“The Government has Cruise Missiles”

021110-N-0000X-003 China Lake, Calif. (Nov. 10, 2002) — A Tactical “Tomahawk” Block IV cruise missile, conducts a controlled flight test over the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) western test range complex in southern California. During the second such test flight, the missile successfully completed a vertical underwater launch, flew a fully guided 780-mile course, and impacted a designated target structure as planned. The Tactical Tomahawk, the next generation of Tomahawk cruise missile, adds the capability to reprogram the missile while in-flight to strike any of 15 preprogrammed alternate targets, or redirect the missile to any Global Positioning System (GPS) target coordinates. It also will be able to loiter over a target area for some hours, and with its on-board TV camera, will allow the war fighting commanders to assess battle damage of the target, and, if necessary redirect the missile to any other target. Launched from the Navy’s forward-deployed ships and submarines, Tactical Tomahawk will provide a greater flexibility to the on-scene commander. Tactical Tomahawk is scheduled to join the fleet in 2004. U.S. Navy photo. (RELEASED)

Over in another forum we had the argument raised, once again, on the theme of “you can’t fight the military with rifles…” I’ve addressed that before but I wrote a slightly different response to this one:

Ah, the old “lightly armed irregulars in the US can’t successfully fight the US military.” Let me ask you, do you also share that position regarding lightly armed irregulars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and a little place called Vietnam?

Here’s the problem (one of them anyway). A resistance to a government gone rogue wouldn’t be like the American Civil War with setpiece battles with one group on one side of the field and the other group on the other side of the field and they shoot at each other until one side is dead or fled. It won’t have defined lines here people on one side are “your people” and the people on the other side are “the enemy’s people.” It would be all mixed together: allies, enemies, noncombatants all mixed together.

What exactly is the military to do with all its heavy weaponry? Is it to carpetbomb Boise because some insurgents are hiding in the population? Roll tanks through Des Moines because of an illegal propaganda operation somewhere within it? Nuke Indianapolis because a few home workshops are turning out copies of Sten guns (not that hard, actually)? How many of your. own. citizens. are you willing to accept as collateral damage in order to take down those insurgents?

Now, maybe the person giving the firing order on that cruise missile aimed at, say, Kansas City doesn’t have friends or family living in the area likely to be damaged/destroyed. Maybe nobody on the missiles prep or maintenance team does. But you can be bloody sure they know somebody who does. That’s the thing about an all volunteer force. It becomes really awkward to use it indiscriminately against your own people.

Now, you might be able to convince your force that the rebels are a threat to the nation and need to be shut down and that it’s their job to do so. It would take some preparation, both in terms of how you “paint” the rebels and also by making sure that you remove “unreliable” elements from the military in advance (perhaps by declaring the politically unreliable as “extremists” and the purge as “removing extremist elements”). Still, it’s a lot harder to convince that force to use force indiscriminately. You need to be selective. You need to be able to distinguish actual opposition force from allied civilians and noncombatants.

That requires “boots on the ground”, individual soldiers who can go into the population, target the actual individuals who present the threat, and do minimal harm to those who are not. And those individual soldiers are vulnerable to individual weapons. And armed United States Citizens outnumber the combined US military and police forces by about 50 to one, as a very conservative estimate. For that matter, armed United States Citizens outnumber the entire world’s combined military and paramilitary forces by about three to one. And that’s not counting the individuals who could arm others who come late to their “Road to Damascus” moment.

James Madison alluded to that in The Federalist Papers. While the anti-Federalists had serious…misgivings is too mild a term…about having a standing army, Madison noted that there were necessary tasks that simply were not well handled by a citizen militia. He gave the example of manning forts in the frontier. He noted, however, that the largest standing army a nation could realistically support (as a function of population, about twice what we have now) could be countered by a citizen militia at least an order of magnitude larger.

