It’s not just the Department of Homeland Security that is gearing up for the prospect of civil unrest in America. The U.S. Army also recently purchased a stock of riot gear including batons, face masks and body shields.
As we reported last week, the DHS has put out an urgent solicitation for hundreds of items of “riot gear,” in preparation for expected unrest at the upcoming Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and next year’s presidential inauguration.
In a previous solicitation, the U.S. Army also put out a contract for riot gear to be delivered to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.
The contract, which was eventually awarded to A2Z Supply Corp, included requests to supply riot shields, face shields, batons and body protection.
Fears that the U.S. military would be used to quell domestic unrest in violation of Posse Comitatus have raged over recent years.
A recently leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.
On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”
The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.
Preparations for using troops to deal with mass civil unrest on U.S. soil have been in the works for years.
Back in 2008, U.S. troops returning from Iraq were earmarked for “homeland patrols” with one of their roles including helping with “civil unrest and crowd control”.
In December 2008, the Washington Post reported on plans to station 20,000 more U.S. troops inside America for purposes of “domestic security” from September 2011 onwards, an expansion of Northcom’s militarization of the country in preparation for potential civil unrest following a total economic collapse or a mass terror attack.
A report produced that same year by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute warned that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”.