In July 2020, Green Beret and military special forces operator Mike Glover began sharing videos on YouTube and Instagram about , a new paramilitary network and intelligence hub that bills itself as an alternative to far-right militias. Glover founded the group, he said, “to create a class of Americans that are willing to protect and defend themselves, their families, and their communities from violent actors in turbulent times.”
Tapping into pre-election fears and anxiety—exemplified by FBI reports that nearly in the U.S. from January to September of this year, representing an increase of nearly eight million from the same time period in 2019—American Contingency claims to be a moderate group building community and resilience in uncertain times. In reality, the group is mobilizing Americans toward further militarization while fomenting anti-Black racism, anti-Muslim xenophobia, and misinformation that could heighten the potential for political violence against those most marginalized.
In their conspiratorial worldview, leaders of the network insist that Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists, as well as “cultural Marxists,” are preparing to target major U.S. cities during the election season to undermine the Trump administration, and that patriotic Americans should seek weapons and preparedness training in order to defend themselves and their communities.
As it happens, Glover also runs a private company, , based in Prescott, Arizona and Heber City, Utah, which offers weapons, preparedness, and survival training to civilians and law enforcement across the country.
But more than just a cagey sales pitch, it increasingly appears that American Contingency is becoming the intelligence, media amplification, and networking arm of Glover’s enterprise (which, along with membership fees and donations, funds the new network). The group has quickly amassed a following that they claim consists of 13,000 official supporters,” with a rapidly expanding social media following. Glover, who spent more than in the U.S. Army, CIA, and other government agencies, provides regular American Contingency video updates on his YouTube channel, which has more than 100,000 subscribers. He also uses his personal Instagram and American Contingency’s Instagram accounts to promote American Contingency, which combined have nearly 200,000 followers as of late October 2020. And through this network, he amplifies misinformation and conspiracy theories stemming from right-wing personalities, including a former member of Trump’s National Security Council.
On its website, American Contingency readers that, “International Marxist elements operating in conjunction with Islamofascist elements are conducting broad spectrum, global information operations in order to prepare the way for… the establishment of the new global order.”
Echoing talking points that have become common among the Patriot movement and Republicans more broadly, American Contingency spreads dangerous rhetoric that casts Black Lives Matter, Antifa, Sunrise Movement, Democratic Socialists of America, the environmental organization 350, the Council on American Islamic Relations, Open Society Foundations, and other progressive organizations as domestic .
“My prediction: November 2nd… the countdown begins,” Glover on his YouTube channel this summer. “Because on November 2nd, they will use this as an opportunity, no matter how it goes, to incite violence, to allow them to facilitate the growth and evolution of their radical ideology, and kill, murder, and destroy American lives.”
What Does American Contingency Believe?
In Glover’s vision, the United States has arrived at a tipping point where everyday Americans will have to take up arms to defend themselves against violent insurgencies on the eve of the election.
Heavily reliant on right-wing analysis steeped in anti-Muslim and anti-Communist conspiracy theories, it’s not surprising that American Contingency has become a vehicle of misinformation. The group cites as “” a right-wing think tank called U, run by Richard Higgins, a former member of Trump’s National Security Council, and Stephen Coughlin, a senior fellow with the anti-Muslim neoconservative think tank, Center for Security Policy. Although it appears to offer legitimate, sophisticated national security analysis, Unconstrained Analytics publishes deeply conspiratorial writing, including a “s Guide” outlining how the United States is under attack by a left-wing “North American Insurgency Syndicate” that is planning “widespread protests and insurgent-driven violence” ahead of the election.
One memo that “threats of violence are no longer limited to street thugs like Antifa, but now come from leading Democratic voices, and upscale progressive establishments, and even Congressional Democratic leadership.” In , Coughlin argued that “Neo-Marxists” are weaponizing racism as a form of political warfare and that media, social justice groups, and the Democratic Party are collaborating to equate all things “American” with “racism.”
Higgins and Coughlin also play into a common antisemitic trope that assigns an all-powerful, global cabal as the hidden force manipulating social justice movements.
“Conspiracies such as this one typically claim that an elite, shadowy cabal is working to undermine and destabilize the U.S. from within, in close partnership with one or more external enemies threatening to conquer from without,” said , PRA’s research analyst on White nationalism and antisemitism. “The idea that Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and [George] Soros’ Open Society Foundations are conspiring with Islamofascists to undermine Trump, the GOP, and America is an ungrounded conspiracy theory, that samples liberally from the grab-bag of antisemitic, anti-Black and Islamophobic rhetoric common across the far-right to craft a toxic and false meta-narrative.”
Under that meta-narrative, American Contingency is doing some weaponizing of its own, using Unconstrained Analytics’ theories to mobilize resentment against Black, Muslim, and antifascist activists, as well as anyone perceived to support a multi-racial feminist democracy.
