This article discusses the origins of a fictionalized essay which tells the story, looking back from 20 years in the future, of how trends led to a military coup in the United States in the year 2012. The author proposes advice within his fictional scenario that could have prevented the situation from occurring: "Clearly, the curious tapestry of military authoritarianism and combat ineffectiveness that we see today was not yet woven in 1992. But the threads were there. Knowing what I know now, here's the advice I would have given the War College Class of 1992 had I been their graduation speaker: Demand that the armed forces focus exclusively on indisputably military duties; acknowledge that national security does have economic, social, educational, and environmental dimensions, but insist that this doesn't necessarily mean the problems in those areas are the responsibility of the military to correct; readily cede the budgetary resources to those agencies whose business it is to address the non-military issues the armed forces are presently asked to fix; divest the defense budget of perception-skewing expenses; continue to press for the elimination of superfluous, resource-draining Guard and Reserve unites; educate the public to the sophisticated training requirements occasioned by the complexities of modern warfare; resist unification of the services not only on operational grounds, but also because unification would be inimical to the checks and balances that underpin democratic government; assure that officer accessions from the service academies correspond with overall force reductions (but maintain separate service academies) and keep ROTC on a wide diversity of campuses; orient recruiting resources and campaigns toward ensuring that all echelons of society are represented in the military, without compromising standards. Accept that this kind of recruiting may increase costs. It's worth it; [and] work to moderate the base-as-an-island syndrome by providing improved incentives for military members and families to assimilate into civilian communities."
U.S. Army War College, Parameters: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/
Parameters: United States Army War College Quarterly (Winter 1992-93), v.22, p.2-20