But let’s go further. Suppose, just suppose, you manage to convince the military, through a combination of propaganda and purging, to actually use the heavy weapons on US Citizens, to actually be willing to drop those bombs, roll that armor, launch those missiles, on American Citizens in the United States. You could level cities, certainly, and there’s little that the insurgents could do, directly, to stop you. But that doesn’t mean you have it all your own way. That army needs to be fed. The food has to come from somewhere, and it has to be transported to your bases and your troops. That transportation is vulnerable. The food is vulnerable to interception and/or contamination. How effective is your army going to be if a shipment of food gets laced with LSD (for example)? Are you going to test every shipment of every kind of foodstuffs for every possible contaminant? Well, maybe, but that’s a lot of manpower that’s taken away from actually fighting the insurgency.

And now trustworthy is that manpower? Can you be sure they will diligently perform their tests? That they won’t be subborned? That they won’t need to be suborned because they’re already irate with you because you just bombed Grandma in Boise and left Cousin Earl homeless after a tank ran through his house in Des Moines?

Now add in fuel, electronic spare parts, batteries, ammunition, and every other bit of the logistics it takes to run a modern army. And guarding the supply lines for all that logistics once again requires “boots on the ground”.

And, guess what, those “boots on the ground” guarding the supply lines are vulnerable to those lightly armed irregulars.

50 thoughts on ““The Government has Cruise Missiles””

  1. Reblogged this on Head Noises and commented:
    For that matter, armed United States Citizens outnumber the entire world’s combined military and paramilitary forces by about three to one. And that’s not counting the individuals who could arm others who come late to their “Road to Damascus” moment.

    Biiiiin-go.

    Seriously, most hobby-level armed Americans could arm a decent sized fort. And have ammo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not to mention, many bases don’t have enough housing for all the troops and their families. Many of the troops/families live off base. That makes them vulnerable as well as the contractors that seem to be doing ever more of the duties that we would think of being done traditionally by troops.

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  3. The ones willing to kill Citizens will eventually go off base, hit a bar, or have families they visit. Maybe someone would be willing to reason with them…
    Should it become necessary the folks trained to fight insurgencies know the insurgent’s tricks.
    All it takes to move up to modern weaponry is a single shot from close up.
    Even a Cave Man could do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let we not forget, there are those of us in the veterans’ community who were trained – at great government expense, mind – to start with a rock on Monday and outfit a short platoon by Friday.

      Oh, it /can/ be done. Don’t forget that many in the veterans’ community now have an intimate understanding of asymmetrical warfare/Fourth-Generation Warfare (4GW,) which is /precisely/ what the Second American Revolution/Civil War 2.0 (whatever it ends up getting called) will be. Most of the guys who /wrote/ the playbooks are probably out among us, and they’re going to be pretty pissed that they’re being used against Americans.

      Bear in mind this little principle, that I brought home with finality when I was teaching my boys hand-to-hand and they were getting full of themselves: “I taught you everything /you/ know. I never taught you everything /I/ know…”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are precisely describing myself and the hundreds of guys I served with at the battalion level over three tours in Iraq – and we’re just a drop in the bucket compared to the army-wide total of those who’ve been awarded the combat infantry badge or the combat action badge in either Iraq or Afghanistan. If even 10% of those guys decide to go insurgent/saboteur/terrorist/etc in response to the federal government attacking its own citizens, then you are looking at more than enough men to mount a credible guerilla campaign – and those guys would be able to move like fish through the sea of the people, to paraphrase Mao.

        I certainly do not *want* this to happen, but the Globohomo elements in the media, federal bureaucracy, and the wider managerial class itself seem bound and determined to provoke and persecute half the country until a violent insurgency becomes not only possible, but inevitable. It will be a sad day if this comes to pass, and it would be with a heavy heart that I would reluctantly take up arms again, but take them up I will, and so would many many others. Furthermore, I highly doubt that any such movement would have a whole lot of mercy for the people who will have brought us to that state of affairs.

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  4. I used to have cruise missiles but I lost them in an unfortunate canoe accident.

    Also, before the canoe accident, I could have reasonably well armed a squad of my own. With a couple friends we could probably put together a platoon.

