27 December 2005

No Coup Necessary

Reading Kung Fu Monkey today, I found John's depressingly funny post Al-Quaker, in which he spells out a useful heuristic:
Good general rule: as soon as you have the military doing anything non-military, you have screwed up.
This reminds me of the Parameters (journal of the Army War College) paper I told some of you BARBARians I would post a link to, but apparently never got around to it. So, for your masochistic reading enjoyment, here it is: The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012. John's rule reminds me of this because one of Lt.Col. Dunlap's main points in that paper was that when the military begins doing non-military jobs (policing, drug interdiction, reconstruction, etc.), something has gone seriously awry and it will only lead to more serious problems down the road. What's particularly depressing upon re-reading that paper after the domestic spying (secret police by any other name) revelations is that the dystopia depicted (as the author emphasizes, merely a literary device) requires no military coup; as Paul Bigioni notes (via Buck at Bad Attitudes), we're well on our way there, led, as Germany and Italy were, by business, not the military.

Small reminder on the paper: it was written in 13 years ago, so any dates later than 1992 mentioned in it are extrapolations or refer to plans/suggestions/etc., not statements of fact (i.e., not all of them came to pass or didn't happen at the time stated).

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