Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Will we have a 2nd Civil War? You tell me.

What are the chances of another civil war breaking out in this country in the next 10 to 15 years?

Women_at_the_Siege_of_the_Alcázar_in_Toledo_-_Google_Art_Project
Women_at_the_Siege_of_the_Alcázar_in_Toledo_-_Google_Art_Project

What are the chances of another civil war breaking out in this country in the next 10 to 15 years?

Definition: By “civil war,” I don’t necessarily mean set-piece battles and Pickett’s Charge. I do mean widespread political violence with parallel (though not necessarily connected) efforts to reject current political authority in certain legal domains or physical spaces.

I asked a group of smart national security thinkers that question the other day over my wild boar burger at Austin’s Dai Due. I was surprised that the range of answers ran from “five percent” to “95 percent.” I would say the consensus was about 35 percent.

What are the chances of another civil war breaking out in this country in the next 10 to 15 years?

Definition: By “civil war,” I don’t necessarily mean set-piece battles and Pickett’s Charge. I do mean widespread political violence with parallel (though not necessarily connected) efforts to reject current political authority in certain legal domains or physical spaces.

I asked a group of smart national security thinkers that question the other day over my wild boar burger at Austin’s Dai Due. I was surprised that the range of answers ran from “five percent” to “95 percent.” I would say the consensus was about 35 percent.

What do you think are the chances? Please email me or answer in the comments. I will try to keep track of the consensus number.

Speaking of the Civil War, Capt. Decimus Et Ultimus Barziza, nicknamed “Pinney,” was a Texan who fought for the Confederacy in Pickett’s Charge, during which he was taken captive.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1
Tag: War

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