Foreign Policy: Why is the US military not ready for a civil war?

The unimaginable has become a reality in the United States; Rogue gangs desecrate the US Capitol, tanks roam the streets of Washington, battles between protesters, militias and armed rebels trying to kidnap elected rulers, and doubts about the peaceful transfer of power. If you read about this in another country, you think that a civil war has already begun.

This is how the Toronto novelist Stephen Markey began his article in Foreign Policy magazine (Foreign Policy) of the United States, pointing to a basic fact that the United States may be on the brink of such a war now, and that Americans must now take this assumption seriously, not only as a political warning, but as a potential military scenario and impending disaster as well.

The writer pointed out that – following the election of former President Donald Trump – a group of national security experts was asked to assess the chances of a civil war erupting over the next 10 to 15 years, and experts agreed that the rate of this is 35%. A 2019 Georgetown University poll asked registered voters how close the country was to “the brink of civil war,” and their average response on a scale of zero to 100 was 67.23, nearly two-thirds.

Markey believes that there are many reasons to trust this assessment, which is that the United States – in its current form – represents a typical case of a country on the brink of civil conflict; Hyper-partisanship has overwhelmed the entire system, making every political decision – at best – the will of only half the country.

The state has no effective means of addressing, pacifying, or even slowing political violence, and while there is still room for negotiation, policymakers should, at the very least, clarify the bureaucratic quagmire that inevitably confronts any future use of military force on US soil.

The Oath Keepers, one of the largest anti-government militias, effectively infiltrated the police forces and the Republican Party. Elected officials have opened the doors to subversives desecrating their legislatures. It is now normal for politicians to call for violence against their other political opponents, and it is only a matter of time before they use weapons.

The writer commented on these events that it takes only a spark to break out, and for the US administration, the outbreak of political violence on a large scale within the country’s borders would necessarily become a military operation. American militias are dangerous enough that neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security will be enough to deal with them; In this case, only the US military is capable of dealing with the rebel forces.

Accordingly, according to the writer, there will be legal and bureaucratic problems, and these problems – in turn – will quickly take a military character, and the US military is not culturally or institutionally designed to be a suitable local effective front.

The writer noted that the 60-year experience of the United States taught it the same lesson about counterinsurgency; Which is that if you lose, you lose, and if you win, you lose too. For decades, the US military has been ineffective against insurgencies in foreign countries, so why would it be better at home?

The author concludes that the state does not have an effective means to address, pacify, or even slow down political violence. While there is still room for negotiation, policymakers should, at the very least, make clear the bureaucratic quagmire that inevitably faces any use of military force on US soil in the future, and for the time being, any attempt by the military to do so will only lead to exacerbate underlying tensions.

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