Friday, November 4, 2011

This seems like bad news

From Business Insider:
The FBI has released a new gang assessment announcing that there are 1.4 million gang members in the US, a 40 percent increase since 2009, and that many of these members are getting inside the military...
The report says the military has seen members from 53 gangs and 100 regions in the U.S. enlist in every branch of the armed forces. Members of every major street gang, some prison gangs, and outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs) have been reported on both U.S. and international military installations.
Yeah, there's absolutely no way that's a good thing. From the FBI report:
Through transfers and deployments, military-affiliated gang members expand their culture and operations to new regions nationwide and worldwide, undermining security and law enforcement efforts to combat crime. Gang members with military training pose a unique threat to law enforcement personnel because of their distinctive weapons and combat training skills and their ability to transfer these skills to fellow gang members.
So... yeah. This could be a problem. The last thing we want is to be spending taxpayer dollars to effectively train a new generation of gang leaders. That's at best counterproductive, and I think we can pretty comfortably chalk that up as a nasty unintended consequence of the military-industrial complex

When we overextend our military in all number of apparently indefinite conflicts around the world, it's seemingly inevitable that we will eventually have to relax our enlistment standards (note that gang member concentration is at its greatest in the Army, which has been struggling to recruit since the Bush administration if not before). The more we relax, the more likely we are to find ourselves facing a situation like this one. Not good.  

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