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The Coming Demise of American Militias

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posted on Jan, 30 2008 @ 02:52 AM

Originally posted by Critical_Mass
Something tells me there is a distinct possibility that we will indeed see things very similar to the IRA in America.

The Radicalization of America is a very real trend that we can now see in our midst. I've seen threads on ATS that go back two or more years on this very topic.

Groups like the IRA will eventually be common. They'll have political wings and armed factions that raise hell on our streets. As many in this thread have pointed out, we have a lot of guns and a lot of money floating around that can finance all kinds of mischief.

The economic downturn we now face is going to take a lot of people by surprise. For every ten people on ATS who talk about it, and the preps they are making to get through it, there are ten thousand people who will be taken totally by surprise.

As the media rants about these terror groups, they'll take special aim at the honest militias. that's why I laid out my suggestion in this thread. Today's militia's need to adopt new camouflage and change the way they do business. They need to look less like gun clubs and secret societies and more like civic groups.

[edit on 30-1-2008 by Justin Oldham]

posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 09:45 PM
reply to post by Justin Oldham

Ok here it goes!
Are you folks nuts?
Do you have any idea of what our Army has in the way of high technology?
Do you know about the ground penetrating radar, or FLIR?
I just watched a youtube video showing wantabees playing militia troops...What a bad joke!
You all need to find much better officers!
The ones you have WILL get you KILLED!
I just don't know where to begin...
Look up NIR BDU and make sure you test them with a FLIR night sight!
Learn how to become a good sniper!
Buy a book and PRATICE!
Sniper fire accounts for about half of our causalities in Iraq.
Create a CD list of all the leftist and collectivist with-in your area of opperation!
Make many copies and exchange your info with other cells.
Keep them separte and small!

posted on Apr, 3 2010 @ 05:31 AM
reply to post by Justin Oldham

Mr J/O has submitted a timely issue in a cogent and insightful way which was typical of him when he previously posted here regularly. Glad to see you back, Mr J/O.

Militias. 2010 militias look to me mostly like NRA inspired Second Amendment nut-cases. And now backed by a disgusting Republican Supreme Court. Yes, I said “Republican” and if you ever doubted its partisan role in domestic politics surely that was put to rest in 2000 when it - the SCOTUS - gave us our first designated president in Geo W Bush, the nemesis of rationality.

When the discombobulated Second Amendment comes up - you cannot separate out the NRA, the 2nd Amend and the militias - I like to refer to the PRIOR version for clarification: “ . . but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.” Articles of Confederation, 1775, Article 6, Clause 4.

Mr J/O has raised several issues but I shall address only 2 here (and now). First, on the history of the usage of militias by foreign governments especially in Europe before the adoption of our present Constitution in 1789. It is my contention that it was Napoleon in the early 1800s who first amassed huge armies made up of civilians conscripted into short terms of military service.

A large part of the early successes of Napoleon as a field general was due to the size of his army compared to that of his opponents. Most other armies were made up of a comparative few well trained and experienced professional soldiers. Prior to Napoleon, European wars were largely waged by field maneuvers much as in the game of chess, with the “victory” going to the army that gained the preeminent field position vis a vis the other army. Battles were sometimes fought without a shot fired. The lives of professional soldiers were never put at risk if the winner had the high ground and his rear was well covered. Why kill anyone when the outcome was predictable?

Napoleon OTOH, ignored those traditional tactics and instead charged point blank into the face of the opposing army, accepting horrific casualties. But Napoleon only had to call back to Paris for more conscripts in order to be fully manned for the next battle, a luxury no other European power had or had even contemplated. This worked well for him until 1812 when the Russian winter defeated him at the gates of Moscow.

My second point to make is 100% for clarification. Mr J/O refers to the current spate of “militias” and he thereby unintentionally gives them some credence albeit innocently. I argue the militias of 2010 are in no way legally or historically descended from the militias mentioned in the 1787 Constitution of the United States. 1787 was the Age of Muskets. It was true then that a typical backwoodsman was as well armed as most professional soldiers of the day.

Because travel then was so slow - the speed of a walking horse - it was unusual for a company of men - say 80 men - to travel more than 30 miles in a day. It was impractical for any colonial government to keep regular soldiers posted around the countryside. Militias were the only way the expanding population could defend itself from raids by disgruntled native Americans. For that purpose local militias proved adequate.

But when fighting for our independence against the Red Coats in the Revolutionary War - 1775 -1783 - Gen. Washington frequently found the local militias next to useless. Nevertheless he did call upon those forces to make his small professional Continental Army look bigger and badder than it usually was.

Washington usually added an equal number of local militias to his force as he moved around the countryside. When forced to evacuate New York City in November, l776, he left behind half his force - the New York militias. As he arrived in New Jersey, the local New Jersey militias joined his forces. It is fairly accurate to say that Gen. Washington’s army was typically made up of 3,000 regulars and 3,000 militia furnished by the state in which he was located. Such irregular soldiers are nearly impossible to quickly and effectively incorporate into a regular army. This is not meant to disparage the courage or patriotism of any of the militia men. It is just a truism that weekend warriors are not soldiers no matter what name you give them.

Point made. I do not want to confer any sense of legitimacy on those who are calling themselves "militias" in 2010. They have usurped a venerable name from an era where citizen soldiers were the mainstay of American expansionism. But that was over by 1861. It was true that both North and South fought in divisions raised in states and were so designated. But they were not activated militiamen. Aside: recruiting by states was continued by the US Army until World War 1. The first “mixed” division was the 42nd Rainbow division (in which Col. Douglas MacArthur also served).

