Monday, November 29, 2010

Notes on Survivalist Site Defense

There was a thread on, discussing the minimum manning requirement for a site defense. I think it is useful to readers who are not paying members, to archive part of this thread. It also merits further clarifications on the tactical considerations for defense planning in a semi-rural/suburban area.
For a defensive position, you need to establish a perimeter, and station guards. Obviously, not everyone can be pulling security at the same time. You need to let people rest. Also, food production and other manufacturing activities are vital in a long-term situation. So only a small fraction of the group can stand security watch at a time.
The purpose of the sentry is to give time for the reserve/QRF to get ready. The time, in this case, is distance. Say your defenders need 1 minute to go from work detail to defensive positions. People can rush 200 meters (in gear) in a minute, give or take. So your sentry(ies) need to see at least 200 meters out from your perimeter. You may need 8 ppl per shift to cover that distance, but most likely 2 people, in a protected position (rooftop nest), will suffice. So 10 people are capable of handling that duty. I would go with 12am-12pm 12-hr shifts personally, as opposed to the 6am-6pm shift beloved by everybody else. It's easier on your biological clock.
[In a homestead, your perimeter is not the whole farm, but rather the living area complex (barn, house, outhouse(?), et al.)]
Where the people requirement really come in is in the active defense plan. In other words, patrolling. You have to keep up a patrol schedule if hostiles are in the area. The manpower requirement varies, but SOFs give us a guideline here. SAS go w/ 4-men teams, while Force Recon go w/ 6-men teams. If you have 1 team out, 2 teams resting/working, you need a minimum of 12 people. Factoring in the sentries would give you 4 teams min, 16 people.
Your sentry acts as your Observation Post(s). You can go up, or go out horizontally. If you have the altitude, a guard tower is good. If you cannot go up, then you have to put your sentries outside your perimeter. Speaking of guard towers, it is unconscionable to place people in unarmored guard towers. All guard towers need to be sandbagged at a minimum. Overhead shade obviously. A protected entrance. A rooftop nest with internal access is the best. Obviously the house need strategic sandbagging as well. Sandbags are easily accessible to the homesteader. An alternative is using those Amazon shipping box, with a plastic liner. Or just build a sandbox with plywood.
If you are in a built-up area, you will need more people because you need to have eyes-on for all of the dead space, possible infiltration routes. In addition, you need to subdivide your compound, so that infiltrators cannot compromise the defense of your whole site. In other words, you need to have "water-tight compartments", to use a naval analogy. For the perimeter defense, if you have a square, four firing ports/bunkers/strongpoints can complete your defense by putting out a wall of lead along the perimeter.
"Think of the effects of a probe on your BOL site not once or twice a day , but 10,12,or even 20 times a day and night."
Yes, it would be unwise to go battle stations with just a pot shot. Manning the defensive line/battle positions is only for an active assault, ie, you see people breaking from the tree line. And yes, you should clear as many trees as you can, out to 500m from your squad nests/houses, when possible. In a suburb/city, you may have to use obstacles to channel the enemy main assault, and rely on vigilance against the infiltration attempts.

"Lets revisit that probing issue. You say you will just send out a patrol to run them off. Thats a great way to get ambushed, ect."
Well, you do have to clear the area. Active patrolling means you should have a team in the field at all times. If you're doing it right, this is when you call the patrol team back to clear that sniper.
The preper needs to remember that the patrol team is out there to disrupt enemy assault preparations and recon operations. Therefore, the team needs to look for possible enemy objective rally points/patrol bases. They recon enemy ingress routes and vehicle staging areas. They check for signs of passage and occupation at these sites.
Speaking of vehicles, that will be the biggest threat to the survivalists. Think of it as modern cavalry. A pick up can greatly disrupt your defense, if you're not planned for it. You will need vehicle barriers [trenches and those giant caltrops/dragon's teeth] to block and channel a mechanized assault. You may also need to place an OP on the possible vehicle rally points for early warning.
The enemy mode of operation will probably be distributed, 1-vehicle scouting parties, ranging all over their area of ops looking for prey. Upon target selection, the scouts/swarm is recalled to mass against the target. Obviously the mass is depending on the perceived target difficulty. If you happen to be in the AO of such a gang, and you have just repelled the scout, it is time to run away. Unless you are organized and trained enough, or can call in enough posse, to ambush/interdict the gang coming your way.

