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Thread: Of Mice and Men: Gangs, Narco-Terrorism, and the USA

  1. #21
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    Monterey County Herald, 3 Feb 09: NPS joins with city to fight crime
    Salinas will be ground zero for a study on street gangs by federal and military security experts who have backgrounds dealing with terror cells, militant groups and other threats.

    Though a collaborative effort announced Monday, faculty at the [URL=http://www.chds.us/Naval Postgraduate School[/URL] and city officials will work together to look at the root causes of gang violence and contributing factors.

    Officials said it is the first time a city has reached out to high-level advisers in homeland security and military conflicts to help with a local gang issue. The result it may have is unclear......
    The Californian, 3 Feb 09: Navy school takes on Salinas gangs
    Federal violence and terrorism experts from the Naval Postgraduate School, who deal with the likes of Al-Qaida, have been recruited to help fight the deep-rooted gang subculture in Salinas. And agents of the federal office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms have been assigned to gang-busting duty in the city.

    “We need to break the back” of gangs, Mayor Dennis Donohue said as he announced the double-barrel help at a Monday press conference at City Hall. “Frankly, after three or four decades, we’re no longer interested in coexistence side-by-side with this subculture that has become embedded in our community,” Donohue declared. The mayor and other city and police officials have been under increasing pressure to deal with violence that has left 31 people dead since January 1, 2008, mostly in gang-related killings.......

  2. #22
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    To compound the deteriorating securtiy situation, the local police are having a public relations issue in response to some police shooting civilians.

    Few details in Salinas police shooting
    BY JACK FOLEY • The Salinas Californian • February 6, 2009

    Police opened fire on an unarmed couple during a routine traffic stop late Tuesday night because one officer "thought he was shot," a high-ranking Salinas Police Department official said Thursday.

    "He saw what he perceived as a threat and thought he was shot, and based on that both officers discharged their firearms," said Dino Bardoni, commander of investigations.

    No one was hurt in the 11:24 p.m. incident at North Sanborn Road and Freedom Parkway, but the couple's SUV was riddled with bullet holes and its rear window was shattered.

    Police are releasing few details about the incident or case and have characterized it as a "priority investigation," Bardoni said.

    It's the fourth officer-involved shooting in the city in the past seven months, two of which were fatal.
    Two issues in this specific case so far:

    1. Escalation of Force. The civilians were unarmed.

    2. Markmanship. The cops fired multiple rounds into the victim's car, but they did not injure the civilians. It was more suppressive fire.

    v/r

    Mike

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    "He saw what he perceived as a threat and thought he was shot, and based on that both officers discharged their firearms," said Dino Bardoni, commander of investigations.
    This may be a dumb question. But how does someone who wasn't shot come to think he was shot? I can understand how someone might mistakenly think he was shot at, but shot?

  4. #24
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default My question also.

    Got a Cop son who teaches in-service training and use of force. I sent him the link and I'll see what he says. But my reaction was not good. On either opening fire or marksmanship grounds.

    Plus , as the ex-paratrooper kid says, "suppressive fire is NOT a police technique..."

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    Default Also this one ....

    AUG. 31: At 11:20 p.m., Iraq war veteran Philip Michael Dorado, 21, of Castroville, is fatally shot by Salinas Police Officer Louis Plunkett outside a Wells Fargo bank in north Salinas. Police said Dorado had pulled a loaded AK-47 out of his waistband. The investigation is ongoing.
    from the Salinas Californian article.

  6. #26
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    What was the perceived threat? Dosen't say in the article

  7. #27
    Registered User Locke21's Avatar
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    Default shades of grey

    Sad to hear its gotten that bad in Salinas/Monterey.

    However, the drug production and exports are still escalating- the primary focus of the original Plan Colombia is a failure.
    The situation is simply too complex to point to one factor and claim success or failure as many who cite the CRS report on "hectares of coca planted" as an ironclad indicator that Plan Colombia and by extension, "the war on drugs" have failed.

    Roughly the same (estimated) amount of cocaine was shipped out of South America for 2007 as for 2006 (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/...muggling07.pdf) - but that includes significant increases in growth outside Colombia, record seizures, and more and more cocaine headed to easier-to-enter markets in Europe; the weak dollar had a vote too. The amount of coca growing may be on the rise, but that doesn't necessarily translate to an increase in the amount of product. If it did - a 20% increase in growth should translate to ~20% increase in product; but that isn't happening. A crucial fact here is the reference to shortages in US cities. I'll take cocaine shortages in the US as a good start for our investment.

    In another article decrying the failure of the "War on Drugs" (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123439889394275215.html) we see reflections of ordinary market forces facing the drug cartels: an increase in violence as they fight to compete for a reduced commodity. Clearly there is enough to continue to fight over though. There has been drug violence in Mexico for a long time, but not like the violence we've seen in Mexico since 2007.

    U.S. law-enforcement officials -- as well as some of their counterparts in Mexico -- say the explosion in violence indicates progress in the war on drugs as organizations under pressure are clashing.

