It's been more than three years since I wrote Digging the grave, about my concerns that the efforts to control foreign populations in small wars could prepare our Western states for the control of their domestic citizens.
Many techniques, laws and tools of the so-called "Global war on terror" could be mis-used for the suppression of domestic opposition. There are even first signs that this is happening.
* remote-controlled public cameras including face-recognition software which -once mature- allows a government to run such surveillance with very few loyal personnel
* databases on behaviour of citizens
* terror suspect databases full of innocents, yet incapable of stopping terrorists from boarding aircraft
* surveillance of anti-war groups as if they were potential terrorists
* empowerment of the police to stop and search people (and thus harass them)
* counter-insurgency tactics
* domestic espionage
* laws which permit the long arrest of suspects without proper procedure
* treatment of air passengers like criminals with scanners, cameras and even fingerprint sensors
* attempts of politicians (like Schäuble) to empower the military domestically
* establishment of a fourth category of people in addition to not guilty, guilty and suspect; "Gefährder" ('dangerous people'). This serves the purpose of disenfranchising them and to make their harassment more acceptable to the public.
On this background I found several users in the Small Wars Council forum (mother lode of COIN thought) who saw no problem at all in considering domestic policy as COIN.
They stepped over the Rubicon, imported COIN -a technique for suppressing violent popular resistance to a government- from small wars into domestic policy thinking in the West.
I am 100% opposed to this because the thought alone is more dangerous to us than all terrorists of the world combined. It's the crossing of the Rubicon, the import of military might application against popular resistance from a distant war into our homeland. The mere thought is a greater offence against our freedom, liberty and democracy than all those idiots with bombs could ever be.
Our state, our politicians, our population must not think of policy as the suppression or even only prevention of violent resistance. That's a by-product of good policy. Policy, the state are meant to serve the citizens and to protect them. The state itself has no interests - the people have. The state does not deserve to be protected against violent uprisings - the state must only protect freedom, liberty and democracy for the advantage of the society as a whole.
Thinking of a state which controls its citizens, which suppresses their resistance is thinking about authoritarianism. It's thinking about an end to our democracy.
We need to absorb and repeal the stupid domestic "anti-terror" legislation some time, and we need to guard against an import of COIN thought into our homeland.
Our state must not keep the citizens in check - it must serve them.
Every attempt to import COIN thinking into the domestic arena needs to face resolute and overwhelming opposition in order to keep it far, far away from what's deemed acceptable behaviour.