EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY – 22 September 2017 🔒
In this EXSUM… (5244 words)
- Russia, China, North Korea, and Middle East Situation Reports (SITREPs)
- Defense in Brief
- Far Left Roll-Up
- And more…
ADMIN NOTE: A couple weeks ago, I told you that we at Forward Observer would be making some significant changes. After a months of consideration, I’ve decided to carve the Executive Intelligence Summary into two different reports, and for good reason. The first report, Strategic Intelligence, will continue to focus on monitoring the risk of war and pre-war indicators, tracking the developments of potential conflicts with Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran and the Middle East, and reporting on threats to U.S. national security (to include critical infrastructure and economic/financial systems disruption). It’s our firm belief that the changing geopolitical landscape — this shift from a unipolar world to a multipolar one — will necessitate military action by the United States to stave off threats to the current “international order”. Protecting American interests has always been backstopped by military intervention, and we see no reason to believe that the future will be different. That’s why the focus of Strategic Intelligence will continue indefinitely.
The second report is Low Intensity Conflict, and will officially launch in the first week of October. Since the election of Donald J. Trump, we’ve all seen the proliferation of “Alt-Left” ideologies like communism and radical anarchism, and the mostly nonviolent political resistance movement. In November 2016, I compiled an initial list of 18 indicators of insurgency, revolt, or revolution; specifically aiming to gauge how serious a Leftist resistance movement was. Around Thanksgiving 2016, eight of the 18 indicators were present. Today, nearly a year later, 16 out of 18 indicators are present. Many of these indicators are still weak, meaning there is evidence but not strong evidence. Earlier this year, I created an Index Score out of a possible 100 points; today we’re at 33. To give this some context, anything over 50 represents an imminent domestic conflict, and scores of 70-100 would represent a very active and violent revolutionary movement. My outlook currently is that at 33 points, we’re in a low scale domestic conflict led by fringe groups, and it could potentially take years to develop into what we’d call an active insurgency, if it does all. Realistically, we could stay between 30 and 60 points, and never reach the level of violence we’ve seen in Leftist revolutionary movements across the world. There’s also significant reason to believe that this “Alt-Left” movement will not grow into larger and more coordinated activities, which means that we may not climb much higher than 30-40 on our scale. Of course, future elections will likely determine the most likely course of action for these groups, but I’ll be providing more thoughts starting in October.
Why is the EXSUM being broken into two reports?
Since the inception of Forward Observer, my goal has been to produce timely and relevant intelligence information and analysis for my subscribers. There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation out there. There are writers at websites with a vested interest in selling ad space, thus affecting what they report and how they report it because it drives traffic. And then there are some well-known writers with seriously ill-informed opinions, and who unfortunately drive narratives (think about the countless predictions of imminent collapse, war, apocalypse, etc.). Access to accurate information is the single most important determining factor in making decisions, and so my mission has been to help subscribers understand what’s going on in the world, especially where it concerns war and conflict, so you can make better decisions.
Going forward, none of this changes. I’ve decided to break the EXSUM into two reports so that we can go deeper into the same topics we’ve always covered and also introduce some new features. For instance, would you like to see a map of every Alt-Left group in the United States? Would you like to read summaries of blog posts and podcasts that shape the opinions and outlook among the Alt-Left? Would you like to know where this weekend’s protests and counter-demonstrations will be held? These are the sorts of things we’re going to cover in Low Intensity Conflict, and separating this report from the other will allow me to hire another analyst to help me track these domestic developments.
On the other hand, if war does break out overseas, Strategic Intelligence will become ground zero for tracking developments and providing a — quite possibly daily — intelligence brief of those developments. Until then, we’ll continue to provide a weekly summary of what’s happening in Europe, in the South China Sea, on the Korean Peninsula, and in the Middle East; with a focus on determining how close to war we are. We’ll keep the pulse of the U.S. defense community and update you on significant developments, new weapons and technologies, and threats to national security (including strategic threats like disruption to critical infrastructure and the economic/financial sector). Additionally, Jon and I will be producing a new intelligence estimate once a quarter, providing a cumulative view on each of these national security threats or four ‘flashpoints’ we’re tracking.
What does this mean for subscribers?
Ultimately it means that you’ll get to choose which report(s) you’d like to receive. Current subscribers have three options.
