American Coup D'etat? Nope. But Erosion…?

Harper’s got together a quartet of military experts to examine the eternal question: Could it happen here?

UTTWAK: What about a situation in which the military was ordered to start a war that it did not believe could be won?…
BACEVICH: The military would leak it to the Washington Post, and the war would never happen.

BACEVICH: Here we don’t need to conjure up hypothetical scenarios of the president deploying troops, etc. We have a president who created a program that directs the National Security Agency, which is part of the military, to engage in domestic eavesdropping.

LUTTWAK: I don’t know if this would be called a coup.

KOHN: Because it’s so incremental?

LUTTWAK: It’s more like an erosion. The president is usurping additional powers. Although what’s interesting is that the president’s usurpation of this particular power was entirely unnecessary.

Nice articulation of various incidents in US History where the Executive, Congress and the military are at a crossroads.

Andrew Bacevich is the author of the stunning The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War is excellent and just came out in paperback. I’m reading it again. (Recommended to me by Republic of T)


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