    "If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence," a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. There is violence "because these guys are flailing. We're taking these guys out. The worst thing you could do is stop now."
    Over this same period, President Uribe's "democratic security plan," aided by Plan Colombia, demobilized huge numbers of paramilitary drug gangs (many of whose leaders were extradited to the US), and started putting the spurs into the FARC. As you stated - violence in all forms has been reduced drastically. Considering the paltry chump change of Plan Colombia compared to Iraq or even Afghanistan I'd say we're lucky to see any results, let alone the near-total turnaround of the Colombian state.

    Narcotics and narco-terrorism, like terrorism, take time and a high level of engagement to address - regardless of the scale, municipal or global. Let this one stay in the cooker a bit longer to see what comes out.

    In the context of gangs in the US though, I have two concerns about Mexico:
    - how much worse will the gang problem get if/when will the forced migrations from Mexico begin as violence scales upward/continues, and the saturation level of the narco hero-worshiping kids increases in the border states?

    Interesting thread
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

  8. #28
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    One of the "Big Ideas" we are developing at USSOCOM is that in a world freed from the Cold War and accelerated by factors of globalization there is in effect a "Competition for Sovereignty."

    Essentially attempting to describe an environment where, while the State remains the primary holder/employer of sovereignty; that populaces are empowered as are non-state actors in new ways that change the old dynamic in significant ways.

    One manifestation of this is populaces turning to non-state entities for things and services that their state is either unable or unwilling to provide. The rise of narco-gang activity in Mexico is an example; as is the rise of AQ to be able to conduct an effective UW campaign in the Middle East to leverage several diverse nationalist insurgent efforts, united by those things they hold in common.

    The rise of gangs in the US mirrors this syndrom. As the economy worsens one can expect more and more of those segments of the populace that feel excluded or underserviced by the functions of the legitimate sovereign to turn to illegitimate alternatives for what they need.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  9. #29
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    Default Late to Thread, but some thoughts anyway...

    Firstly, I came upon this thread in search of conversations pertaining to insurgency and gangs. Coming from the thread titled "Commonalities and lessons learned between gangs and insurgencies"...

    My thought was to find some leads as I try to compile reports, etc on possible lessons for COIN from anti-gang efforts. It has been really thought provoking to see a thread essentially going the other way and looking at how to bring COIN lessons to anti-gang efforts. Upshot for me...clearly many people who know better than I think there is sufficient commonality and potential for lessons learned, so I'm going to keep looking into this...any help is always appreciated, btw. Meantime, I'm going to follow some of the leads mentioned in this thread and read reports linked or referred to...

    With regards to the questions surrounding the war on drugs, what has really happened in Colombia, etc, I thought the recent Economist has some pretty interesting stuff. (They contend COIN victory in Colombia, failure at anti-drug goal.) I don't have a dog in this fight, or perhaps more accurately I'm gonna keep my dog out of the fight. But the contention that many of the problems discussed here in this thread get fixed by starting with legalizing drugs...it is an idea seemingly dismissed out of hand. Is that a good thing?

    Failed states and failed policies: How to stop the drug wars
    from The Economist: Full print edition

    Prohibition has failed; legalisation is the least bad solution

    A HUNDRED years ago a group of foreign diplomats gathered in Shanghai for the first-ever international effort to ban trade in a narcotic drug. On February 26th 1909 they agreed to set up the International Opium Commission—just a few decades after Britain had fought a war with China to assert its right to peddle the stuff. Many other bans of mood-altering drugs have followed. In 1998 the UN General Assembly committed member countries to achieving a “drug-free world” and to “eliminating or significantly reducing” the production of opium, cocaine and cannabis by 2008.

    That is the kind of promise politicians love to make. It assuages the sense of moral panic that has been the handmaiden of prohibition for a century. It is intended to reassure the parents of teenagers across the world. Yet it is a hugely irresponsible promise, because it cannot be fulfilled. ...
    ______________________________________

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  10. #30
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Legalising drugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by PK=COIN View Post
    .....the contention that many of the problems discussed here in this thread get fixed by starting with legalizing drugs...it is an idea seemingly dismissed out of hand. Is that a good thing?
    PK=COIN,

    IIRC the debate over legalising drugs has appeared before and on many threads. It is has had a good airing and this is a small 'c' conservative site, albeit with a variety of opinions that are not 'c'.

    davidbfpo

  11. #31
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    Default Gotcha...my comment had more

    to do with the lack of that debate in policymaking circles. It was sort of an errant thought that popped into my head as I was reading through the thread, since I had just put down that particular Economist yesterday. I guess what I was thinking as I read the thread was that the legalization debate seemed like one of the sides in the discussion taking place in the thread.

    But, of course, I see now it might have appeared I was suggesting legalization as an option, which wasn't my intention.

    Upon reflection, I probably should have stuck to what I was interested in re: my comment....the gang and insurgency commonalities.

    Ah, well.
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    The elites of society have been at war with the forces of order for years. Some law firms do pro bono for gangsters for sport. Due to the witch hunt environment against the police today the forces of disorder are up in the game.