- Do nothing and continue receiving Strategic Intelligence every Friday.
- Change your current annual or monthly subscription to Low Intensity Conflict (additional details will follow in an email next week).
- Continue receiving Strategic Intelligence, and add Low Intensity Conflict by upgrading your subscription.
This is a significant change for Forward Observer subscribers, but it’s a positive one. We’ll be able to increase the scope and depth of our intelligence reporting, and add some new features which haven’t previously existed.
Starting in October, Jon Dougherty will be taking over as editor of Strategic Intelligence, with weekly input from me. I’ll take the lead on the “alt-left” movement and associated organizations for Low Intensity Conflict. I expect to hire another analyst by the end of this year to help out with the additional workload, as we will soon begin producing two intelligence reports each week. Your support, whether you subscribe to one or both of our reports, will help us provide the absolute best intelligence that any company has to offer.
I would love to hear your feedback, whether that’s your encouragement, complaints, concerns, or even hate mail. If you simply reply to this email, rest assured that I will read it.
Priority Intelligence Requirements:
PIR1: What are the new indicators of systems disruption or instability that could lead to civil unrest or violence?
PIR2: What are the new indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?
PIR3: What are the new indicators of organized political violence and domestic conflict?
PIR1: What are the current indicators of systems disruption that could lead to instability, civil unrest, or violence?
Americans believe hacking is their number one threat
Most Americans are not as concerned with climate change and advancing artificial intelligence technologies as they are with having their information hacked. A new survey found that criminal hacking is the greatest threat to Americans’ well-being, outranking air pollution, motor vehicle accidents, and artificial intelligence. “It’s pure speculation on my part as to why criminal hacking was rated the highest, but one suggestion is criminals breaking into computers is a more immediate threat,” said Stephen Cobb, ESET senior security researcher. “Maybe the headlines in the news also made a difference. The survey was done right after WannaCry and NotPetya.” [source]
No power, no cell service on entire island of Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria completely devastated the entire island of Puerto Rico, destroying the country’s flimsy power grid and wiping out cell towers and other service-related infrastructure. Worse, the island’s governor has predicted it will take months to get power restored. At present, more than 95 percent of the island’s cell towers are out of service. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said restoring electricity to the island “could take weeks or many, many months.”
“Unfortunately, getting Puerto Rico’s communications networks up and running will be a challenging process, particularly given the power outages,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Beyond that, there is widespread devastation in many communities, and it’s difficult to predict how quickly the infrastructure can be rebuilt. Puerto Ricans face substantially difficult times in the coming months, as winter storm season begins. The conditions they face are precisely those which have, in the past, so often led to social unrest. [source]
U.S. oil refinery capacity in danger from storms
This season’s violent hurricanes serve as a reminder that much of U.S. oil refinery capacity is located in a part of the country most susceptible to storm-related damage. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, some 22 percent of U.S. refining capacity was taken offline, which resulted in modest increases in gasoline and fuel prices — which no doubt will result in higher consumer prices in the months ahead as the cost effects trickle up the manufacturing and supply chains and into retail outlets.
In Louisiana alone, for instance, there is 125,000 miles of pipeline, or enough to go around the world five times, that is vulnerable to storm damage. Experts are warning that the nation’s oil and gas industries could begin shifting away from their traditional strongholds in the Gulf region to locations in the nation’s interior. Because it is such a large industry, a shift in oil and gas production and refining to different parts of the country will no doubt bring substantial economic and political shifts as well, which would have long-term implications for the country. [source]
PIR2: What are the current indicators of an outbreak of global conflict?
NATO – Russia SITREP
By far the most significant development this week was Russia’s test of another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM); which makes two in the past 10 days. Wednesday’s test launch ended the large scale military exercise called Zapad 2017. (In 2014, Russia ended the Zapad exercise with a simulated nuclear strike on Sweden.) Of Zapad 2017, NATO’s defense chief said this week that the exercise represents “real preparations for big war.”
