The War on You: How the Pentagon is Militarizing Social Control

Target: Everyone.

By T.J. Cole and cross-posted from Counterpunch.org.

In 1997, the U.S. Space Command published its Vision for 2020. The Vision says that military force is necessary to “protect” U.S. trade and investment. Colonial forces repelled Native American attacks, Navies enforced sea-based commerce, the Air Force had the advantage of the “high ground.” In modern times, space is an additional domain of warfare. The technologies that we take for granted—cargo tankers, computers, e-commerce, drones, GPS, the internet, jet aircraft, touchscreens, and the satellites that make these things possible—were developed in the military sector with public treasure before their transfer to private, for-profit corporations. This, says the Space Command, will lead to “Full Spectrum Dominance.”

A few years later, Dennis M. Bushnell, the chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, gave a presentation based on the work of a host of powerful U.S. (and other) institutions, including: the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Forces Command, the National Research Council, and many others.

Entitled Future Strategic Issues/Future Warfare [Circa 2025], the PowerPoint presentation anticipates: a) scenarios created by U.S. forces and agencies and b) scenarios to which they might have to respond. The projection is contingent on the use of hi-technology. According to the report there are/will be six Technological Ages of Humankind: “Hunter/killer groups (sic) [million BC-10K BC]; Agriculture [10K BC-1800 AD]; Industrial [1800-1950]; IT [1950-2020]; Bio/Nano [2020-?]; Virtual.”

In the past, “Hunter/gatherer” groups fought over “hunting grounds” against other “tribal bands” and used “handheld/thrown” weapons. In the agricultural era, “professional armies” also used “handheld/thrown” weapons to fight over “farm lands.” In the industrial era, conscripted armies fought over “natural resources,” using “mechanical and chemical” weapons. In our time, “IT/Bio/Bots” (robots) are used to prevent “societal disruption.” The new enemy is “everyone.” “Everyone.”

Similarly, a British Ministry of Defence projection to the year 2050 states: “Warfare could become ever more personalised with individuals and their families being targeted in novel ways.”

“KNOWLEDGE DOMINANCE”

The war on you is the militarization of everyday life with the express goal of controlling society, including your thoughts and actions.

A U.S. Army document on information operations from 2003 specifically cites activists as potential threats to elite interests. “Nonstate actors, ranging from drug cartels to social activists, are taking advantage of the possibilities the information environment offers,” particularly with the commercialization of the internet. “Info dominance” as the Space Command calls it can counter these threats: “these actors use the international news media to attempt to influence global public opinion and shape decision-maker perceptions.” Founded in 1977, the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command featured an Information Dominance Center, itself founded in 1999 by the private, veteran-owned company, IIT.

“Information Operations in support of civil-military interactions is becoming increasingly more important as non-kinetic courses-of-action are required,” wrote two researchers for the military in 1999. They also said that information operations, as defined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff JP 3-13 (1998) publication, “are aimed at influencing the information and information systems of an adversary.” They also confirm that “[s]uch operations require the continuous and close integration of offensive and defensive activities … and may involve public and civil affairs-related actions.” They conclude: “This capability begins the transition from Information Dominance to Knowledge Dominance.”

“ATTUNED TO DISPARITIES”

The lines between law enforcement and militarism are blurred, as are the lines between military technology and civilian technology. Some police forces carry military-grade weapons. The same satellites that enable us to use smartphones enable the armed forces to operate.

In a projection out to the year 2036, the British Ministry of Defence says that “[t]he clear distinction between combatants and non-combatants will be increasingly difficult to discern,” as “the urban poor will be employed in the informal sector and will be highly vulnerable to externally-derived economic shocks and illicit exploitation” (emphasize in original). This comes as Boris Johnson threatens to criminalize Extinction Rebellion and Donald Trump labels Black Lives Matter domestic terrorists

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