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Sun Tzu, The Art of War
When I heard about the threat a former military man is reported to have made recently, I have to say that it’s not something I’m really that shocked to hear.
I heard recently about an “ex-military” who’s survival game plan following a collapse is to go after preppers. His reasoning: He doesn’t have the funds to prep.
Enter Social Chaos
The only thing to keep violent thieves in check in the modern age is law and order.
You take away law and order and a person’s true colors are going to show themselves.
Unfortunately, there’s more than one armed person likely to go after preppers, not just someone who is former military.
Existing criminals, for example, and people running from the law. And of course fleeing major cities around America will be former gang members — the bigger their group, the more dangers they will bring.
Not to overlook the dangers that exist in less populated areas — and so expect a number of people from less populated areas to also take it upon themselves to go after preppers or simply just go after anyone living up in the hills outside town, especially in those big nice houses.
You see, you don’t have to be a prepper to be a target. The fact is, just about anyone is a target in a time of collapse.
Defending Your Home And Family From An External Threat
Forget about trying to defend your home as a long time survival method. You may be able to keep looters at bay with a few warning shots fired from any number of guns — but staying holed up in your home, in a suburban neighborhood, is likely to fail you at some point. You see, if someone wants you out of that house bad enough, all they have to do is set it on fire, and the smoke and flames are likely to drive you out, like smoking a rabbit out of it’s hole.
Here’s What We’re Up Against In A Time Of SHTF:
There is no law and order and martial law has already come and gone. This is a true collapse. No police. No military. No one to come to your aid should some unwanted thieves show up one day with guns, military training, and no qualms about shooting your family, all because you have been pre-targeted because you happen to believe in prepping.
Ok, we know what we’re up against.
Personally, I believe in praying and having a right relationship with God so that my actions here on earth can be guided from up above. God may lead some of you to pick up arms, which he did quite a bit of in Old Testament days, and all I can say to that is may God’s will be done. Whatever God is doing in your life, I don’t want to get in the way of that. After all, a lot of us believe we’re living in the End of Days straight from the last chapter of the Bible. I do know that not everyone believes in God, and for those outside of the protection and provision of God, it may be your wits and your preps today that may keep some of you alive longer than others in a dangerous time of collapse. Just don’t over look the fact that right now as you read this Jesus is knocking… If you’ll look to him, before it all hits the fan, he may have a way out of this for you. (But that calls for faith.)
A Look At Recent History
So how do we defend ourselves against bandits and murderers with military background and firearms?
Looking at history, here are a few groups that have formed to deal with external threats, from posses and vigilantes in the American West in the 1800s, to counter insurgency and guerilla warfare groups in 20th century wars and beyond into the 21st century:
Posses – Typically formed after an initial crime has taken place, and sometimes at the request of local law enforcement when it’s recognized that local law enforcement is short handed. Local men at arms come together to form a group to bring to justice (or take the life or lives) of “dangerous” criminal offenders. Once brought to justice (or death), a posse typically disbands and goes back to their regular lives.
Vigilante(s) a group of people (or just a person on his own) who sets after someone on a pursuit of justice when it’s believed that law enforcement or local justice officials are not capable of the task themselves.
Counter-Insurgency – Military or political action taken against guerillas or revolutionaries.
Guerilla Warfare – Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants such as armed civilians or irregulars use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military.
Hit-and-run tactics is a tactical doctrine where the purpose of the combat involved is not to seize control of territory, but to inflict damage on a target and immediately exit the area to avoid the enemy’s defense and/or retaliation.
Patrol – A person or group of people sent to keep watch over an area, especially a detachment of guards or police.
Security Team – Group measures taken by a military unit, activity, or installation to protect itself against all acts designed to, or which may, impair its effectiveness.
Why Am I Looking At Recent History?