Just a day later, on Thursday, NATO kicked off Dragon 17, a military exercise in Poland that’s scheduled to end on 28 September. What’s most significant about Dragon 17 is that it involves forces from NATO powerhouses like Britain and Germany, smaller NATO partners like Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Italy, Bulgaria, and Romania, and non-NATO defense partners Ukraine and Georgia. Dragon-17 simulates an invasion of Poland, similar to Russia’s stealth invasion of Crimea. It comes less than two weeks since the last NATO exercise, Aurora 17, which occurred in the Baltic region. [source]
Outlook: Both sides of this potential conflict are somewhat ironically expressing their serious interest in avoiding war by regularly exercising their militaries. In Putin’s eyes, weakness has always invited aggression, which is why we see the test launch of ICBMs. Meanwhile, NATO continues to prepare for the next “hybrid war” as they’ve been almost entirely focused on the likelihood of losing a short-lived conventional war during a Russian invasion, but following through with a strong unconventional ground game aimed at driving back Russian forces. As previously covered, the proper context to understand the current conflict is that NATO is expanding along Russia’s borders and Putin is pushing back. If the threat weren’t real, then I don’t believe we’d see Sweden get involved in military exercises with NATO. But given that several non-NATO members are taking part in NATO exercises shows that not only is potential escalation a reality, but these nations believe there’s significant likelihood of conflict to be ready for one. – MS
China’s neighbors have few options, alone, to counter continued Chinese expansionism.
In its ongoing quest to dominate the South China Sea, Beijing recently introduced a new legal tactic designed to promote its aggressive claims. In what critics are calling “lawfare,” or legal warfare, the Chinese government has shifted away from its so-called “9-Dash Line” which essentially claims ownership to most of the sea. Now, the new legal narrative being employed is called the “Four Sha” — Chinese for “sand” — and was revealed by Ma Xinmin, deputy director general in the Foreign Ministry’s department of treaty and law. Ma introduced the legal maneuver during a meeting with U.S. State Department officials last month.
The new legal strategy, discussed with American officials in Boston at the end of August, was said to have taken the State Department off-guard, as it was an unexpected new twist in an ongoing geopolitical struggle that has dire implications for many nations in the region, as well as U.S. influence, which is vital in order to maintain a credible deterrent effect. The Trump administration has made it clear, repeatedly, that American ships and planes will continue to transit the South China Sea in what have been considered traditional international sea lanes and airspace, irrespective of Chinese claims of control.
India/Japan: Both nations are considering engaging in joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea, as well as selling advanced weapons to other neighbors. Both tactics are aimed specifically at challenging rising Chinese hegemony. “Both Asian countries could sell or donate more weapons to China’s rival maritime claimants, such as Vietnam, so they can build a defense against Beijing. Japan may also use coast guard or naval ships to patrol the sea to show it’s open despite China’s claim to some 90 percent of it.” In addition, India is likely to continue joint oil and gas exploration with Vietnam. Japan has already begun transferring patrol vessels to the Philippines, and said earlier this year it would transfer patrol vessels to Vietnam.
Malaysia/U.S.: Just days ago, Malaysia launched a maritime training activity at Lumut Naval Base with the United States, which was initiated immediately following a summit with the leaders of both countries. The joint training effort “was testament to the ongoing interactions between the two sides in the defense realm,” and is seen as a means of shoring up Malaysia’s security interests in the region. Chinese incursions into Malaysian waters in the past few years have alarmed Kuala Lumpur.
Outlook: Moves by China’s neighbors to strengthen military cooperation may put the region closer to war, as Beijing isn’t likely to back off its current behavior on its own. Forming alliances and enhancing military-to-military cooperation is one the only means China’s neighbors have at their disposal to check Beijing’s aggressive expansionism. – JD
Korean Peninsula SITREP
North Korea’s window of opportunity to save itself from almost certain destruction closed a little more this week. First, the practical developments. Within the past month, we’ve learned several things about Pyongyang’s advancing military capabilities, or at least, the capabilities that are potentially the most lethal. For one, after the sixth nuclear test on Sept. 2, we know that North Korea’s ability to produce ever-more-powerful hydrogen bombs is advancing, as the latest test — estimated to have been around 250 kilotons — was by far the most powerful.
For another, we know that North Korea’s ICBM development is such that all of Japan, Guam, and much of the U.S. west coast are within range of, potentially, a nuclear-armed missile. We know that Pyongyang has been increasing the frequency of its missile tests, suggesting two things: 1) It is ramping up its development; and 2) Leader Kim Jong-un obviously has the infrastructure to build additional missiles, for testing and eventual deployment.
