Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Military Geography of the Battle of New Orleans, 8 January 1815


The Battle of New Orleans was the last great battle of the War of 1812. The Treaty of Ghent, the treaty that ended that war, was signed on 24 December 1814, but news did not reach the American and British forces until after the completion of the battle.

This post examines that battle from a historical perspective, taking a regional approach, at a tactical and operational scale, in the context of wartime.

Strategic Importance

Capturing New Orleans would have been a major success for the British – it would cripple the United States economically, for it was the port through which the Midwest’s farm produce got to market. Further, its capture would give British forces access to the interior of the former colonies. Finally, it was feared that the Louisiana Purchase would be nullified upon British victory, precluding westward expansion.

Physical Environment

The battle took place at Chalmette Plantation, a flat one-square mile swampy field located 5 miles downriver from New Orleans. Chalmette was bounded on the north by a cypress swamp and on the south by the Mississippi River. At the time, there were many tree trunks entangled along the banks of the Mississippi. Past the cypress swamp were wet marshlands. The western edge was bounded by Rodriguez Canal which was four feet deep by 10 feet wide. The eastern edge was delimited by drainage ditches running perpendicular to the river. (Greene, n.d., pp. 52-84)

Prior to the battle, in response to an earlier British advance, Andrew Jackson widened the Rodriguez Canal and constructed a 7-foot-tall parapet parallel to the canal, on the opposite side of the canal from the field. These ramparts would later be known as Line Jackson. The Line ran approximately one mile from the Mississippi to the cypress swamps. It then hooked westward, and the left flank was protected by Choctaws and Tennessee militiamen.

In anticipation of the battle, America had placed an artillery battery on the opposite (west) bank of the Mississippi within range of the Chalmette Plantation. The river was approximately 800 yards wide at that point.

Cultural Environment

New Orleans was the largest city in the region, and outside of that the area was rural. A network of canals was dug for transport, irrigation, and drainage in support of the agricultural economy. The dominant languages in New Orleans were English and Louisiana Creole, a variant of French.

The people of New Orleans knew that their city was a valuable target for the British, and immediately prior to the Battle there were rumors that the mayor and city council would surrender to the British. The rumors were so persistent that Andrew Jackson locked the town hall to prevent them from voting on the issue.

Composition of the British and American Forces

There were approximately 8000 British troops involved in the battle, all under command of Major General Sir Edward Pakenham. The commanders directly under him, including Pakenham himself, were all veterans of the recently concluded Napoleonic Wars.

The American forces were commanded by Brevet Major General Andrew Jackson of the Tennessee Militia. Under him were approximately 4600 men, 74% of which were from four state militias; the remainder were from the regular Army, Marines, Navy, as well as 52 Choctaw warriors and a number of Jean Lafitte's privateers. (Roosevelt, 1882, p. 341-346)

Prior to the Battle

The Battle of New Orleans was the culmination of the Gulf Campaign, the British plan to capture New Orleans and surrounding parts of Louisiana and Florida. Several earlier events are relevant:

23 Dec 1814 - A British advance was halted by a night attack by Jackson. Both sides fell back, with Jackson moving to the Rodriguez Canal, where he begins construction of Line Jackson.

25 Dec 1814 - Maj. Gen. Pakenham arrives and takes charge of British forces. To flood the ground between the British and the Americans, the Americans breach the Chalmette Levee. The effect is minimal, however. (Roosevelt, 1882, p. 341)

1 Jan 1815 - British and Americans engage in an artillery duel. The British exhaust their ammunition after 3 hours while the Americans continued firing. Pakenham withdraws.

The Battle

Pakenham’s strategy was to attack Line Jackson along two fronts. On the east bank of the Mississippi, he planned to attack the center and both ends of the Line. Meanwhile, British forces under command of Colonel William Thornton would land downriver of Chalmette, advance upriver along the west bank, capture the American artillery placed opposite Chalmette, and use it to shell Line Jackson by firing across the river.

Troop Movement 8 January 1815 (Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, n.d.).

The construction of Line Jackson began near the end of the previous month, and behind which Jackson emplaced artillery - two howitzers and thirteen 8-to-24-pound cannons. The British planned to cross Rodriguez Canal and storm the ramparts using ladders, but the ladders never arrived.

The battle began on the morning of 8 Jan 1815, with the British hoping to use the fog to their advantage. Unfortunately, the fog lifted too early. On the west bank, Thornton ran into problems with the soggy ground almost immediately: his movement was slowed considerably, and he was unable to widen a canal to move equipment needed for the assault.

Pakenham began multiple attacks against Line Jackson. On the right flank, the part closest to the river, Col. Robert Rennie’s force attacked, partially collapsing the Line before being repelled. The largest thrust was by Major Generals Sir John Keane and Samuel Gibbs against the middle of the Line - they also had to retreat. Finally, a third force attacked the left flank by crossing the cypress swamp but was repulsed by West Tennessee militiamen and Choctaws.

As all retreat paths led through the field, the British were under constant fire from Jackson’s troops, both while advancing and retreating - apparently the British were unfamiliar with the concept of open danger areas. This long exposure to fire explains the high number of British fatalities and casualties.

Meanwhile, Thornton's troops overran the American artillery on the west bank. There were two problems, however: the retreating Americans sabotaged the artillery, and by the time Thornton arrived, the battle on the opposite bank was over.

The overall battle took no more than two hours.


Jackson’s forces suffered 13 dead, 39 wounded, and 19 missing or captured. Packenham suffered 291 dead, 1262 wounded, and 484 missing or captured. Among the fatalities were three of the British commanders: Gibbs, Rennie, and Pakenham himself. John Keene was wounded. No American commanders were killed.


Greene, J. (n.d.). The New Orleans Campaign of 1814-1815 in relation to the Chalmette Battlefield. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Last retrieved 13 February 2024 from

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. (n.d.) Troop movement map, New Orleans Campaign, 1814-1815: Engagement of January 8, 1815. United States Department of the Interior / National Park Service. Last retrieved 14 February 2024 from

Roosevelt, T. (1882). The Naval War of 1812, or the history of the United States Navy during the last war with Great Britain, to which is appended an account of the Battle of New Orleans. G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

American Mission Command vs German Auftragstaktik

When considering the role that command philorophies played in the Battle of France, one must ask if our current concept of mission command matches Germany’s Auftragstaktik?

Taken at face value (commanders specify objective while leaving means up to individuals), mission command is brilliant for skirmishes as performed by the French Maquis and other insurgency forces. The mission goal and timeframe are set by de Gaulle or other distant allied commanders, the maquisards kill the bad guys and break their stuff, while semi-politicians like Jean Moulin endeavored to hold together the non-rural factions (the French Resistance, not the Maquis who operated primarily in rural areas). Given the perhaps romanticized psychology of the Maquis, as well as the necessity for decentralized organization and the faster OODA looping that comes from local control, mission command is a perfect match for them.

Vandergriff (2018) gives a more comprehensive description of Auftragstaktik – instead of focusing on command and control, he describes it primarily as a form of professionalism and cultural philosophy expected of all members of the German Army: “subordinates could be trusted to take the action he thought appropriate, rather than stopping and waiting until contact could be re-established. This aggressive attitude allowed units to take advantage of fleeting opportunities and local successes.”

Vandergriff (2018) goes on to identify three virtues that German officers required: “knowledge, independence, and the joy of taking responsibility.” These virtues are expressed in Innere Führung, which the German Major General Werner Widder (2002) describes as leadership and civic education and is the foundation of the relationship between the individual soldier and society.

Thus, Vandergriff’s virtues not only describe the character of German officers but makes Auftragstaktik a natural corollary instead of a forced doctrine: German professionalism implies mission command, but not necessarily the reverse.

It is interesting to note that while command and control has been official doctrine in the U.S. Army from 1980 (Kiser 2015), a set of corresponding virtues wasn’t released until 2023 in the Air Force’s doctrine on mission command. These virtues - character, competence, capability, cohesion, and capacity (U.S. Air Force, 2023) - show a maturation of U.S. doctrine to something closer to a complete version of Germany’s Auftragstaktik.


Kiser, A. J. (May 2015) “Mission command: The historical roots of mission command in the US Army.” Defense Technical Information Center. Last retrieved on 28 January 2024 from

U.S. Air Force. (14 August 2023). “Air Force doctrine publication 1-1: Mission Command” Retrieved on 28 January 2024 from

Vandergriff, D. E. (21 June 2018). “How the Germans defined Auftragstaktik: What mission command is – and – is not” Small Wars Journal. Retrieved 28 January 2024 from

Widder, W. (2002). “Auftragstaktik and Innere Führung: Trademarks of German leadership” Military Review, September-October 2002. Retrieved on 28 January 2024 from

Explaining Gamelin's Defeat at the Battle of France

General Maurice Gamelin’s hubris and self-delusion certainly played a role in France's defeat, but were those the only reasons for that defeat?

