The local community of Ferguson, Missouri, may not look like a war zone, but the Pentagon has helped the police treat it like one.
According to Michelle McCaskill, media relations chief at the Defense Logistics Agency, the Ferguson Police Department is part of a federal program called 1033, in which the Department of Defense distributes hundreds of millions of dollars of surplus military equipment to civilian police forces across the U.S.
That surplus military equipment doesn't just mean small items like pistols or automatic rifles; towns like Ferguson could become owners of heavy armored vehicles, including the MRAPs used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The post also states that the Pentagon supplied American police departments with nearly $450,000,000 worth of equipment in 2013—yes, in one year alone. What is this all about? Of course, money; but also it's the relocation of the zone of war from national borders (the front) to city streets...
War Zone of the 21st Century
The human is now not only the talking animal, it's also the urban animal: homo urbanus. The UN:
The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion, with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. While mega-cities have captured much public attention, most of the new growth will occur in smaller towns and cities, which have fewer resources to respond to the magnitude of the change.
In an urbanized world, we can expect policing to increase in importance and the use of police force to intensify. The future will look less like Afghanistan and more like Gaza.