September 06, 2004

Ordering the Unorganized Militia II

Zef Chafets gets his main point right that the point of Islamist action is empire, not terrorism for its own sake. He gets two details desperately wrong though. The most important is that there is a method to harden a Beslan, and all the shopping centers and other purely civilian targets out there. It is as old as the republic, the unorganized militia.

Improving the readiness of the unorganized militia would increase the numbers needed to take over any target, achieve any goal further than blowing themselves up in inconvenient places, a form of terrorism that depends on the maintenance of a profoundly unislamic societal matrix extolling the false gods of the death cult. Defeating the death cult in their midst should be something that even the most hard core islamists have to worry about theologically.

Chafet's second error is that while the super-empowerment of subnational groups is being taken advantage of most by islamists, the tools are there for any group to take advantage of and it's quite likely that others will make a name for themselves doing the same thing. A trio of domestic threats, Timothy McVeigh with his right-wing militia ties, the ALF with their bombing and arson campaign, and ELF with its strikes against loggers and other imagined corporate demons all have the potential to pick up right where the Islamists leave off.

All these threats, foreign and domestic, rely on the existence of undefended soft targets. The unorganized militia is all about raising the generalized level of "hardness" everywhere, and doing it in random, secret distribution patterns that are not susceptible to any intelligence analysis by our enemies. XYZ neighborhood might look innocent and easy meat for an attack but the percentage of people with guns, of alert people who have the means to foil an attack, are unknown and it's an uncertain and deadly crap-shoot to go and find out.

This pushes targets more towards empty buildings and isolated pockets with few people. It's a distinct improvement to push the enemy target list out of major population centers, an effort that we need to gear up, and soon.

Posted by TMLutas at September 6, 2004 08:50 AM