A trio of retired Army generals has warned in an op-ed for the Washington Post that the Pentagon must begin prepping now for another “insurrection” following the 2024 election that could lead to “civil war.”
And of course, they are singling out former President Donald Trump as the one who would cause it.
The op-ed, by retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, now a senior adviser to VoteVets; retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba; and retired Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson; begins this way:
In short: We are chilled to our bones at the thought of a coup succeeding next time.
One of our military’s strengths is that it draws from our diverse population. It is a collection of individuals, all with different beliefs and backgrounds. But without constant maintenance, the potential for a military breakdown mirroring societal or political breakdown is very real.
It should be noted that mostly the left is calling what happened Jan. 6 an “insurrection,” while others have called it a riot. Also, none of the 700-odd people arrested for allegedly committing crimes that day has been charged with anything related to “insurrection” or trying to stage a “coup.”
The writers continue: “The signs of potential turmoil in our armed forces are there. On Jan. 6, a disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military took part in the attack on the Capitol. More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the attacks had a service record. A group of 124 retired military officials, under the name ‘Flag Officers 4 America,’ released a letter echoing Donald Trump’s false attacks on the legitimacy of our elections.
The retired generals went on to lament Brig. Gen. Thomas Mancino, the commanding general of the Oklahoma National Guard, for refusing to follow President Biden’s order to mandate all armed forces members get a COVID-19 vaccine. “Mancino claimed that while the Oklahoma Guard is not federally mobilized, his commander in chief is the Republican governor of the state, not the president,” they wrote — which is true, by the way, and the U.S.Supreme Court has affirmed as much.
“The potential for a total breakdown of the chain of command along partisan lines — from the top of the chain to squad level — is significant should another insurrection occur. The idea of rogue units organizing among themselves to support the ‘rightful’ commander in chief cannot be dismissed,” the generals wrote, before going on to assume that Trump will be the troublemaker in 2024 if he runs.
Imagine competing commanders in chief — a newly reelected Biden giving orders, versus Trump (or another Trumpian figure) issuing orders as the head of a shadow government. Worse, imagine politicians at the state and federal levels illegally installing a losing candidate as president,” the generals noted, without acknowledging that there was never any real danger after the November election was decided in Biden’s favor that the military would splinter and not follow his orders.
The generals add:
All service members take an oath to protect the U.S. Constitution. But in a contested election, with loyalties split, some might follow orders from the rightful commander in chief, while others might follow the Trumpian loser. Arms might not be secured depending on who was overseeing them. Under such a scenario, it is not outlandish to say a military breakdown could lead to civil war.
In this context, with our military hobbled and divided, U.S. security would be crippled. Any one of our enemies could take advantage by launching an all-out assault on our assets or our allies. …
With the country still as divided as ever, we must take steps to prepare for the worst.
Using the term “insurrection” again, the generals outlined what the Pentagon must do to prevent a recurrence of Jan. 6.
“First, everything must be done to prevent another insurrection. Not a single leader who inspired it has been held to account. Our elected officials and those who enforce the law — including the Justice Department, the House select committee and the whole of Congress — must show more urgency,” they wrote, adding that the Defense Department can’t wait on the civilian leadership to act.
“The Pentagon should immediately order a civics review for all members — uniformed and civilian — on the Constitution and electoral integrity,” they said, to ensure members know who to take lawful orders from.
They also recommended spying on service members: “In addition, all military branches must undertake more intensive intelligence work at all installations. The goal should be to identify, isolate and remove potential mutineers; guard against efforts by propagandists who use misinformation to subvert the chain of command; and understand how that and other misinformation spreads across the ranks after it is introduced by propagandists.”