Friday, October 13, 2017

Danny Sjursen — The Empire Comes Home : Counterinsurgency, Policing, and the Militarization of America’s Cities

It may be something of a cliché that distant wars have a way of coming home, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Policing today is being Baghdadified in the United States. Over the last 40 years, as Washington struggled to maintain its global military influence, the nation’s domestic police have progressively shifted to military-style patrol, search, and surveillance tactics, while measuring success through statistical models familiar to any Pentagon staff officer.
Please understand this: for me when it comes to the police, it’s nothing personal. A couple of my uncles were New York City cops. Nearly half my family has served or still serves in the New York Fire Department. I’m from blue-collar, civil service stock. Good guys, all. But experience tells me that they aren’t likely to see the connections I’m making between what’s happening here and what’s been happening in our distant war zones or agree with my conclusions about them. In a similar fashion, few of my peers in the military officer corps are likely to agree, or even recognize, the parallels I’ve drawn.
Of course, these days when you talk about the military and the police, you’re often talking about the very same people, since veterans from our wars are now making their way into police forces across the country, especially the highly militarized SWAT teams proliferating nationwide that use the sorts of smash-and-search tactics perfected abroad in recent years. While less than 6% of Americans are vets, some 19% of law-enforcement personnel have servedin the U.S. military. In many ways it’s a natural fit, as former soldiers seamlessly slide into police life and pick up the very weaponry they once used in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere....
Tom Dispatch
The Empire Comes Home : Counterinsurgency, Policing, and the Militarization of America’s Cities
Danny Sjursen


Noah Way said...

A necessary step to forstall the citizenry from becoming a threat to the overlords.

Tom Hickey said...

Now it is becoming blatant, especially after DHS coordinated the response to Occupy.