In one of Glover’s first YouTube videos about American Contingency, on July 9, he that BLM fundraising proceeds were funneled directly into the Democratic Party, and compared the movement to both Marxists and the Islamic State. “When I started digging deep, I realized that Black Lives Matter is not only a racist movement, but it’s also founded in Marxism,” Glover said. “All these fucking losers, that’s all they want to do [be divisive]. The same thing happens with Al-Qaeda, with the Taliban… with ISIS, any extreme ideology.” (Digging deep, as Glover described his research, meant, “I didn’t just go out and say Black Lives Matter is racist. I actually looked, I communicated to people, including African American buddies of mine”)
In the same show, Glover described a scenario wherein a neighbor joins “Antifa,” and “when shit hits the fan, he shoots you in the face.” He continued, “That’s where I pick up an arm and combat you. Because I’m not going to allow my community, my city, my town, my state, my country, my friends, my family to be fucking destroyed because of your radical ideology. Herein lies American Contingency.”
In another YouTube post over the summer, Glover “If you’re an Antifa member or a BLM member, no offense but we are going to do what we have to do to protect ourselves,” in a clip that by mid-October was viewed over 180,000 times. He also declared BLM and Antifa insurgencies that would wreak havoc before the election. “We are going to see violence across our nation on Nov 2nd. Because, it’s a power vacuum allowing opportunist—name the rogue actor— whether your Marxist-based, anti-fascist based, or just racist based, there’s going to be those cells of insurgents and insurgencies—that’s what they are!”
On August 31, Glover explicitly antifascists the real “dictators, communists, socialists, fascists…and terrorists all wrapped in one.” And on September 10 Glover on an American Contingency livestream how he wished he could expel all BLM and antifascists from the country, saying, “I wish we had C17’s ferrying antifascist, ferrying BLM…[back to] Africa.”
Glover’s Instagram consists primarily of similar rhetoric, including reposting a meme that reads, “BLM founders share the same anti Police, anti US Government rhetoric and actions that were practiced by Asatta (sic) Shakur who was granted political asylum by Fidel Castro, a notorious Communist leader… BLM, INC is intentionally destroying the fabric of America for a Communist agenda and must be opposed!”
The Militia Question
Glover claims American Contingency is not a militia, and at times has denounced violent militia groups, including the recently-formed Boogaloo movement. “This isn’t a boogaloo boy movement, this isn’t a right-wing movement, this isn’t a go out and defend a building, a statue—this is not that movement,” he in one September 7 YouTube post. And since founding the group this July, he’s cast American Contingency as a “means to bring people together, in a social network, to have each other’s back in the worst case scenario.”
Yet his activity and rhetoric closely resembles other contemporary Patriot movement organizations. On behalf of American Contingency, Glover donated $6,000 to a legal defense fund for Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois militia-affiliated teenager who, this September, shot at BLM protesters in , . An American Contingency Instagram story showing the donated amount read, “For Kyle Rittenhouse and his legal fees, why? Because fuck your pandering and redefining our rights to defend ourselves against terrorists.” The group’s Instagram later posted an update on their Instagram story indicating that Glover was personally flying to Wisconsin to assist Rittenhouse’s family.
But rather than adopt the anti-government rhetoric of the Patriot movement of the 1990s, American Contingency displays loyalty to the government and the Trump administration, and veneration of the law enforcement members who attend weapons and tactical training sessions offered by Fieldcraft Survival.
Glover’s personal Instagram feed features multiple photos of him training law enforcement officers. In one , he writes, “I consider the men and women of Law Enforcement my brothers and sisters. They sacrifice themselves for the love of their community… I’ll drop everything anytime to help these men and women out.”
He is particularly sympathetic to police who serve in Democratic-led states, to have attended a California police academy graduation where he was impressed by cadets’ resilience in a state whose government and citizens are “more anti-police than ever before in history.” He also that some police officers are part of American Contingency’s network.
Glover and his network further amplify the notion that most U.S. media can’t be trusted, at one point that, CNN “is inciting violence and weaponizing human beings that are these young, dumb idiots that are on the streets thinking they’re fighting as freedom fighters.” They also spread disinformation with no basis in reality, such as Glover’s July that, “More African Americans were murdered during the Black Lives Matter protests, than were actually killed last year by white police officers.”
“I can tell you what, if my family was in my house,” Glover said in a YouTube soon after the incident, “you better believe I’d be the same guy standing on my front yard with an AR-15, and shoveling my family back into the house.”
Preparing for Insurrection
Glover American Contingency on July 4, 2020, explaining on , “I started an organization to stand prepared to defend life, property, and the CONSTITUTION of the United States against roque [sic] and violent organizations including Antifa, BLM, and any other insurgent movement intent on destroying our country.” But what do they actually do?