The willful ignorance of the geography and history surrounding the Ardennes Forest wasn’t limited to just a few military leaders but seemed to be widespread throughout the top levels of the French military. How did this institutional rot become so widespread? Here are two theories that may explain this:

  1. The “blinded by science” theory: the French saw Germany’s use of blitzkrieg in the invasion of Poland in 1939, and they failed to grasp the significance of it. This is akin to when one chess player doesn’t understand his opponent’s strategy mid-game. The world was seeing a revolution in heavy mechanized warfare, and the French didn’t understand the scope of its applicability.
  2. The “historical materialism theory”: during the interwar years, France was a hotbed of Marxist-influenced thought, and Marxists are extremely comfortable with revising history to fit their narrative. The result is that history becomes detached from reality and is instead grounded in wishful thinking and the eternal Year Zero. This may be why Gamelin discounted the results of the 1939 summer exercises – the historical materialist would say that what happened last year has no bearing on the present beyond the repositioning of economic classes, followed by even more word salad.

Both theories may be grasping at straws, and it would be very difficult to either prove or disprove them. A little scrap of information supporting the second theory comes from Pétain, who attributed the French defeat to “the work of 30 years of Marxism,” (Langer, 2013) but this can be his attempt to shift the blame. Another quote of his (Giannelia, 1941) is that “France will become again what she should never have ceased to be, an essentially agricultural nation. Like the giant of mythology, she will recover all her strength by contact with the soil,” thoughts that would be echoed by Pol Pot 30 years later.


Giannelia, P. (1941). “France returns to the soil”. Land and Freedom. Retrieved 28 Jan 2024 from

Langer, H. J. (2013). World War II: An encyclopedia of quotations. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Military Geography of Operation Sickle Cut


Germany’s invasion of France in May and June of 1940 could cross the border at three locations: the Maginot Line, the Ardennes Forest, and the Plain of Flanders. The French considered the Maginot Line to be secure. They believed that Ardennes was impassible by German Panzers, and so they defended it with minimal forces. French General Maurice Gamelin thus designed his Dyle-Breda Plan to defend Flanders by amassing troops along the Franco-Belgian border.

Germany instead believed that Ardennes was a viable invasion route and so amassed Army Group A at the least-defended part of the border: the Ardennes Forest, while placing the smaller Army Group B at the Belgian border. This was the starting arrangement of the German forces according to General Erich von Manstein’s Case Yellow, also called Unternehmen Sichelschnitt – Operation Sickle Cut.

French and German War Plans at the Start of the Battle of France
From Galgano (2009)

Germany indeed attacked through Belgium, and the Allies responded by sending their forces into Flanders to repel Army Group B. Germany’s incursion into Belgium was feigning maneuver, however.

Almost simultaneously, Army Group A with its seven Panzer divisions entered the Ardennes Forest on 10 May, crossing it in only three days. Once on French soil, the Germans turned north and reached the English Channel by 21 May. This encircled the Allied forces at Flanders, trapping them against the English Channel. This also separated the Allied forces at Flanders from those assigned to defend central France, including Paris. A little over a month later, almost half of France was occupied, and the armistice and cease fire between France and Germany went into effect on 25 June.

Geographic Analysis: Physical Component

Galgano (2009) argues convincingly that the Ardennes Forest was the most pivotal geographic element at the start of the Battle of France. The Ardennes, with its dense forest, rugged hills, and deep gorges, made the forest difficult to cross, restricting travel mostly to roads running along river valleys. There is one part of Ardennes, however, through which heavy armor could pass: the Losheim Gap (Winters, Galloway & Reynolds, 2001, p. 49). The Germans used this gap at the start of the sickle cut, sending seven Panzer divisions into France on 10 May 1940.

A physical component that played a role at the end of the sickle cut is the English Channel, which worked as a barrier against which the Germans pinned the French, British, and Belgian forces. Besides forcing the Allies to evacuate their troops, the English Channel also served as the German's right flank as they continued their march westward through France.

Geographic Analysis: Cultural Component

The most important cultural component was the French General Staff’s attitude that the Ardennes was impossible to cross using heavy armor. The analysis of prior commanders lent credence to this: the WWI French General Charles Lanrezac is quoted as saying that "if you go into that deathtrap of the Ardennes, you will never come out" (Winters, Galloway & Reynolds, 2001, p. 48), and Marshal Pétain in 1934 called the Ardennes "impenetrable," but amended this by stating that "if any enemy attacked he would be pincered as he left the forest. This is not a dangerous sector," adding "as long as we make special provisions" (Jackson, 2004, p. 32) - those provisions presumably being support from the Belgian Army as well as the use of French troops trained at slowing or halting an advancing force. This latter option was viable, for "the terrain also decentralized offensive command and control while favoring small-unit defensive operations" (Winters, Galloway & Reynolds, 2001, p. 49).

The belief that the Ardennes was impenetrable by heavy armor had solidified before the start of WWII, as the French halted construction of the most fortified part of the Maginot Line south of Ardennes (Galgano, 2009). Even the French 1938 summer exercises in which a notional German force defeated French forces in Ardennes (Galgano, 2009) was not enough to challenge this dogma, as General Gamelin attributed this loss to a lack of adequate reserves. Galgano (2009) attributed Gamelin’s self-delusion to “an unconscionable sense of intellectual lethargy.”

The assumption that Ardennes was impassible was held by French commanders right up to the start of the Battle of France. Even when it was clear that Germany would attempt an invasion, the French side of the Ardennes Forest was guarded by a force used in an inappropriate manner by the commanders who placed them there, which Galgano (2009) dismisses as "second-rate" and the "worst divisions in the French Army." Further, the French apparently did not perform reconnaissance (either aerial or even basic ground patrols) to monitor activity on the German side of the Forest.


Would these military geographic components still be considered important today? The physical components that made the Ardennes difficult to penetrate are still there (except maybe for deforestation and modernized roadways), but physical impediments are made less important due to improvements in heavy armor technology and the ability to deliver such armor through means other than over-land. The English Channel is still of value for its ports and the proximity of the Lille industrial district. To any enemy of France, those ports and the Lille district continue to be assets worth controlling. The fact that the English Channel is a body of water will forever constrain the movement of ground forces. (Galgano & Palka, 2010, pp. 50)

It is not clear whether the cultural components would still be in place: WWI ended more than a century ago, and the military commanders that saw the Battles of Flanders (and desired not to see it repeated) are long gone, as were the commander who wanted to refight the previous war. The institutional dogma about the impenetrability of the Ardennes Forest by heavy armor may still be in place as a form of command inertia, either ignoring the history and geography of the Battle for France or by ignoring basic infantry skills in favor of "high tech" approaches to area denial.


Galgano, F. A. (2009). " Sichelschnitt ": A geographical analysis of a decisive campaign, France, May 1940. In P. Nathanail, B. Abrahart and R. Bradshaw (Eds.), The History and Technology of Military Geology and Geography, Nottingham, United Kingdom: Total Graphics, Ltd.

Galgano, F. & Palka, E.J. (2010). (Eds.). Modern military geography (1st ed.). Routledge.

Jackson, J. (2004). The fall of France: The Nazi invasion of 1940. OUP Oxford.

Winters, H.A., Galloway, G.A., & Reynolds, W.J. (2001). Battling the elements: Weather and terrain in the conduct of war. John Hopkins University Press.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

The Value of Military Geography

Geographical information is extremely applicable to military operations, for "[i]n combat an environmental advantage for one side always means some degree of misfortune for the other" (Winters, Galloway & Reynolds, 2001, p. 1). The wise commander understands this and uses geography to his advantage when defending against an enemy, engaging with the enemy, or breaking contact when appropriate.

From an applied perspective, in the context of wartime, at the smallest tactical scale, and using a topical approach (Galgano & Palka, 2010, pp. 15-16), knowledge of the geography of the area of operations (AO) will allow the fireteam or squad commander to set up defensive positions for his unit and determine likely avenues of enemy approach. It also allows him to locate linear and open danger areas, which in turn will aid in determining patrol routes and positioning ambushes.

Further, knowledge of the terrain and intelligence on enemy locations will determine the safest routes for convoys as they move through the AO, and the safest times to use those routes. This allows a commander to assign forces to surveil and defend those routes.

