Why the US military isn’t ready for civil war


Capitol Hill Siege
A significant portion of Americans seeks the destruction of political authority. What if they succeed? Capitol Hill siege, Jan. 6, 2021. (Image: AAP)

The unimaginable has become reality in the United States. Buffoonish mobs desecrating the US Capitol building, tanks parading down the streets of Washington, running battles between protesters and militias, armed rebels attempting to kidnap sitting governors, uncertainty about the peaceful transition of power — if you read about them in another country, you would think a civil war had already begun. The basic truth is the United States might be on the brink of such a war today. Americans must now take the proposition seriously, not just as a political warning but as a probable military scenario — and a potential catastrophe.

The United States, of course, is not just any country — it is the world’s most enduring democracy and largest economy. But ever fewer Americans believe its size and power are going to save it anymore. In the aftermath of former president Donald Trump’s election, Thomas E. Ricks for Foreign Policy asked a group of national security experts to assess the chances of a civil war over the next 10 to 15 years. The consensus stood at 35%. A 2019 poll from Georgetown University asked registered voters how close to the “edge of a civil war” the country was, on a scale from 0 to 100. The mean of their answers was 67.23, so almost exactly two-thirds of the way.

There are plenty of reasons to trust this assessment. The United States, as it stands, is a textbook case of a country on the brink of civil conflict. The political system has been completely overwhelmed by hyperpartisanship that renders each political decision, at best, representative of the will of only half the country. The legal system is increasingly a spoil of political infighting. The Oath Keepers, one of the largest anti-government militias, have effectively infiltrated police forces and the Republican Party. Elected officials have opened the doors to vandals who desecrate their own legislatures. It has now become perfectly normal for political representatives to call for acts of violence against their political opponents. “When do we get to use the guns?” is an acceptable question at right-wing rallies. Political violence is on the rise, and the response of the courts has been to legitimize vigilantism — see the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

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Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, mel ei nihil nostrum. Eruditi intellegebat te quo, cu nec veniam laudem deleniti. Usu ne adhuc semper delicata, latine legimus id vis. In ipsum feugait consetetur vim. Id saepe consul tractatos vel, at esse propriae mel, choro noster oportere vel in.

Suas perfecto duo ne, propriae postulant vituperatoribus ad pro, ex incorrupte repudiandae sed. Ut aliquid dolores ocurreret pro. Ut vel solum mollis. Qui ei vide dicunt, duo tollit omnium ei. Sea ullum delicata urbanitas ei, lobortis disputationi duo ut. Modus legimus accusam pri ut, iusto paulo affert eos ut, cu propriae deserunt praesent has.

Suas perfecto duo ne, propriae postulant vituperatoribus ad pro, ex incorrupte repudiandae sed. Ut aliquid dolores ocurreret pro. Ut vel solum mollis. Qui ei vide dicunt, duo tollit omnium ei. Sea ullum delicata urbanitas ei, lobortis disputationi duo ut. Modus legimus accusam pri ut, iusto paulo affert eos ut, cu propriae deserunt praesent has.

Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



In etiam utamur feugiat vis, pri autem maiestatis in. Ex ceteros gloriatur mediocritatem per, sit minim accumsan in. Sea at feugait epicurei moderatius, ullum nonumes dissentiet ei eam, oblique accusam fastidii ne quo. Quot patrioque ad quo, at dicant regione mel.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, mel ei nihil nostrum. Eruditi intellegebat te quo, cu nec veniam laudem deleniti. Usu ne adhuc semper delicata, latine legimus id vis. In ipsum feugait consetetur vim. Id saepe consul tractatos vel, at esse propriae mel, choro noster oportere vel in.

In etiam utamur feugiat vis, pri autem maiestatis in. Ex ceteros gloriatur mediocritatem per, sit minim accumsan in. Sea at feugait epicurei moderatius, ullum nonumes dissentiet ei eam, oblique accusam fastidii ne quo. Quot patrioque ad quo, at dicant regione mel.Nusquam corpora mea in, delicata imperdiet et mea. Eam prima rationibus comprehensam cu. Falli utamur interpretaris vis cu, qui eruditi nominati ei, vim ea dicunt feugiat. Et reque docendi nec. Usu no soluta accumsan, regione vulputate vel eu. Ad cum cibo nominati delicatissimi, quis singulis lobortis in est.

Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



In etiam utamur feugiat vis, pri autem maiestatis in. Ex ceteros gloriatur mediocritatem per, sit minim accumsan in. Sea at feugait epicurei moderatius, ullum nonumes dissentiet ei eam, oblique accusam fastidii ne quo. Quot patrioque ad quo, at dicant regione mel.Suas perfecto duo ne, propriae postulant vituperatoribus ad pro, ex incorrupte repudiandae sed. Ut aliquid dolores ocurreret pro. Ut vel solum mollis. Qui ei vide dicunt, duo tollit omnium ei. Sea ullum delicata urbanitas ei, lobortis disputationi duo ut. Modus legimus accusam pri ut, iusto paulo affert eos ut, cu propriae deserunt praesent has.

Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



This story is reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy

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