Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The numbers of Martial Law

There has been some discussion in the comments of my last post in regards that the entire country could be locked down. It can't, the numbers do not lie.

There are 2,300,000 Active and Reserve in the US Military. For the sake of argument, let's assume all troops across the world are brought home for this exercise. There are 860,000 Police officers. This includes detectives, Street cops, transit police, and even fish and game wardens. That's a total of 3,160,000 boots on the ground. Let's have these guys work 12 on/ 12 off and then we reduce that to 1,580,000 for active boots on the ground.

There are 6,400,000 people in Massachusetts alone! Boston itself, not including the surrounding cities of Lynn, Somerville, Braintree, Framingham, Quincy, etc is 90 square miles. This is all highly populated urban environment. How many thousands of intersections are there that will need checkpoints?

What our military is learning from Afghanistan is that the only way to control a population is with boots on the ground. Fancy robot flying machines act as force multipliers, along with tanks and C3, so on and so forth. But it is the soldier that makes it happen.

There are 167,000 total troops in Afghanistan right now, and the country is anything but pacified and controlled. Ant the country is only 250,000 square miles. The population is concentrated in several cities and then sparsely populated across the rest of the country. America is ~3.8M square miles, with many, many major cities that sprawl into each other.

Just scaling up the area of the countries, the US is ~15x bigger, so that needs 2.5M troops. We have 10x as many people, so that means 1.67M troops.

There simply are not enough boots to go around and lock down the whole country at once. The average Afghani is smart enough to know not to screw around with people with machine guns. The average resident of Roxbury, or Detroit or LA, thinks they have "rights" even under Martial Law. So it will take more troops to keep order here in America than in Afghanistan. Riots. Food hoarding that becomes food rationing. Gas, diesel, and home heating oil shortages. Brownouts and forced electrical grid shutdowns are all going to be part of it.

I wonder how long before people get sick of it and really cause trouble?

17 comments:

Herbalpagan said...

soon as the welfare checks stop coimng there will be trouble. As soon as it becomes apparent that cable,internet and cell phones won't work, people will go nuts.
When they figure out it's a take over by our own government, things will get real nasty.

Any martial law enforcement would have to be concentrated in trouble areas, with perhaps road checks/blocks in other places.

Sunfighter said...

Excellent post. I've wondered why so many people are concerned about martial law. As you put it, they couldn't come close to putting enough boots on the ground. 1/3 of America is armed.

If martial law was declared, it would mostly be in cities and other strategic locations. Which is why most prepper/survivalists would get out of the cities. They may have enough boots to lock down the cities ( to a limited degree ), but outside of the cities they will have no control what so ever. If they declared marital law for anything other than a righteous reason, the consequences to such actions would be horrific.

I would assume that they think the majority would simply comply with such orders.....

Besides, this is a big (geographically speaking) country and it would be hard to manage all but limited areas with their limited forces.

Freedom Strikes Back said...

Your definately right about boots needing to be on the ground, but I worry of the "tell on your neighbor" element. Where your neighbor, in effect, becomes a watchmen on you. This allows their ranks to grow considerably more than troops and police types.

Most likely the government will have already taken your weapons in a systematic sweep, leaving the populous "docile" in their minds. This situation is, of course, only possible if we let them.

Great post topic.

Mayberry said...

Sun is right, the cities will be locked down, because it's easy to do. But what you fail to factor in is the fact that most sheeple have been trained to comply with whatever "authority" tells them to do. We see this every day! People pay exhorbitant taxes even though they may gripe about them, and given the choice, would not pay them. People pull over when the flashing lights and siren are behind them, for the most part. If someone pulls out a gun and yells "hit the deck", most folks will do so. If someone in a uniform tells someone to put their hands against the wall and spread 'em, 99.44% will comply. So why then, is martial law so beyond possibility? It's not. Sheeple will do what they're told, because they fear losing their cable TV, their Wii, their McMansion, and the SUVs. Everything they've "worked so hard for". The chances of folks resisting are Slim and None, and Slim died. It will be but tiny pockets of resistance. Just look at how the Jews walked quietly off to the death camps in Germany, with nary a word. Martial Law will be easily implemented....

3rdman said...

I think people misunderstand what Martial Law is. This is when the military is in control of governement not elected officials. The proper term would be State of Emergency, because the military would still answer to the President. Undetr Martial Law the Generals would be incomplete control, not the President or any other elected official. That is why I think we will never see Martial Law in this country. Now a declared National State of Emergency well that may be possible.

Mayberry said...

3rdMan, if you want to argue semantics, then you'd be right. Either way, it's the same thing in my eyes....

3rdman said...

Its not semantics, it using the term in it correct context. We had Martial Law rule in Germany and Japan after WWII. We have State of Emergencies all the time on a localized scale in this country like Katrina or the midwest flooding. During a State of Emergency the people we elected at a local, state, and even the federal level are still in charge over the emergency response. Under Martial Law the military is the government at all level and answer to no one but themselves. That is the difference.

Mayberry said...

Well, POTUS is the "Commander in Chief", so if it's him and the military, in a "national emergency", that constitutes martial law. No?

Carlos4 said...

I have it on fairly reliable authority that the local reserve armories do not have ammunition stored for their weapons. This goes for all armed forces. Im not sure about Ohio National Guard here, but reasons given were sketchy; supposedly stored only at regular force bases.

