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  • Tyrannical Govt. comes to power in US. Civilian population resists

    This is not the sort of 'What if....' I would normally post since I only find the ones I see as feasible interesting. The "What if Napoleon had nukes" idea doesn't interest me. Personally, I don't see this "What if..." as feasible, but clearly a great many Americans do.

    A very large number of people in the US justify ownership of semi-automatic rifles, such as the AR-17, in terms of retaining an ability for the general population to resist the oppression of a tyrannical government intent on taking away citizens' rights, liberties and guns. They see this facilitating of armed anti-government resistance as the intent of the 2nd. Amendment.

    So the question is, "What kind of resistance could a well-armed US population put up against the combined technological military might of the US government?

    And how would such a conflict play out over time?


    Philip
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

  • #2
    just my $0.02 but I think any meaningful resistance would center around regular troops, local LEO's and States that choose to disobey what they consider illegal orders. A few individuals, no matter how armed won't make much impact without a core of troops on the "inside" unless on a local level (see the battle of Athens Tennessee). Also, a group of regulars, backed by an armed populace would make a civil war much shorter.

    I think any second civil war is unlikely as most folk would sooner just give in than engage in a nasty fight. Hopefully this topic will never get beyond a "what if?"
    45B10 1986-91

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    • #3
      If the lead up to the Civil War is any indication, in areas that the public at large is pro-rebellion the military will be largely helpless initially to stop them. First, until the federal government decides to act with violent resistance many military facilities will fall to the rebellion's mobs. Soldiers in general will initially be reluctant to fire on civilians that are fellow countrymen.

      The local police and many or all reserve, guard, etc., units and members will side with the rebellion being locals themselves. There will be confusion over whether to call up units and many members will refuse to report in any case.

      Depending on the area you live you might have individuals with some substanical means of equiping a unit with military gear beyond small arms. I can think of a number of local military vehicle collectors that could turn out armed vehicles including half tracks and tanks with functioning weapons even if they have little or no ammunition for the main gun on a tank initially.

      This sort of thing started happening all over the South just before the Civil War. Sumter proved to be the final blow of many where most US arsenals had already been taken, many other US forts had been occupied, and local state militias were already backing the rebellion.

      Comment


      • #4
        In the early phases, the Military is somewhat irrelevant. It is the LEOs that will be used to make the pre-emptive strikes to disarm the populace.
        Much of the Military will be disbanded, only those that pass a new sort of psyc-profile will be allowed to remain, and reinforced with like-minded folks. There will also be detailed re-deployments to ensure that none of them are posted in Home areas. Its an old trick to ensure that the Govt's hired guns won't hesitate to open fire on the general population if called on to do so.

        Instead of having to figure out how to deal with tanks and jets (not all that hard if you concentrate on personnel instead of machines, especially when they are trying to sleep) you will instead have to worry about squad-sized SWAT teams ghosting around eliminating one household at a time. That is how a dozen men can cow 1,000 into sumission; the old Nacht und Nebel approach. People will simply vanish with no explanation ever given.

        Of course, this can, and often has, back-fired on the occupier. But the initial shock could be enough to pacify entire regions, those chosen as useful to the new order.
        After that, drones and the mass-use of chemical weapons could be applied to whole states, one by one, until the Imperial Hegemony controls most of the coutry.

        However, full victory is not likely, of perhaps even desirable to the Regime. They could set it up so that about 20% of the country continues to provide them with an enemy threat, thus keeping the other 80% on a permanent war-footing and firmly under the thumb of central control.

        Where else would they go for a boggey-man? For the hard-Left, the very worst people on Earth are Americans that are not Leftists.
        Or, they could finish the job with nukes, and then embark on the sort of Imperialism that has not been seen since the Roman Empire.... but I look to China as more likely for the later thing.
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

        Comment


        • #5
          If every able bodied person from 10 to 80 years old in this country had access to an AR-15, had plenty of ammo and were proficient in firing and maintaining it, then the government might have a hard time.

