Moderator at the Munitions Annex2y
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If every US gun-owning civilians started rebelling against the government for some reason, how hard would it be for the US military to stop them?
With all due respect, good sir, I do suspect that you’ve framed this question incorrectly. Instead of saying:
“If every US gun-owning civilians started rebelling against the government for some reason, how hard would it be for the US military to stop them?
You should have asked this:
If every US gun-owning civilians started rebelling against the government for some reason, how long would the government last?
Why would I say this? After all, doesn’t just about every defense study from the post-war era rank the U.S. Military as one of the most powerful armed forces in the world? The answer to this question, you see, is really simple.
There are 100 million gun owners and at most 3 million members of the military and police.
Even if we round up the numbers of police and military to 5 million, it would still be quite a stretch to see them fighting a well-armed group that is nearly 20 times as large as they are. This is despite ignoring several facts that don’t look good for the military:
Supply chains largely dependent on civilians
If the reason for civil war is gun confiscation, it’s highly unlikely that the military, being mainly conservative, will support war against it’s own citizens
Continous failures throughout history to successfully defeat insurgencies. Let’s look at three examples to prove my point:
- Vietnam: The US entered a poor, devastated, war-torn nation. Should have been an easy fight, right? Wrong. After all those years, they had to pack up and leave – and we all know the result
- Iraq 2.0: They should have taken this one easily – flat terrain, overwhelming firepower, willing politicians, and poorly-trained and led opponents. Yet after 20 years, there has been no result.
- Afghanistan: Same as the last two. A nation of illiterate goat-herders pushed back the world’s strongest fighting force. This was, of course, only a short while after they kicked out the Soviets.
None of these three examples looks good for the US. However, it gets worse. American gun owners are better equipped, educated, and funded than any of Afghanistan, Vietnam, or Iraq ever were. Not only are American gun owners well equipped, but they are well led too, with 18.2 million veterans – many of whom are likely experienced with asymmetric warfare from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. They understand the doctrines and policies set in place to combat an insurgency – and how to work around said doctrines.
Ignoring all these drawbacks that the military faces, and negating any pragmatic and moral argument and simplifying this motion down to a question of numbers, the military still does not win. Under any circumstances. Sorry.
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All politicians and bureaucrats need to run out in front of the parade and pretend to be leading. If the parade turns on them, then they are toast.
‘If a battle can’t be won, don’t fight it,’ cautioned Sun Tzu, the revered Chinese warrior from 544-496 BC ”The Art of War’
“Let us hope our weapons are never needed – but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.” – Edward Abbey
“…if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
— Churchill, The Second World War, vol. 1, The Gathering Storm (London: Cassell, 1948, 272, on the British guarantee to Poland in Spring 1939.)