3rdman said...

That is reaching. You would have to suspend all elections and also replace all elected leaders at every level of government including local,and state as well with military officers to have a true martial law/military rule as we installed in Germany and Japan after WWII. There are not enough military officers to do this and still maintain an effective military force. If any POTUS attempted to do this then the military would have a constitutional duty to remove him from power. The members of the military took an oath to defend and protect the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. If any POTUS attempted to sieze complete power via martial law then he would be considered a domestic enemy of the constitution. This may also causes the Generals to split over any such orders causing this country to slide into civil war, but I think before that happened the POTUS would be remove by congress via of impeachment or forced to resign because of public outrage. The Supreme Court would also probable step in and say any declaration of Martial Law was unconstitutional, which would free the military from following any orders issued by a rouge POTUS. In conclusion I think we are unlikly to see anything in the way of Martial Law. Now a limited Nationwide State of Emergency of some type I could see this happening. But heck I have been wrong before, just hope I'm not on this topic.

looking4aline said...

I know that most people in the cities are sheeple and how much force on the streets it takes to lock down a city having lived threw two riots in LA. During both riots we had allot of bodies but only minimal force pushing back against the authorities. Even the minimal amount of force was enough to completely cripple the local authorities. It was funny that the riots stopped the day welfare checks went out just like my mother in-law predicted. Now think about what happens when every city is rioting because there is not enough food, water, electricity, gas, ... It will be like trying to put out major forest fires. the authorities will need to make decisions on which cities they need to and can save and the rest will be left to burn themselves out. The local police will be left in place for as long as they survive (hopefully the there will be enough cohesion in some communities to get thew the worst and then to bring order to what remains. Yes militias will be good to have if they are trained and managed properly but if you wait until this happens it will be to late remember cohesion.

Now what happens when the riots burn out? We are still left with the same basic problems; food, water, energy but we can include the human tragedy of the aftermath of the riots (do we really need to insert the list?)

Bottom line at this point is that the country as we know it is gone. what are will able and willing to replace it with? Are the country folk going to be willing to send their crops into the cities to feed the people? Are the cities under martial law going to go of and take what they need?

Is this going to be an big event and happen all-at-once or a series of smaller regional events that cause the system to collapse? This is what we are all asking.

I think we expected this to have started by now and it has. This has been happening for awhile just look at the gas shortages in the South last year after the hurricanes. Fro the better part of a month we has gas shortages that almost brought a number of states (yes states) to collapse. My family was making plans for pulling our son out of school and home schooling because we could not get the gas to take him to school and back. We new that if things did not kick in shortly that food would not be on the selves.

This is how I think it is going to be next winter. Fuel prices are going to go up. We will not have a very good harvest because of the weather (I will scream if anyone brings up "global warming" or "climate change") seeing as we have sold all of our national reserves over seas. Then I think the cities are going to be cold, hungry, and the lights will go out not all at once but we are going to ease into like we are right not. And most people although they know is not right, they have not a clue of how bad it is.

I guess I will quit rambling.

To some it up, I pray they bring every last man and women home while we still can. Maybe our chances will be better and having more good people get out of this. I would hate to think of our best in the sandbox and other places trapped running out of resources with no resupply while everything burns here....

Sunfighter said...

Mayberry: I have to respectfully disagree with you about the people complying old friend. A lot of people will do what they are told, but a large number will if things get bad enough, open the gates of hell. 3% comes to mind.

I have more faith in the will of the American people than you do. Nothing new there, I've argued that point a time or two with you before.

The people I know won't get nasty until the time is right, not because they are cowards, but because this type of thing should not be entered into lightly.

I am as disgusted by the sheeple as you are, but there are plenty of Americans that won't roll over like little, well you know what I mean...

3rdman said...

It should be noted that less than 10% of the population was involved in the American war of Independance while 90% sat on the side lines to see who would win.

usofc said...

What you guys have to worry about is the RWA. That's about 40% of the population who will do what a leader tells them in times of trouble. That's how Hitler did it with his 'good germans'. When things get tight these people, the Right Wing Authoritarians, they show their true colours. They are your 'straight' people. Veterans, ex-cops, and all the wannabe's who secretly revere power and more desperately crave a 'safe social order'. They will sign up for this or that or the other and they will spot the subversives in the neighbourhood, inform on those who go it alone on their farm, and when people with this personality type are let loose they do it with gusto. Tell them to shoot on sight and they will. 40% of the population have this personality type. See kink to Bob Altemeyer's book on the Authoritarian Personality (based on decades of research on RWA's) below. "What happens when authoritarian followers find the authoritarian leaders they crave and start marching together?"
http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey

3rdman said...

The Nazis were Leftist Socialist not right wingers. Why can't people get this straight. As far as authoritarians go there are no good ones left or right. The Conservative Right is not the problem. Its the Radical Left wingers running Washington that is the problem. SO USOF check your history, but then again I suspect your a radical leftist who will save us from ourselves.

3rdman said...

Ok USOF I went to the link in your posting. It is confirm you are one of those far leftist wackos out to save us. That article is nothing but total political BS. Heck the article was written in Canada, that should be a clue in itself. The scary thing is that there are people out there like you who believe it.

Nomad said...

Excellent post. Never saw it from the perspective of actual boots on the ground. They've got the guns, we've got the numbers....