As I contemplate the threat that some preppers will face soon after a collapse, I’m trying to find a solution — by looking at what has worked for some people in the recent past. In many ways a prepper who is holed up in a cabin or house out in the country side is a bit of a sitting duck, in the same way that pioneer families were sitting ducks for American Indian tribes who didn’t like their new neighbors and wanted guns, horses, and sometimes the white man’s women. Sometimes they just wanted to take a few scalps, and it didn’t matter if it came from a white man or simply an enemy tribe. These men were out for blood.
Any prepper that has been communicating online within the prepper community has possibly revealed details to others that in the wrong hands, or if “harvested” by an online troller for information, can also make that person (and their family) a sitting duck in a time of collapse.
Have You Revealed Details About Your Preps Online?
Or … have you been down on the gun range and shared with others some of the things you and your family are doing to prepare for an SHTF?
Are you a well off prepper who has hired a private contractor to install state of the art preps (perhaps a bunker) and that private contractor has brought in workers (hired hands) that — in a time of collapse — know everything about your state of the art preps you had put in in recent years and where you live or plan to live?
In the wrong hands, certain information is likely right now setting up several people for a possible easy hit soon after a time of collapse.
How Do You Protect Yourself And Your Preps?
In a time of collapse, realize you’re a lot like a pioneer family in the American West, all by yourself out on the open prairie.
A handful of guns isn’t likely to protect you from a warrior band of Indians as they silently stalk you and take your lives at the moment you let down your guard for a moment. Or maybe they’ll just circle you and rush you, hoping to cause a panic, overcome you with fear, and easily pick you off with arrows or bullets.
In a time of collapse…
Things You Can Do To Improve Defenses
Be alert and on guard. The moment you let your guard down is the same day that bandits may show up and strike. Set a guard with a rifle and scope and ability to shoot long distances. In the military, one name for this person is sniper.
Keep in mind that any ex-military bandits may be skilled at long distance shooting as well. One thing you can do is build a wall, a lot like a frontier settlement, so no one can see inside from a far off distance and pick you off from a tree or hillside. Of course not many people are actually likely to build a wall, but I’m just sharing what has worked for some pioneers (and military forts) in centuries past, and one of the same reasons that U.S. embassies overseas are sometimes behind walls.
Set Up A Guard Tower
If you have several people on site, set up a guard tower, built in such a way that a bandit with a long range rifle a few hundred yards away can’t simply sneak up and pick them off. A guard tower can be something as simple as a tree-stand within 20-30 yards of your encampment, and some smaller trees arranged tee-pee style around your tree-stand, giving the “guards” inside a bit of cover. From angles far off, these guards should be hard targets to hit.
Any trespassers will have to get in close.
Set up a second tree stand well outside the area of your encampment. There you can station a good sharp shooter whose job is to guard the two people up in the guard tower that looms over your main encampment.
In that second tree-stand, now you’ve got your own sniper. This lone sniper is camouflaged by brush and out of sight. No one should be able to see him up there, from any angle.
What Is Likely To Unfold Is This…
Ex-military (let’s just call them bandits for the purpose of this article), probably feel over confident in their military training, and will approach using stealth; once the guard tower is spotted, they’re likely to first attempt to take out the guards, and then may attempt to seize any women and children below as hostages (women and children need to be kept out of sight — for now, until the external threat is dealt with.)
Create A Clear Line Of Sight And Remove Bandit Hiding Places
Before anything ever goes down, your tower guards need a clear line of sight.
Survey the zones where your guards will be watching the area from, and then proceed to clear away brush for 300 yards or more so that there is no place for bandits to use as cover.
Finally, leave a small section of brush or pile of rocks, dirt, fallen trees, etc. (basically whatever you can find in your environment) within 300 yards of the guard tower, and then a second area of brush, fallen trees, etc. within 100 yards or so.
For anyone approaching, they will likely notice the wide open range around your encampment, home, or “fort”, then they’ll survey you from afar, and proceed with a plan.
