Copperhead: mean, swift, venomous and silent, it gives no warning before striking and will pursue you once disturbed, until you are gone or it is dead.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Praxis: Some light reading on Guerrilla Counter Intelligence" --
The JSOU publication is a good one, however I estimate that most of it's contents will be lost on the modern American guerrilla. The reasons are simple but difficult to fix, to wit:
Militia culture focuses on the kinetic activities, not the quieter domains of intelligence, perception management and clandestine operations. Most militia (and I use the term broadly) think in terms of fighting a II or III GEN war, not in terms of modern insurgency. Militias have no real influence operations or the intelligence apparatus to drive them. I've been told that perception management is like “lying” and “that's what the government does, not what we do.” Without perception shaping and the entirety of low-level psychological operations, every kinetic victory the militia has will be embarrassing nullified by the Oppositions use of the same. They'll never keep up let alone win. The people will always be against them. They will never win the vital human terrain.
When Militia members look at intelligence at all, it's from a II-III GEN perspective: the situation map, Forward Edge of Battle Area, platoons and fronts. I've not seen much application of network analysis and target exploitation. There is no real HUMINT collection because the militia lack fundamental capability in this domain. HUMINT is the guerrillas fundamental collection modality because the guerrillas fundamental opponent are human networks---not tanks, Chinese divisions or NORTHCOM massing it's forces in Colorado. It's really a shame because HUMINT is relatively easy and requires little technology.
The militias need more intelligence training and application. Low-level HUMINT, analysis, Close Target Reconnaissance and HUMINT enabled SIGINT and less talk radio. Mark Koernke is not an intelligence source and military publications are written for an audience with a large supporting infrastructure. There is plenty of information available for militias to develop really a spectacular intelligence capability, but the militias, for a variety of reasons, have not matured to this.
Because militias lack basic HUMINT capability, they lack basic HUMINT knowledge and are unable to perform counter-intelligence. There are no fine grained background checks to vet prospective applicants---ensuring that the Opposition can always stay inside their OODA loop. There is no Intelligence Preparation of the Environment to develop the intelligence fabric for operations. Because of this, the militias are always several moves behind while the Opposition is always several moves ahead. The militias cannot “detect” the Opposition let alone “finish” them.
An indicator of militia evolution will be their development of a low-level intelligence capability that has degraded, denied or disrupted an operation against them.
I've met a few individual actors that understand this. Some have interesting military backgrounds, others are entirely self-taught and to good effect. They don't get involved in militias because militias are a giant boy's club with OPSEC problems. Further, militias just don't want to learn anything that would upset their self image of modern Minutemen fighting with honor on some contemporary Breed's Hill.
The Opposition is allot more cutthroat. Plus they do intelligence very well---as we have seen with the Oppositions use of informants (or 'sources' in the HUMINT lexicon).
Until the militias develop a functional intelligence capability, they will never be a fighting force.
Please read through the above again and consider how it applies to you and your area of operations. Here are my thoughts:
For the public militias, the larger groups, this is certainly true. Many are still preparing for attrition warfare on a model that was out-dated even in the 90s when it was the norm. Yet, the threat of further federal government misadventure after Waco was short-circuited by the implicit threat of just shooting back if it happened again. This worked in the 90s because the Clintonistas were not, in the end, serious about what they were about. Clinton was in it for the power, yes, but also for the babes. The present administration is far more ideological and driven, and the thought and resources devoted to domestic counter-insurgency and the surveillance are now far more capable and fully-formed than in the 90s, grown exponentially courtesy of Dubya by the PATRIOT Act and the counter-guerrilla experiences in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But then, so is what John Robb would call our potential "open source insurgency."
While I appreciate the fact that patriotic Americans are once again forming public units -- the rattlesnake on the Gadsden flag -- the fact of the matter is that this time around more folks contemplating resistance rather resemble copperheads than rattlesnakes, to complete the reptilian analogy.