In addition, one interesting report claims that the North Koreans are clandestinely building a nuclear-powered submarine that they hope to deploy within three years. A second report claims that the sub is being built with assistance from Russian and Chinese engineers. If true, that will give Pyongyang the capability to silently slip through the Pacific Ocean and park nuclear-tipped missiles close enough to U.S. shores to be able to hit a much larger portion of our country, and perhaps all of it, including Washington, D.C. Pyongyang has already successfully tested submarine-launched missiles. While not verified, this report seems plausible, given that the Pentagon has recently been tracking what it described as “unusual” North Korean submarine activity, which included an “ejection test” — a test of a sub-launched missile using steam pressure to catapult the missile out of its chamber before its rocket motor kicks in. The test was the fourth one this year; three of them occurred within the same month.
Next, the geopolitical developments. Russia, in a moment of clarity and frankness, warned North Korea more than a year ago that it risked attack because its bellicose rhetoric, combined with continued nuclear and missile development, was setting the legal stage for a preemptive attack — by the U.S., or perhaps even South Korea or Japan (though it seems unlikely Japan or South Korea would strike preemptively without U.S. support and involvement). “We consider it to be absolutely impermissible to make public statements containing threats to deliver some ‘preventive nuclear strikes’ against opponents,” the Russian foreign ministry said in response to North Korea’s threats. “Pyongyang should be aware of the fact that in this way the DPRK will become fully opposed to the international community and will create international legal grounds for using military force against itself in accordance with the right of a state to self-defense enshrined in the United Nations Charter.”
That was in March 2016. Fast-forward to this week. In the intervening timeframe, President Trump warned North Korea repeatedly that its continued belligerence risked a preemptive strike. Trump and his foreign policy and defense teams have similarly warned China and Russia that such a strike was entirely possible.
In his first speech to the UN General Assembly, Trump appeared to make clear that the time for diplomacy with North Korea was running out. In threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea if the U.S. and its allies were forced to defend themselves, the president added, “The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about; that’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.” Trump told the UN (and the world) in no uncertain terms they have limited opportunities remaining to solve the North Korean situation diplomatically and peacefully.
Finally, Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked this week — again — by a reporter whether there is “any military option the U.S. can take with North Korea that wold not put Seoul at grave risk.” His response was, “Yes, there are, but I will not go into details.”
Game, set, and match. Mattis has previously said any attack on North Korea would result in a massive shelling of the South Korean capital, but it appears that spectacle may no longer be a concern to U.S. planners.
Outlook: The U.S. is fast approaching the ‘go it alone’ point with North Korea if the objective is still to prevent Pyongyang from developing a viable nuclear weapons threat. Sanctions won’t do it as it’s been proven thus far, given North Korea’s continually advancing weapons programs, that sanctions have largely been ineffective. As one former undersecretary of Defense notes, “Washington cannot simply bide its time hoping that a maniacal North Korean leadership that threatens to destroy American territory will come to its senses. It will not, and only a determined American response can force it to recognize that it has no option but to do so.” Modern wars pursued by the U.S. almost always follow sanctions. This case will not be an exception. – JD
Middle East SITREP
As ISIS is driven from Syria, a new period of danger is emerging
Most analysts believed that the war against the Islamic State would get extremely complicated and messy once it reached its final stages. There are too many players — great powers, proxies, militant groups, militias — involved for the situation on the ground not to have gotten complex. And now that the endgame is close, the great powers — Russia and the United States, along with regional powers like Iran, Iraq, and Israel — are now jockeying for position, power, and influence.
Several factors are in play: What the post-war Syria will actually look like; Kurdish aspirations; Iranian intentions and those of its proxies — Hezbollah and Hamas, already in Syria; Moscow’s long-game; Israeli security concerns; America’s role in determining various outcomes.
In recent days competing forces have come in close contact, each serving as proxies for the two major powers involved, illustrating the potential for danger and miscalculation. “After Syrian troops drove the Islamic State out of most of the southern portion (of Deir al-Zour, the provincial capital), the SDF (Syrian Defense Force, backed by the U.S.) made a mad dash south through the desert and is positioned at the city’s northern edge,” The Washington Post noted. “The potential for deadly miscalculation has been made clear: As The Washington Post’s Louisa Loveluck reported, Russian warplanes allegedly bombed an SDF position on Saturday and wounded one of the group’s fighters. Russia has denied the strike, and the United States says it is investigating what appeared to be the first Russian challenge to its presence in the province.”
