“Slums” combine two socioeconomic factors, poverty and population density, which provide both the motivation and part of the means by which to detach from the dominant system and create robust, diversified, self-sustaining sub-economies which largely bypass the taxation and loan interest payments which have bought some time for the peasants in the face of the oligarchs’ steadily improving technologies of mass murder. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2015/06/brzezinski-it-is-infinitely-easier-to-kill-a-million-people-than-to-control-them/
Up to now much of the social and economic networking which would naturally lead to such sub-economies in the USA has been forestalled by food monopolization ( e.g. the war on lemonade stands, home gardens and raw milk, licensing of egg producers etc ) tunnel vision (TV), the deliberate destruction of the family http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2014/02/the-war-on-empathy-love-and-family/ and govt drug running http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/05/the-cia-and-the-crack-cocaine-epidemic/ but it seems Henry Ford’s business model has run its course and no self-respecting disaster capitalist can afford to rest on his laurels. The golden egg-laying goose is scheduled for an appointment in the kitchen.
Political control of populations is inversely related to their level of social networking, and rising impoverishment is forcing more people to turn off their TV and discover their neighbors. Of course, our satanic overlords have anticipated and prepared for this inevitable consequence of their wholesale looting of the economy. http://thoughtcrimeradio.net/2017/03/censored-ben-franklin-on-the-real-cause-of-the-american-revolution/
Naturally, as national boundaries dissolve and our autistic military planners discover the parallels between iraqi and american slums, you can be sure the war on such demographics will be coming to a city near you.
The destruction of social networks constitutes a lobotomy of the human social “mind”, a reflection of the empathic impairment of the social engineers who pursue it.
The Pentagon Plans for a New Hundred Years’ War
Duane Schattle doesn’t mince words. “The cities are the problem,” he says. A retired Marine infantry lieutenant colonel who worked on urban warfare issues at the Pentagon in the late 1990s, he now serves as director of the Joint Urban Operations Office at U.S. Joint Forces Command. He sees the war in the streets of Iraq’s cities as the prototype for tomorrow’s battlespace. “This is the next fight,” he warns. “The future of warfare is what we see now.”
He isn’t alone. “We think urban is the future,” says James Lasswell, a retired colonel who now heads the Office of Science and Technology at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. “Everything worth fighting for is in the urban environment.” And Wayne Michael Hall, a retired Army brigadier general and the senior intelligence advisor in Schattle’s operation, has a similar assessment, “We will be fighting in urban terrain for the next hundred years.”
Last month, in a hotel nestled behind a medical complex in Washington, D.C., Schattle, Lasswell, and Hall, along with Pentagon power-brokers, active duty and retired U.S. military personnel, foreign coalition partners, representatives of big and small defense contractors, and academics who support their work gathered for a “Joint Urban Operations, 2007” conference. Some had served in Iraq or Afghanistan; others were involved in designing strategy, tactics, and concepts, or in creating new weaponry and equipment, for the urban wars in those countries. And here, in this hotel conference center, they’re talking about military technologies of a sort you’ve only seen in James Cameron’s 2000-2002 television series Dark Angel.
I’m the oddity in this room of largely besuited defense contractors, military retirees, and camouflage-fatigue-clad military men at a conference focused on strategies for battling it out in the labyrinthine warrens of what urbanologist Mike Davis calls “the planet of slums.” The hulking guy who plops down next to me as the meeting begins is a caricature of just the attendee you might imagine would be at such a meeting. “I sell guns,” he says right off. Over the course of the conference, this representative of one of the world’s best known weapons manufacturers will suggest that members of the media be shot to avoid bad press and he’ll call a local tour guide he met in Vietnam a “bastard” for explaining just how his people thwarted U.S. efforts to kill them. But he’s an exception. Almost everyone else seems to be a master of serene anodyne-speak. Even the camo-clad guys seem somehow more academic than warlike.
In his tour de force book Planet of Slums, Davis observes, “The Pentagon’s best minds have dared to venture where most United Nations, World Bank or Department of State types fear to go. [T]hey now assert that the ‘feral, failed cities’ of the Third World — especially their slum outskirts — will be the distinctive battlespace of the twenty-first century.” Pentagon war-fighting doctrine, he notes, “is being reshaped accordingly to support a low-intensity world war of unlimited duration against criminalized segments of the urban poor.”
