The Department of Defense have begun funding universities to research the areas in society that are likely to breakdown and the risks that would come with a breakdown of society at large.
The program costs millions of dollars, and is designed to derive “warfighter-relevant insights”. According to the Pentagon the purpose is for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community” to come up with contingency plans should widespread social unrest occur.
The Minerva Initiative has existed as far back as 2008, and the operation began as the global financial crisis first struck. A full list of the studies being don can be found on the Minerva Initiative’s own website.
Known as the “Minerva Research Initiative”, the DOD had partnered with universities in 2008 in order to “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.”
One was a Cornell-led study to which was managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The study attempted to create a model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagions.”
By studying past cases of mass social unrest (such as the “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey”) and the “digital traces” of online user behavior, the Pentagon was hoping to determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagions… They were trying to find out just how many outraged netizens and how many outraged posts would lead to actual demonstrations.
Such forewarning would obviously allow the Pentagon to act beforehand, perhaps by swiftly censoring Facebook, or by imposing a curfew in affected areas. If things ever got that bad that you had to act against the government… they already have you checkmated.
The Cornell study had analyzed Twitter and Facebook posts and conversations so that it could “identify individuals mobilized in a social contagion and when they become mobilized.”
A more recent study by the University of Washington together with the US Army Research Office “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,” along with their “characteristics and consequences” and focuses on “large-scale movements involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity.”
This is basically an attempt at decrypting movements like Anonymous, so that the DOD could create its own manipulated variants or act beforehand to stop us from rising up.
“Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?” is another DOD Minerva Initiative-funded project. This one seeks the tipping point for “supporters of political violence” to become active terrorists. From the study:
“In every context we find many individuals who share the demographic, family, cultural, and/or socioeconomic background of those who decided to engage in terrorism, and yet refrained themselves from taking up armed militancy, even though they were sympathetic to the end goals of armed groups.The field of terrorism studies has not, until recently, attempted to look at this control group.This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence.”
Another 1.9 million dollar Minerva project tried to “anticipate what could happen to societies under a range of potential climate change scenarios.”
According to Professor David Price, a cultural anthropologist at St Martin’s University in Washington DC and author of Weaponizing Anthropology Social Science in Service of the Militarized State:
“when you looked at the individual bits of many of these projects they sort of looked like normal social science, textual analysis, historical research, and so on, but when you added these bits up they all shared themes of legibility with all the distortions of over-simplification. Minerva is farming out the piece-work of empire in ways that can allow individuals to disassociate their individual contributions from the larger project.”
Professor Price is a veteran of such matters; The Pentagon’s Human Terrain Systems (HTS) program was previously uncovered by him. In HTS, social scientists would be embedded inside of military field operations, as well as training operations set in regions “within the United States”
The HTS training scenarios “adapted COIN [counterinsurgency] for Afghanistan/Iraq” to fit within the context of domestic situations “in the USA where the local population was seen from the military perspective as threatening the established balance of power and influence, and challenging law and order.”
“Conspiracy Theorists” who believe that Jade Helm amounts to training for an eventual US-based scenario, who are skeptical of the sudden militarization of the police force, the spike in police murders as well as Homeland “Security’s” decision to purchase 1.6 billion extremely lethal hollow-point rounds (which are forbidden by international law for use in war), have just been vindicated by the actions of the US military itself. In the face of an ever-worsening wealth-gap between the richest and the poorest, it would defy logic for the government to NOT be preparing to protect itself from you.
Of course, it’s a conspiracy theory to ever question your leaders or to think critically of the same regime that murdered 500,000 to 1.3 million people in Iraq for a manufactured claim of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)…