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    1. My machine tools are not large – but a 7×17″ lathe and a tabletop 8-axis mill will suffice for sidearms and SMGs, methinks….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you look, there is a revolution going in right now on the manufacturing of firearms and Ammo. The techniques and quality are impressive, and they can be used by any mildly component person. Rifled barrels and tapered chambers via electrolysis, primer formulas, 3D printed jigs, complete reliable tested designs are pouring into the internet as we type. All well documented step by step with video, design files and documentation.

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      2. Ammunition will be the problem, not firearms. There are probably half a billion guns in the US already .

        The key to disarming the “rebels” is a ban on ammo. You need a permit to purchase ammo from government run retailers only and its very limited (2 boxes per month maybe shotshells only)

        The man who can make powder, primers, cartridges and bullets will be king.

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        1. And there are lots of people who can do all of those things. There’s an army training manual on improvised munitions that gives detailed instructions on making firearms, ammunition, and explosives. It’s available online from multiple sources. I have it on PDF and in hardcopy.

          Can’t stop the signal. (I don’t use that phrase in this context to piss of Joss Whedon. But I suspect that’s a nice bonus.)

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    2. I know someone who could, by himself, arm a short battalion or a reinforced company by himself, and that includes some limited crew-served weapons.

      Like I said in an earlier post: if we actually were having an armed insurrection, you wouldn’t need the media or political pundits to tell you. You’d know.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They certainly have cruise missiles, but they don’t have enough cruise missiles to shoot one at every sniper.

    But the whole concept of asymmetric warfare is to attack weakness rather than strength – the real asymmetric warfare targets would be factories and farms and interstate highways and rest stops and railroads and airports and FOBs and troop rest areas and the shopping centers and supermarkets that serve military housing.

    You don’t need a MANPAD if you can sneak a small box onto any plane. You don’t need another tank if you zap the tanker when he jumps out to pee. And you don’t need to kill the troops if they are so demoralized by news from home that they either won’t leave the FOB, or if forced to go outside the wire, only pretend to aggressively patrol.

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    1. All of that is true, but it’s only the smallest part of the problem faced by would-be tyrants. The simple truth is, cruise missiles and what not are of limited utility against a domestic insurgency. We, as a nation, generally don’t have the political will (whether that’s a “good thing” in a moral sense or not) to use them effectively against insurgencies in other countries (requiring, basically, a “make a desert and call it peace” approach), so how can a government possibly have the will to do that here.

      They would need door kickers to deal with a domestic insurgency. And door kickers are vulnerable to small-arms.

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          1. Bingo – most troops and lower-level officers, even if forced to patrol against a made-up “insurgency”, wouldn’t be enthused or effective against covert decapitation teams who were dealing with tyrannical political leadership.

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      1. I am starting to believe the same leftists who would never use cruise missiles in Iraq, Afganistan, Vietnam, or anywhere else are chomping at the bit to use them again Red Staters.

        I think we should not discount not just their willingness, but their glee at the prospect.

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      2. That’s kind of the point, really.

        That those who champion restrictive ROE in Whocaresistan openly fantasize about nuking their own country and citizens. That those who champion the “spark of humanity” of brutal foreign criminals, also celebrate the murder of Ashli Babbitt.

        It isn’t about sound strategic judgement.
        It’s about hatred.

        There is a strategy. (If IMO, a foolish one.)
        Obama memorably had the Department of Homeland Security denote infantry veterans as “potential domestic terrorists”.
        He purged the officer corps.
        The bastions of tradition were forced to bend the knee.
        Service was rendered unpalatable to those inclined to defend our culture, Constitution, and way of life.
        Biden has doubled down on all of this.
        The military is being purged and hollowed out into a zampolit-controlled leadership cadre.
        The replacement doorkickers are streaming across the southern border.
        (Shrug) Mistaking the the form of a thing for the thing itself, and unearned overconfidence are hallmarks of our “elites”.

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        1. It’s not just the politicians, however, that have have to be willing. Lieutenant Joe Blow has to be willing to launch that cruise missile against Des Moines–Where his regular racketball partner, George Schmoe’s, grandmother lives. He’s going to have to tell George “I blew up your grandmother.” And similar scenes happening all through the something like 1.4 million active duty military.

