Graybeards, Color Revolution, and the Yellow Wood

Last year, in the late spring and certainly by mid-summer, guys like me began talking. I have my own boring tale of that ‘adventure’ it is not relevant to the story. Here is what is relevant.

Many of us began to see the same patterns and have the same concerns; we began to reach out to one another, to help explain it all. In many ways, the retired (as in recently retired) military community is not that large. My little group that rallied together had many commonalities in what we did in the latter part of our careers, we often served together. But it is larger than that, people have friends in other places, and what we found was that others were coming together and thinking the same sorts of things, "something is wrong". It all looks coordinated, the level of coordination is state-actor level, it looks like various methodologies are being utilized in an almost doctrinal fashion.

An awful lot of cross-talk occurred across little informal groups.

My little merry band of compatriots approached it semi-formally, in a whimsical way at first, and then rather seriously. Among us were guys of various military specialties, what we had in common was that toward the end of our careers at each we worked exclusively in the intelligence or electromagnetic space (space is a very odd civilian word, but it paints the picture). Some came from special forces, others from civil affairs, and one a career military police guy. Scattered throughout were men that went on to pursue law enforcement careers. Yes, we were all men, there was a large social aspect to the effort initially. We even had two lawyers, odd birds at first, but critical later because of their operational experience. All of us knew one or two guys somewhere that was talking a lot more frequently to their circle, some informally, others much more formally. We shared thoughts, observations, and ideas in that decentralized way.

Here are some things to know:

  • Retired military guys are stubborn, headstrong, and cock-sure. Sometimes, oftentimes, in fact, rank and the dog-butt-smelling routine of measuring schools and assignments still come into play. Many of us believe we know what we know and we are often the most difficult with each other.
  • “Evidence” in the military setting, as in knowing enough about a thing to know what you are looking at is vastly different than evidence sufficient for an LEO to present a case, and much less comprehensive than what a lawyer needs to argue a case.
  • A lot more than two paths diverged in a yellow wood last year. From my assessment, my observation, and this is of course very informal as most communication across hodge-podge groups was just a guy talking to a guy – but essentially beyond the basic fundamentals, there was much disagreement. Almost everyone that reported agreeing that what was happening was coordinated, looked like a state-actor, and used doctrinal methodology. The divisions and divergence in the wood all centered on BY WHOM (the totality of the who), AGAINST WHO, and WHY (beyond the obvious objectives embedded into the methodologies observed. We all easily painted the obvious targets, there was disagreement on the purpose. This disagreement is still obvious today as some groups have become more vocal and public. (more on that below)

What about the evidence I mentioned above, the way of knowing what we believed we knew. At the operational level in the military decisions are made by conducting what is called an Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB). All the knowns and assumptions are gathered, plotted, charted, weighed, and out of that Likely Enemy Courses of Action (LECOA) are developed. Commanders and their staff then attempt to hijack the enemy's decision loop by creating their own Courses of Action (COA) that take advantage of what is known and assumed. It is not overly complex at the tactical and operational levels.

If you move up in complexity, to the strategic level and beyond, to Wicked Problems, it is similar, but not exactly. 2020 was a wicked problem. Wicked problems require design methodology to solve or even to define. You still do something similar to IPB, but now it involves assessments (Intelligence, social, economic, political). Very often these assessments disagree, on their face; there seems to be no connecting thread. That complexity is what makes a wicked problem so wicked.

Here is the key take-away, and this is specifically why different groups, all beginning with a basis of commonality in language, foundational experience, education, and outlook diverged so greatly after seeing the core of the problem. Many of them used IPB (datapoints, intelligence, and operational observation) to try to explain a wicked problem.

I may be, no I am, stubborn, headstrong, and cock-sure, I could be wrong when I say that other groups, some now very public, evaluated this wrong – they missed the rest of the BY WHOM, AGAINST WHO, and WHY. I may be those things, but I stand on the assertion that this was a wicked problem and involved many more groups and people than simply saying “the democrats” or “the deep state” (without really acknowledging what that term ultimately means).

Here is a sample of what my little group produced. (Initial Report: 202004015-A) We released the full report last year to selected legislators, we will never in our lifetime post the full report publically. We have ceased operations (mostly) we are a bonfire and beer club now, I am the only member of the group with a public persona, we believe it is that dire, that complex, and that much of a problem.

All our work agreed with that of others, fundamentally, state capture or color revolution methodology was used, supporting that were information operations (INFO OPS), psychological operations (PSYOPS), and a heavy dose of private partnership (controlled media narrative) and non-governmental organization (NGO) involvement.

Where we disagreed, and hardly anyone that speaks of this and agrees with us still speaks publically, is in the scope. We came to see that this could not and was not happening to benefit one party, that it could not have been pulled off by one party, it was transnational in nature. Most others saw it as international and binary – I believe because they used the wrong methodology to evaluate it all.

Since last summer the term Color Revolution has become associated with a few things. MAGA, Trump, and Election fraud simply because the most vocal of groups of greybeards see it that way and discuss it in those terms. There was even a very public effort to solidify this concept by Tucker Carlson and Darren Beattie.[1]

My former merry band, now somber jokesters that drink beer and used gallows humor we watch the world burn, we all agree that we strongly disagree with those people – turning the very real thing that happened into nothing more than a catch-phrase for partisan rally words is dangerous, flawed, and ultimately destructive. If only a small element of society will even utter the phrase, and the other side of an increasingly false dialectic sees it as nothing more than a dog-whistle, nobody will ever talk about the real problem.

This is of course exactly what has happened. The population, in general, will not even hear arguments about election fraud and what that really means. Those that are interested in the subject will not step back and evaluate the intricate deception operation that poisoned that effort.[2] We have been separated, deceived, divided, and frog-marched right into the consolidation phase[3] without even seeing the game being played. (see more about my interpretation of our Color revolution here [4], [5], [6], [7]).

Author: Barry

Southerner, father, husband, Christian and a retired Army field grade officer. Author of five books and of several papers and articles on ethics, culture, history, geopolitics and military affairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *