Opinion: The Steps Towards Revolution or Hostile Takeover From Within (Part I, Introduction)

Image is in the public domain and reproduced from page 45 of Human Factor Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies, 25 January 2013, US Special Operations Command and modified by the author. Copyright 2020 by Townhall Media.



There is an interesting graphic going around on Twitter. It appears to portray the levels and activities of civil uncoupling before open guerrilla warfare breaks out and we have a full-blown revolution happening. Here is the Tweet and the diagram.

You can see the pyramid has multiple levels showing activities that take place before there is an open, armed revolt against the constituted government. The yellow arrow points towards where (with some justification) the author of the Tweet believes we are right now.

There is no doubt that in more than a few metropolitan precincts, the morale of police forces is in sharp decline. Just look at the spiking request for retirement numbers.

If you’ll note, the diagram in the tweet differs from the one on the masthead of this article. That one I took directly from the January 2013 edition of a U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) publication entitled: Human Factors Considerations Of Undergrounds In Insurgencies. The 2013 version is actually more up to date. Except as specifically noted, I’ll be using the USASOC version.

The Twitter version has an arrow pointing at just one level. On the USASOC version, I’ve circled a range of levels. On both, the designated areas are just short of the open and armed revolt or general uprising levels. It’s important to understand that these things don’t necessarily occur in a rigid sequence and, at the end, most of them will be occurring simultaneously.


Back in the day, I used to teach this at the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg. One thing that has stuck with me since that brief time in my life is a very hard truth and its even harder analog. The hard truth is that before the first guerrilla picks up a gun and kills a police officer or Soldier, the revolution or precursors to it, have been going for at least 10 years prior. Of course, the analog to that says that once you’ve defeated the insurgency, killed, captured, or jailed the leaders, there is still a decade or more of work to do to get back to a condition of popularly supported stability.

Over the next few days, we’ll explore the USASOC graphic. We will talk about what is happening and the part these activities play in a successful insurgency. As we all know, You can’t tell the players without a scorecard. To get at that info, we’ll rely on a bit of Latin, cui bono? Who benefits? That should bring us naturally to discover their objectives. Given the variety of players on the field for this particular game, it’s almost certain there isn’t complete overlap in objectives. It’s also pretty certain that nobody currently involved sees himself riding a jeep into Washington DC at the head of his revolutionary army, as did Fidel Castro into Havana or like Daniel Ortega into Managua…Well, perhaps some scrawny pajama boy currently in the Oregon PD lockup awaiting mommy to come bail him out.


Finally, we will discuss measures to reverse course. As I stated above, once we lock up the last pajama boy and last financier who is funding this strife, we still have a lot of work to do. We still have to reverse decades of bad decisions, abject stupidity, and in more than a few cases, outright malice. To be quite blunt, this will be the hardest part. Next up, Part II, What’s Going On and What Part of the Process It Supports. Stay tuned.


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