Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, February 23, 2004

This is coolbert: Prior to 9/11 the military writer, retired Army Colonel David Hackworth wrote an interesting article about internal military threats to the U.S. This threat was primarily, perhaps almost exclusively, from street gangs. Hackworth was of the opinion that street gangs in the U.S. now did pose a significant internal military threat that merits considerable attention. Gangs now have the combination of numbers, money, and organization to field formidable armies of heavily armed thugs that are doing and can do considerable damage. In particular, the large amounts of cash at the disposal of street gangs allow them to buy the most sophisticated weaponry from the international arms market. Just having the weapons in their possession, even if they are not used, is a considerable intimidation factor. Local, state, and the Federal government find it very difficult to combat these gangs as the usual military means of doing so are inhibited by Constitutional guarantees of rights and freedom.

It should be noted that monetary reward is not the only reason for membership in these street gangs. At the higher echelons of command, these gang members derive a satisfaction of being a person with considerable power. Power in the physical, intimidating sense of the word. In this aspect, gangs are very formidable rivals to the government, which normally are the only force that is allowed to use power in such a physical manner, to enforce norms of behavior and laws.



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