A political science professor who serves on a committee advising the CIA on when countries might slide into civil war amid factors such as undemocratic tendencies, he identified the United States as the farthest many could imagine.
“We are closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,” said Dr. Barbara Walter, who serves on the Task Force on Political Instability, which guides intelligence analysts around countries that may be on the brink of conflict.
The University of California, San Diego academic, who has studied hotspots like Syria and helps run a blog on political violence, said the United States is meeting many signs that are part of the insurgency’s path.
In her forthcoming book, How Civil Wars Begin, she writes: “No one wants to believe that their beloved democracy is in decline or heading toward war.”
A Stockholm-based Democratic Institute described Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on the validity of the 2020 election results as a “historic turning point” that “undermined fundamental confidence in the electoral process.”
If you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — in the same way you look at events in Ukraine, Ivory Coast, or Venezuela — you would go on a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that lead to civil war. likely that. And what you will find is that the United States, a democracy that was established more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory,” she wrote, according to the Washington Post.
It concludes that the United States has gone through both “pre-insurgency” and “initial conflict” phases—without deciding whether the January 6 Capitol riots formed part of the “open rebellion” phase.
It also ranks the US as “anocracy” – a category between democracy and absolutism, after a factorial slide in its criteria over the four years of the Trump administration – with the US dropping from a score of 10 to a score. from 5.
“We are closer to the Civil War than any of us would like to believe,” said Dr. Barbara Walter of the University of California, San Diego.
This put the nation far behind its traditional peers.
“We are no longer the oldest continuing democracy in the world,” Walter says. “This honor is now held by Switzerland, followed by New Zealand, then Canada. We are no longer a peer to countries like Canada, Costa Rica and Japan, which are all rated +10 on the Polity Index.”
Three retired US generals issued their own warning Friday, fearing a potential split in the military in civil war if there is a coup attempt after 2024.
They cited “signs of potential disruption in our armed forces,” and noted that a “disturbing number” of active-duty members of the military took part in the Capitol riots, accounting for more than 1 in 10 people charged.
Former Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, former Brigadier General Stephen Anderson and former Army Major Antonio Taguba articulated their concerns in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.
Walter wrote that the United States had “entered a very dangerous territory” in the factors associated with the Civil War
Demonstrators gather at Lafayette Square Park outside the White House on May 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. Across the country, protests erupted after the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while in police custody.
President Joe Biden took office amid his predecessor’s repeated allegations that the election was ‘rigged’ and allegations of widespread fraud in his victory in the 7 million popular vote.
Walter describes the United States as “anocracy” – a category between democracy and absolutism
The possibility of a complete breakdown of the chain of command along party lines – from the top of the chain to the division level – is significant in the event of another insurgency. The idea of organizing rogue units among themselves to support the “legitimate” commander in chief cannot be rejected.
He added, ‘As we approach the first anniversary of the deadly uprising in the US Capitol, all of us – former senior military officials – are increasingly concerned about the fallout from the 2024 presidential election and the potential for deadly chaos within our military. , which would put all Americans in grave danger,” the generals wrote.
They added, “We were very cold at the thought of a successful coup next time.”
In November, the US appeared on a list of “declining democracies” compiled by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
According to the report, “The United States, the bastion of global democracy, has fallen victim to the same authoritarian tendencies, and has been subjected to a large number of steps on the democratic scale.”
She called Trump’s repeated attacks on the validity of the 2020 election results as a “historic turning point” that “undermined fundamental confidence in the electoral process” that precipitated the riots and had “spillover effects, including in Brazil, Mexico, Myanmar and Peru, among others.”
Representative Jimmy Raskin (D-MD), who serves on the Jan. 6 select committee, describes in a new profile in The New Yorker, Trump’s role last year as initiating a “self-coup.”
The scariest of the three episodes is Inside Coup. I use that word, ‘coup,’ knowing that it’s not the usual political language,” he said. A coup usually happens against Elected president. This was a president moving against the vice president — it was, as political scientists call it, a “self-coup,” he said of Trump’s efforts to get Mike Pence not to count votes from states Trump was claiming fraud. .