In a smart piece for Just Security, Vasabjit Banerjee looks at how rural insurgencies have emerged in countries around the world. The United States could be next, he says, especially if Donald Trump is turned out of office. The militias are dispersed, and lack regional organizations but they have a strong socio-cultural base in rural America.
By comparing insurgent groups in South and Southeast Asia, Professor Paul Staniland’s book The Networks of Rebellion reveals that militia organizations also need leaders who are both internally united and embedded within pre-conflict social networks in order to successfully challenge the national government in multi-year confrontations.
Despite ideological similarities, militia groups in the United States lack cohesive regional and national-level organizations. Rather, disparate groups communicate and coordinate via social media sites like Facebook. Thus, while such fragmentation may prevent a civil war that seeks to topple the federal government, loosely tied groups of small organizations may be sufficiently powerful to prevent state and federal authorities from controlling rural areas. A phenomenon that has occurred in parts of India, Myanmar, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.