          There are ways the states can overcome the power of the central government. We know that if the government mobilized any kind of armored or mechanized unit, civilians are at a huge disadvantage. Aircraft are not going to win this type of war. For the states to be successful they must first use their National Guard units, LEOs, and militias to forcibly seize the fuel and ammo depots for tanks and mechanized vehicles. They then need to get their own operators in those to form liberated tank and mechanized formations. Knowing and capturing locations of where Patriot Battalions and Stinger MANPADs are and capturing knowledgeable operators who will help with air defense.

          Once armor, mechanized vehicles and air defense is established, you need to get rid of the Air Force's ability to resupply planes. Until then use of rotary and fixed wing aircraft is going to be tough. Securing the fuel and munitions that supply bomber, strike and air superiority aircraft has to happen. It may be that, we have to destroy the planes in order to deny the government use of them against us. Clandestine units supposedly friendly with the Air Force could be used to sabotage aircraft and infrastructure.

          Information is going to need to be spread to the public so they know what to do. I can foresee computer hackers and TV signal forecasters coming together to create channels that can be sent and received to give instructions to the masses. Using satellite, fiber optic, cable and radio, we can provide detailed voice and video instructions to the public to give them honest up to date information. Knowledge is power. We will have to liberate different kinds of communication sources so that our systems are redundant in the case that one system is jammed, censored or shut off, we can still communicate.

          Local and state LEOs will need to help with arming the populace. Those who can prove priory military or law enforcement service will be given priority to weapons and ammunition. Those who any FFLs for any type of firearms will be organized according to types of weapons and ammo they have and will be given personnel who are proficient in those types of weapons. Once organized the civilian militias will need transportation. They can use pickup trucks, buses and commercial trucks to help them liberate ammunition and firearms stores. This needs to happen quickly and simultaneously to cause panic from the government. Meanwhile the paramilitary state units will be going for ammunition plants and fuel depots after they've become mechanized.

          Those civilians who weren't prior military or LEO will not be given an assault rifle unless they already have one. They will be surveyed to find out who has hunting and CCW permits, and who already has firearms and can use them. They will be allowed to form a unit, while those that want to fight but have no weapons or have never fired a weapon will form training units. Those that have some civilian expertise in logistics, supply, mechanics, and technology will be told that their skills can be used for non-combat jobs. Those that are left who have no desired civilian expertise will be trained to fire and maintain rifles, shotguns and pistols, from bolt, pump, lever and semi-automatic actions. They will have to know how to use basically any available civilian and military small arms, since there is no possibility of issuing all civilians with a standard weapon. They will be trained to follow orders and not panic under stress, to not flag fellow citizens while moving, to use tactics to move and fire in urban and rural environments, to utilize cover and non verbal communications, to maintain noise and light discipline at night, to learn how to survive outdoors without fire or light, to operate a radio, to perform combat life saving procedures, to sanitize water, to conducting ambushes, to making improvised explosive devices, etc.

          The civilians will become an effective guerrilla forces trained by experts, hopefully by some former military special forces people. There will be ranks, and it will be based on performance and leadership. If you can do things well and get people to listen to you will be promoted. It all starts from the bottom. If the state paramilitaries and civil militias fail, it will fall down to the civilian guerrillas who will persist for years. Learning, destroying and teaching.
          Last edited by Frtigern; 26 Jan 13, 10:41.
          The Europa Barbarorum II team [M2TW] needs YOUR HELP NOW HERE!

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          • #6
            Very Important point: How long does this sinister government have before the rebellion?

            Secondly, in order for any government to come to power it would have to have some level of domestic support or power to get in in the first place. It’d either have to be taking advantage of harsh times (like the NSDAP) or work its way in with subtlety, giving it time to amass greater control and support. To get to the stage where there is some kind of authoritarian government automatically seems to imply a potent power base.

            Very few counterinsurgencies or suppressions have been put to bed without some kind of political compromise. “insurgencies can only be countered by a political deal – indeed, it is the failure of politics that results in the military’s involvement in countering insurgencies in the first instance.” (Mills, G and Wilson, G. 'Who Dares Loses?', The RUSI Journal, Volume 152: No. 6 (2007) All governments, to some extent, require tolerance of the people to rule. Gone are the good old days when you could enslave whole populations.

