Melancholy Reunion: A Report from the Future on the Collapse of Civil-Military Relations in the United States [open pdf - 311KB]
"Melancholy Reunion" picks up where "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012" left off. The year is now 2017, and two years have elapsed since the countercoup that returned the U.S. government to civilian control. The United States has suffered not only defeats in the High-Tech War of 2007 and the Second Gulf War of 2010, but also a military coup in 2012. That coup, engineered by a highly politicized officer corps that blamed these bloody losses on "incompetent" civilian leaders, was initially welcomed by a public exasperated with elected government. Only a few years of repressive military rule had passed, however, before the countercoup in 2015. The chastened electorate placed the thoroughly disgraced armed forces under draconian civilian control. The speaker in this essay addresses the twentieth reunion of the Air University classes of 1997, a rather melancholy event under the circumstances. He examines civil-military relations issues emerging in the 1996-1997 time frame that, with the benefit of twenty-first century hindsight, foretold the coming catastrophes.
INSS Occasional Paper 11