A Smile And A Plan – Today’s Quote

… have a smile for everyone you meet and a plan to kill them.

Brad Thor, Author from his novel The Apostle: A Thriller

Observation Skills for Survival

Andrew’s Note:  One of the things I like about the Army and the military in general is that we have a manual where you can learn just about anything you want to know including a lot of skills that are of value to the preparedness minded prepper.   Being able to observe and avoid trouble is a key survival skill for a prepper who operates alone or in much smaller groups than the typical soldier on the battlefield.   It’s important to develop your observations skills for survival and today’s extract from the 3 August, 1984 Edition of the United States Army’s Field Manual, FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier (Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited) may help.  

While written for soldiers operating on a battlefield the skills are readily transferable and will help you develop observation skills for survival.  Elements in italics below have been added by the editor.  This extract is the entire fourth chapter, titled Observation:


During all types of operations, you will be looking for the enemy [or potential adversary].  However, there will be times when you will be posted in an observation post (OP) to watch for enemy activity [as your sole or primary mission].

An OP is a position from which you watch an assigned sector of observation and report all activity seen or heard in your sector.  Chapter 6 provides guidance on collecting and reporting information learned by observation.


Situational Awareness – An Introduction

How aware are you about your surroundings?  I’ll bet that everyone that reads this will claim that they are very aware of what goes on around them.  Really?  By my very nature (Andrew’s Note:  check out Infidel’s biography) I put everyone on the defense.  Why?  Because I’m very good at getting inside your OODA Loop (observe, orient, decide, and act).  This keeps me on the offensive…keeps me a step ahead of the opposition.  Now… do I do this all the time?  No, because sometimes the body has to mentally relax to recharge the batteries.  You need to know when it’s time to relax and when to maintain heightened situational awareness.

The four levels of awareness that are taught by most personal defense instructors now are the famous ones that originated with LT COL Jeff Cooper, the originator of Gunsite Training Academy.  Cooper’s levels are White, Yellow, Orange and Red.  The goal is to pick the appropriate safety awareness level for your surroundings and situation.  This situational awareness continuum helps you to react accordingly to threats and potential threats to your safety.  A full discussion of this situational awareness model will be discussed at a later time but I mention it here as a brief introduction.

Now, back to our discussion of surroundings…how many of you have observed someone breaking into a car, shoplifting, or actually making a drug deal?


The Outlook for Central and South America

Andrew’s Note: I’ve been watching with interest the developments in Argentina where the Socialist government has imposed price controls in a futile attempt to control inflation created by social (or should I say Socialist) engineering masquerading as economic policy…President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration has now gone so far as to ban advertising.  The arrogance of a government expecting private businesses and individuals (and farmers) to continue to produce when their goods cost more to produce than they are allowed to sell them for defies belief…but it wasn’t so long ago that we tried such schemes as well.  During the Nixon administration we exercised price controls on a national level and some cities still cling to anachronistic rent control schemes.  Luckily we no longer impose price controls on a national level…now we just legislate how much profit private industries can make…Lord save us from misguided but well intended politicians and Socialists…so what’s the more general outlook for Central and South America look like…let’s return to the JOE.

The JOE is our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about the outlook for Central and South America:


New Additions to Online Preparedness Tools and Resources

The following online sites have recently been added to Prepography‘s Preparedness Tools and Resources page.  They’re primarily situational awareness resources.  Check out the page for all our Online Preparedness Tools and Resources.  Additionally, feel free to suggest new additions to Online Preparedness Tools and Resources that you think would be of benefit to Prepography‘s subscribers.

  • Radiation Network:  Provides a real-time, geographical representation of environmental radiation levels in the Continental United States (CONUS) overlaid with a map of nuclear sites.  Compare the U.S. map to this map of Radiation in Japan. (more…)

Prepping Consequences of the Election

I’ve received several inquiries today from concerned preppers asking what changes they should make to their preparedness plans in light of the recent election results so I gave some thought to the prepping consequences of the election and here’s what I’ve come up with…

First off, by a margin of roughly 2.5% (popular vote – as of the writing of this article) the citizens of the U.S. have chosen a path that clearly encourages dependence as opposed to self reliance…make no mistake though, the Republicans would have been better…but not by orders of magnitude.  For those in the depths of post-election depression let me point out that this country survived over 12 years of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s equally flawed economic strategies.  A huge portion of our population continues to work hard in spite of an ever increasing tax burden, adapts to changes instead of giving up, and finds ways to succeed instead of being frustrated into paralysis by red tape and institutional favoritism.  This country still has the biggest economic engine in the world idling under the hood and the most stable and successful form of government (but for some reason we always impose parliamentary governments on the countries we conquer).

So back to the question at hand…what are the prepping consequences of the election?  (more…)

Shadow Globalization – Bazaars of Violence

Andrew’s Note: Today we return to our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  The following is excerpted from PART IV: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE JOINT FORCE, War in the 21st Century.  Links have been inserted by me to provide additional reading for context.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”:

Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”

The globalization of trade, finance, and human travel across international boundaries in the commercial world has an analogous dark side as well.  Criminal and terrorist networks are intermingling to construct their own “shadow globalization,” building micro markets, and trade and financial networks that will enable them to coordinate nefarious activities on a global scale. The ubiquity and ease of access to these markets outside of legal structures attract shadow financing from a much larger pool, irrespective of geography.  In these markets, rates of innovation in tactics, capabilities, and information sharing will accelerate and will enable virtual organizational structures that quickly coalesce, plan, attack, and dissolve.  As they grow, these markets will allow adversaries to generate attacks at a higher level of rapidity and sophistication beyond law enforcement’s capability to interdict. For example, we have seen Somali pirates hiring indigenous spotters to identify ships leaving foreign harbors as prime targets for hijackings. We should expect shadow globalization to encourage this outsourcing of criminality to interface increasingly with insurgencies, such that actors in local conflicts will impact on a global scale, with perhaps hundreds of groups and thousands of participants.

The line between insurgency and organized crime will likely continue to blur. This convergence can already be seen in the connections between the FARC and cocaine trafficking, MEND and stolen oil, and the Taliban and opium production. This convergence means that funding for violent conflicts will interplay and abet the growth of global gray and black markets. The current size of these markets is already $2-3 trillion and is growing faster than legal commercial trade; it has the potential to equal a third of global GDP by 2020.    (more…)

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