            Having said that, we’ve not seen the US give it 100% against rebels in 145 years. If any state, by might, can do it, then theoretically it is the US which can, as it is the most powerful state we have seen. Maybe, but perhaps not.

            I don’t see the scenario occurring, but it’s a fun exercise of what if:

            From the POV of the guvmint.

            The key is to target the will of the enemy, as in any campaign – make it not worth their time in fighting by offering very particular concessions whilst at the same time escalating conflict faster than they can using stern coercive methods, with a zero tolerance to dissent. However, no suppression is wholly a military activity, it requires many tools. I’m not saying any of this would be easy, but it may well be the ideal method for the counter-rebels:::

            Co-opting the population and making great use of incentives and then traditional ‘hearts and minds’ methods. Not giving them free stuff as such, just ensuring they’re better off than the rebels, perhaps controlling media outlets to paint false or skewed messages would be most beneficial. Going by Politics Central there’s already a great antagonism between the left and right in the US, exploiting that, creating ‘bad guys’ and goblins is the effective use of propaganda, and a good starting place. Don’t have much bad to say about the enemy, make it up. They’re want a Christian theocracy or communist wealth redistribution or to eat your children, whatever fits. Set any dissenters up as vile traitors. Wrap oneself in the flag more than the enemy and misguided patriots will flock to your banner. Make it clear in no uncertain terms that they’re not idealists, they’re law-breakers who don’t want to pay their taxes or work in civilised society. They’re not a political enemy, they’re criminal brigands who commit acts of terror, anarchists – perhaps they blew up Brooklyn Bridge. If not, blow it up for them.

            An insurgent is like a fish in the sea (people) so you must drain the sea or boil it. The Marxists in Greece found little traction to their cause because people were content and had little interest in armed insurrection: By keeping the people content or witless enough, or better making them supporters we secure our own position and detract from the rebels. Better yet, don’t offer any change to the status quo of the man on the street – ensure he has all the iGadgets he could want, hot and cold running girls and water, and cheap petroleum, and he probably won’t rebel.

            With the world’s most advanced cyberwarfare command, and experience in shutting off model internets and so on, it shouldn’t be more difficult than it is for the rebels to use I.T. for their purposes, so enemy/rebel communications could be targeted from the beginning if they aren’t already restricted in some form. The US, not being a third world state, can and does invest the resources and know-how to command that medium. Remove hard-wired analogue systems like landline phones and increase the reliance on digital technology to make it easier to control, but even the old fashioned methods are reliant on targetable infrastructure which can be denied.
            Fortify and control loyalist cities with armed gendarmeries supported by adept use of intelligence to target likely dissenters. Hackers and the publishers of rebel propaganda would get a knocking from SWAT pretty early on if they aren’t already mining Anthracite in the gulag. In lesser towns, decimate or capture the young men that aren’t out in the rebel forces until compliance. Failing that cordon off the town and don’t let any resources in. But preferably, firstly relocate any villages away from rebel or contested areas to more easily controlled model towns. If rebel forces manage to take a town, destroy it and blame it on the rebels or convince the controlled populations that it was necessary for their safety.
            Deny guerrillas resources and increase reliance on government foodstuffs and infrastructure by destroying insecurable or contested caches. Fuel pipelines and stocks would be vital for their cause given the size of the potential zone of operations, so this would have to be tightly controlled, hopefully leaving the rebels walking or riding on horses to their destination well within a decade. Fuel which cannot be likely captured would be targeted and destroyed. If we haven’t already removed their easier access to fire-arms then do so, drone strike any known ammunition stores such as weapons shops, which cannot, for any reason, be collected and confiscated. Say, in rebel held areas. Burn or flood places of natural bounty which cannot be controlled to prevent living off the land by the rebels.

            Conventional formations of the enemy, if I’ve played my political cards right before assuming power or sparking this conflict, will be few and weak compared to loyalist formations and dealt with accordingly by the advantages afforded by air surpremacy.

