There’s something we can’t afford as we move down the road of preparation and training: Becoming overconfident in our abilities against a potential or real enemy. Doing so will invite disaster to your group. How? Well, it won’t matter much during training except for the fact that training sessions will get easier and easier to the point where not much is done at all except lots of bull shooting—skills won’t improve or get honed. In terms of goods possessed, gloating over ‘what we got’ will lead to stagnation in rotation and lessen the desire to decentralize cache goods.
Where the group’s overconfidence will surface is when SHTF.
First denial will set in (there’s no way these people can hurt/take/beat us!), then, as the situation develops (how are they doing that?? we are losing too many people!!), then, if the group’s situation gets to the point the attackers begin to overrun them, they may start to realize the errors they made. Depending on the outcome, the group may or may not have a chance to rectify their deadly mistake for the future.
There’s a lot of noise out in the preparedness/liberty blogosphere commentary saying no matter what our current enemies do, we will prevail and be victorious, most likely without paying much of a price. That tendency, in and of itself, demonstrates underestimation of the opposition and overconfidence in capabilities (especially when putting it out on the web for the opposition to catalog…)
How? Here’s a few examples:
- The belief that once “they” see us aiming down the barrel of our favorite (insert weapon type here) they will pale and run, soiling themselves as they go.
- The belief that that “they” are not up to a stand up fight with the well-armed American civilian.
- The belief that “they” are not intelligent people because they do not embrace our ideology or use our logic.
As a case study, let’s use the general perceptions of Osama Bin Laden in how we might generally underestimate an enemy. He was constantly demonized in the press and classified as a “monster”. Here are a few emotionally based misconceptionswith very little foundation in fact:
- He was a sociopath.
- He was living in a cave, so he can’t be sophisticated.
- He was a cold blooded murderer.
- He was stupid and uneducated.
- He was a traitor to Islam.
- He did not have a large following.
The truth is far, far from the perception. Careful study of his guiding source document, the Koran, historic Islamic tactics outlined in the book, “Tactics of the Crescent Moon”, by Ray L. Smith and H. John Poole, as well as the logical processes evidenced in his occasional tapes released for our viewing and listening pleasure, indicate he was a very devout Muslim and was following the requirements of his religion when making war. He was also very educated and came from a wealthy Saudi family. In short, he was nobody we should have underestimated. Remember, the US was allied with him during the fight against the USSR in Afghanistan and the US trained him! He was very, very good then, and was until he was taken down by our SEAL’s.
To be a murderer is a perception based upon one’s own values, cultural and moral. According to his own morals born of his religion, he was not a murderer. He was doing the bidding of his prophet. The claims of his traitorousness to Islam is laughable when one reads information on the Hadiths (practices) that are aligned with the Koran. For a great glimpse of what is acceptable to a Muslim following his religion, read the book, “Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington”, by Paul Sperry.
Lastly, for this case study, the belief that he does not have a large following is also proven to be less than a logical conclusion. Since 9/11, the amount of Muslim children named “Osama” has skyrocketed. He was also called, “the Lion of Islam” by many Muslims. Check it out for yourself. You’ll see after your own research that Osama Bin Laden has a great following, numbering, most likely numbering in the millions.
So, that said, how do you fight overconfidence in our preparations and training?
- First, we must learn about the enemy—how he thinks, where he comes from, what he wants, and most importantly, how willing is he to die for his cause.
- Second, we must adopt a mindset of resolve—that is, no matter the cost (personally, professionally, culturally), we will do whatever it takes to learn those skills required to defeat an enemy if attacked.
- Third, Take every opportunity to train that’s possible. If work gets in the way one day, make arrangements and train with someone the next day.
- Find sources of expertise that you don’t have, and glean every bit of knowledge you possibly can from them. Don’t expect to get it free, either. You get what you pay for. Put ego aside on this one and objectively evaluate your skills, and then take steps to increase them.
- If you don’t have a very organized group, get organized!!
- Learn to shoot what you have extremely well! Every round expended in training that is not aimed, deliberate and subsequently devastating to the intended target is a round wasted in relation to your purpose. Hone your skills so that you can hit a 3 inch circle at 100 yards consistently from any position you can shoot from. Don’t be satisfied when you can; start ‘running and gunning’ at courses designed to teach you how it’s done.
- Study the enemy. To know the enemy is to learn his weaknesses. You can find many references, including the ones cited above that will help you understand who is coming to kill you and your family. And make no mistake, they want you dead.
- Take what you are doing seriously. Keep the bull sessions to break time. Use every minute you’re in the field training to its greatest benefit.
Remember, you don’t have to like or admire your enemy but you must respect his capabilities. Historical examples abound of one nation or group that despised and didn’t respect the more poorly armed, technologically deficient, and smaller numbered group. The American Revolution comes to mind.
We must have that same spirit today if we are to survive the coming onslaught. And make no mistake, short of Devine intervention, we will see what has happened overseas happen here…..sooner than many think.