will erve a vital role in preparing the United States Marines for service during the current War on Terrorism,” concludes the notification.
Information about the image: 15th MEU Marines raid San Clemente IslandA U.S. Marine with Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, provides security during a raid on San Clemente Island, Calif., March 22, 2015. This raid was part of Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), preparing the Marines and Sailors of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group and 15th MEU for their deployment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Anna Albrecht/Released) http://www.15thmeu.marines.mil/News/NewsArticleDisplay/tabid/8671/Article/581717/state-of-readiness-hours-from-actions-on-objective.aspx
– prescottenews.com, April 14, 2015
Montana Water Compact Battle Heats Up as Complaint Filed Against Tribe
Drought drains critical US water supply
Water Wars Begin in California
Mexico’s Water War
Obama’s Next Step In “Fundamentally Transforming” America: Do Away With Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 Of The Constitution And Give It To The UN
Focusing on the real world results of Asymmetric Warfare (Photos) Pay very close attention