Center for Strategic Communication

[by Mark Safranski a.k.a. “zen“]


Top Billing! Dr. Robert Bunker  Not Your Grandfather’s Insurgency: Criminal, Spiritual and Plutocratic

Your Grandfather’s Insurgency.

Old school insurgency or “people’s war” was typically dominated by Leninist, Trotskian, Maoist, and related revolutionary thought. Such insurgencies are ideological in nature and may also draw upon nationalistic underpinnings, as was utilized in Vietnam. Specific characteristics of this type of insurgency are: it is premeditated, driven by the political, established by a parallel (shadow) government, utilizes violence—typically targeted and instrumental in nature, with the desired end state being political control over a nation-state.


      Depending on the relative sophistication of the insurgents, a phased approach to insurgency—initially based on sequential and later on simultaneous phases—is utilized. The conditions influencing an insurgency, i.e. the popular grievances, may also be artificially accelerated. Seminal works in your grandfather’s insurgency literature include: Guerrilla Warfare (1937); People’s War, People’s Army (1962); and the Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (1969). These revolutionary-based insurgencies include those that took place in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, and El Salvador.


Criminal, Spiritual, and Plutocratic Insurgency.


Twenty-first century insurgencies are turning out to be very different than 20th century ones. An initial projection concerning the development of such insurgencies was penned by Dr. Steven Metz in his 1993 Strategic Studies Institute monograph, The Future of Insurgency. In that prophetic work, he posited that:


Two forms of insurgency are likely to dominate the post-cold war world. Spiritual insurgency is the descendant of the cold war-era revolutionary insurgency. It will be driven by the problems of modernization, the search for meaning, and the pursuit of justice. The other form will be commercial insurgency. This will be driven less by the desire for justice than wealth. Its psychological foundation is a warped translation of Western popular culture which equates wealth, personal meaning, and power.  

Dr. Steve Metz – All Options Bad if  Mexico’s Drug Violence Expands to the US 

One way that large-scale drug violence might move to the United States is if the cartels miscalculate and think they can intimidate the U.S. government or strike at American targets safely from a Mexican sanctuary. The most likely candidate would be the group known as the Zetas. They were created when elite government anti-drug commandos switched sides in the drug war, first serving as mercenaries for the Gulf Cartel and thenbecoming a powerful cartel in their own right. The Zetas used to recruit mostly ex-military and ex-law enforcement members in large part to maintain discipline and control. But the pool of soldiers and policemen willing to join the narcotraffickers was inadequate to fuel the group’s ambition. Now the Zetas are tapping a very different, much larger, but less disciplined pool of recruits in U.S. prisons and street gangs. 

This is an ominous turn of events. Since intimidation through extreme violence is a trademark of the Zetas, its spread to the United States raises the possibility of large-scale violence on American soil. As George Grayson of the College of William and Mary put it, “The Zetas are determined to gain the reputation of being the most sadistic, cruel and beastly organization that ever existed.” And without concern for extradition, which helped break the back of the Colombian drug cartels, the Zetas show little fear of the United States government, already having ordered direct violence against American law enforcement. 

Joel Kotkin – The  U.S. middle Class is turning Proletarian 

Despite President Obama’s rhetorical devotion to reducing inequality, it has widened significantly under his watch. Not only did the income of the middle 60% of households drop between 2010 and 2012 while that of the top 20% rose, the income of the middle 60% declined by a greater percentage than the poorest quintile. The middle 60% of earners’ share of the national pie has fallen from 53% in 1970 to 45% in 2012.

This group, what I call the yeoman class — the small business owners, the suburban homeowners , the family farmers or skilled construction tradespeople — is increasingly endangered. Once the dominant class in America, it is clearly shrinking: In the four decades since 1971 the percentage of Americans earning between two-thirds and twice the national median income has dropped from 61% to 51% of the population, according to Pew 

….Given the challenge being mounted by de Blasio and hard left Democrats, one would imagine that business and conservative leaders would try to concoct a response. But for the most part, particularly at the national level, they offer little more than bromides about low taxes, particularly for the well-heeled investor and rentier classes, while some still bank on largely irrelevant positions on key social issues to divert the middle class from their worsening economic plight. 

Ajit Pai – The FCC Wades into the Newsroom  

….But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

….How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: “Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?” Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC’s queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

Gen. Robert Scales – US Troops are Equipped with Inferior, Antiquated Weapons 

Timothy Snyder – Fascism, Russia and Ukraine 

Global Guerrillas – What went wrong with America?

Peter Munson – A Reasonable Hope? Intervention in Syria Requires More than Good Intentions 

SWJThe Process of Radicalization 

AFJUnmanned Naval Warfare: Retrospect and Prospect 

LESC Blog – How do we develop Adaptability?


Slightly East of New – Another Note on Cheng/Chi 

WIREDBrain Scans show Striking Similarities between Dogs and Humans

The Guardian – Daniel Kahneman changed the way we think about thinking. But what do other thinkers think of him?