Forward Observer’s Top 10 Articles of 2016 – Forward Observer Shop

Forward Observer’s Top 10 Articles of 2016

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days and look forward to the next.  It’s been a pretty good year here at Forward Observer and I’m definitely looking forward to battle tracking more riots in 2017, too.  Here’s a look back at our Top 10 articles…

(And be sure to check out FO‘s Top 10 Podcast Episodes, too.)

1. In 2014, I had the opportunity to interview Matt Bracken, a former Navy SEAL and freedomista.  In this interview re-published in February, Matt spells out his thoughts about the potential for national emergencies, which includes one of the worst-case scenarios: a protracted and dirty civil war.  As prescient as Matt has been, it’s no surprise that it tops our list.
READ: INTERVIEW: Former Navy SEAL Matt Bracken Talks SHTF & a Dirty Civil War

2. In August, I asked Matt Bracken if he’d weigh in with his thoughts on the possibility that a civil war erupts around the election, or due to the election fall out.  In a totally a what-if scenario, Matt lays out his thoughts about what could have unfolded.
READ: A Scenario for a Second Civil War

3.  Although I’d originally written this article for any type of event, it’s certainly looking applicable to the 20th of January, with the threat of civil unrest during Trump’s inauguration.  In this article, I break down the various activities associated with MACDIS.
READ:  What You Need to Know About Military Assistance to Civil Disturbances

4.  Military doctrine is such a crucial part of understanding warfare, but how can doctrine be applied to irregular threats like gangs and mobs?  Did the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have doctrine?  Why do we need to understand doctrine if we’re preparing for civil unrest or a domestic insurgency?  In this article, I answer all these questions and more.
READ:  On War: Understanding the Importance of Doctrine

5.  Critical infrastructure keeps the world spinning as we know it, yet so few seem to understand its importance.  We should absolutely be paying attention to the health and welfare of our local infrastructure.  In this article, I provide a brief tutorial on how use this little-known mapping system.
READ: How to Use the U.S. Energy Mapping System

6. The ACE, or Analysis & Control Element, is the hub of our intelligence effort.  Whether we spent years in Iraq or Afghanistan, or now preparing for our own domestic instability, the ACE is the brain where intelligence is produced and doled out to decision makers.  Here’s a breakdown of how to gear our ACE for community security.
READ: Ultimate ACE Startup Guide

7. TL;DR — what are the five imperatives for local intelligence?  Here are five must-haves or must-do’s if you’re going to run an ACE during an emergency.
READ: Five Intelligence Essentials for Community Security

8.  Each year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence publishes a worldwide threat assessment.  It’s classified, of course, but they also produce its little brother which is unclassified.  In this article, I break down six trends published in that report and how they could affect us domestically.
READ: SHTF Implications: DNI Worldwide Threat Assessment

9.  At FO, I do my best to teach intelligence at the layman’s level so that patriotic Americans can put good training to use.  In fact, I wrote a popular book about the subject, but not everyone needs to be well-read on intelligence (although it really, really helps).  That’s why I wrote the Getting Started series.
READ: SHTF Intelligence: Getting Started (Part One)

10.  What good is all this talk of intelligence if we don’t also teach counterintelligence?  Hey, while we’re busy gathering intelligence on local threats, someone is always collecting information about us, too.  Intelligence is a two-way street and for that reason we reached out to our friend Martin to pen an article about CI.
READ: Introduction to Counterintelligence


And there you have it — the most read articles of 2016.  While you’re here, did you know that FO has a podcast where we talk about intelligence, security, and defense issues?  Be sure to check out the Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2016, too.


Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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