Since July, Glover claims that the group has invested in intelligence infrastructure and networking with the ultimate goal of creating an in-person network that can address “” threats around the 2020 election. He also claims to work with trained intelligence analysts to track and distribute briefings about events and activities associated with their list of domestic “threat forces.” What counts as “intel” to American Contingency is notices about events ranging from anti-racist panels, to Black Lives Matter and antifascist protests, to Kamala Harris’s campaign stops.
The national-level network encourages its members to organize locally. In northern Utah, for example, American Contingency has been holding weekly events since September 27. Supporters can also join for their local chapters, as well as , where they post resources on ammunition, security, surveillance techniques, open source intelligence, secure communication methods, and warnings about upcoming demonstrations.
While you can join American Contingency’s forums for free, most of their content is only accessible to paid subscribers for $5 a month. American Contingency is also building a vetted members-only network for those who are willing to submit personal information and pay $20 for a criminal background check.
As they grow a broad network of fellow travelers around the country through planned meet-ups in several different states, American Contingency is planning to build their own communications network as well, in the event that they are de-platformed. (In mid-October, Glover indicated that the group’s account had been .)
American Contingency has a well-established network to build from. Since 2016, Glover has been holding trainings through his private company, Fieldcraft Survival. His currently consists of eight men with extensive military experience in combat and urban warfare. Recent offerings—most of which seem to attract around 20-30 people but which Glover claims attract upwards of 100-300 per training—have included a outside of Fort Worth, Texas and a in Arkansas. The company’s upcoming “Winter Resilience Course,” which teaches survival skills for how to live off the land as well as long and short range weapons training, to attend.
A Fieldcraft Survival offshoot, Overland Training (also known as Fieldcraft Mobility) offers courses on navigation, off-road driving techniques, and survival skills. Their free October “event taught attendees how to quickly flee Democratic-run cities in the event of “riots” and civil unrest.
Blurring the line between Fieldcraft Survival and American Contingency, Glover directly advertises American Contingency gear and local meet-ups on Fieldcraft Survival’s website. Meanwhile, Kevin Owens, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who helps run Fieldcraft Survival, co-hosted an American Contingency in Great Falls, Montana, in October, alongside Glover.
Yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, Glover is adamant that American Contingency “is not a business plan,” as he said in a July YouTube . “This is a plan to accumulate people who are in fear, and living in anxiety because they don’t know what to do. They don’t know where to go, where to turn, what happens when things start burning to the ground.”
What that means in practice, for members, is preparation for what they fear will be the descent of Leftist mobs on their homes come November.
“A lot of left-wing groups, including a surge in gun sales, have been accumulating ammo, they have been accumulating stockpiles of weapons systems and they have been training, because for them, their D-Day is November 2, leading into the election day,” Glover said in an American Contingency YouTube in September. “If they go to war with each other, where should you be? I will tell you flatly, you should be standing as a shield and a barrier between evil and good. The good in your home…and the evil outside, which is running amuck.”
From the outside, it seems that American Contingency’s apocalyptic fantasies offer a neat solution to uncertain times: to address current anxieties with violence. While the network does advise members to avoid protests in order to decrease the likelihood of violence—they cast themselves as men who “just want to be left alone,” until that is no longer an option—their preparations for chaos seem more destined to make those threats come true.
As Fieldcraft Survival’s retired special forces experts train civilians and law enforcement in high level weapons and tactical techniques, American Contingency amplifies disinformation across U.S. communities already struggling through multiple crises, heightening fear and resentment against racial justice protesters, Muslims, Democrats, antifascists and the Left more broadly.
“Today,” PRA research analyst Ben Lorber noted, “one finds infinite variations on these themes championed by the GOP and far-right leaders, as well as militia, White nationalist and other far-right movements, who view themselves as the last line of defense for America, the West, and/or the White race against a flexible set of crafty, all-powerful and demonic Others.”
While American Contingency claims to be a moderate alternative to militias, their model and framework heaps fuel on an already polarized political climate, threatening to accelerate far-right and White supremacist violence surrounding the 2020 election.
 The American Contingency Instagram account was disabled in mid-October and reinstated as of October 28, 2020. @mike.a.glover, Instagram, October 14, 2020, americancontingency, Instagram, October 28, 2020, https://archive.vn/m73sV.
 American Contingency, “” American Contingency subscribers-only Locals forum, October 14, 2020.
 It appears that Glover believed that the election was on November 2 when recording this video.
 Richard Higgins worked at the National Security Council during the Trump administration and was fired after delivering a memo outlining the threat of “hard left” and “Islamist organizations” working with the “deep state” to President Trump in the spring of 2017. The memo was highlighted in an op-ed in by Monica Crowley, a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, who advanced an antisemitic conspiracy theory of her own, writing, “there is, in fact, a clandestine, unelected cabal willfully thwarting the Trump presidency.”
 @mike.a.glover, Instagram story, September 27, 2020.
 American Contingency, “AMCON VETTING UPDATE,” American Contingency subscribers-only Locals forum, October 14, 2020.