          They might try, mind you, depending on how much they believe their ur-myth of the military being composed of mindless Myrmidons who will obey any orders of their commanders. And with a military of something like 1.4 million people, some will likely follow those orders.

          So they can hate, but they’re not going to be the ones kicking in doors or launching missiles. And the ones having to actually do those things are another matter entirely.

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          1. I’m pretty sure their mental model is “We’ve got control of the JAG, and just like they make the trigger puller on the Reaper control console to NOT shoot that Maverick when they have a clear shot at the shooters who have a US unit pinned down in whocaresistan, they will be able to tell them to SHOOT when the target is Aunt Suzie’s house in Iowa.”

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          2. They’re openly setting up a purge of the politically suspect.
            The members who embrace it will be the trusted cadre.
            Those who merely survive it, will be deployed abroad (likely, directly into a meat grinder).

            The military will change form into a caste-based system, where the officers are gentry, NCOs citizens, and the enlisted/conscripted (mostly illegal aliens or “restive” inner city populations) will be little better than slaves (and will receive constant propaganda that their plight is due to the Deplorables).

            I’m not saying that it will *work*.
            But we’re talking about a group that has a facile grip on history to begin with, what little they do know is filtered through a Marxist lens, and their entire exposure to the military was that they took the ASVAB in high school.

            They’ve thought about it.
            They have a plan.
            They don’t have the knowledge to have thought about it effectively.
            And the plan is stupid.

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            1. The problem with such a purge is that it’s not of the Stalin type (which would almost certainly set off the boogaloo right there). Instead, it involves taking the “politically unreliable” types out of the military and putting them into the civilian sector, with all their training and experience intact. Military veterans already outnumber the entire active duty force 15 to one. Extensive purges will just make the “disparity of force” worse.

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              1. This. The long wars since 2001 have provided postgraduate-level education in insurgency and counterinsurgency for a whole lot of individuals who are now out and about. Vets of those wars absolutely have seen what is easy to counter and what is difficult.

                Add those already out and the “oh-hell-no” current exits to the woke purge and you get an arguably better fighting force out than in.

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              2. It’s a little scary to think how an administration which worries about millions of veterans trained to fight is also in charge of the administration which will fast-track vaccines of dubious utility for free to those very same individuals for free…

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      3. I feel obligated to point out that all the communist tyrants I know about seemed to have no qualms about how much damage they did to their own country in order to get and keep power. Better to rule in hell, etc. I’m not saying they would be successful in intimidating the population of the USA ultimately, but it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try.

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        1. As mentioned elsewhere the disconnect between the ones giving the orders and the ones carrying them out would cause them problems. Those other countries had military cultures vastly different from ours.

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          1. Not just their military culture, but indeed, their entire cultures were different from the freedoms we’ve enjoyed and expected here in America for over 200 years.

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  6. And, after all that work?

    Congratulations, you now rule over the ruins of a world power, which now compares, economically, unfavorably with your average 3rd world country. And you have to live the rest of your life in a bunker, because even if you win, pretty much everybody wants you dead.

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    1. and pay the Danegeld to China, or whoever comes to your aid to keep you alive after trying to tyrannize your own people.

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  7. Is this where the Chinese Communist Party volunteers its army to suppress US insurgents under a UN resolution supported by a beleaguered Harris administration?
    (Asking for a friend without relatives in China…)

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    1. Followed immediately by the rest of the fraction of that hundred million gun-owning Americans (including 20 million military veterans) to that hadn’t turned against the government to do so, probably joined by a sizeable portion of whatever fraction of the military had previously remained “loyal.”

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      1. Problem is by that time the US nukes may well not work. We can’t source new tritium for triggers and are running out of spare parts as well.

        China will just use bio weapons at that point.

        Of course we may not have functional cruise missiles either by than , 10-12 years off so there is that,

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          1. If/when China thinks its in their best interest to make sure the USA is utterly destroyed , they will. They’ve made it clear in the book Unrestricted Warfare.

