Showing posts with label cartel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cartel. Show all posts

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hybrid Threats and Modern Law Enforcement in the Border States

Hybrid Warfare is a strategy of warfare that blends some combination of conventional forces, unconventional/ guerrilla forces, terrorism and criminal elements as well as cyber and information warfare. Instead of dealing with one type of threat a force ends up dealing with  multiple threats. Potentially these threats are working together though some (typically criminals) may just be doing bad stuff in the same time and space. Basically it's a big mess.

Of particular concern to the border states is the overlap between gangs and guerrilla/ terrorist (in this context I do not find that term productive as, excluding the most violent and pointless atrocities, it often boils down to a value judgement of a group so I use guerrilla instead) organizations. To some degree large gangs are guerrilla organizations and guerrilla organizations are criminal. 

Mexican drug cartels cutting the heads off people and hanging them from bridges is certainly done to inspire fear which is by definition terrorism. On the other hand guerrilla groups inevitably resort to a variety of criminal acts for fund raising.  Selling drugs to fund guerrilla actions is boringly cliche. The IRA was big on smuggling and various forms of fraud. All those Aryan groups in the 80's and early 90's were big on robbing banks. You get the point. What it boils down to for me is the primary purpose of the organization. Mexican drug cartels exist to make money by selling drugs. A bunch of folks robbing banks to fund the revolution are their guerrilla goals.

In any case I was involved in an interesting discussion  that is worth talking about. Took me awhile to digest it so now we have story time with Ryan. Some thoughts in no particular order:

-The fusion between various federal agencies, state, county and local law enforcement is significant.  Information sharing and intelligence gathering, training, a variety of joint operations and such. They are far more connected than in years back. This is necessary to deal with a variety of threats that do not neatly fit into jurisdictional boundaries. On the other side of the coin I can certainly see how this fusion could concern some folks. Regardless of your value judgement on the matter this is here to stay.

-As to our southern border. It is a good reminder that barriers only stop people if they are guarded. Barriers without dudes carrying rifles watching them only serve to slow movement.

-Cell phones. I'm going to spot you the credit to assume the normal everyday cell phone most people carry is not around if you are doing something it would be a problem if ANYBODY knows about. If you did not know that I would recommend educating yourself. We are talking about semi anonymous disposable pre paid cell phones. These phones are also known as dirt phones, drug phones and my personal favorite hoe phones. Even still this just doesn't work. I've been talking about it for years. Like I said a long time ago.

The theory is that if someone on one anonymous cell phone calls someone on another one it is totally discrete. Easy wireless secure communications for prices any insurgent can afford. 

Here is reality. People are lazy and stupid and modern methods of tracking/ snooping on cell phones are very good. This is how laziness and modern snooping collide. Lets say a dozen insurgents all have anonymous pre paid cell phones. Someones gets lazy and uses theirs to call their Moms house or their buddy at the local Mosque to ask what time the potluck is. Being as the people who are looking for them have done a good job in targeting they were snooping on Momma and the Mosques phone lines. They electronically snoop on the pre paid cell  phone now, really recording and searching for key words (bomb, Allah, US, soldier, rifle, Israel, whatever). Pretty darn quickly they realize this phone is of interest. Lazy Insurgent calls one of his co conspirators to talk about the big soccer game or planting some IED's. Now they got Co Conspirators number from Lazy Insurgent. Of course being smart they wait awhile and Co Conspirator calls a couple more Insurgent buddies and so does Lazy Insurgent. More likely than not the whole network gets taken down.

 If I was doing something where shady where the only viable communications option was cell phones they would be collected then dumped regularly. Probably weekly on a normal basis then as needed before then after significant operations. Only 'work' calls (and maybe some completely random planned ones) would be made with a significant penalty for any inflactions.

- If you weren't tracking it  UAV technology has came to all levels of law enforcement. Maybe they own them or maybe they borrow them, the significance is negligible really. What matters is you can assume pretty much all but the most podunk PD's have UAV's.

- Again as noted before too many vehicles or people is a tip off. If a typically 4 person residence or agricultural operation always has 20 folks hanging out it is an indicator that something else is going on.

- Also too expensive of vehicles is another indicator of something illicit. This makes sense though is not something one might consider. A little farm or ranch that MAYBE brings in 25k a year should not  (unless obviously the owner has significant income from another legitimate source) have several fifty thousand dollar customized trucks or SUV's outside.

- Paper records are an interesting topic. They are hard to destroy, especially on short notice. Info on a micro SD card is a lot easier to destroy on short notice. Obviously one would want to use a dedicated laptop THAT NEVER GOES ONLINE for this. If you really want to go old school with ledgers and records some sort of a burn cabinet (a container that stores files with a method in place to immediately destroy them if need be) would be the order of the day.

- Being able to get your hands on a rotating supply of legitimately titled/ licensed vehicles is helpful if you wan to avoid prying eyes. A buddy with a used car lot would be a good friend to have.

- Compartmentalization. In terms of drug stuff (obviously the big border show) people who know how the drugs come in should not know where they go. Folks who know where the drugs are stored should not know where the cash is stored. None of those people should know where the drugs are delivered to. The same could be applied to a guerrilla force keeping direct action cells separated from support folks and everybody from each other on general principle.