Today’s militiamen are in no way descendants of the honorable units mentioned in the US Constitution. Today’s militiamen are mostly misfits and Rambo-wannabe’s. IMO.

[edit on 4/3/2010 by donwhite]

posted on Oct, 10 2010 @ 09:41 PM
I have to agree with the above statements. As a military historian from colorado i have always been fascinated with the local militia. First off the USA has always had a fascination with the so called militia or citizen soldier. One of the reasons simply put is we as americans fear and worry over a standing army. And for good reason: we had europe to give us many good examples of how standing armies can behave rather badly during early american colonial period. With this being said militias have for the most part been ineffective at best, absolute garbage at its worst. Militias have been used since before the word 'militia' was made. But the overall idea and concept behind the militia hasnt changed. From the greeks to the romans the militia has always been there and has usually failed with flying colors. As for American history this remains the case. During revolution the militia was described by Washington and Nathaniel Greene as being the only armed force which could win or lose any battle even if it was given to them. Neither one had any regards for it. Washingtion personally blamed the militias for their failure to hold the british and route at the first opportune. he advocated a standing federal army separate from the local militias. while militias certainly supported continental army they were by no means instrumental in defeating the british.

before and during war of 1812 the USA almsot completely disbanded the national army on the grounds that the militia could hold the line. The result was an absolute catastrophe. When the war broke out several militia armies were utterly destroyed by the british both in canada and in Washington DC area itself resulting in the burning of the capital. The defense and victory at the battle of New Orleans was attributed to conscripted mulattos and mercenaries who joined andrew jackson's small army of continentals and the stupidity of the british commander. From 1812 on the federal and state govts abandoned the idea that the militia could hold the line. rather the militia would be used as a pre-text to the national guard: militia would provide a delay force time to an invader or enemy until federal troops could be raised, trained, and sent to the afflicted area.

During the civil war the militias were again used. The idea for both sides was simple: the militias would gain a quick victory over the other. The opening battles involved in 1861 were utter disasters and resulted only in a poor man's stalemate. Neither side could advance but the confederacy remained separate. Both Grant and Lee have for Union and Confederate expressed deep disdain for the militias in their lack of capability to hold the field, to hold the enemy in check, and most important of all: to defeat the enemy's army. Militias constituted roughly 95% of Union & Confederate forces in opening war 1861. By 1863 they constituted only 10%. by 1864, only 2%. Union and Confederate commanders quickly acknowledged that militias couldnt hold the line, were ineffective at best in the field, and were useful only in irregular operations such as harassment of enemy supply lines. Militias in civil war were not upgraded as stated by several other posts. they were in fact either out right destroyed in combat or disbanded and the members absorbed by the federal or confederate standing armies. Reasons were simple: militias owed really their allegiance maybe to the state and then only maybe to their hometowns. there was no compulsion to travel else where especially since ther was no incentive such as being paid or being supplied. they had to provide for themselves and if they didnt want to follow orders or march somewhere they could easily leave and most did desert when the fighting shifted away from their home regions. there was no claimed 'universal' militia code. you came and left as you felt like it. combat effectiveness remained stagnant with militias because it was too easy to walk away from a fight rather then fight it out. As it was, both the confederate and federal army had massive problems with just a free standing army alone with desertion and combat effectiveness WITHOUT having to worry also about whole militia units simply deserting back to their hometowns.

After civil war a permanent federal army was kept. the main USA plan until WWII remained simple: the federal army would remain small and be heavily reinforced with conscription in order to create an effective fighting force. the concept that the militia could hold the line was abandoned. the militia would remain in its role as a simple local reserve pool to be absorbed by the federal force as necessary. During WWI and WWII the USA abandoned the militia: replaced by the national guard a free standing force necessary for global reach. the reasons were simple again: it took too long to retrain a green army to become an effective standing force. WWI and WWII proved that the world could no longer be ignored that the USA to safeguard itself needed a large permanent force to keep its ability to fight anywhere. The militia concept was finally replaced by national guard. The guard would constitute the main citizen soldier for state as the governor saw fit. however in times for duress the federal govt would then activate its reserves (national guard) and use them to fill the holes.

To this day the national guard and the reserve fill this niche.

Militias are great at conducting guerrilla operations but guerrilla operations and harassing enemy supplies but in the end, if an army doesnt want to leave it wont unless the invading army decides it has suffered enough casualties. Case in point: Viet Cong was a militia guerrilla army sponsored by Viet Minh (North Vietnamese army). By the time of the 'Tet' offensive while a great political victory, the Viet Cong had ceased to exist as a fighting force. Viet Minh instead actively replaced Viet Cong as the primary fielded army against ARVN. The militia never militarily won against the USA. Even North Vietnam Army couldnt actively defeat USA in Vietnam until US forces at last left South Vietnam.

Hezbollah was used as an example: the mullah of lebanon hezbollah himself stated that his militia army could not fight a straight match against isreal and couldnt prevent isreal from occupying southern lebanon or expelling the PLO from south lebanon as was isreal's primary objective in occupying south lebanon first time. Second time isreal invaded south lebanon isreal created enough instablity within lebanon for lebanon to formally reject Syrian occupation (main backers of Hezbollah) and to create a standing lebanon army to oppose hezbollah.

some have stated the USA was defeated in somalia: US mission in somalia was simple: provide security for food programmes and to arrest warlords responsible for the war. US never had more then a feeble interest in Somalia and never had intended for ANY occupation of somalia by US.

Militia like communism is a good theory but absolute garbage in practical application.

As stated from Washington to Grant to 'Black Jack' Pershing to Patton to Eisenhower to today: It takes an actual standing army to defeat a standing army.

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