None of this is lost on U.S. commanders. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, remarked that he spoke to his Russian counterpart following the incident, and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had similarly followed up with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “We have been engaged at every level to re-establish deconfliction at the Euphrates river. It couldn’t be more complex and crowded in that area, and so deconfliction is more difficult right now than it was a few months ago,” said Dunford. “We haven’t resolved all the issues right now. We’ll get through that.”
Without question, the biggest future threat to peace and stability to the region in a post-ISIS Middle East is Iran, which is situated within Moscow’s zone of influence. Indeed, some see the rising threat from Iran as more dire than the current threat posed by North Korea. Though Tehran’s nuclear program is not believed to be as advanced as Pyongyang’s, it is known that the two countries are cooperating and providing mutual assistance in nuclear and ICBM development, with the lion’s share of it originating in North Korea. Iran’s ambitions in this area have not changed and are not likely to change; while North Korea’s quest for the bomb is likely purely defensive in nature, Iran’s leaders have made it crystal clear they seek a nuclear capability solely for the destruction of arch-enemy Israel.
Obviously, Iran’s quest directly affects the security of America’s principal Middle Eastern ally and benefactor.
The initial stages of shoring up Israeli security moving forward have already begun, on the sidelines of President Trump’s first address to the UN General Assembly this week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Trump after the U.S. leader gave his introductory speech, in which he lambasted the Iran “nuclear deal” as an “embarrassment” to the United States and threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if provoked.
Outlook: It’s not clear what was actually discussed but we can make a pretty good guess: The end of ISIS, the rising influence of Iran in post-war Syria, Tehran’s cheating on the nuclear deal, and its continued threats to attack Israel. Speaking earlier at the start of his meeting with Trump, Netanyahu said, “I look forward to discussing with you how we can address together what you rightly called is the terrible nuclear deal with Iran and how to roll back Iran’s growing aggression in the region, especially in Syria.” Israel has not had a good friend in Washington in eight years; it has one now, and just in time. The conditions for the Middle East’s next war are being set.
Defense in brief
F-35B will greatly impact NATO amphibious operations
The new F-35B will be part of the inventories of several NATO nations besides the United States, and its presence will dramatically alter how the alliance will conduct air support for amphibious operations. Because of its vertical take-off and landing capability, the F-35B will deploy aboard NATO aircraft-carrying vessels like assault ships, which are far smaller than traditional aircraft carriers and especially U.S. Navy super-carriers. Some analysts see the smaller ships as being similar to the “Harrier carrier” model employed during the first Gulf War in 1991. [source]
Analyst comment: With the F-35B so much more superior to Harriers in capability, the aircraft will give commanders far more options in terms of fighter cover, power projection, mission strike capability, anti-shipping operations, and, of course, amphibious ops — all from a single platform. Simply put, the plane gives commanders huge advantages and many more options over existing Harrier aircraft the F-35B will replace. – JD
U.S. missile defense will mature by 2030
Today, when we hear about “missile defense” we think of launching a missile at an incoming missile hoping that conditions are just right and the incoming missile will be destroyed. But as we approach 2030, U.S. missile defense capabilities should be much more sophisticated and, importantly, reliable. Current missile defense testing is said to be crucial to the development of a future system called Multi-Object Kill Vehicle, or MOKV. Designed to release from a ground-based interceptor to destroy incoming ICBMs, it will also destroy decoys that will be traveling alongside the real missile. Decoys and countermeasures are incorporated into ICBMs deployed by the most sophisticated countries to defeat current missile defense systems and radar tracking systems, thereby decreasing the success rate of interdicting and destroying the actual threat. MOKV will ostensibly be capable of discriminating between lethal objects from countermeasures and debris.
