Many of my readers have been asking about the upcoming Jade Helm exercise. Naturally, citizens should have a healthy suspicion of any military exercises and especially ones that appear to target a domestic threat. However, is the hysteria really warranted or is it all being overly hyped? I have remained mute on this issue because I was hoping the military would through official channels come clean and explain the true nature of the exercise, which is better described as an operation. Of course this has not happened and there are deliberate reasons why the military has remained opaque. As such, I want to explain the operation in a way that to date hasn’t been reported. The truth about the exercise is it is really an operation and there are reasons for real concern, but also, there is a large degree of hype that has clouded the public’s understanding. Nonetheless, Jade Helm is just a symptom of far bigger conspiracies unfolding across the US government. To be prepared, you will need to understand the dynamic currently afoot, which is far bigger than any one exercise.
Let’s begin with the basics to dismiss some of the hype. The US military historically has conducted training exercises throughout the US and the world. It is only natural that the military trains where it is stationed. As such, a mere training exercise is not unusual. Exercises are almost always joint today and each branch has their role to play. Further, each military occupational specialty within the respective branches has their own roles to play to hone their skill sets. For example, the Air Force conducts Red Flag over much of Nevada with pilots and aircraft from all over the world. Beyond pilots, their special operations units such as weatherman, PJs, and combat controllers all play a role, which is often far beyond the confines of Nellis Air Force Base. The Marine Corps conducts amphibious landing operations in North Carolina and California regularly with the Navy, but they too have units that operate beyond the confines of Camps Lejeune and Pendleton and often use local highways to travel between training areas. The Army is no exception. Beyond the four branches of the military, we have Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which also has a duty to train and hone its operators for the type of operations they are required to conduct. SOCOM’s mission obviously goes far beyond the normal realm of static battle lines. The historic role of Army Special Forces has been unconventional warfare such as Foreign Internal Defense (FID) and guerilla warfare missions where teams overtly or clandestinely train and advise indigenous forces. Contrary to what many may think, every day inside the US members of elite units are conducting legitimate training amongst the population and there really is zero reason for the public to be alarmed. Two classic examples are Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) training, and the Special Forces Phase V Unconventional Culmination Exercise known as Robin Sage, which are in part conducted “amongst the population.” The SERE training is run by the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) out of locations across the country, but primarily in the Spokane, Washington area. Robin Sage is held across 15 rural North Carolina counties, consists of hundreds of role players, and relies on local public support to the training. It is also noteworthy that much of the opposition forces (OPFOR) are comprised of local residents that are compensated for their support to the training much like has been offered for local support during the Jade Helm exercise. Finally, if you have ever been to a big city trauma ward, you may have been saved by an 18D Special Forces Medic working alongside civilian paramedics to maintain a very high level of medical expertise.
You now understand that domestic military exercises, even ones that use Special Operations Forces (SOF), are common within the US. These exercises have been going on for decades and nothing close to a government takeover or martial law has resulted. However, it isn’t the fact there is an exercise going on that you should be worried about. It is the nature and focus of the Jade Helm exercise that you should find disconcerting. In nearly all other training, the focus is on an external threat and the target is a foreign enemy. Jade Helm is decidedly tailored to operations within a domestic context and the opposition force is not some distant Taliban fighter, but your average American. Although one can claim, like in Robin Sage, locals can be used as role players to pretend to be foreign fighters; this doesn’t appear to be the case in Jade Helm. Jade Helm’s role players are not playing a foreign population. The OPFOR are Americans. Further, logic dictates that there is no training value to “infiltrating” an American community as an American if you are trying to prepare for an asymmetric fight overseas in a place like Syria or Mali. However, if your goal is to test the reaction of Americans to being co-opted into working against other “insurgent” Americans, then Jade Helm has a very disturbing training value. Coupling this with the labeling of entire states as hostile or not, which all too coincidentally corresponds to their conservative (or not) political leanings, one can quickly see a bias developing.
To understand Jade Helm at a higher level, you must conduct a careful read of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and understand it effectively declares the US as a combat zone in the “global” war against terrorism. This is not an accident and has already placed us in a state of defacto martial law even though it has not been overtly exercised. The wording of the NDAA was very deliberate and used to authorize such unconstitutional actions as the domestic suspension of habeas corpus (indefinite detention), the targeted killing of Americans without due process, domestic spying, and to trigger authorization for actions sanctioned by the draconian Patriot Act per its classified provisions and interpretation. This authorization led directly to USNORTHCOM’s actions where the natural outcome of the senior command was to reorganize and approach the US as a combat theater. With no real war or mission here at home, NORTHCOM has been left to its own machinations. The outcome of this need to create an actual mission has developed a bureaucracy dedicated to protecting the government from the people it is supposed to serve. As a result, one very real contingency they are preparing for is wide spread civil disorder. The societal breakdown could result from any number of events such as an economic collapse, electromagnetic pulse, massive cyber-attack, pandemic, or even a string of massive natural disasters. The likelihood of at least one of these events in the near future is almost a foregone conclusion so NORTHCOM has been diligently conducting detailed planning on how and where problems will arise. This alone is not an illegitimate use of resources for the military. However, when politics enter the equation, plans for providing emergency services and order to the US can quickly cross the gray line into domestic surveillance, martial law, and tyranny. Thus, we have the genesis for Jade Helm and the backlash by a rightfully skeptical public.
