Blowback - nounIs the Iraq war planting the seeds and supplying the tools and knowledge for a domestic insurgency and terrorism right here in the US? William S. Lind thinks the answer is yes.
Unintended negative consequences from some action or policy
One of the things U.S. troops are learning in Iraq is how people with little training and few resources can fight a state. Most American troops will see this within the framework of counterinsurgency. But a minority will apply their new-found knowledge in a very different way. After they return to the U.S. and leave the military, they will take what they learned in Iraq back to the inner cities, to the ethnic groups, gangs, and other alternate loyalties they left when they joined the service. There, they will put their new knowledge to work, in wars with each other and wars against the American state. It will not be long before we see police squad cars getting hit with IEDs and other techniques employed by Iraqi insurgents, right here in the streets of American cities.The economic policy and the fact that many of the troops are taken from the ranks of the economic have nots will contribute.
The Bush administration, as usual, has it exactly backwards. The danger is not that the "terrorists" we are fighting in Iraq will come here if we pull out there. Rather, American involvement in 4GW in Iraq will create "terrorism" here from among the people we have sent to fight the war there. Well educated in the ways of successful insurgency, they will come home embittered by a lost war, by friends dead and crippled for life to no purpose. Thanks to America’s de-industrialization, they will return to no jobs, or lousy "service" jobs at minimum wage. Angry, frustrated and futureless, some of them will find new identities and loyalties in gangs and criminal enterprises, where they can put their new talents to work.Lind points out that only a small percentage of the returning troops will engage in this activity but as we are learning in Iraq a small percentage is enough. This is the kind of "Blowback" we will see in fourth generation war.
The boomerang effect is a central element of Fourth Generation war. When a state involves itself in 4GW over there, it lays a basis for 4GW at home. That is true even if it wins over there, and all the more true if it loses, as states usually do. The toxic fallout from America’s 4GW defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan will be far greater than most people expect, and it will fall most heavily on America’s police.