Geography is useful in planning aggressive actions as well. The commander will use geographic information to control the enemy's movements, using terrain features as natural barriers to channel the enemy to where the commander wishes them to go. Geographic information can be used with communication systems to enable synchronized movements between two or more fireteams and squads, to execute hammer and anvil tactics, for example.

Geographic information must be as current as possible so that patrol leaders are aware of changes such as variations in the flow of rivers or the appearance/disappearance of intermittent lakes. Seasonal variations in foliage will alter locations of concealment and will determine the ways in which an enemy can be observed.

These applications of geography also work in reverse, in a sense: they allow a commander to predict where the enemy would set-up ambushes, or to predict which convoy routes will most likely be sabotaged by the enemy, and so on.

At an operational scale, small units can infiltrate behind enemy lines in a coordinated manner (Galgano & Palka, 2010, pp. 30-31), and the points where they cross the enemy’s defensive belt is determined by three pieces of geographic information: the location of gaps in the line of defense, the location of targets (such as enemy supply routes and logistic bases), and the terrain that the penetrating units must traverse to reach those targets.

Geographic information is also used in the penetration attack (Galgano & Palka, 2010, pp. 30-31). In this maneuver, a large force is applied to a narrow section of the front in order to break through the front and attack objectives deep behind enemy lines. Thus, penetration is similar to infiltration, but instead of having numerous small units infiltrate behind enemy lines, a single large force is used. The three pieces of geographic information used in infiltration – location of defensive gap, location of targets, and the terrain between them – are also used in penetration attacks. Penetration attacks can be used (Galgano & Palka, 2010, p. 30) when the enemy’s flanks are not vulnerable, and one way that the enemy commander can ensure this is by exploiting terrain features such as mountains and swamps, as was done at the Battles of Thermopylae and New Orleans, respectively.

By intelligently exploiting geographic information, military commanders can plan and successfully execute tasks relevant to capturing and holding an area as well as eliminating the enemy. The only limits are the commander’s knowledge of geography and his own imagination.


Galgano, F. & Palka, E.J. (2010). (Eds.). Modern military geography (1st ed.). Routledge.

Winters, H.A., Galloway, G.A., & Reynolds, W.J. (2001). Battling the elements: Weather and terrain in the conduct of war. John Hopkins University Press.

Comparing Military Logistics vs Commercial Logistics

Comparing Military Logistics vs Commercial Logistics


  • Requires various supplies in order to proceed
  • Consumes supplies as operations continue - and operations halt when supply is exhausted
  • Both have various supply classes
  • Impracticality of carrying and maintaining all the supplies needed for an extended period of time
  • Both use networks of supply bases and have transportation routes
  • Predictable usage cycles (fighting seasons in military, Christmas season for commercial)
  • Unpredictable demand spikes (unforeseen offensives in military, commercial products "go viral")


  • Military has virtually unlimited funding; commercial activities must operate within budget
  • Military supplies are subject to physical attack from an enemy, commercial supplies are not - usually
  • Military logistic networks are organized into trees; commercial networks aren't
  • Commercial activities can rapidly reorganize supply chains; military has "friction"
  • Raiding is acceptable in military context, but isn't in commercial context.

A large number of Union Pacific trains were raided in LA in Jan 2022. UP has their own police department, but they did nothing to prevent the looting. Their failure lets me know there's a gray zone between military and commercial logistics, and that is a zone that should be occupied.

Monday, January 8, 2024

Fusion Centers: How They Started, How They're Going

Precursors to Fusion Centers

Prior to 9/11, the law enforcement agencies of many major urban areas had departments dedicated to gathering and analyzing intelligence related to very specific types of crime, such as gangs, white collar crimes, narcotics crimes, and organized crime. There was relatively little coordination among these departments or with state, tribal, or federal agencies, except through specialized networks such as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.

Very few of these agencies specialized in counter-terrorism intelligence. One exception (Sullivan & Bauer, 2008) was the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department: their Terrorism Early Warning Group, formed in 1996, was designed to coordinate first responders (law enforcement and fire services) with LA County Health Services to gather, analyze, and share information related to domestic and international terrorism. The TEWG grew to include data sharing with state and federal agencies. Still, there were few formal relationships for sharing information between other TEW Groups.

Effects of the 9/11 Terror Attacks

This lack of specialized municipal counter-terrorist intelligence agencies changed after 9/11, when the Bush Administration called for the creation of "fusion centers" by state, tribal, and local governments. Modeled on TEW Groups, fusion centers would coordinate with and exchange data with each other as well as federal agencies such as the FBI, DHS, and the DOJ.

