Fascinating analysis by an anonymous "red team" planner detailing how a civil war between the left and right would play out (can't share link):
Former red team planner for the government here.
The United States Government has extensively studied the concept of second American Civil War (along the assumption that it will be left versus right. HMM. I WONDER WHY THEY MIGHT POSSIBLY DO THAT.)
Their conclusion is as follows: They don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning. The moment civil war is declared, the government loses. No scenario or outcome ends in their success. Period. It's just a matter of how long it takes.
A longer analysis will follow, but here are the salient points.
30% of the American population will actively revolt.
This alone is enormous and damning. Historically, you only need 10% of the population to actively participate in a rebellion to successfully overthrow the establishment: We only had 15% of the population actively attempting to throw out the British during the Revolutionary War; roughly 70% of what remained was neutral and simply stood by. By contrast, 30% of Americans in modern America would support a revolution to stop their own government if it happened tomorrow That's how discontent the people are and how much the people don't support the government.
The government would need infrastructure more than rebels would.
Already working with significant handicaps, the establishment would need electricity, access to the Internet, bridges, and airports to coordinate any active campaign against the rebellion. By contrast, the rebellion can work in the dark. Considering how easy it would be to sabotage US infrastructure, one of the first things the rebellion would do is collapse bridges, destroy, or seize power plants, and cover the Interstate in IEDs. This is relatively simple to accomplish, and it would inflict enormous damage on the establishment's ability to restore order. It would also cost an enormous amount of time and effort to fix any sabotage, because the establishment would need to provide military protection to any workers attempting to rebuild, which is a drain their active fighting personnel resources that they could not afford.
Taking America in a land war is almost impossible.
The United States is absolutely full of natural terrain chokepoints, making marching an army across it against armed resistance almost impossible, and it is large enough that no sustained air campaign would be possible. The Japanese Admiralty realized this themselves during WWII, which is why many of them were against attempting to invade. Also, by an interesting coincidence, most of those chokepoints are in hard conservative states, where the resistance would be strongest. The government would lack the ability to reclaim its own land by force, especially when the previous point about infrastructure is taken into account. President Lincoln, on the matter of potential European involvement in the first American Civil War, stated, "All the armies of Europe with a Bonaparte as a commander, could not take a drink from the Ohio."
A significant majority–between 55 and 70%–of the military would defect to the side of the citizens.
The problem with suppressing the people with a military, that literature and fantasy tend to overlook or ignore, is that the military is the people, too. In order to get any military to fight their own, you first have to convince them that it is necessary to do so–that it is justified. The Communists also ran into this problem, but they overcame it with psychological conditioning and creating a dog-eat-dog atmosphere within the military. The American government having actively recruited people who are patriotic, practical, brave, who have civilian families, and having reinforced those values throughout their training process, lacks the ability to convince the majority of their fighting force to engage against their own people. The moment a civil war breaks out, over half of the American military will defect to the rebel side. They will bring military gear with them and, more dangerous, military training. lt only takes one Navy Seal or Army Ranger to potentially train hundreds of civilians into a dangerous resistance force. They've done it before, in other nations. You can be damn sure they can do it on their own home turf.
But it gets better.
At least 10% of the people who defect to the civilian side would not do so openly, and they would not abandon their posts.
The moment a civil war starts, not only does America lose over half its military to the cause, but their own command structure will suddenly be infested with moles, plants, and "traitors." There would be almost no way of knowing who is actually on their side and who is supporting the uprising. Worse yet, if one of those people happens to be the captain of one of the nuclear submarines on standby in dark water, the civil war is already lost before it even gets started.
Russia has already publicly stated that it will support any rebellion in the United States against the established government and will send troops and aid to support the resistance. This is pretty self-explanatory. The last thing the government would need during a civil war is Russia breathing down its neck, but they would get exactly that. To supplement two-thirds of their own military leaving and civilians being trained by military elites, Spetsnaz would drop in and the resistance would get armor and air support from the only other nation on the planet that stands a decent chance of fighting us openly and winning.
The media fearmongers because it's profitable.
The media, for all of its paid shillery, would give coverage of everything the resistance does because it is immensely proﬁtable for them to do so. It would be guaranteed views. The only response the establishment would have would be to either allow it or order a total media blackout on the rebellion. Either way they lose, because both outcomes would awaken hundreds of thousands–if not millions–of people. We can only win on the media arena, and they can only lose. It's merely a matter of what they think will minimize their losses.
