I continue to receive a large number of emails questioning what would be the best instrument for communication in the event of a national emergency, economic chaos or civil unrest on a massive scale. I believe the answer can be found in what has worked, and not worked, for the Iraqi resistance. (I refuse to call anyone fighting for their homes and families an insurgent)
In a great number of instances, communications has been the Achilles Heel of the resistance in Iraq. They have learned to constantly change their modes and methods of communication in order to keep their opponents off balance.
The cell phone is the easiest and most preferred method of communication in use by the modern day 4th Generation Warfare (4GW) participant; it is also the easiest to exploit. First, remember SIM cards are exploitable and can and will be used against you. It is possible to exploit a SIM card in 30 seconds without the holder even knowing it, once your opponent has your phone number. All that is needed to pinpoint location with a cell phone is 2 towers for those who do not have a phone with GPS. There are also technologies that allow the government to create false towers that seek out your phones specific signal and will allow them to troll around an area until they get a hit, and then it will lead them right to your location. These techniques have been developed, tested, and used effectively in Iraq and Afghanistan. All the opponent needs is your number, which gives them the specific signal to your phone.
Counter measures are simple; never ever keep the phone on, or the battery in. Never store numbers in the phone, always use throwaway cell phones and change them often. Set up prearranged talk times, and always talk on the move. Never talk in your home, or while you are stationary. Never ever send text messages, and always talk in code on the phone. Hard line to hard line is the best way to call if you can still find a pay phone.
Radios of any kind are the same as cell phones, but will get you located quicker. The opponents expect them to be used, and almost always have their ears on. Today’s military units have the ability to listen and pinpoint the point of broadcast of any type communication device and jam it. Unless you hardwire your area of operations (AO) with WWI field phones, keep your messages short, sweet, and move quickly after you broadcast.
I warned here of new members to your group who advocate violence or offer to provide weapons and/or explosives. Also be extremely cautious of any members of your group who are gone for any period of time or those you know have been contacted by the authorities. Even the most loyal can be coerced with threats to family, etc.
Read and study 4GW tactics and strategies; these tactics have yet to be defeated in modern military history. I highly recommend the series of books written by Colonel John Poole on the subject. The Colonel’s works reveal a detailed history of 4GW and a wealth of information that could prove invaluable.
Author, Patriot, and LRC reader, Matthew Bracken, has written a trilogy of novels on probable scenarios concerning civil unrest and its complications. There is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from his works, as well as some disturbing possibilities. Matt has laced his writing with interesting characters that makes for an informative, entertaining, though sometimes alarming read.
Those who prepare, educate and equip for the coming chaos will be those most apt to protect themselves and their families. Remember, those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Michael Gaddy [send him mail], an Army veteran of Vietnam, Grenada, and Beirut, lives in the Four Corners area of the American Southwest.