The document establishing fusion centers (NSC, n.d. 2007?) can be used as an operational baseline. The scope of information trafficked by fusion centers is delineated as: "all crimes with national security implications, and all hazards information (e.g., criminal investigations, terrorism, public health and safety, and emergency response) which often involves identifying criminal activity and other information that might be a precursor to a terrorist plot." [Emphasis added]

Although the type of information to be gathered by fusion centers was meant to be terrorism-related, note that criminal activity that might be a precursor to terrorism can be surveilled. Further, the guidelines for disseminating Federal information included sending information from federal down to state, local, and tribal levels.

From 2001 to 2010

Davis, et. al. (2010) describe how fusion centers evolved since their founding up to the year 2010. By 2010, fusion centers adopted formal agreements for data sharing between other fusion centers as well as with federal agencies. Local, state, and tribal law enforcement agencies became serious collaborators with these federal agencies.

Also, by 2010, most fusion centers experienced enormous mission creep, moving from a counterterrorism and homeland security focus to an "all-crimes, all-hazards" focus. Agencies besides law enforcement and fire services, such as schools and public health departments, were encouraged to work with fusion centers.

Thus the "might be a precursor to a terrorist plot" loophole mentioned above was exploited.

Individual fusion centers' AO/AI expanded during this period as well, with some municipal centers covering the law enforcement agencies in multiple counties.

So intertwined are the agencies that it is possible for multiple law enforcement departments to pursue the same criminals at the same time, and resolving such situations is described as "deconfliction."

Fusion centers are owned and operated by state, tribal, and local governments, but receive federal support through training, personnel, technology, and funding through the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). Davis, et. al. (2010) are concerned about the continuation of fusion centers after the current year's HSGP expires. The HSGP has been renewed annually since the report was published.

From 2010 to the Present

To see how fusion centers have evolved since (Davis, et. al., 2010), a snapshot of fusion center operation and scope can be gleaned from the NSISS, the National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding (DNS, 2012). Some changes include:

  1. The NSISS does not define particular categories or types of information that must be shared.
  2. More types of agencies are to supply information to fusion centers: "This information sharing mandate requires sustained and responsible collaboration between Federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, private sector, and foreign partners."
  3. Information is treated as a national asset, and departments and agencies have an obligation to share that information.

An interesting sentence in (DNS, 2012) is this: "In order to build and sustain the trust required to share with one another, we must work together to identify and collectively reduce risk, rather than avoiding information loss by not sharing at all."

Translating Fed-Speak to English, that comment roughly means that management wants workers to share information instead of hoarding it, as federal employees are wont to do so as to acquire personal power. For example, if the FBI and CIA had been more cooperative, 9/11 may have been averted. This gives considerable insight into the people working at fusion centers.


Mission creep and the desire by employees to accumulate power, combined with the lack of a clear definition of terrorism, has led to abuses of power. Examples of this are the types of people classified as terrorists in fusion center reports (Rittgers, 2011):

"The North Texas Fusion System labeled Muslim lobbyists as a potential threat; a DHS analyst in Wisconsin thought both pro- and anti-abortion activists were worrisome; a Pennsylvania homeland security contractor watched environmental activists, Tea Party groups, and a Second Amendment rally; the Maryland State Police put anti-death penalty and anti-war activists in a federal terrorism database; a fusion center in Missouri thought that all third-party voters and Ron Paul supporters were a threat; and the Department of Homeland Security described half of the American political spectrum as “right wing extremists.”"
Missing both from (NSC, n.d. 2007?) and (DNS, 2012) are criteria for success for fusion centers, so it is not clear whether fusion centers are fulfilling their intended purpose.


Davis, L. M., Pollard, M., Ward, K., Wilson, J. M., Varda, D. M., Hansell, L., & Steinberg, P. (2010). Long-Term Effects of Law Enforcement’s Post-9/11 Focus on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. RAND Corporation.

DHS, (2012, December). National Strategy for Information Sharing and Safeguarding.

NSC. (n.d. 2007?). "Appendix 1 - Establishing a national integrated network of state and major urban area fusion centers".

Rittgers, D. (2011, February 2). "We're all terrorists now". Cato Institute.

Sullivan, J. & Bauer, A. (2008). "Terrorism early warning: 10 years of achievement in fighting terrorism and crime". Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.