Three retired U.S. generals also call on Pentagon to conduct “war games” to prevent a coup attempt after 2024 elections.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Under former president Donald Trump, America fell off its perch as a full democracy and another civil war is no longer unthinkable, a CIA adviser and three former U.S. generals separately said, according to the Washington Post Monday.
Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, is a member of the intelligence agency’s Political Instability Task Force, which tries to predict which countries are in danger of sliding into violent internal conflict.
In her book “How Civil Wars Start” that comes out next month, she writes, “If you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — the same way you’d look at events in Ukraine or the Ivory Coast or Venezuela — you would go down a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely. And what you would find is that the United States, a democracy founded more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory.”
There are five stages that the CIA has identified that a country generally passes through before warfare begins, and Walter contends that the United States has already experienced the first two – “pre-insurgency” and “incipient conflict.”
The professor adds that according to the Center for Systemic Peace, which analyzes political behavior in most countries and reports on their problems and possibility of state failure, the U.S. slid from its top mark of +10 as a democracy under Trump to only +5. This makes the U.S. an “anocracy,” in the nebulous area between a democracy and an autocracy.
A drop that precipitous in such a short time also raises the risk of civil war, she writes.
“A country standing on this threshold — as America is now, at +5 — can easily be pushed toward conflict through a combination of bad governance and increasingly undemocratic measures that further weaken its institutions.”
Three top former American army generals seemingly agree with Walter’s assessment, and sounded the warning in a letter to the Pentagon that emphasized the events of January 6, when several hundred Trump supporters rushed the Capitol in protest of the election results, which the president had claimed were rigged when he lost.
Two retired major-generals, Paul Eaton and Antonio Taguba, and a brigadier-general, Steven Anderson, wrote, “The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines — from the top of the chain to squad level — is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the ‘rightful’ commander in chief cannot be dismissed.”
The idea that military personnel could lead a possible coup was not farfetched considering that more than a tenth of the over 700 citizens charged in the riot so far had served in the armed forces, they wrote.
In their opinion, the Pentagon should not only go on an education blitz to inculcate the principle of electoral integrity in all service members. They also urged the army to get rid of “potential mutineers” and even run “war games” to practice what to do in case of a similar set of events following another close election in 2024.