Recommended Reading

[by Mark Safranski a.k.a. “zen“]


Top Billing! Dr. Robert Bunker  Not Your Grandfather’s Insurgency: Criminal, Spiritual and Plutocratic

Your Grandfather’s Insurgency.


Old school insurgency or “people’s war” was typically dominated by Leninist, Trotskian, Maoist, and related revolutionary thought. Such insurgencies are ideological in nature and may also draw upon nationalistic underpinnings, as was utilized in Vietnam. Specific characteristics of this type of insurgency are: it is premeditated, driven by the political, established by a parallel (shadow) government, utilizes violence—typically targeted and instrumental in nature, with the desired end state being political control over a nation-state.


      Depending on the relative sophistication of the insurgents, a phased approach to insurgency—initially based on sequential and later on simultaneous phases—is utilized. The conditions influencing an insurgency, i.e. the popular grievances, may also be artificially accelerated. Seminal works in your grandfather’s insurgency literature include: Guerrilla Warfare (1937); People’s War, People’s Army (1962); and the Minimanual of the Urban Guerrilla (1969). These revolutionary-based insurgencies include those that took place in China, Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, and El Salvador.


Criminal, Spiritual, and Plutocratic Insurgency.


Twenty-first century insurgencies are turning out to be very different than 20th century ones. An initial projection concerning the development of such insurgencies was penned by Dr. Steven Metz in his 1993 Strategic Studies Institute monograph, The Future of Insurgency. In that prophetic work, he posited that:


Two forms of insurgency are likely to dominate the post-cold war world. Spiritual insurgency is the descendant of the cold war-era revolutionary insurgency. It will be driven by the problems of modernization, the search for meaning, and the pursuit of justice. The other form will be commercial insurgency. This will be driven less by the desire for justice than wealth. Its psychological foundation is a warped translation of Western popular culture which equates wealth, personal meaning, and power.  

Dr. Steve Metz – All Options Bad if  Mexico’s Drug Violence Expands to the US 

One way that large-scale drug violence might move to the United States is if the cartels miscalculate and think they can intimidate the U.S. government or strike at American targets safely from a Mexican sanctuary. The most likely candidate would be the group known as the Zetas. They were created when elite government anti-drug commandos switched sides in the drug war, first serving as mercenaries for the Gulf Cartel and thenbecoming a powerful cartel in their own right. The Zetas used to recruit mostly ex-military and ex-law enforcement members in large part to maintain discipline and control. But the pool of soldiers and policemen willing to join the narcotraffickers was inadequate to fuel the group’s ambition. Now the Zetas are tapping a very different, much larger, but less disciplined pool of recruits in U.S. prisons and street gangs. 

This is an ominous turn of events. Since intimidation through extreme violence is a trademark of the Zetas, its spread to the United States raises the possibility of large-scale violence on American soil. As George Grayson of the College of William and Mary put it, “The Zetas are determined to gain the reputation of being the most sadistic, cruel and beastly organization that ever existed.” And without concern for extradition, which helped break the back of the Colombian drug cartels, the Zetas show little fear of the United States government, already having ordered direct violence against American law enforcement. 

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