Next week, we’re about to start going over a handful of posts about source recruiting and source operations; areas which have only been lightly covered on this blog. That’s about to change.
I was thinking earlier today about all the applications of source ops for the post-SHTF Patriot and/or prepper. One of the most glaring ways is to track crime information. I think the possibility that we all go to sleep one night and wake up in post-Apocalyptic America is pretty low. I think it’s more likely that, for a period of time, civil society slowly breaks down and we just don’t realize that we’re already living in post-SHTF until a catastrophic event occurs. Post-SHTF would not have started one second after that event, but probably in the years leading up to that event. I guess you could even make the case that we’re living in post-SHTF America right now because I don’t foresee things getting better before they get worse. We’re probably here for good.
That said, everyone needs to check out Crime Reports. I think we covered this site already in an Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB) post and an Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) post. At any rate, do a quick search for the past month based on your zip code. Then look at each month for the past 12 months and keep score. Do you notice any patterns? I still need to write a couple posts on identifying and analyzing patterns, but you already know the basics. There’s a lot of nuance, however, in reading patterns. Some factors we might look at are frequency and disposition (geographic relation, for instance).
Statistics are an important part of intelligence analysis. How do we track the efficacy of our operations? Enemy activity is a good metric. We’d look at frequency of attacks; an increased frequency might tell us that our offensive operations haven’t been effective whereas a decreased frequency might spell the opposite. Are the remaining attacks growing in level of violence or devastation? Are they trading time and resources of ten small attacks for one large attack on our Forward Operating Base (FOB), thereby decreasing the frequency of attacks but telegraphing that their resources and combat strength have been unaffected? Just because attacks are down doesn’t mean that we’re winning. Are they ceasing harassing attacks like random small arms fire (SAF) and precision fire (PSAF) in favor of trying to overrun the FOB while two-thirds of our company is on patrol? How about their surveillance game? Are they slowing down operations in order to learn more about what we’re doing and how to exploit our plans? There’s a level of adaptive management on both sides. On one hand, they need to maintain their survivability in the short term without making large sacrifices to operations. On the other hand, pushing bad guys out may mean that we’ve temporarily cleared an area — and they’ve only left in order to survive — but that doesn’t mean that they’re gone for good. These are some real world scenarios and questions you may have to answer as the post-SHTF Analysis and Control Element (ACE). Just because you chased after Leroy Jenkins and your area is safer doesn’t mean that he’s not going to exploit a vulnerability tomorrow and really put a hurting on you. He’s watching you just as much as you’re watching him. And guess what: not only is making you pay more important to him than the lives of the men he sends after you, but he’s also going to go after the softest, weakest targets in order to undermine the security situation. What does it mean that your militia or community defense group can’t protect the 90-year old woman on the edge of town? Further than that, what does it mean that you are ineffective to stop him from doing it again somewhere else? That’s why good IPB and information gathering like source ops is so important.
So back to tracking statistics, what’s the security situation like in your area? Is crime in the past 12 months up or down? What type(s) of crime is most prevalent, and what’s the disposition of those crimes? Is it confined to a specific neighborhood, is it all across your town, or is it migrating to other neighborhoods? Each of these scenarios implies something about the conditions of your town as well as the criminal elements themselves. If resource crimes like robbery and theft are up, is it because more people are resorting to theft or because the same criminals are robbing people at greater frequencies? How about arrests? If arrests for robbery are up but robbery-related crime hasn’t decreased, then what does that mean to your community? And what about who is committing the crime? What do all of these robberies have in common? Who specifically are committing the crimes, what patterns are they setting, where do they live and operate, what weapons do they have, and when and where are you most likely going to be able to stop this irregular threat? If there are no police post-SHTF then you are the police by default and you owe it to your community to stop the threat.
You might be saying to yourself that this is standard police intelligence work, but take my word that even military intelligence analysts – where improvised explosive devices (IEDs), sniper fire (or PSAF), indirect fire (IDF), murder and intimidation (M&I), or any combination of complex attacks are substituted – can be horrifically ineffective at making sense of their surroundings, and some of these kids spent six months or longer in the various schoolhouses. So expecting the paycheck collector or the dog murderer to be a super sleuth who’s looking out for you is probably not going to be your best bet (that’s not true of them all, we know).
For now, use the Crime Reports website or others like it to form a baseline. And I’m not talking a “there’s no crime in this town” baseline, but a baseline of empirical data with hard numbers. Learn about the crime in your area, its significance, the players and their modus operandi, and then project some capabilities. Develop Courses of Action (COA) for these guys using the BICC/E analytical method. If the lights go out, what are they going to do, and where are they most likely to do it? Answering these questions today is going to produce dividends for your security tomorrow.
I’ll roll out the training schedule for the month of January and February here shortly. We have courses coming up in Atlanta, GA and TBA, VA. If interested in enrolling a two-day ICAC, send me an email. For everyone who’s emailed me in the past couple weeks, I’m going to start planning dates and locations. Standby. There’s still room for the Spokane ICAC (04-05 JAN) if anyone out that way is interested. That’s a rain, shine, snow, sleet, SHTF event. It’s happening.