But the mostly male conference-goers planning for a multi-generational struggle against the global South’s slums aren’t a gang of urban warfare cowboys talking non-stop death and destruction; and they don’t look particularly bellicose either, as they munch on chocolate-chip cookies during our afternoon snack breaks in a room where cold cuts and brochures for the Rapid Wall Breaching Kit — which allows users to blast a man-sized hole in the side of any building — are carefully laid out on the tables. Instead, these mild-mannered men speak about combat restraint, “less than lethal weaponry,” precision targeting, and (harking back to the Vietnam War) “winning hearts and minds.”…
A specific goal of DARPA, as a slide in deputy chief Leheny’s presentation made clear, is to “make a foreign city as familiar as the soldier’s backyard.” This would be done through the deployment of intrusive sensor, UAV, and mapping technologies. In fact, there were few imaginable technologies, even ones that not so long ago inhabited the wildest frontiers of science fiction, that weren’t being considered for the 100-year battle these men are convinced is ahead of us in the planet’s city streets. The only thing not evidently open to discussion was the basic wisdom of planning to occupy foreign cities for a century to come. Even among the most thoughtful of these often brainy participants, there wasn’t a nod toward, or a question asked of, the essential guiding principle of the conference itself.
With their surprisingly bloodless language, antiseptic PowerPoint presentations, and calm tones, these men — only one woman spoke — are still planning Iraq-style wars of tomorrow. What makes this chilling is not only that they envision a future of endless urban warfare, but that they have the power to drive such a war-fighting doctrine into that future; that they have the power to mold strategy and advance weaponry that can, in the end, lock Americans into policies that are unlikely to make it beyond these conference-room doors, no less into public debate, before they are unleashed.
These men may be mapping out the next hundred years for urban populations in cities across the planet. At the conference, at least, which ones exactly seemed beside the point. Who could know, after all, whether in, say, 2045, the target would be Mumbai, Lagos, or Karachi — though one speaker did offhandedly mention Jakarta, Indonesia, a city of nine million today, as a future possibility.
Along with the lack of even a hint of skepticism about the basic premise of the conference went a fundamental belief that being fought to a standstill by a ragtag insurgency in Iraq was an issue to be addressed by merely rewriting familiar tactics, strategy, and doctrine and throwing multi-billions more in taxpayer dollars — in the form of endless new technologies — at the problem. In fact, listening to the presentations in that conference room, with its rows of white-shrouded tables in front of a small stage, it would not have been hard to believe that the U.S. had defeated North Korea, had won in Vietnam, had never rushed out of Beirut or fled Mogadishu, or hadn’t spent markedly more time failing to achieve victory in Afghanistan than it did fighting the First and Second World Wars combined.
To the rest of the world, at least, it’s clear enough that the Pentagon knows how to redden city streets in the developing world, just not win wars there; but in Washington — by the evidence of this “Joint Urban Operations, 2007” conference — it matters little. Advised, outfitted, and educated by these mild-mannered men who sipped sodas and noshed on burnt egg rolls between presentations, the Pentagon has evidently decided to prepare for 100 years more of the same: war against various outposts of a restless, oppressed population of slum-dwellers one billion strong and growing at an estimated rate of 25 million a year. All of these UO experts are preparing for an endless struggle that history suggests they can’t win, but that is guaranteed to lead to large-scale destruction, destabilization, and death. Unsurprisingly, the civilians of the cities that they plan to occupy, whether living in Karachi, Jakarta, or Baghdad, have no say in the matter. No one thought to invite any of them to the conference.
Nick Turse is the associate editor and research director of Tomdispatch.com. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Nation, the Village Voice, and regularly for Tomdispatch.com. His first book, The Complex, an exploration of the new military-corporate complex in America, is due out in the American Empire Project Series by Metropolitan Books in 2008. His new website NickTurse.com (up only in rudimentary form) will fully launch in the coming months.
Copyright 2007 Nick Turse
The idea isn’t to “win the war”, it is to perpetuate it indefinitely.