The US is now a country that is permanently at war with other countries. While the countries that are designated as enemies may change, the state of war has become a fixture. Among other things, these wars serve the purpose of being testing grounds for new weapons systems. But what many people who may be sanguine about unleashing firepower on poor people of color in other countries may not realize is that what the US military uses abroad often later becomes tools for local law enforcement. The increasing militarization of local police departments is often the result of the military providing them with surplus equipment that has been superseded my newer ones.
Jeff Hess at Have Coffee Will Write describes how counter-terrorism tactics are now being used to target legitimate domestic protestors in the US. He says that a company that builds oil pipelines in the US has hired TigerSwan, “A shadowy international mercenary and security firm, to thwart the peaceful assembly of American citizens seeking to protect their sacred religious heritage and safe drinking water for their families” by attacking protestors opposed to the Rover pipeline in Ohio.
He notes how pipeline protestors are now being demonized using the same inflammatory language that is used against foreigners.
This is not just an event happening on the other side of the globe in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is not an atrocity occurring in another state half-way across the country. This is a corporate bad actor that, if protests get out of hand and threaten profits, has the will to unleash these thugs on Ohioans who think the Rover pipeline is bad for Ohioans.
Pay close and careful attention to the language here: American citizens seeking to protect their land, their water and their heritage from rapacious corporate greed are following the jihadist insurgency model and with the continued spread of the anti-DAPL diaspora … aggressive intelligence preparation of the battlefield is needed.
Similarly Marcus Ranum at stderr has a couple of excellent posts on torture (here and here) that are well worth reading. Again, we should remember that while governments develop torture methods on foreigners who have been demonized and dehumanized so that people will go along with these acts that are not only war crimes under international law but are also crimes under US law. It is only a matter of time before those techniques are transferred to the native population in prisons and under interrogation.
We also see that the Reaper drones that are operated by military personnel based in the remote areas of Nevada to attack targets in the Middle East have now been introduced into civilian airports in the US in upstate New York, no doubt to make the public comfortable with the presence of these deadly unmanned aircraft that can be used in surveillance as well as for offensive purposes.
While the ostensible reason governments give for spending vast sums of money on strong militaries is to defend themselves from foreign enemies, and especially in the US we see how willingly people go along with the obscene amounts that is spent at the expense of everything else, another reason is to provide massive subsidies to the military-industrial complex and to have a powerful force ready to suppress any potential domestic unrest that threatens the ruling classes.