American civilians are armed and dangerous.
In spite of all of the illegal attempts from the political left to disarm the American people, there are approximately 89 guns for every 100 Americans. Furthermore, we are one of the top three arms manufacturers on the planet (the others being Russia and France). The establishment would be in trouble even if their opponents were unarmed, but any rebellion of the people in America is, by definition, an armed one. They could be easily armed further by stealing weapons or even outright being given them by sympathetic interests (unsurprisingly, an overwhelming number of weapons manufacturers on American soil are deeply traditionalist, and the odds are good that many minor–and at least one major–would side with the rebels).
The last resort Catch 22.
The United States has an enormous stockpile of munitions and explosives, up to and including a massive number of nuclear warheads. But they cannot use any of this in this Civil War. The establishment has to play a game of "we're the good guys" with the rest of the world while this is all taking place. There will be lines they cannot cross, because to do so would elevate the issue from being an internal matter to an international one. The moment they throw an ICBM at Ohio or drop a nuke on Austin, Texas, it stops being a civil war and becomes an international relief effort where the other militaries of the other first world nations come to save the American people from their own out-of-control and tyrannical government. The rebellion, meanwhile, is not nearly so limited re: the hypothetical nuclear submarine captain. The rebels could threaten–without bluffing–to nuke Washington DC, but the establishment has no equivalent threat they could return.
If there was a revolution in the US, the rest of the world would get involved, fast. Depending on the type of uprising, there is a large chance that it would not be a quick affair. It would be brutal, it would be bloody, and the US government could start a global scale war.
Here are the top ten issues that came up:
1) The US power grid can be taken down by a series of "surgical strikes" with the exception of the Texas grid. By surgical strikes, I mean a few marksmen (US army-tier Marksmen–the minimum requirement) hitting certain spots on the grid would fuck a lot of the military and government because they need the grid more than Bubba and his friends do. Additionally, while all government agencies have backup generators, they will be hard pressed dealing with the resultant looting and other madness that would come with power outages. This would effectively create another front for the military. It would also turn the people against the government more quickly and paralyze the government's propaganda machine. Worse still–the key points of the US power grid are publicly obtainable information, and not only are the points too many to be effectively guarded, they are not guarded anyway.
2) The estimated desertion rate in case of a civil war is 75% in the case of a left-wing president. 50% of that would be assumed to immediately betray the president. The remaining (treasonous) military would be fighting its own. Yet another front created in the war. Additionally, there is an assumed 25-50% desertion or outright betrayal rate in three letter government agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, ATC, TSA, etc.). Additionally, it is assumed that 5% of the initial 50% betrayers would stay in their job and become saboteurs. 10% of that 50% would contain key information that would be of critical danger to the US government. Of that 10%, 1% would be able to deliver that information to the US' foreign enemies. What you should get from this is that the second the United States government declares war on its own is the second it ceases to exist as the state we know it.
3) "Tea baggers," "right-wing extremists," and "oath keepers" which are considered untrained racists who aren't "good with a gun" often are A) veterans who now have more time to have fun at the range, sometimes more than some Army units or Marine units. In addition to previous military training, B) often camp and do other outdoor activities–more than many in the military do, as the focus has gone away from field exercises, and C) often have better equipment–outside of armor and heavy weapons–than the military. However, C) is kind of irrelevant because many of the places in which these people could hide would make the kind of war the US fights with the equipment they use pointless.
4) Outside influence is a huge problem. Russia has already stated they would back a Texas separatist movement, and right now we already have enough problem keeping Islam in check. The second the US has to fight in a "civil war" is the second it becomes a proxy war between NATO and whoever wants to mess with America. While America has amazing nuclear and air defense, if it comes to a civil war you have to assume that in a best cast scenario the US military is going to be operating at 50% capacity at best. Shit would go down. Hard. And fast. And if Russia–spoiler alert: one of the best militaries in the world at fighting in an urban environment–sent trainers and helpers to rebels, you can reliably bet that they would also possibly deliver weapons to them. So instead of fighting "Timmy TeaBagger," you are fighting "Timmy TeaBagger who is buddies with Vlad."
