posted on Sep, 22 2006 @ 01:21 PM
Originally posted by SourGrapes
This is so far-fetched, it's silly. Let's not forget that the U.S. has five branches of military
Despite interservice rivalry, democracies in general allow levels of cohesion in the military that most other forms of government would never allow.
When your generals and their forces have high levels of contact and cooperative experience the possibility of a coup is increased. This is why
oppressive regimes tend to fragment their chains of command and rely almost entirely on a small "politically reliable" force with far better
equipment than the rank and file. The Republican Guard is a textbook example.
The peripheral effects of the system (apart from enhanced war fighting ability) are 1. That you have to depend on the virtue of the military to stave
off a coup (which for most intents and purposes is a safe bet in America at this time, although it could get ugly in certain extreme scenarios).
2. Your military could hypothetically be a viable check on the government if there were an "auto-coup" against the constitution by the elected
government (which is basically what the Nazis did).
The first scenario in which I could imagine a coup is in the event of an "auto-coup" by the government. Our military is unlikely to stand idly by
because it is generally a principled organization. They will make a judgement call about the legitimacy of whoever is giving their orders and either
follow those orders or seek orders from what they consider to be a legitimate source.
Just for example, let's suppose that the state of New York nullifies the Patriot Act and prevents all entities in its jurisdiction from cooperating
with federal search warrants and/or wiretaps, so the president orders the Marines to forcibly disband New York state and local law enforcement
agencies and impose martial law. The New York National Guard is called up and warns that it will engage federal forces if they enter the state.
One of two or three things will happen.
1. The Marines will attack.
2. The Marines (via their commanders) will go straight to congress or the SCOTUS for new orders.
3. The Marines will move against the president and federal agencies and prepare to install a new government.
The second scenario is that only a portion of the military makes a move, probably not in the interest of ruling but in the interest of fixing what
they see as a crisis and then returning to constitutional rule. That scenario could wear a thousand faces of course and I won't go into them all.