April 29, 2015
Did the Pentagon predict these protests?
Why is there such wide scale police militarization? This is something I’ve been asking myself since the militarization of police forces became noticeable. I had speculated that there must be an underlying reason beyond mere contractual profiteering. My guess being that data collection agencies must have gathered trends indicating the possibility of mass civil unrest and that the militarization of police forces was undertaken as an early preventative measure. This would mean various government agencies were aware that various protests and breakdowns were going to happen before they did.
If that seems beyond the realm of possibility, consider the following. Forbes recently did an article on an incident where Target was able to figure out that a woman was pregnant before her father even knew based on her consumption patterns alone. There are also academic papers being published on the possibility of predictive capabilities via the analysis of open source data. This paper in particular speaks on the possibility of predicting criminal acts by analyzing demographic and mobile phone data. In their experimental results using data from London, they were able to predict with an accuracy of 70% whether or not a particular area would be a hotspot for criminality.
This begs the question. Did the Pentagon and other agencies foresee through data analysis that particular areas would befall mass civil unrest and that they were potential hotspots for riots and protests? Would that explain the militarization of police forces across America? The Pentagon had already begun funding universities to model the dynamics of mass civil unrest, so that would appear to be the case.
“US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands,” as quoted from The Guardian.
Interestingly, heightened concerns about police militarization and police brutality were being expressed before the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner. For example, in a 2013 article by The Huffington Post, Charles J. Key, a 26-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department was mentioned expressing concerns on the militarization of police. Is it merely a coincidence that heightened concerns about police militarization and police brutality have been expressed in a relatively short amount of time before several protests and riots began? Perhaps, various government agencies are aware of the pending instability of particular areas and the militarization of police forces was undertaken as a preventative measure to stifle these incidents. It would seem that particular government agencies are expecting more protests and mass civil unrest, so that means the riots and protests of Ferguson and Baltimore are only the beginning of this issue.