5) A civil war is not just the US versus the rebels. There will be looting. There will be rioting. Cities will burn. The National Guard cannot fight both the rebels and rioters in a city that would also cut off their supplies. Additionally, if you don't think that the rebels will send in instigators into the cities–or worse, stand alone actors (A Lone Wolf on steroids. Think Timothy McVeigh, but instead of one van they have a whole fleet of them. A good movie example would be Bane)–you would be mistaken. If the US government cannot even help its own people, why would its own people support the remaining (treasonous) military? Worse yet, if someone emptied out prisons (There are more prisoners in the US than there are people in the entire Chinese Army), you would have more crime than the police could ever handle.
6) Logistics and infrastructure in the US are crumbling and failing. Any war fought against a rebellion in the US would be a logistical nightmare, even before the rebels started going full Al-Qaida and putting IEDs in the road. A retired general who was contracting with us on the team said, "The only thing holding together the US' infrastructure is duct tape and the will of the Department of Transportation. And often enough, there isn't enough duct tape." Your most loyal cities to the US government, as we polled, are also the most logistically easy to cut off. NYC? San Fran? L.A.? D.C.? Baltimore? Most of them require crossing water to enter, from certain directions. Most of them have critical airports. Some of them have critical ocean ports. If anything happened to just TWO of the cities on the list, it would create a logistical clusterfuck.
7) Your "Johnny Reb" and "Timmy TeaBagger" states (i.e., "red" states) all have something most of your "oh so progressive," "Aren't we so European," "Oh my god, we are just like Sweden," blue states don't. Blues are mainly consumer states. Reds are producer states. Urban areas don't have farms. The second that shit goes down, realize a lot of those blue areas are likely to starve. In a civil war scenario, we predicted that at least 10,000 people would die of starvation if the war was not finished in a year. The numbers get worse after that. Or better, rather, for the country after the war.
8) The US has way too many choke points, and the government forces would often be on the wrong side of them. This ties into the logistical nightmare, but it also has to do with an odd phenomena. Liberals like to live near the ocean. Many of the dividers of the country, like the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi River, Appalachia, the Missouri River (fun fact: the biggest choke point for the US government is in Missouri) are red state areas. Sure, air travel is a thing, but a majority of the US government's needs would have to travel by ground. Even still, many of the major airports are outside of the city. Of course, the US would use military base air fields, but if civil war did break out… which bases would be safe? Which ones would have fallen to the deserters?
9) PR Nightmare. Every rebel killed on CNN would be spun as "the US government killed X Civilians today in a strike" on foreign news and pirate media not owned by the government. That is–as pointed out earlier–if the US media could even function in a civil war or uprising. Your "rebel scum" know that the main thing that holds together the US–nay life in the US as we know it–is the 24 hour news cycle and the media. The second it's gone, you are going to have urban anarchy. If you are from America, can you imagine a day without TV, newspaper, or Internet? Your average urban youth can't. If you don't think that isn't going to cause rioting, you must have a real high regard for how much restraint they have. Assume in a civil war that your ability to talk to the people is compromised. Also assume that in the case of a civil war that rebels may know how to monitor conversations like the US does, as there are manuals online on how to do so.
10) This one is either 1 or 10, depending on who is asked. The US will never nuke its own. The second it does, they have lost the civil war and other countries will come to "liberate" the US from its own "repressive regime." Additionally, if any general, minuteman, nuke tech, or nuke sub captain decided to side with the rebellion, the US government is immediately SOL.
In short: The second that a "civilian uprising" or "extremist group terrorist attack" turns into "civil war" is the second the US loses. As a result, you will never see a civil war. You will see Waco, you will see Bundy Ranch, you will see all sorts of militant group confrontations and maybe even some skirmishes. But the US government fears its own people way the fuck too much to ever start a civil war.
As an American, I want all other Americans here to remember this. The government is against you, almost openly now, but they also know that they cannot win if it comes to open war. We have a trump card they cannot match. If it comes to a fight, THEY WILL LOSE, so there are elements in the establishment who will do absolutely everything in their power to prevent it from coming to that. The US Government is not in support of its people, and the people are not in support of the government.
It is within the means of certain interests to start World War III simply as a distraction to avoid an American Civil War, because, by their reckoning, it is better to ruin other "lesser" nations like Syria and spill the blood of patriots than lose their own grip on power.
Very interesting portents. Seem realistic to you guys? Very interested in what those with former military experience think.