Monday, April 15, 2013

Commando Cops

--Anaheim (CA) SWAT team member 

It's a hard world to get a break in
All the good things have been taken 
--It's My Life, The Animals

Did you ever think about life
as a metaphor for television 
--Chuck Paluhniak

"Training for Terrorism: Do You have the Mindset to Deal With the One-Percent" is an an article in Combat Arms (2013) suggesting training United State Law Enforcement to confront terrorism in a military manner; this so wrong in so many ways.

U.S. police are not soldiers, and combat training and  methodology is not a police function.  The streets of America can be mean, but they are not a battlefield. The last armed terrorist attack in the Continental U.S. was an attempted assassination of President Harry S. Truman in Washington D. C. by Puerto Rican separatists in 1950.

The author ("SGM Kyle Lamb, Ret.") incorrectly states that attacks like those in Mumbai (2008) are "coming to a street near you". Lamb states, "These terrorists decided that the United States was not prime for this particular attack, so they chose Mumbai."  WRONG.

The group that carried out that attack exploited a porous border and Pakistan ISI support (reportedly).  The group, Lashkar -e-Taiba, does not target U.S. interests nor are they capable of attacking the U.S. homeland as they lack the training, personnel and assets to do so.  Mumbai was only "chosen" because it was soft and easily exploited; suggesting that such a group could attack the U.S. is a paranoid fantasy.

Who are these murderous 1%, anyway? When was the last time a terrorist team killed a target here in the U.S.?  They are non-extant, but they are useful for raking the bucks for the paranoid fanatics selling a combat version of LE. However, combat and LE are two different concepts. U.S. LE must treat all threats the same. A properly-trained policeman or SWAT should react the same in a terrorist or law scenario; if loss of life is imminent, then the team may use deadly force.

The author suggests a "head shot" if a "vest-wearing terrorist [is] detected with thermal devices". We presume this would involve some profiling to determine if the threat is not "an average citizen" but instead, "terrorists we must kill to protect our citizens." 

"Cops are forced to treat everyone they come into contact with the same as a law-abiding citizen being pulled over for speeding [ugh, then he's not "law-abiding", right? -ed.] Unfortunately, terrorists are prepared to die for a cause and take you with them. You cannot treat these individuals as you would the 99 percent of the population who make contact with you daily."

If this article were based in reality, it would acknowledge that it would be more beneficial to capture terrorists than it would be to kill them in the execution phase; a live prisoner is worth 1,000 dead terrorists.

In fact, cops are the last line of defense that would confront a terrorist threat here. Terrorists will never use AK's and military tactics to attack targets in America. As this would be an imported threat, there would be layers of detection and prevention before any such act could even hope to reach the execution phase. Sigint and Humint filter out most attacks, both foreign and domestic, before they exit the planning stage.

Since the advent of the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©), the military and the police have cross-trained in federally-sponsored exercises such as "Emerald Coast" (in N. Florida). The result is a weak-minded and wrong-headed blending of military and police philosophies -- police are not combat-assets and vice versa.

We should be especially mindful of the lines as many police are recruited following military service. In order to avoid the militarization of LE, the "serve and protect" posture should be reinforced to replace the "search and destroy" mentality.

The author further conflates the concept of Rule of Engagement (military) with Use of Force (civilian), suggesting that policymakers should adopt a no-holds-barred policy for the police.  His frustration arises from the military's ROE constrictions, but were this a real war, there would be no such constrictions.  His frustrations do not apply to the civilian world of LE which abides by federal guidelines and Constitutional restrictions, none of which have changed or lost their viability since the events of 9-11-01 mesmerized our reptilian brains.

Terrorists are still just bog-simple criminals, and our laws still apply handily.  As well, the basis of all federal guidelines is the sanctity and preservation of life, even that of the shooter if at all possible, a concept which is antithetical to military thinking. (Lacking in this piece is the role of the Hostage Negotiator (HN) to resolve a situation before or even after the shooting starts -- what happened to the HN's?)

The U.S. is a nation guarded by the rule of law.  If the police become mobile death squads, then we have become worse than terrorists.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


That means that there are 3 million murderous maniacs in the US.

Highly suspect statistic because we have nothing close to 3 million standard homicides per annum - or even per decade - let alone 3million bombings, shooting rampages or attacks targeting LE; not even in a hundred years.

1% is a very paranoid, very self justifying and very wrong statistic.

Now, if they want to lump jay-walkers in with bomb throwers then they might have a point, but I hope it hasn't come down to where militarized SWAT units are "taking down" jay-walkers.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 7:09:00 AM GMT-5  

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