  13. #33
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majormarginal View Post
    The elites of society have been at war with the forces of order for years. Some law firms do pro bono for gangsters for sport. Due to the witch hunt environment against the police today the forces of disorder are up in the game.
    I don't know if the current environment is a witch hunt against police. From what I have observed the corruption of law enforcement in the United States has increased at the same pace as militarization of the police. The type of corruption has changed from simple graft to contract killings and homicide. You list Chicago in your sig/block I don't have to mention the special unit that was recently broke up and had charges filed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    I don't know if the current environment is a witch hunt against police. From what I have observed the corruption of law enforcement in the United States has increased at the same pace as militarization of the police. The type of corruption has changed from simple graft to contract killings and homicide. You list Chicago in your sig/block I don't have to mention the special unit that was recently broke up and had charges filed.
    Police corruption is in the eye of the beholder. There are many standards and definitions of corruption. As far as I can tell every corruption article or academic paper has a different definition. IMHO a level of corruption is part and parcel of police work. It needs to be weeded out and dealt with but it will never go away. The special unit that was disbanded was brought back under another title. The unit has had eight names that I can think of. I don't know what this has to do with the "militarization" of the police? I have not seen us "Militarized". We have more restrictions on weaponry now than we ever have. These restrictions get tighter all the time. I carry a revolver just as I did when I started.

    At the start of my career the chaplain told us to hold tight to our beliefs because we were going to be tempted. I am still waiting to be tempted. Some succumb.

    It is also my experience that the police are the least corrupt unit of government.

  15. #35
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majormarginal View Post
    Police corruption is in the eye of the beholder. There are many standards and definitions of corruption. As far as I can tell every corruption article or academic paper has a different definition. .......The unit has had eight names that I can think of. I don't know what this has to do with the "militarization" of the police? I have not seen us "Militarized". We have more restrictions on weaponry now than we ever have. These restrictions get tighter all the time. I carry a revolver just as I did when I started.....
    My experience may be slightly different..

    In the 1980s when I became an LEO I carried a S&W686 (18 rounds total) and wore a uniform. In the 1990s when I left I was carrying a Ruger P85 (60 rounds total). We went from shotguns to carbines. Our uniforms changed to jump suits and fatigue pants. When I started the number of SWAT teams was unquestionably low. The number in the late 1990s exploded. All related to the war on drugs. Like his politics or not, Balko has a detailed exploration of the issue of domestic militarization of police and the effects. We have a tendency to dismiss that which we disagree but the data within the Balko paper is open source and verifiable.

    In the question of narco terrorism there is a pretty good case to be made that the war on drugs has created the narco terrorism. Just like prohibition the criminal society will fill a need when the law is contrary to the general citizens desires.
    Sam Liles
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    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    I'll read the Balko article. The executive summary looks interesting.
    I carry a 686 and a 649.
    I'll let you know what I think about the article.
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  17. #37
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Two interrelated articles here....

    Salinas churches pray for peace 24/7Seven pastors are hosting prayer sessions, which started Monday

    SUNITA VIJAYAN
    The Californian

    In response to the spate of gun violence in the city, seven Salinas pastors are holding 24-hour prayer vigils at their churches...

    Some of the pastors involved said they hope the effort will encourage residents to pray for peace. The prayer sessions are a direct response to the wave of violence that spanned 11 days since July 27, leaving seven people dead including a 15-year-old Salinas High School student on Thursday.
    The community grassroots efforts in Salinas are a positive sign to provide a hollistic solution to the gang problem. The local police cannot tackle this problem by themselves, but I was suprised by the increasing level of violence. My assumption was that gangs would attempt to keep their violence under an acceptable limit in order NOT to gain too much attention thereby losing profits. It appears something has changed.

    Mexican drug cartels smuggling oil into U.S.

    U.S. refineries bought millions of dollars worth of oil stolen from Mexican government pipelines and smuggled across the border, the U.S. Justice Department said — illegal operations now led by Mexican drug cartels expanding their reach.Criminals — mostly drug gangs — tap remote pipelines, sometimes building pipelines of their own, to siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil each year, the Mexican oil monopoly said. At least one U.S. oil executive has pleaded guilty to conspiracy in such a deal.
    If the drug cartels are adding oil as another business set, at what point do they become an insurgency? Is it possible that they are currently setting up shadow governments and controlling portions of territory?

    I would welcome any feedback from the Council.

    v/r

    Mike

  18. #38
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Default Hmmm I thought they were already there a while ago

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post


    If the drug cartels are adding oil as another business set, at what point do they become an insurgency? Is it possible that they are currently setting up shadow governments and controlling portions of territory?

    I would welcome any feedback from the Council.

    v/r

    Mike
    Just figured that nobody ever calls them insurgents because of all the political issues with needing to keep it a LE issue on our side.
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  19. #39
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    They are RICO Banditos. They will sell oil,drugs,guns,people,stolen cars,stolen car parts, used bass-o-matics it doesn't matter so long as it makes a lot of money. We should not be surprised at anything they sell,steal, or smuggle.


    They are literally the modern version of The Comancheros.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC2gThsfTqg

  20. #40
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Here is the modern version...yes this is Australia



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERbKtjy_iG8

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