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  8. “How many of your. own. citizens. are you willing to accept as collateral damage in order to take down those insurgents?”
    All. Of. Them.
    There’s no shortage of replacement peasants south of the border, clamoring to get in. (In some cases, clambering.) They’d surely make much better and more compliant subjects than the unruly rabble currently populating flyover country.
    The transnational ruling class has always regarded kings as fungible – a nation needs a king of good pedigree, but roots in the nation are strictly optional – and now regards members of the serving classes as likewise fungible, to the extent of being unable to tell a general from a wine steward nor an A&P mechanic from an A&P clerk.

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    1. That however is the best way I know of to ensure the rest of the citizens to turn against you. Only a small fraction of that 100 million (at least) armed Americans and their currently disarmed friends and neighbors (to whom the armed can hand some of the additional guns they own) would likely rise against the government when things start. This kind of thing would be a good way to get them all in the rebel camp.

      And how willing would those folk “south of the border” be willing to come here once they’ve bombed out the economic infrastructure. Without the wealth that this nation creates, without the welfare programs, without the jobs that are cheap for us but untold riches for them, without any of that, there’s no reason to make the trek.

      So, they could destroy the US…if they could get the military to go along, it’s not just the politicians who have to be willing to accept the collateral damage but the “trigger pullers” in the military…but they would only rule a blasted wasteland.

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  9. Two flix the elite should watch: John Milius’ Red Dawn and Ridley Scott’s Blackhawk Down. One is fantasy the other harsh reality but both should be a warning to the “we’ve got cruise missiles.” elite.

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  10. Why hasn’t anybody mentioned an insurgency that goes after the root of the problem? All the talk here is about attacking the military which would be a fool’s errand. Why wouldn’t this mythical insurrection surgically remove the Jack Dorsey’s and Zuckerberg’s of the world? Wouldn’t it be a lot easier for a dedicated group of snipers to stalk and remove the toxic leadership of the woke? Just thinking out lout.

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      1. The Silicon Valley TechLords have been buying up all the houses adjacent to their Palo Alto homes for a decade. If you think this is for privacy or to give houses to their relatives as is claimed to the media, rather than the result of taking the advice of their professional security contractors, who hire from USSS, US Marshals, and various protection detail-tasked military units, to increase their actively defended defense perimeter, you are being naive.

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  11. Something else that occurs: a legislature/government/military that’s willing to use WMD against their own citizens for not being subservient enough does not deserve respect or obedience. And won’t get it from an awful lot of people.

    If this shit does start, it’ll be nasty as hell. Larry Correia had a long post on it a while back pointing out just how vulnerable a lot of the major blue cities are. Which brought to mind something a few years ago: if this does kick off, or someone just decides to make a major warning shot, I wonder if some of the west coast cities are having nightmares about their water supplies? If they aren’t, they should be.

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  12. “They’ve thought about it.
    They have a plan.
    They don’t have the knowledge to have thought about it effectively.
    And the plan is stupid.”

    -> “Unintended Consequences”

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  13. A belated thought drifts across my mind….
    There are maybe a few hundred private individuals in this country who have the know-how, and likely the key hardware on hand, to turn a beat-up old Cessna into a low-performance cruise missile. Without, that is, needing a sacrificial pilot. A payload sufficient for a relatively soft target shouldn’t be difficult to contrive.
    I think a lot of the software related to this got ITARed out of public view a few years back, but it’s still around, one place and another.
    (I came up with a Cessnas-as-cruise-missiles scenario for a terrorist attack against certain infrastructure several years ago, but refrained from hitting “publish” because it seemed just that little bit too plausible.)

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    1. I read an article online a few years back which told of an outfit which had created, and were about ready to release commercially, a software and jumper cables package which would allow a cell phone to act as an autopilot for your Cessna. A few years before that, there was one about some guys who had developed, and were about ready to release commercially, a small kit that would allow a hunter to strap the equivalent to a main battle tank’s fire control system onto their rifle, again using a phone for the necessary computing. IDK if either product actually made it to market, but as you say, the knowledge is out there. I assure you, you are far from alone in visualizing the “Cessnas as cruise missiles” scenario.

