The other day, I shared an article of mine that appeared over at http://www.survivalblog.com (great website by James Wesley Rawles, BTW). In that article, I discussed some training exercises that are listed in my Base Line Training Manual, available at the Amazon affiliate link below. The exercises involved conducting safe movement, avoiding others, and setting a secure campsite for yourself in a post-WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation. This is, not coincidentally, the topic of Tactical Wisdom Volume 2, Fieldcraft.
The point I made in the article was that you will need to do things in a secure and somewhat “militant” way, in order to prevent others from preying on you in a post-WROL situation.
A guy on the Book of Faces read it, and in true “Fudd” fashion, left a scathing reply that “This is where you lost me. I want to be prepared, not be a soldier-boy.”. He said that, as if you could be prepared without becoming somewhat of a “soldier-boy”. Our friend must have skipped over the part where I pointed out that the best way to avoid fighting and being robbed in a post-WROL situation is to NOT LET OTHERS SEE YOU. Most of you know that I frequently say that our role is SURVIVAL, not COMBAT.
This lead to a little soul-searching, because maybe I was wrong. I did a little research, starting of course with this gem from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
Gather up your belongings to leave the land,
All you who live under siege.
That verse is the foundation of Chapter 9 of the Base Line Training Manual & it is SOLID ADVICE. A WROL situation is indeed living under siege and you need to be able to quickly and quietly move out and remain undetected at a moment’s notice.
Among the best examples of what a Without Rule of Law situation in America would look like is found in the Balkan Conflict. The basis for the wars and revolutions there is the same thing we are facing now, ethnic groups and political factions at each other’s throats and willing to use violence to fight each other.
Yugoslavia was a modern western nation, with a functioning economy and very diverse ethnic makeup. The even exported one of the most popular cars at the time, the Yugo. Sarajevo had just hosted the Olympics. This was not some backwater country.
First, they had political protests because of alleged police brutality against minorities. Then, they had contested elections, followed immediately by groups setting up “autonomous zones”. Once the protests and autonomous zones overwhelmed law enforcement to the point that they couldn’t respond, open warfare, banditry, and ethnic cleansing began, and killed tens of thousands. Does any of that sound familiar?
The nation of Yugoslavia never recovered and does not exist any longer. Several new nations exist in her place.
After years of warfare, NATO forcibly intervened and stopped at least the ethnic-based killing and set up safe zones. Do you think any nation has the capability to forcibly put forces inside the US to “enforce domestic peace” on us? In other words, once a WROL situation begins in the US, it will be absolutely unstoppable. Bad actor nations around the globe will then be free to do whatever we’ve held them back from.
When you read about daily life in the Balkans during this time, it was exactly what most of us think. If you even had water or electricity, it was very intermittent. Hungry people attacked long time neighbors over food. Even walking out to get water or gather firewood required taking a team of people for security reasons, to prevent being attacked or robbed.
Checkpoints didn’t mean law and order; they were a means of ethnic cleansing and robbery. Various forces, factions, and criminal groups set up checkpoints to seize food & water, identify people from targeted ethnic groups, or to generally harass the civilians in an area. They were something to be avoided, by using stealth and field skills, you know, like a “soldier-boy”.
Life on the farm isn’t what our friend from above pictured either. Soldiers, bandits, or just hungry people raided farms frequently. You had the choice of defending your farm, or fleeing to hide. There was no “I’ll just stay here and let them take food, I’ll grow more”. These groups KILLED the people they came across, no questions asked, no remorse.
We know from witness accounts that if people went out for food or water, they carried a bag, like the Patrol/EDC bag I discuss in my book, because they might have to evade a warring party, local thugs, or roving bandits and had no idea when they would be able to get home.
So, the point is, those who think that they can just store a little extra food, set aside some water, and just be left alone are NOT actually preparing. They are setting themselves up for failure, which I hate to see. They are planning with this idyllic idea that it’ll be like Little House on the Prairie. You can’t change their minds, so stop trying. Just understand that preparedness is different than that.
I liken it to the “Militant Farmer” concept of the American Frontiersman. He pushed out past civilization, banded together with his neighbors and lived off the land. BUT, he also understood that there were Native War Parties, parties of soldiers from France, Spain, and other places raiding farms, and generally bandits on the road. He maintained a standard of “Skill At Arms” as it was called back then, by training with his neighbors.
They ran joint patrols. They worked together to staff observation posts overlooking the “avenues of approach” and “key terrain” (if you don’t already know what these are, my Fieldcraft manual will help you). They set up “bug out” plans to all flee into the woods together for safety if a larger armed party approached, which is what my article was about, and they could only know about these approaching parties by setting up the OPs and watching the roads. They didn’t rely on the government, nor did they hope for the good will of others.
If you think that just food and water, or having a farm and maybe a gun is preparedness, you are relying on the good will of strangers.
What keeps our society from falling apart right now, under the tension we currently have? Fear of a law enforcement response; that’s all. What will happen the minute that goes away? For an example, as states around the country are announcing that they will no longer prosecute shoplifting, what’s happening? Shoplifting is SKYROCKETING. As law enforcement disengages in the larger cities, what is happening to the murder and robbery rates? Skyrocketing. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Lastly, don’t think living in a rural area removes this risk. It just pushes it farther down the calendar, and not by much. Once Rule of Law completely vanishes, the cities will burn out in under 3 months. Where will all the refugees and bandits go? Into the countryside, seeking opportunity and victims.
We’re not trying to be all doom and gloom, but we have to see things as they are and as they will be, not how we want them to be or would prefer.
Thanks for listening and I hope this pushes a few more people to get realistic in their preparations and more importantly, their training.
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