From: [email protected]
Subject: Current Situation Brief
As requested, I’m including an overview of the last month’s significant events. As you are well aware, the Stateside situation is still volatile, and while we have troops in contact overseas, the information we are getting from Poland is necessarily sparse. As we continue to build our own radio mesh network, that should change, but the Transatlantic gap will still throttle information, simply due to the nature of long-range HF comms. So, the bulk of this report will focus on the CONUS situation.
Both coasts and many of the major Midwestern and Southwestern metro areas continue to present significant operational and logistical challenges. While we have eliminated several of the IED cells that had all but brought long-range transport to a halt in many states, we still assess the threat on many major interstates as high. Another truck bomb was detonated on I-5 just south of Tacoma two days ago as of this writing, killing at least fifty people, wounding close to a hundred more, and destroying three semis loaded with food and medical supplies.
The IED cells, however, while a significant threat, are not the only factor. The continued domestic unrest poses the greatest threat to any relief or stability operations. The fact that electrical power still has not been restored in approximately seventy-five percent of the affected areas—in no small part due to the unrest and rampant crime that has accompanied the blackout—has only made matters worse. Desperation has led many people to attempt to take what they need by force, which has only exacerbated the violence. Furthermore, the lack of essential services has not only led to deaths from exposure as winter has set in, but disease is reported to be rampant in many of the affected metro areas.
Clashes have also been reported in many surrounding rural areas, as refugees from the cities have been met with hostility, some apparently justified, some not. Reports of desperate refugees attempting to storm rural homes and small towns for supplies seem to be roughly evenly matched with rural residents turning them aside at gunpoint before they can reach said towns and properties.
It is impossible to give hard and fast numbers at this point in time, but we believe that a current death toll of no less than 150,000, with considerably more than that to come as winter continues, is a relatively conservative estimate.
The financial and economic damage is still being assessed, as the cyber attacks on the markets just before the grid went down have not yet been fully cataloged. I don’t think that anyone disputes that it is profound and long-lasting.
The West Coast situation is still being dealt with piecemeal. San Diego and Long Beach ports appear to now be under mostly Marine and Navy control, and the Chinese presence has pulled back. Local unrest, fueled by those who had become dependent on the Chinese aid packages, has continued, and San Diego especially is still plagued by Soldados de Aztlan and other gang violence.
San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle are believed to still be partially Chinese-controlled, though they are still maintaining their façade of “humanitarian aid,” further bolstered by what remains of local government. That said, those local governments appear to be little more than figureheads, propped up and amplified by Chinese tech, without which they would be as silent as any other basic service providers in the affected areas.
We have inserted small reconnaissance and surveillance teams into the target areas, and they are reporting similar activities as those that Grex Luporum Team II and their trail sections reported in San Diego. While their resources and manpower are limited, the Chinese appear to be putting “grassroots” control measures in place, utilizing existing insurgent networks, supported by the local governments, to target any of the more outspoken opponents of their presence, while securing any vital infrastructure under their direct control.
So far, the Chinese do not appear to be extending their influence outside of those metro areas. Their focus still appears to be primarily directed toward control of the ports. Rangers and Special Forces out of Joint Base Lewis McChord have conducted operations in and around the Seattle Tacoma area, but as yet, their effectiveness has not been determined. They seem to have limited their attentions to Chinese personnel exclusively, while ignoring their proxies.
We have yet to mount any further major operations on the West Coast crisis zones since the San Diego operation. The major targets have long been low on our target priority list, due to the local governments’ hostility.
Washington DC has begun to issue statements, somewhat delayed by the power outages, DDOS attacks on main communications outlets, and political wrangling. While disappointing, it appears that the official line on the Chinese incursions has been weak, at best. While recognizing that they were incursions, the blame is being deflected from Beijing toward “overly aggressive responses on the part of private security firms contracted by the relief organizations.” A direct attack on our West Coast ports is being dismissed as a misunderstanding.
It is our belief that this is due in no small part to two main factors. The first is simply fear that we do not have the resources—never mind the national cohesion in the aftermath of the attacks—to deal with internal strife, a humanitarian disaster of unprecedented scope in American history, a war in Europe, and war with China. The other factor would be continued Chinese financial and political influence at the highest levels of our own government and industry, despite the pull-back over the last few years.
Regardless of the above mentioned factors, there is a growing body of evidence—not least the speed with which Chinese “relief efforts” appeared off the West Coast—that China is a central player in the current crisis on both sides of the Atlantic. To ignore it for expediency’s sake would be imprudent at best. That said, the current domestic crisis is of such scope that it will likely take years, if not decades, to stabilize.
I know that you are well aware of this, sir. But I fear that if we concentrate too much on the domestic situation, by the time we can turn our attention to Beijing, they will have maneuvered so far ahead of us that we will be defeated by default. Our current resources are limited, but it is my belief that we still need to act internationally as well as internally, as soon as possible, before we find ourselves on the back foot permanently.
We have discussed the so-called “Fortress Doctrine” before. I believe that it will be our best option going forward.