Education, Global Governance & Development

A couple of interesting links here. One on education, the other global governance.

Althouse commented on an NYT op-ed, which was calling for less emphasis on testing. Instead, Ann commented that we're seeing a debate on teacher's pet vs testing. With so much testing, we're finding out that American teachers have been giving good grades to the "good" students, who behave in the classroom and do what the teacher says. And the testers had been losing out, until recently. Obviously we need to do both. Teaching compliance as well as learning skills. As the Far East has shown, teacher's pets will study hard and test well, if that is the new metric. The key objective, as ever, is to foster creativity. Although people impugn the US education system as good at creativity, it's not certain that is the case. With so little testing, what is left is creativity, so that's what you see. But you can take it to extreme, and it underserves the disadvantaged students, which is what had happened.

Ken Anderson remarked on the Climate Change movement from the global governance and "development" perspective. It dovetails nicely with the current Playboy's article on Vulture Funds, which demand full payment for the bonds of insolvent states. The Playboy article is from the perspective of the "development" community and the subject states, but it does highlight the corruption exposure Vulture Funds do in getting paid. It turns out that, if you expose corruption in, say, Congo, they will pay you to stop doing that. As John Reed would say, a state does not need to borrow money to function.

Anderson highlights that third world countries see Climate Change as a way to get paid. Over the past 30 years, international development had been trending away from states, because of the blatant corruption in 60s and 70s. Climate Change offers a way to go back to "state-centric" development, where bureaucracies and rulers can skim off the top, again. For the UN bureaucracy, it is also a way to increase its power over the world. Climate Change advocates often ignored this aspect of the Climate Change movement, which led to gross distortions of the carbon regime.

Anderson also looked into why the BRICS, and China in particular, opted out of the Copenhagen/Cancun rounds, even as the advocates dangled more incentives. It is an interesting thought on the boundaries of Chinese behavior.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Collapse of Micro-Credit in India

New York Times bring us the sad story of the collapse of Micro-Credit in India. Apparently politicians encouraged people to default.

It is sad that this is happening. The industrious poor can often lift themselves out of poverty, with just a little bit of help. The daily vagaries of poverty can set people back [car troubles, sick days] despite their best efforts. Either a strong network or available credit is necessary to meet the cashflow demands. In a transitional economy [industrializing, marketizing, etc.], where the social networks are weak and in flux, credit availability is even more important.

Micro-Credit is a hope to by-pass traditional loan sharks in providing cheap credit to the poor. [the industrious ones.] That the micro-banks are now meeting political resistance is just sad. Some of them are perhaps becoming payday lender with higher rates, prompting this movement.

The chaotic beast that is Indian politics and bureaucracy continues to perplex.

h/t Global Guerrillas

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Insights into Philippines' Strategic Re-Alignment

Asia Times has an interesting article outlining the Philippines' strategic embrace of China. We saw the Philippines' rebuke of Sec Clinton at the recent ASEAN conference, and now we have some of the reasons why.

Filipinos are turning against the US due to the legal shelter of the Visiting Forces Agreement, which protects US servicemembers from local prosecution. At the same time, China is donating equipment to the Philippines military. Thus public sentiments align with the elites in turning away from the US.

It is a question whether this re-alignment is temporary or permanent. The article reminds us that the VFA is up for renewal. The ASEAN drama could be the Philippines leveraging their position in the VFA negotiations. It could also be the Philippines steering a neutral course between China and the US, getting the mostest from both sides.

The Philippines dispute the South Sea boundary with China. With this neutral course, it could be bargaining for a more favorable outcome in the border negotiations, compared with Vietnam. That they had not fought a war with China certainly make the Philippines more amiable toward China. China also has an incentive to demonstrate its peaceful intentions to the world. A successful resolution to Sino-Filipino border would be a good counterpoint to the on-going disputes with Vietnam and India.

This is a nice illustration of the axiom that nations do not have friends.

h/t China Defense Mashup