Tactics From The Art Of War
This is how your trap will spring…
Your goal is for these intruders to “choose” the path that takes them behind the areas of brush, rocks, fallen trees, etc, you have “artificially” placed beforehand for this purpose. These intruders are likely to see these spots as easy hiding places, and quickly decide this is the best route to use to approach your camp, where they can get “better aim” at the two guards (if they know or suspect you have guards) up in the tower.
In the meantime, your sniper is set up outside the 300 yard perimeter, buried in the dirt, perhaps just the top of his eyes and some grass hiding him from anyone approaching and who has crossed within the 300 yard perimeter.
These bandits, feeling good about their line of approach toward the guard tower, have unknowingly walked into a trap, and now your sniper has a clear line of sight and relatively short distance to shoot from.
You Need A Drive To Stay Alive
Your ability to pull this off while working as a team will rely on a drive to stay alive, and an understanding that someone is coming after you, and that if you don’t set a trap, you are all sitting ducks. There’s more than one way to pull this off. What it all comes down to is making your external threat feel secure about their approach.
If they’re extra cautious, and you look like too easy of a mark, they may “smell a trap”, and upon further inspection from a distance may even spot your sniper or anyone else you have hidden outside the 300 yard perimeter you have cleared.
Thus the reason for the two guards in the guard tower — if bandits see you have posted security, we are betting that they’re likely to conclude you don’t have much other security aside from these posted guards, and so those guards are who they’re likely to go after first.
If these bandits are reckless, they may proceed during daylight. If they’re patient, they may wait until nightfall.
You need to be ready for both.
And so they are likely to approach from the only places offering concealment from the guard tower — the brush you have placed to offer what any trespassers will feel is concealment.
If your sniper is awake and alert, the trap is sprung.
A Few Extras
Get some reading done. Books like Prepper’s Home Defense – Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary can show you several things you can do to minimize or completely avoid external threats.
Invest in one or more good pairs of binoculars for the day (you don’t need to carry a rifle to be on watch), and of course one or more of your “security team” should be trained in sharp shooting.
Equally important, invest in a tool for good stealth vision (you’re likely to face the biggest danger at night when external threats — and even dangerous wildlife — will approach under the cover of darkness). Night Owl Optics 5-Power NOXM50 Night Vision Monocular rivals the optics of advanced products costing hundreds of dollars more. (See sharp images even in pitch darkness).
If you have the man power you can assign a security patrol to patrol the surrounding area and a second security patrol to give the first patrol team time to rest. If your external threats are ex-military, they may decide to strike at a time they’re assuming you are weakest or most of your group is sleeping (for example, the hours just before dawn).
You can have more than one sniper set up outside the 300 yard perimeter. Each sniper should have a line of sight on each other, as well as the likely paths of an approaching threat.
A common approach in warfare is to flank an enemy and come in from behind. That 300 yard perimeter of brush that’s been cleared needs to include a line of sight in all directions, and you need to consider an approach from any direction a possibility (don’t neglect any areas around and within your perimeter).
If you have two way radios, realize that an external threat could be equipped with their own two way radios. To avoid being eavesdropped, complete radio silence (or a code language) should be used.
If you have shared information openly anywhere, to anyone, about your preps, your location should be considered possibly compromised, and it’s time to consider going elsewhere — but this time around, being a lot more careful with the information and people you opt to communicate with online.
Realize that there are a number of ways you can camouflage yourself and places you can station people hidden in the brush (or in a shallow trench, covered by grass) in the area around your encampment. Rehearse a few training exercises, where two or more people from your group approach from different directions, as if they’re bandits, with the goal to sneak past your defenses.
Analyze and collect data from these training exercises to make your defenses more secure and your people more ready for that threat coming from ex-military — or anyone else with bad intentions.
Make A Few Friends
Last but not least … if you’ve made a few alliances and there’s enough of you, you can have yourself a somewhat secure encampment in place. From a distance, ex-military might decide you’re a fight he doesn’t want to pick and he may end up skipping the fight all together.