A rattlesnake announces its potential strike, telling you that you're trespassing and giving fair warning. A copperhead lurks, letting you walk by unaware if it wishes. But woe betide you when it strikes because it gives no warning and will pursue you when disturbed, and it doesn't give a damn about how much bigger or more evolved you are than it. I know, I've been chased by copperheads more than once while on militia FTXs or exploring the foundations of old historic home sites in north Alabama. Once, I disturbed a foundation stone of the old Pillar place up on LaGrange Mountain -- the scene of a post-Civil War politically motivated double murder -- only to be chased by TWO of them. Fortunately I had my .45 and killed them both while furiously back-pedaling, but only after expending an entire magazine. Color me embarrassed. Well, I never said I was Sergeant Alvin York. The point is, they gave no warning and they never stopped coming until I killed them.
Yet the term "militia unit" covers a lot of ground, generally describing a host of different kinds of organizations with different missions. A "traditional" public unit certainly is capable of neighborhood (even county-wide in some places) defense of public order, in assistance of established law enforcement or in the absence of it. Some of these, most in fact, I would rank with the "common militias" of 1775. Others are far better trained and battle-ready, capable of either security missions or tyranny resistance fighting from the jump. These I would rank as today's Minutemen. There are also units who specialize in intelligence gathering. The overwhelming majority of these are run by men (and women, I discovered recently) who have training from Fort Huachuca and real-world experience in intelligence support of anti-guerrilla operations. These folks do not take out advertisements in the local newspaper. Some have tactical components they support, some do not. Yet they exist, in place, silent as copperheads, gathering intelligence on the likely OPFOR.
I asked one of these men a few months back how he would utilize the intel he routinely (and I must say incessantly) gathers. He gave me a pained look. "If I can know who our enemies are, I can also find out who our friends are by the same process." I pressed him on this point, asking for specifics. He gave them, and I was suitably impressed.
It is important to remember that Paul Revere would not have made his famous ride, without being informed of the British movement by the whisper of a spy (likely Mrs. General Gage). Civil wars, which are first and foremost ideological conflicts, are characterized by an infinite number of personal decisions, often taken by people best placed to make use of their core beliefs. Mrs. Gage, who loved her husband, loved her country more and destroyed her marriage on its altar. How many more of her like exist today? Many, I would guess, because the present regime is, by its plain contempt for the Constitution evinced in its actions, shedding its legitimacy faster than King George the Third.
In a civil war, King's men desert, or turn their units back upon the royal cause. Volunteers step forward from the most unlikely of places. All are motivated by a common thread -- the burning desire in many human hearts to be free. I say many, not all, because there are some folks who just prefer being slaves.
Yet there are many man and women out there who are preparing to resist. Some are riflemen, some are logistics officers, some are trainers, some are spies, and some are intelligence analysts. Many, many of these are veterans. This is what keeps the more intelligent of our domestic enemies up at night (few they may be) -- they realize that they don't know what they don't know. They don't know how thoroughly they are penetrated now, or will be in the future as people are mobilized by events, by folks who will resist their future grab for absolute power. They do not know how many potential Ned Broy's their own ranks contain.
Michael Collins was successful in his day. He would not, with the same level of operational security, be successful today. Today we cannot count on one Michael Collins, but we must rely on many, all motivated by a common cause. We need many "Squads" of "Twelve Apostles." The fact is, there already is more than one potential Michael Collins' out there, just as we possess more than twelve "Apostles."
It is up to us to encourage this line of thinking in the oppressors' tiny brains. They think they can deal with the rattlesnakes. But there exists many more than one kind of snake in the woods. Can they deal with the copperheads they carry unnoticed in their pockets? The strategic uncertainty generated by that disturbing thought may yet prevent a civil war.
It is also up to us to encourage the thinking, planning and actions on our side necessary to carry the fight, if it is forced upon us by unconstitutional depredations, straight at the throats of those who would rob us of our liberty, our property and our lives.
I am a mere scribbler in that effort, pointing out certain salient points of fact and conjecture. It will be up to others to make use of my scribblings, if necessary, may God forbid.
This I know. I have no doubt that should the domestic enemies of the Constitution make their final, bloody move, many will be terminally surprised by how many copperheads -- human, informed, intelligent copperheads -- will pursue them silently and remorselessly until they are dead and their malignant collectivist revolution against the Founders' Republic is consigned to the dustbin of history.