BASTROP — The official slogan of Operation Jade Helm 15, “Master the Human Domain,” is just one of many oddities surrounding the eight-week Pentagon training that’s fomented anger and suspicion in Bastrop County and other rural parts of Texas.
In bile-green text, the phrase is placed beneath the operation’s logo of a double-edged sword, two crossed arrows and a translucent wooden clog — yes, a clog — all of which have become fodder for widespread, baseless conspiracy theories that the Army Special Operations Command is planning a martial law takeover of Texas come July.
Theories aside, the lingo points to an underlying objective of Jade Helm: The mastery of an emerging Special Forces doctrine called the “human domain,” a renewed push to study the “social and economic conditions” in conflict zones following lessons learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But if one objective of Jade Helm is to better understand human behavior, Texas is providing a learning experience months ahead of schedule.
Responding to outrage from residents of Bastrop County, which military analysts and Pentagon officials insist is misguided,Gov. Greg Abbott last month ordered the Texas State Guard, a branch of the Texas National Guard, to monitor Jade Helm, a move those same analysts and officials also said was misguided.