Turkey’s response to the recent coup attempt has been particularly brutal. Over 200 are dead and 45,000 in jail, and many will likely be executed and buried in traitor cemeteries. A YouGov poll indicated that a surprising number of people would see themselves supporting a military coup in the United States, due to more trust in military officers than government officials. With a large professional military and similar government setup, Turkey isn’t unlike the United States.
But a coup is unlikely. Sorry YouGov pollers.
First, our military doesn’t have the strong sense of personal loyalty to its admirals and generals. After World War Two, we separated military branches and eventually split our forces into Combatant Commands, which meant the President had multiple four-star generals and admirals reporting to him. Fragmenting the military means it is unlikely that any particular general will have sway over a majority of forces.
Plus, our elected officials in Congress keep our officer corps apolitical, first by banning military members from running for office or actively campaigning. Congress also owns the overwhelming number of nominations to service academies, which ensures that the President cannot build an officer corps loyal only to him.
Most importantly, we lack a domestic distraction. Turkey can easily blame problems on the Kurds, which you will see more of post-coup attempt. We don’t have a version of Kurdistan in the United States (although the southern border may feel like that at times).
No matter who wins in November, don’t expect a coup.
The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.
NG36B is a military blogger. If you liked this post, and you like Star Wars, you should check out why Darth Vader is an Operational Genius.
UPDATE DTG: amusing Irony via Instapundit:
When asked whom they would vote for during the 2016 campaign, 78% of servicemembers picked “other.” Nearly all then chose “military coup” from a list of options that also included Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, Jill Stein and “a massive earthquake that wipes out life in North America.”
Yeah parody is fun.
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