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  14. There’s a couple of points that I’m not seeing addressed here. You speak favourably of the ability of lightly armed irregulars to stand up to the US military, citing Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. But in Vietnam, the Tet offensive was such a bloody disaster for the communists that they were going to surrender, until they started to listen to the way Cronkite and the rest of the media were covering it. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the military won essentially every tactical engagement they got into, inflicting casualties at rates of hundreds to one. The tally was so lopsided that military recruiters were able to pitch service as the ultimate extreme sport, and the insurgencies were losing leaders just about as quickly as grunts. In each case, what saved the insurgents was not their military prowess, it was the fact that half the US political establishment and essentially all of the US media were on their side. But in any American insurgency, the media and the politicians will be working *against* the insurgents. Furthermore, in each case you cite, the insurgents enjoyed serious technical and material support from major world and / or regional powers, in addition to having sanctuary areas available due to US RoE restrictions. How much, if any, of that do you think would be available to US insurgents? Now, I agree that no-one in history has ever had to deal with anything remotely as scary as the kind of insurgent that the US population could produce in vast numbers. But by the same token, no insurgency in history has ever had to contend with an environment as hostile as the modern US, either. Every commercial and industrial facility in the land is studded with surveillance equipment. So are most apartment buildings, and even many individual homes. Most modern vehicles talk to the manufacture via satcom. essentially everybody uses credit and / or debit cards these days, and that data is routinely used to track criminals already. Most people have cell phones, and I don’t need to talk about the dangers there. Most of the population has online profiles, and the same software that tells facebook and Google what ads to serve them will quite easily identify the potential insurgents among them. Even if your friend who can equip a short battalion doesn’t have a profile anywhere, you know who he is, and the government can extract that information from you if you don’t kill yourself first. I am by no means saying that any insurgents would be in a hopeless position, but it sure won’t be anything like as easy as folks here seem to think, either …

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    1. But in Vietnam, the Tet offensive was such a bloody disaster for the communists

      1) The folk who make the “you can’t fight the government with rifles” argument don’t see it that way so this throws their own cognitive dissonance in their face.
      2) Vietnam was complicated by the fact that it was both an insurgency and a conventional war. This, BTW, is where the author of “Eating Soup with a Knife” falls down in his analysis. He gets some of the failures of the US in handling the insurgency aspect but neglects that there was a conventional war going on at the same time.
      2a) The Tet Offensive, in this case, was a combined action of the VC and the NVA which was tactically a mistake in drawing out the VC which led to them pretty much being eradicated as an effective insurgency force–the remainder of the war was largely a conventional war (as conventional as jungle warfare ever gets).

      Furthermore, in each case you cite, the insurgents enjoyed serious technical and material support from major world and / or regional powers

      Profiding arms, ammunition, and training. The civilian population of the US already has arms and ammunition. And as for training, military veterans in the civilian population (whose training doesn’t magically vanish when they ETS) outnumber active military by more than 10 to 1. We already have what the “support” in those areas provided.

      due to US RoE restrictions</blockquote
      So, how do you think bombing Des Moines or rolling tanks throw Boise because there are a few insurgents within them is going to go over with the population? The more "relaxed" their RoE's the more they'll outrage the very people who would nominally be on their side against the insurgents. Yeah, good luck with that.

      surveillance equipment

      Remember the Christopher Dorner case? One rogue ex-cop kept the LAPD tied up for how long? Now multiply that by 20 million US veterans and something, 15 million hunters (based on number of license holders in 2020), and just plain gun enthusiasts.

      the government can extract that information from you if you don’t kill yourself first

      Sure they can. But that takes time. What do you think my friend (and that’s just one friend) si doing in the meantime?

      it sure won’t be anything like as easy as folks here seem to think

      You must be reading another blog because nobody said it would be easy. The main thing I’ve argued in the past is that the purpose of an armed citizenry is not necessarily to win an insurgency against tyrants. That’s a last resort. The main purpose is to get the would-be tyrants and their military advisors to look out at the population, to look at the reliable forces they have under their control, to look over it again, and to say “not today.” It’s to make them uncertain enough that when it comes down to it, they blink.

      It’s when they’re stupid enough to ignore that when things get…froggy.

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