Could urban terrorism in US trigger Pentagon’s CONPLAN 2502?

Subversive forces inside the US are waging a hybrid war that has been in the making for years, but finally turning kinetic in the run-up to the November election.

What began as a peaceful protest movement in response to the death of George Lloyd has quickly transformed into a spree of urban terrorism characterized by rioting, looting, ransacking, arson, assault, violence and deaths which collectively punished innocent Americans who had nothing to do with the trigger event.

Black-clad agitators mainly from Antifa are largely responsible for this chaos and appears to be exploiting the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as a hybrid war weapon, to advance its agenda of replacing the American government with a Marxist one. But as observed in China’s CGTN article entitled, “America has the right to defend itself from urban terrorism”, carrying out acts of violence against innocent people and their property as a form of collective punishment is terrorist in nature, and the author warned that the American people and their security services would need to stand together to survive this hybrid war.

Weaponising BLM movement

Some BLM activists are beginning to decry Antifa’s violence and separate themselves from the black bloc. Edreece Phillips in Portland, Oregon, criticized that Antifa is sabotaging the legitimate cause and grievances of Black Americans and “making it so that Black voices are being heard less and less and less.”

He noted how “a lot of the people who are doing it are not Black. They throw s**t and start s**t and run away and yell ‘Black Lives Matter,” and then go home and take off their clothes. But I can’t take off my black,” Phillips said.  “And the more damage they do to this building—well, everyone thinks it’s people of color doing all this and it’s not.”

There have also been other accounts of BLM activists confronting white Antifa agitators for committing false flag operations in order to frame BLM, attempting to stoke a sectarian race war between Blacks and Whites similar to the sectarian religious war between Sunnis and Shiites in Syria.

Destabilization and attacks on government institutions also appears to further Antifa’s manifesto of “destroy the state, police, military”, “there will be no law to enforce”, “there will be no government”, “a world without prisons” and “land is not property”.  This is evidenced by the systematic disarming and attack on domestic police force, waging lawfare by getting perhaps unsuspecting politicians to disarm Federal law enforcement, violating fellow Americans’ private property and robbing their businesses through looting and vandalism, attacking federal court houses, and closing prisons at a time when police force is weakened while crime rate is soaring.

When militants tried to burn a Portland federal courthouse with federal agents still inside, this prompted a Department of Homeland Security official to condemn this as an act of terrorism.


Given this, it seems America is entering the second stage of hybrid warfare as outlined by KBG defector Yuri Bezmenov.

Hybrid war and CONPLAN 2502 

Speaking in a 1984 interview, KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov discussed the four phases of an “ideological subversion” operation.

The first phase is demoralization, making the majority skeptical of the status quo and feeling powerless to resist the “revolutionaries”.  The second phase is destabilization, a series of incidents that radicalize people and prime the population to expect a crisis.

The third phase is crisis, a “trigger event” for catalyzing the most active and violent part of the campaign, and the fourth and final phase is normalization once the “revolutionaries” seize complete power.

According to political analyst Andrew Korybko, America is now in the second phase of destabilization, with structural conditions of mental and economic hardship wrought by Democrat Governors’ decisions to impose strict Covid-19 lockdowns and provocative narratives of a race war.  Given these preconditions and if urban terrorism is allowed to escalate, this may catapult the country into the third crisis phase.

Korybko rebuked the US that in a way, the kinetic phase of the current hybrid war of terror is a page taken from Washington’s own playbook for regime-change abroad.  Korybko argued that it was a matter of time before subversive forces at home would apply the same method against the US government, and urged Americans to think twice before supporting US politicians who advocate overthrowing foreign governments.

For now, to prevent America escalating from destabilization to the crisis phase, the various riot fires need to be quelled. Here the 1992 Los Angeles riots provides important lessons learned.

General Delk, commander of Operation Garden Plot which is the Pentagon’s Civil Disturbance Plan/CONPLAN 2502 to restore law and order during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, warned that pulling the police out of riot situations only emboldened the rioters.  Even worse, half of Los Angeles burned as fire departments would not put out arson fires without police protection amidst shootings.

This dire situation quickly provoked President Bush to activate the Pentagon’s plan and deployed US Marines to California, and the riots were successfully quelled within five days. In total, 10,000 California National Guardsmen and 4,000 federal troops were deployed to Los Angeles.

Now with history repeating itself in 2020 in the face of escalating hybrid warfare, it appears likely fearful Americans would need the help of Marines again to quell the rising insurgency threat to their safety and national security.

About the Author
Dr. Christina Lin is a US-based foreign policy analyst specializing in China-Mediterranean relations. She has extensive US government experience working on national security issues and was a CBRN research consultant for Jane's Information Group.