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1 Bob Dillon  Sat, Oct 29, 2011 4:59:54pm

Mexican Drug Cartels
Situational Awareness, Resources and Approaches to Threat Mitigation

Targeting Opportunity - Disrupt Insurgent Psychological Dominance – Notes of a Counterinsurgent

Comment: Disrupting the cartels is going to require a holistic efforts focused on keeping the cartels on the run. Either government security forces or local watch groups need to implement an overt and persistent security presence that will limit cartel freedom of movement. The intent of this effort is for physical security, but even more for perceptual reasons so the population can begin trusting a local legitimate security force. Legitimate may be legal, but it could also be termed as commonly acceptable when the interests of the people are ensured. Such efforts will hopefully force cartel activities underground thus possibly mitigate their psychological grip on the population.

Note, however, such an overt force may not be safe enough to surface. Therefore another simultaneous action may need to occur; that is for the government and/or locally accepted security forces to run high op-tempo lethal and non-lethal measures to disrupt the physical and psychological grip the cartels may have on the local population. By ramping up the tempo, the cartels will find themselves in react mode, unable to rest, clearly think, unable to trust each other…tensions can run high within the local cartel movement.

Again, while the other above two actions are occurring, the third element needs to be affected; infiltrating the cartel network either directly or through their close associates, friends and/or families. The triad is an interwoven cyclic effort that can be used to put pressure on the cartels from myriad directions. However, all of this will be for naught if an effective form of governance is not established in order to exploit the social void. If the void is left open, then the cycle of violence…tit versus tat will only continue and the legitimacy of the government will be in question.

At the bottom of this post you will see how Mexicans can launch such an attack against the cartels. In the below real-life vignette just posted today by the Houston Chronicle, an on-line hacker group threatens to expose the identities and locations of cartel members if the cartels do not release one of their compadres who was abducted by the cartels.

What if US and Mexican Law Enforcement were able to get the hackers to cooperate and provide that information to both governments?

Note, there is a lot of opportunity Mexicans can exploit here so they can target the cartel using the model posted below. If on-line activism can cause the Arab Spring which toppled and/or shake the security of at least five nations, then surely online hackers and activists can attack the cartels and expose information that can allow government forces to target them.

Disrupt Insurgent Psychological Dominance

Three, sustained, fundamental activities HAVE TO OCCUR (COIN Triad) for insurgent influence to wane and/or dissipate long enough so governance can be established.

· Cocoon the population

· Run a high op-tempo lethal and non-lethal targeting effort

· Most important, create, mobilize and sustain an overt and surreptitious cell of locals to subvert the insurgent movement. This effort constitutes a TRIAD.

All lethal, non-lethal, intelligence, intelligence operations and collection efforts, civil affairs, political, humanitarian activities must follow along these lines of operation in order to serve as a catalyst for a small minority to become the tipping point for a populace driven counterinsurgency movement.

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