            Use irregular forces, such as special operators or countergangs (http://intelligenceref.blogspot.co.u...ntergangs.html) appropriately and with support. Track down guerrilla units in rural areas and then use CAS to destroy them. Use drones to target any rebel leaders, identified by intelligence assets embedded amongst the rebel forces – easier to do than when fighting a foreign foe as agents will look and talk like the rebels. It’d be like fighting Cylons.

            The Guvmint would, theoretically have the following cards; superior organisation, C4I, material, superiority on land, sea, air and cyberspace, formal experience and institutional memory, the majority of populations and more abundant resources. It’s also odds on that the rebels are not one unified force – they will likely splinter as personalities of local-headmen clash and they fall out about ideals and activities. With gold reserves under control bribery might also be an option depending how zealous the foe is. Co-opt local political elite with coins and other benefits and their supporters will follow.

            Simply make it very clear that the enemy have a choice of digging for food and shooting mutated deer with bows, and communicating by paper, or, surrendering and going back to work on a subway train and shopping at the mall. You have to offer a lot of carrot as well as threaten with stick.
            ------
            'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

            If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Frtigern View Post
              If every able bodied person from 10 to 80 years old in this country had access to an AR-15, had plenty of ammo and were proficient in firing and maintaining it, then the government might have a hard time.
              So in Iraq and Afghanistan we were there for a lark? Because every able bodied local had an AK and were proficient with it?

              There are ways the states can overcome the power of the central government. We know that if the government mobilized any kind of armored or mechanized unit, civilians are at a huge disadvantage. Aircraft are not going to win this type of war. For the states to be successful they must first use their National Guard units, LEOs, and militias to forcibly seize the fuel and ammo depots for tanks and mechanized vehicles. They then need to get their own operators in those to form liberated tank and mechanized formations.
              The states own a lot of the equipment already. no seizing required.
              Knowing and capturing locations of where Patriot Battalions and Stinger MANPADs are and capturing knowledgeable operators who will help with air defense.
              Ditto.

              Once armor, mechanized vehicles and air defense is established, you need to get rid of the Air Force's ability to resupply planes. Until then use of rotary and fixed wing aircraft is going to be tough. Securing the fuel and munitions that supply bomber, strike and air superiority aircraft has to happen. It may be that, we have to destroy the planes in order to deny the government use of them against us. Clandestine units supposedly friendly with the Air Force could be used to sabotage aircraft and infrastructure.
              not going to difficult. Most refueling and transport squadrons are based at civilian airports, not military installations. Also, the majority of these assets are Guard or Reserve.

              Information is going to need to be spread to the public so they know what to do. I can foresee computer hackers and TV signal forecasters coming together to create channels that can be sent and received to give instructions to the masses. Using satellite, fiber optic, cable and radio, we can provide detailed voice and video instructions to the public to give them honest up to date information. Knowledge is power. We will have to liberate different kinds of communication sources so that our systems are redundant in the case that one system is jammed, censored or shut off, we can still communicate.
              Being Signal, I can tell you that the military is out of its league going up against civilian cyber threats. There are too many people with computers compared to what the military has available. Also, the HAM radio operator scene has quite a few people who practice frequently for setting up and tearing down radio sites, maintaining nationwide links, etc. And that's a private owned network.

              Local and state LEOs will need to help with arming the populace. Those who can prove priory military or law enforcement service will be given priority to weapons and ammunition. Those who any FFLs for any type of firearms will be organized according to types of weapons and ammo they have and will be given personnel who are proficient in those types of weapons. Once organized the civilian militias will need transportation. They can use pickup trucks, buses and commercial trucks to help them liberate ammunition and firearms stores. This needs to happen quickly and simultaneously to cause panic from the government. Meanwhile the paramilitary state units will be going for ammunition plants and fuel depots after they've become mechanized.
              Over 300 million guns in this country. I really don't think this is going to be that much of an issue. Perhaps in some states there might be a shortage, but here in Utah I am biased.

              Those civilians who weren't prior military or LEO will not be given an assault rifle unless they already have one.
              Civilians already dont have assault weapons for the most part.

              Comment


              • #8
                I wonder if Phil is sorry he asked yet...
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Exorcist View Post
                  I wonder if Phil is sorry he asked yet...
                  Not at all.

