Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Opportunity Costs: Antifa Leadership Challenge

The idea of "opportunity costs" is based on the fact that critical resources are always in short supply and if I dedicate a resource for task R then I cannot simultaneously use that resource for task U.

Watching Antifa's urban tactics, you cannot help but notice similarities with cowboys driving cattle or WWI Russian serfs attacking German trenches. Lots of cows and serfs and very few cowboys or officers.

Obviously, the great mass of BLM or RvW or outrage du jour protesters have zero training. The most the Antifa officers can hope to accomplish is to distribute signs and things to throw, point the direction of attack and to reward with promises of looting and burning. If tactics as sophisticated as flanking maneuvers or ambush happen it is by pure happenstance.


In spite of what some observers, including one high-profile Michigan based observer* claim, it seems impossible that Antifa could field enough "officers" and enough modestly-competent foot-soldiers to field 50 effective "soldiers" in one small town 30 miles outside of an urban area.

They could probably field twice that many "cannon-fodder" bodies (hence the comparison to the Russian serfs in WWI) in one small town. Their goal would be to provoke an over-reaction and to create video footage that would be the stimulus for government reaction.

The risks to Antifa are many. Locals taking out the transportation would have the soldiers walking. Few things are more humiliating to young adults than to have to WALK! Another major risk would be if the locals could noodle out the top echelons of Antifa leadership and neutralize them and nobody else.

Antifa has no problems recruiting ushers and traffic-control type leadership. They also have no problems finding people to fly drones. What they lack is a robust system for replacing the few high officers who can integrate the information and run the show with an ear-bud and hands-free mic. The potential replacements with the competence are not trusted. The zealots who are trusted lack expertise.

Attacking rural towns in any numbers would present Antifa with grave opportunity costs. They would not have the resources to close freeways and public thoroughfares in urban areas which is their current high-leverage tactic.

Even commando-strike tactics aimed at rural towns would deplete high-end Antifa leadership in short order, especially if churches, pregnancy counseling centers and other potential targets used geo-fences to identify cell-phones in the immediate vicinity.

*To the best of my knowledge no independent verification of super-competent, Antifa leadership has been offered by other observers. The "expert" runs a martial arts dojo and probably finds the free publicity profitable.


  1. Please wander over to American Partisan and use their search function for Antifa Reality Check.

    There are wannabe antifa those are Cosplayers in ninja uniforms. Your description fits them well.

    The Portland folks that went face to face with explosives, firebombs and in general working for well over a year every night are not as your describing.

    I had relatives working in Portland PD. They quit after being disallowed to use live ammo on them after a few of their fellow Police were maimed by them.

    1. I will look, but those Portland Antifa knew there would be no return fire, no fire-hoses, no push-back. It isn't hard to be an aggressive better when you know every hand you are dealt will be a flush or four-of-a-kind.

      Discipline is demonstrated when difficulties are encountered and the team still continues with the mission.

      So sorry about your relatives.

  2. Once the range goes hot in both directions suddenly a lot of tactics become career-limiting. Things like using an umbrella to shield the bomb throwers, being a bomb thrower, laser operators, 'Medic' and 'Press' patch wearers that act as spotters.. All bullet magnets.

  3. I would bet that in rural areas more "accidents" happen around them and especially their transport.
    Don't forget that they play to the cameras and that CCTV systems protect them, both of which are rare in rural areas...

  4. The C&C elements never get close to the action, control (what limited amount they have) is exercised via text/apps. The best you’ll get (observing the immediate area) would be ‘nullification’ of aide de campe/messenger/coordinators (committed zealots hoping to get promotion, but essentially worthless) unless … you can track-back to source or (crucially) identify ahead of time where (and who) the C&C will probably locate themselves*.

    The problem isn’t just that they use Soviet ‘human wave’ tactics, but deliberately/intentionally use (as pathetic and vulnerable as they can find) ‘human shield’ tactics too – for the ‘optics’. (Remember they aren’t just control, coordination, and foot-soldiers they have a specifically chosen group of intentional victims – even if they have to injure themselves – as the very front-line too).

    * If you’re not ‘monitoring’ both likely spots and (guaranteed to exist in even the most blue rural town) local fifth-column/supporters feeding intel and providing logistics, support and ‘bases’, ‘now’ then you’re already at risk.

    They’re very unlikely to venture in ‘without’ that local support so … be aware who in your AO is ‘on the other side’ and … ‘deal with it’.

  5. Clearly the commenters never bothered to go to American Partisan and search for Antifa Reality Check.

    Antifa had a MISSION to show President Trump as useless as CONgress would not condemn antifa nor would the FBI (and others) find and arrest them.

    They were paid for street troops for somebody.

    What will their mission (and training - Equipment load out be) next time?

    Sun Zhu says know yourself and your enemies to win.

  6. Well, some protesters found out that rural, red state cities won't put up with their bullshit. All they had to do was follow the rules...stay on the sidewalk on your own side and stay out of the road.

    Dateline Greenville SC, several pro choice protesters were arrested after ignoring police orders to stay out of the street. One woman who was warned several times not to cross to the pro life side, finally had to be arrested. Several of her family members who tried to intervene in said arrest, were also cuffed and hauled off to jail.

    1. Link didn't show up.


  7. I'll try to find the links, but I read several accounts during the Summer of Love where experienced security and crowd control personnel went to the affected cities, Seattle comes to mind, and found sophisticated command & control elements at the outskirts of the trouble, directing the fun. And well-defended too, with bicycle and motorcycle couriers and point men. The personnel wrote about recognizing the tactics they themselves had learned in the military, being deployed, and also noting that several key Antifa figures had quite sophisticated communications networks in place, encrypted and impossible to trace. The Proud Boys guy that was murdered in Seattle was set up very nicely in a kill trap with several people coordinating actions to herd him into a particular spot, with several more walking slack at the perimeter, for example. I'll try to find some of these links. But I wouldn't assume that all of Antifa are corpulent boobs playing COS-play and getting away with it.

    1. But, they have been operating in a low-engagement environment with limited to no return fire. Going in to a two-way range and trying the same techniques will get a very different response. If lethal force is allowed to prevent a violent felony then being a fire bomb thrower becomes a much more hazardous assignment.