Analyst comment: Unless another planet-killing weapon is developed, a missile defense system that is 90-95 percent reliable just could make world war feasible — and fashionable — again. The only thing that prevents great power war today is the existence of nuclear weapons…and the inability to successfully neutralize them. – JD
Once again, the A-10 has become fashionable — and necessary
On the Air Force chopping block just a few short years ago, the A-10 Warthog has gone from becoming extinct to a necessary element of NATO-Europe defense. Some of the distinctive warplanes were involved in a recent NATO exercise, Operation Atlantic Resolve, in which they flew from an airbase in Estonia, one of the alliance’s newest members and a former client state of the Soviet Union. And while the exercise primarily focused on protecting the planes from cyber intrusion, in which a hypothetical adversary infiltrates malware into computers that run maintenance diagnostics for the planes, it has become obvious they are going to once again be needed to fulfill the role they were designed for: Blunting Russian armor. Much of NATO’s tank forces were decimated after the end of the Cold War, and while NATO members began to deemphasize tank warfare, Russia has invested in it anew, fielding hundreds more tanks in units directly facing NATO member states than NATO has to counter them with. And most U.S. Army and Marine Corps Abrams tanks are based in the United States. [source]
Analyst comment: The A-10, if NATO forces can neutralize Russian air defenses, would certain even the odds when it comes to defeating enemy armor. – JD
ISIS looking to infiltrate Europe via Libya
As fighters for the Islamic State watch their self-declared caliphate disintegrate, many are dispersing throughout the region, not willing to give up the fight but rather take it to a new level in other parts of the world. Europe continues to be a prime target, but smuggling fighters onto the continent has become increasingly difficult following a series of attacks in several countries. But IS fighters may have found a new route into Europe: Via Libya. Islamic State leaders have told their fighters to travel to Libya from Syria, as “they consider Libya to be the main entrance to Europe,” according to Abu Baara al-Ansari, a Syrian who claims to have defected from ISIS in June. [source]
Analyst Comment: Defeating the Islamic State and retaking territory has been the primary objective of the Syrian and Iraqi governments, but no one seriously believed that after the bulk of ISIS forces were defeated on the ground that it would mark the end of the group or the end of terrorism. Islamic extremist organizations will continue looking for ways to attack the West, exploiting weak points where they find them. In Libya, there is a security vacuum as various factions fight over fiefdoms and oil rigs. The Islamic State is attempting to fill the void. – JD
China having difficulty filling ranks with quality recruits
After Congress and President Richard Nixon did away with the draft near the end of the Vietnam War and went instead with an all-volunteer force, the Pentagon at various times since, depending on the situation, has found itself short of quality recruits. The Defense Department most often corrected its deficits through a series of programs offering various benefits such as money for college, sign-on bonuses, and other incentives. China, it seems, is having similar problems. While conscription is still in use there, the quality of recruits has been declining over the years, with some cities reporting that nearly 60 percent of new conscripts can’t pass standard physical exams due to being overweight, inactive or psychologically unfit. Analysts are attributing the decline in recruit quality to China’s success, basically: Changing demographics and a rapidly improving economy. [source]
Analyst comment: China has a manpower problem endemic to all successful economies. In addition, China’s population is aging as a result of decades of a “one-child” policy, which is putting an additional strain on recruiting. Beijing’s defense ministry will have to adopt similar incentive programs as the United States if it wants to attract quality recruits in the future, especially as weapon systems are modernized and become more complex. – JD
PIR3: What are the new indicators of organized political violence and domestic conflict?
“Deface Columbus Day” set for 09 Oct
After several cases of vandalism against Christopher Columbus statues, 09 October is set for a nationwide protest called “Deface Columbus Day”. Protestors will, apparently, carry out vandalism against statues nationwide, similar to a 30 August attack which left one Columbus statue headless. In another case, “The future is economic and racial justice” was scrawled across the base of a Columbus statue. The protest is being spearheaded by the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, a group we reported on shortly after its creation earlier this year. [source]
New poll shows why domestic conflict is becoming more likely
A new poll by the leftist Brookings Institute finds that 44 percent of college students surveyed believe that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech”. (Hate speech is considered by many to be violence itself, so responding with violence is acceptable behavior.) 51 percent believe that shutting down a speaker with whom they disagree is okay, and nearly 20 percent agree with using violence to oppose speakers with whom they disagree. The researcher says that “Freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses.” And that does not bode well for the future of this country, as these students become professionals and voters, and affect society in other ways; not to mention raising another generation of Americans who hold these beliefs. [source]