Now that you understand the background to Jade Helm, you can better understand what the military hopes to gain from it. The value they seek by their own admission will be in the mapping of the human terrain and not from how to infiltrate communities or fly helicopters around small towns. SOF may get some interoperability training, but for the most part, will just be going through the motions. In fact, they are only a small part of the bigger operation. The most value garnered from this exercise for the military will be the information collected on who resists the exercise, who doesn’t, how, and why. Oath Keepers wrote a good piece on this, which can be read here. Make no mistake, articles like this one will be collected and analyzed. Social media is being scoured for related posts. Every military town hall meeting is carefully choreographed and recorded for later analysis. Media attention is being mapped. Movements of groups are being mapped. Atmospherics of local communities are being noted. Even political leaders are being identified, tracked, tagged, and co-opted. This is why the military has been intentionally vocal about the exercise, but has done little to quell the public’s fears. The military wants to illicit a public response so it can test its human terrain mapping systems. Whether intentional or not in its original planning, the military has realized that the attention this exercise has gotten has been far better for their actual end goals than they probably could have ever hoped. To put this in an unconventional warfare perspective, what NORTHCOM is doing is called Operational Preparation of the Environment (OPE), of which, a large piece is the intelligence preparation through human terrain mapping. The Army has plenty of open source documents explaining OPE, from which, I have inserted an excerpt to better define the overarching goals of Jade Helm as it relates to domestic preparation of the battlefield from a combatant commanders perspective.
1-46. Adequate preparation of the environment is the key to successful operations. Shaping includes intelligence and operational preparation of the environment, which seek to first understand the theater of operations (global, regional, or local) and the key players within it (friendly, threat, or neutral), and then set the conditions for operational success by cultivating relationships, establishing networks of partners, and laying the groundwork that will facilitate the conduct and sustainment of future operations. Partnership is a primary vehicle to set conditions for future operational success through persistence, patience, and continuity of effort in working with partners across the global commons. http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/DR_pubs/dr_a/pdf/adrp3_05.pdf
Now that you understand the above, referring to Jade Helm as an “exercise” is a misnomer. Jade Helm is being used by senior brass at NORTHCOM as an actual operation to prepare for a real war in the US just like we have done all over the globe in “real” theaters of combat.
If at this point you are stressing, don’t. Jade Helm isn’t going to be used to initiate martial law. The government has plenty of other options if they want to pull that trigger. Further, the vast majority of operators within SOF love their job, are dedicated to freedom and liberty, and as such, despise our current government’s failed policies, politics, and wars. They are the ones that are at the forefront of resistance to tyranny and not the storm troopers for it. Contrary to what their bureaucratic leadership may think, SOF operators are not mindless minions, but rather, some of the most independent minded and constitutionally principled people you will ever meet. In many teams, every man would defy orders and defect should illegal orders be given to operate against the homeland. These operators aren’t stupid and know terrorists from patriots and will make that abundantly clear if the time ever should arise.
What I have described today should still disturb you. You should want to do something about it and you can. Lessons learned conducting these type operations overseas are abundant. Now it is time to impart some of that knowledge to you. Instead of playing into the government’s game, turn it on them. Give the military a real and challenging training exercise like they will face overseas. If they want to train like it is real, let’s make it an exercise worthy of SOF.
Here is how to do it. Don’t overtly resist their actions and allow yourself to become an easy target for mapping. The time for that would come soon enough if tyranny ever tried to impose its will upon free men. Instead, invite the participants in, take their money, learn their ways, and try to exploit them from the inside. Do exactly what they are attempting to do to you. Deny them an accurate map of the human terrain, but map theirs. If the military wants a good exercise, this will be critical for the “exercise’s” realism.
To make the exercise even more difficult, challenging, and realistic you can step up your involvement. Cut your electronic communications to nothing beyond the mundane. Don’t allow them to intercept your calls, texts, and web traffic. Go dark. If you do come up online, use it to spread disinformation everywhere. Turn them against their supporters and alienate them from the public. Make their attempts at developing local intelligence a vain pursuit with results so inaccurate the information is utterly useless. This is exactly what our enemies do so let’s see if they can sort through the noise.
At the personal level, learn their names, befriend them, find out where they are from, inquire about their families, learn where they are operating from, and find out who is in charge. Further, once rapport is established, take the time to assess them for their political views and allegiances. Offer yourself up to help to get in closer and pass them disinformation. Use every opportunity to conduct reverse indoctrination, which challenges their command’s propaganda. Present subtle moral and ethical dilemmas they must face to torture their minds and souls. Also, make it as expensive as possible to carry out operations. Bleed them financially for personal benefit. Financially overextending an occupier is a hallmark of insurgent activity overseas the US military must learn to overcome it to win. For example, charge them a premium for services or if you are leading them to a location, take the longest route, which forces them to be exposed and burn unnecessary fuel. Furthermore, harass their forces around the clock with mock situations to deprive them of sleep. This is typical of any military training and imparts the real fatigue of actual combat to the exercise. A favorite means of achieving this is by providing false tips that force a unit to go to their defensive positions or to react to a phantom enemy in their midst. Finally, document all of this information for later dissemination and exploitation. Take pictures and videos, make notes, and record them at every opportunity because this is exactly what an adversary would do in real life. Be especially observant of patterns, which are vulnerabilities that could be later exploited. This is the way you carry out unconventional warfare so please don’t let the planners of Jade Helm down.
By Guiles Hendrik
May 20, 2015