By Keith Johnson –
The Alternative Futures Symposium in Chantilly, Va. was all part of the U.S. Army’s Unified Quest 2012 exercise, the latest in a series of annual war games that in recent years has focused on America’s response to a global financial meltdown in which average citizens took to the streets en masse.
In November 2010, CNBC’s Eamon Javers had this to say about last year’s exercise: “Ever since the crash of 2008, the defense-intelligence establishment has been paying a lot of attention to global markets and how they can serve as a threat to U.S. national security interests.”
Javers went on to report: “The Army is having a very interesting yearlong exercise called Unified Quest 2011. In that war-gaming series, the Army is looking at the implications of a large-scale economic breakdown in the U.S. that would force the Army to keep domestic order amid civil unrest and deal with global fragmented power and drastically lower budgets.”
According to Javers, 30 military officials from the Marine Corps War College were concerned enough to visit the trading floor of JP Morgan in October 2010 to study volatile markets and the economy.
Inside Defense magazine also reported on Unified Quest 2011 in a November 2010 article entitled “Army Officials Think Through the What-ifs of a Global Economic Collapse,” wherein it was revealed: “Officials picked the scenario of a worldwide economic collapse because it was deemed a plausible course of events given the current global security environment. In such a future, the United States would be broke, causing a domino effect that would push economies across the globe into chaos.”
According to Army Lt. Col. Mark Elfendahl, these were some of the conclusions drawn during a three-day session connected to that exercise: “The Army would have to significantly alter its ‘investment portfolio,’ focusing on light and inexpensive forces . . . an increased focus on domestic activities might be a way of justifying whatever Army force structure the country can still afford.”
“The only silver lining,” concluded the article, is that “the Army would have an influx of qualified recruits as the result of an unemployment rate of 25 and 30 percent.”
Tracing the government’s contingency plans back even further—to 2008—we find The Washington Post and Russia Today both reporting on the Pentagon’s plans to train 20,000 troops by 2011 to help as a response to threats of a possible mass terror attack or civil unrest following an economic collapse.
In July, Shepard Ambelas wrote for the popular alternative news website The Intel Hub that the Pentagon’s 2008 announcement dovetails “into the current troop and equipment movements around the country reported by truckers as well as many troop sightings by citizens.”
Ambelas added: “The military is already taking an active role in numerous domestic policing activities in close to a dozen states including Florida, Tennessee, California, Alabama and Pennsylvania.”
It may be no coincidence that President Obama’s recent announcement to have all troops return from Iraq by the end of 2011 coincides with the anticipated economic collapse.
Will those troops now be deployed on the streets of America? An even more relevant question might be: Will those troops exact the same toll on this nation as they did to the one they just left?