- Information and intelligence gathering. Both sides run intel on each other. They study successes and failures to learn from them gathering as much info as possible along the way. The cartels know who the cops are and where they live. The cops know who the real players (south of the border) are and where they live. The cops cannot reach the bosses down in Mexico and the cartels largely do not bother (lethally) targeting cops. Cops are held at bay by moral constraints and the border. Cartels just don't bother to (as far as any legitimate systemic trends I have seen) target American cops. Some busts are just a cost of business and enough get through that it's not a huge deal anyway.

- Often guerrilla's have a criminal wing to support their operations. Sort of like we discussed earlier. As we have also mentioned drugs are a common financing source. Personally I find that rather distasteful. In places where the business is in growing/ refining or shipping drugs I can see it but in the US it's all use. At the end of the day, despite my legalize everything libertarian tendencies, drugs are a scourge to our communities that I would never be a part of. Smuggling is a good option especially in a restricted economically dysfunctional scenario. Decent cigarettes, booze, name brand candy, perfume, make- up and maybe guns/ ammo could bring a decent amount of cash in. Obviously for a G government money is free game, significant government supporters (media, key politicians, etc not some secretary) are also a fine option to either rob or extort.

- Border regions. This whole drug mess would not be what it is without a border that gives crooks a safe haven. Being able to have established logistics and homes in a secure place then operate, largely through illegal alien cut out's, over the border without significant risk of consequences is a large part of why cartels are successful, rich and powerful. Looking at history the same could be said of guerrilla organizations. Insurgencies that succeed without a border to rest and train behind are at best the exception to the rule.

Well that's about all I can think of on this topic. Hope it was interesting for somebody.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

From Around The Web

Commander Zero tells a personal story about firearm registration. We need to fight any form of national gun registration or attempts to limit private party firearm purchases as vigorously as possible. If your state sucks and requires firearms to be registered I recommend voting with your feet.

Rural Mexicans form local security groups to protect their families and towns. The police and military either can not or will not protect them so these folks are doing it themselves. Note that lawful gun ownership in Mexico is seriously restricted. That combined with the abject poverty most rural Mexicans live in explains the single shot shotguns and other antiquated and less than ideal weapons.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ruminating Thoughts On The Coming Year

The Sun will continue to rise and set. Basically I expect a slightly worse version of this year.

Taxes- Taxes will go up. Part of this will be strait forward rate increases but most of it will be increases in 'fees', eliminations of various loopholes and such. The bottom line is that more money will flow from your pocket to multiple levels of government.

The Economy- I am not sure about our economy. My initial thought is that the lost decade our current jobless, non housing inflation and cheap money fueled recovery will continue. In this regard I expect a bit worse version of 2012. Then again who knows.

The European Sovereign Debt issue could well reemerge. With China's unsustainable growth rates turning to inflation and the economy slowing the US may well be one of the better looking horses in the glue factory this coming year.

I suspect artificial manipulation of gold and silver prices to continue. Silver will probably continue to be a pretty good buy over the coming year. Once our food storage goals are met we will put away some more PM's for sure.

Inflation- Hidden inflation will continue. The current CPI calculation seems manipulated to suit political aims inaccurate on how inflation affects normal folks. Most of this inflation will be covered up by smaller packages, less food by weight and the usual tricks. Expect your income to purchase fewer goods and services than before. 

Gun Control- I think that gun control could go many ways.  Were I forced to take a guess something will probably happen next year. The Dem's will do something, potentially via executive order if needed, to get a symbolic victory. It could be as benign as mandatory reporting of certain behaviors by medical professionals and maybe import limitations on certain guns like Siaga 12 shotguns and AK's or could be worse.

Crime- It ain't gonna get better. The flat lined economy will push some marginal folks towards crime. Also as state and county agencies try to make budgets work they are going to continue or increase prisoner releases. Yes these folks will generally have been arrested for nonviolent offenses but that is just what they were caught for. Plenty of violent criminals are incarcerated for various minor offenses and some of them will inevitably be released.

Down here in the South West I think the Reconquista downward spiral of drug/ cartel violence and unchecked illegal immigration will continue.

I wish that it wasn't my opinion that the partisan nature of politics in the US will get worse. Identity politics and hate mongering to suit various agendas will continue. There is potential for short flashes of localized violence being orchestrated to suit specific purposes. Think twitter flash mobs against political opponents.

Afghanistan- It isn't going to get better. The writing is on the wall that we are leaving. Expect limited conflict to support political goals. Think 'Nam in about 1971.

Wellthose are, for whatever they are worth, my thoughts on what is coming in 2013. Hopefully they give you something to think about. Again in closing I expect it to be a lot like last year but a bit worse.  Good luck,

What are your thoughts on the coming year?


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mexico urges U.S. to review gun laws after Colorado shooting- Got To Be Kidding Me

You can read the story here. Mexico's moral high ground when it comes to violence and the murder of innocent people is about that of Charley Sheen on the use of crack cocaine. To put this in perspective roughly 4X the amount of people killed in this unfortunate episode had their heads cut off not too far back in what was depressingly a fairly average week down in Ole Monterey.

That nation is engaged in a defacto civil war against massive drug cartels which are regularly fielding platoon sized elements which are engaging government forces with heavy weapons. These aren't some rinky dink gangbangers who have to steal an AR-15 from some citizen's house. They can just get guns from Mexican Army deserters or buy them on the world market.

Something about glass houses and stones comes to mind here.
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