You are about to see an aesthetically impressive video ad. It is a series of photos. The script gets a key idea across. It has a voice-over by an effective speaker. It has ominous music.
In the private sector, this could be produced for under $1,000 if the music and photos were royalty-free. It could be sold to a large company for at least $10,000. I don’t know what the Army spent. Its accounting techniques are not that rigorous. (Headline: Pentagon’s Sloppy Bookkeeping Means $6.5 Trillion Can’t Pass an Audit.)
First, watch the ad.
The video is nothing if not an instant dystopian classic: melancholy music, an ominous voiceover, and cascading images of sprawling slums and urban conflict. “Megacities are complex systems where people and structures are compressed together in ways that defy both our understanding of city planning and military doctrine,” says a disembodied voice. “These are the future breeding grounds, incubators, and launching pads for adversaries and hybrid threats.”
The video was used as part of an “Advanced Special Operations Combating Terrorism” course offered at JSOU earlier this year, for a lesson on “The Emerging Terrorism Threat.” JSOU is operated by U.S. Special Operations Command, the umbrella organization for America’s most elite troops. JSOU describes itself as geared toward preparing special operations forces “to shape the future strategic environment by providing specialized joint professional military education, developing SOF specific undergraduate and graduate level academic programs and by fostering special operations research.”
Megacities are, by definition, urban areas with a population of 10 million or more, and they have been a recent source of worry and research for the U.S. military. A 2014 Army report, titled “Megacities and the United States Army,” warned that “the Army is currently unprepared. Although the Army has a long history of urban fighting, it has never dealt with an environment so complex and beyond the scope of its resources.” A separate Army study published this year bemoans the fact that the “U.S. Army is incapable of operating within the megacity.”
Third, what is the intended action step? It’s not stated. We can guess. It is to recruit college-educated people to join the Army’s psy-ops units and other urban crowd control branches.
Fourth, this action step leads to another: urban crowd control.
Fifth, which cities? Not New York City. Not Houston. America is already overwhelmingly urban. There will be no major influx of uneducated, poverty-stricken refugees from villages. This is all about controlling third world cities.
Sixth, the Army brass thinks that the U.S. Army will be involved in policing third world megacities.
This leads me to a conclusion: The Army brass is out of touch with fiscal realities in Washington. When the Army’s budget comes up against Medicare’s voters, it is going to be cut.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)