                  I'm happy to see the amount of detailed thought some people have put into addressing the topic.

                  However, nobody has yet challenged the basic premise of the thread from which the question of the practicality of mounting an effective civilian resistance arises. That is the possibility of a tyrannical government arising in the US in the first place.

                  I have a really hard time imagining this, given the separation of powers system of government currently in force and the adherence of all American political bodies to the US Constitution. Plus the loyalty of the military to the democratically-elected civilian command structure.

                  Would it happen gradually through the erosion of state and individual rights? Would it happen suddenly, perhaps in the form of a military coup? Or by some other means?

                  I'm sure some here have thought a lot about this. Perhaps some step by step ideas on how such a tyrannical government might arise could be presented.


                  Philip
                  Last edited by PhilipLaos; 26 Jan 13, 16:20.
                  "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."— Bertrand Russell

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                  • #10
                    The problem is, and I'm sorry if this causes offence, the people, are the American people really willing to go to such lengths to preserve their freedom? I've no doubt there are a fair few males who would be willing to rise up against this totalitarian regime, but what of their families?

                    The US could go al Brits vs Boers, capture the families to force concessions, burn the ground to force insurgents out.

                    Were I this government, I would align myself with the Right parties, call myself something like the "Emergency Constitutional Rulership" and bang on about amendments and so forth, form units like the Selous Scouts, made up of former insurgents to hunt them down.



                    Alternatively I'd just ask the Queen to take back the colonies
                    Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dashy View Post
                      The problem is, and I'm sorry if this causes offence, the people, are the American people really willing to go to such lengths to preserve their freedom? I've no doubt there are a fair few males who would be willing to rise up against this totalitarian regime, but what of their families?

                      The US could go al Brits vs Boers, capture the families to force concessions, burn the ground to force insurgents out.

                      Were I this government, I would align myself with the Right parties, call myself something like the "Emergency Constitutional Rulership" and bang on about amendments and so forth, form units like the Selous Scouts, made up of former insurgents to hunt them down.
                      Check my post mate (if'n you haven't already) I made some similar points
                      ------
                      'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

                      If you have questions about the forum please check the FAQ/Rules

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dashy View Post
                        The problem is, and I'm sorry if this causes offence, the people, are the American people really willing to go to such lengths to preserve their freedom?
                        Half would not, no question about it.

                        Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
                        However, nobody has yet challenged the basic premise of the thread from which the question of the practicality of mounting an effective civilian resistance arises. That is the possibility of a tyrannical government arising in the US in the first place.
                        The possibility?
                        Seeing as how it has happened to every other country in the world that is older than ours, and most of the ones that are younger, wouldn't it be the height of Jingoism to assume that it "can't happen to us"?

                        Originally posted by PhilipLaos View Post
                        Would it happen gradually through the erosion of state and individual rights?
                        That is something that has been going on here for generations.
                        I guess its easy to assume that everyone in the political section is just blowing smoke, but we do have a problem here and the process is accelerating.
                        When a nation's Constitution is being mocked by half the politicians and circumvented by the current regime, what do you think it means?
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

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                        • #13
                          If I learned something from Yugoslav wars...it would be that armed populace fall into war quickly,as soon real crisis arose.

                          No arms,no war. Why would US government try to subdue populace by armed means anyway? There are many less violent,more subtle and far effective methods to control population. Fear for example.
                          It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                          Косово је Србија!
                          Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

                          Armored Brigade

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                          • #14
                            "Why is the Rum gone?"

                            -Captain Jack

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                            • #15
                              The military wouldn't follow any commands to disarm the population, and using them in such a manner is illegal anyways. The entire military would probably go on lockdown. They would try to arrest certain commanders or set a few examples, but really there would be too many for any effective coup to take place in the military. And still, the top doesn't matter: a better example than the Yugoslav wars would be the fall of Communism in Poland, where the junior officers and NCOs refused to obey and, in many cases, shot their own commanders rather than shoot civilians.

                              So if the President goes insane tomorrow, places his horse in Congress, declares tyranny official, and then declares war on Neptune, he will be forced to recruit a mercenary army out of the ghettos and from foreigners. It would be a short war.

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