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A military coup would make it possible to introduce conscription and resource rationing. There would be many hold-outs and there might even be organised resistance. But the military would own most of the population of a continent, which would be difficult to argue with - even with the inevitable corrupt mismanagement and resource shortages.

The problem would be more about picking a victim that the war machine could pick a fight with and win. The life expectancy of the result would depend entirely on the degree of psychosis of the leader.

With a weak leader, you get an ever-shortening cycle of coup, counter-coup and shrinkage as factions fight for supremacy. With a strong leader you get an attack on a likely outside target.

With solid propaganda and a secret police force - both of which already exist - you get something that looks like North Korea but bigger, more belligerent, and not as long-lived.

Currently the militia people believe they're all that, but the reality is that a military force doesn't even need to start shooting to beat them. At best they can be left holed up in their enclaves, provided they don't make too much noise. At worst they can be starved out with gas and food rationing.

Since most of them have no clue about organised farming, and the ones that do are vulnerable from the air, they wouldn't last more than a year or two at most.

I'd be more worried about street gangs in the big cities than militia people. They're well-organised and psychotically vicious, and they'd be happy to move into any power vacuum left by existing authority.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 21st, 2010 at 07:45:15 PM EST
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