Facing The Arithmetic
...We lost fifty per cent more men than did the enemy, and yet there is sense in the awful arithmetic propounded by Mr. Lincoln. He says that if the same battle were to be fought over again, every day, through a week of days, with the same relative results, the army under Lee would be wiped out to its last man, the Army of the Potomac would still be a mighty host, the war would be over, the Confederacy gone, and peace would be won at a smaller cost of life than it will be if the week of lost battles must be dragged out through yet another year of camps and marches, and of deaths in hospitals rather than upon the field. No general yet found can face the arithmetic, but the end of the war will be at hand when he shall be discovered (emphasis added)...
-- Mark E. Neely, Jr., The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), at p. 74
One crucial shortcoming in many discussions about the Gathering Storm is any insight into the relative balance of forces between the Bad People and Team Freedom. Mike has done yeoman's work in articulating a baseline number for Team Freedom in his doctrine of the Three Percenters, but I was happy to have a reader hurl the following note on the OpFor's arithmetic over the transom last week:
Being an engineer, everything I do and think of comes down to a numbers game. I started wondering about the odds we face in the event of an emergency and this is what I have come up with. Let me know what you think. Did I miss anything or do I have any wrong assumptions?
We’ve all seen the numbers of guns and ammo sold over the last couple of years. This should be enough to convince everyone that we are in good shape if Team Tyrant decides to get too froggy with Team Freedom. But just in case it isn’t, let me demonstrate some more numbers. I live in a fairly heavily populated area in the northeast with over 1 million people in my AO.
Assuming no desertions, no special security details, and few casualties, my town can put 60 officers on the beat at one time if pressed. Normally, it has 30 on patrol. This is in an area of 60 square miles. The county can possibly put out 200 if pressed, in an area of over 600 square miles. The state patrol has less than 2,000 officers total. Assume that it can put out 900 at one time. The area of [opsec] is about [opsec] square miles. All of the military’s ground forces, Army and Marine, active and reserve, are about 1.6 million. Assume that 800,000 are available for actual security duty in a land of over 3.5 million square miles. Federal law enforcement has about 100,000 members nationwide. If you add up all of these numbers, it works out to be about 1.6 enforcers per square mile.
Note that the numbers I have given are extremely optimistic. The real numbers that will be available are actually a lot lower. As you can see, there will be a lot of territory that is unsecured by the O’s minions (a/k/a Satan’s lackeys). In practice, the only areas that will be/can be secured will be the larger cities and major transportation routes, with significant weaknesses even on those routes. This will leave the countryside and the smaller towns in which to live and operate with relative freedom.
Don’t sweat the drones, planes, etc.. If they cover enough area, they won’t have resolution to see everything that is going on down below. If they focus in, they can’t see the vast majority of territory. It’s sort of like killing ants. For everyone they kill, far more go on with freedom’s mission. Our results in Afghanistan and Iraq prove this.
Perhaps most importantly, the territory that will be controlled by Team Freedom will have much of the food and water supply if the current cold war goes hot.
Now, here’s the downside. If we have a total meltdown, i.e. TEOTWAWKI, anyone with an ounce of sense can see that the security forces will be just about useless. Put together a tribe a la John Robb and do it now, because no help will be coming from outside.
Prepare like there is no tomorrow -- because if you don’t, there won’t be a tomorrow for you.
Two quick thoughts, and further discussion is invited in comments:
1) To me, these numbers mean that large-scale foreign intervention to support anti-constitutional forces is inevitable. There's no other way for the G to overcome the traditional defender's advantage, especially if Team Freedom studies, learns, and applies its Lind/4GW lessons.
2) The following related discussion will be helpful in explaining this issue to folks who are still crawling:
Imagine the total number of lawbreakers (i.e., people who commit either crimes against property or persons) in your local jurisdiction. This number will be the denominator in a ratio we are constructing. The numerator will be the total number of law enforcement officers on duty in that jurisdiction. The numerator divided by the denominator will give you a "normal times" ratio of potential enforcement capacity. One could get more funky and add variables such as subgeographies, time/shift differentials, etc., but the simple version will suffice for now (and my fourth-grade math skills).
Now imagine that same ratio after a series of large-scale disruptive events. Think about what will happen in your area to the number of potential lawbreakers. Contemplate the incremental LE resources needed to maintain a steady enforcement capacity, given that increased lawbreaker population, as well as the likelihood that those incremental resources will in fact be available. Now consider also the depletion of LE resources caused by the disruptive event(s), both from casualties and/or the very human need for cops to take care of their own families first.
Got a tribe yet?