26 June, 2010

Venezuela’s militia

Venezuelan citizens train to defend their nation.

Venezuela is the South American country most likely to survive and repel an invading force. The simple reason for this is the civilian militia.

According to Global Firepower, Venezuela has an active troop strength of 800,000. President Chavez has boasted of a civilian militia numbering about one million. Some estimate the number may be closer to 100,000-200,000.

A modern conventional force from the USA or Brazil can easily overrun Venezuela. However, because of terrain, cultural, political and other factors, the invading force will have an even harder time than in Iraq.

With Venezuelan political leadership sharing ideology with neighbouring Bolivia and Ecuador, the Venezuelans will receive help from these countries with additional support from guerilla movements like FARC, and others.

As Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan has shown us, motivated civilian populations (through militia using guerilla tactics and asymmetrical warfare strategy) can harass, ambush, sabotage, detain and kill invading troops on a regular basis. This is quite effective in the Psy Ops area, serving to demoralize the invaders and forcing them to question their reasons for being in the country.

Because of our (self-inflated?) strategic importance to the USA, Trinidad and Tobago has never envisaged nor planned for an invasion by a foreign force. Our national defence planners assume that the US will defend us because of our oil and gas supplies. What happens when the gas and oil runs out?

With an active troop strength of 3,000 and a reserve of 500, miniscule Trinidad and Tobago would be easily occupied. What’s worse, an unbroken policy (since colonialism) of keeping a population disarmed has created a hoplophobic culture. Illegal guns proliferate among unemployed, ill-disciplined youth. Perhaps MILAT and MIPART can be the seeds from which our militia springs, as the fear of guns may be too deeply ingrained in the psyches of the older citizenry.

Even the world’s sole superpower considers a militia so vital to a nation’s survival that the 2nd amendment of the US constitution specifically grants the rights of gun ownership to all citizens, and mentions the militia in the same amendment.

Shouldn’t we be just as concerned about our nation’s survival?

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