Former CENTCOM Analyst: In A Civil War, Many In The Military May Side With Trump
If President Donald Trump’s warning that his impeachment would fracture the nation and result in a Civil-War like conflict, a sizeable portion of the U.S. military might end up on his side.
This is according to Patricia Ravalgi, a former Red Team Analyst and Intelligence Planner at U.S. Central Command. In a piece for The Daily Beast, Ravalgi wrote that her experience at CENTCOM revealed Trump’s cult-like following to be present among America’s military to a surprising degree — in part fueled by many military members’ disdain for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Civil wars “are very often accompanied by martial law and resolved by military intervention,” Ravalgi wrote, wondering aloud if this is what the president envisions and where America’s armed forces would stand in such a situation.
“A view from the inside indicates the armed forces are as divided as the rest of the country—and divided is a dangerous place for the U.S. military to find itself,” she warned.
Ravalgi spent nearly two decades in Washington, holding “ intelligence jobs in Congress, at the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (focusing on counterterrorism and counterintelligence)” and eventually moved on to CENTCOM, where she remained for 12 years.
Together with recent polling — which shows Trump’s approval rating to be higher among veterans than the civilian population — Ravalgi said her experience shows that “support for Donald Trump among a large segment of the U.S. military is downright cult-like.”
Despite Trump’s open disdain for military generals during the 2016 election, his attacks on a Gold Star family, and nastiness toward the late Senator John McCain, many in the military are fired up by the president’s words — not offended.
Right-wing conspiracy theories have also found their way into the military’s ranks, she said.
Highly intelligent active duty and retired military officers with outstanding service records (not “deplorables”) could be heard at CENTCOM repeating far-right-wing conspiracy theories like: “Hillary murdered a lot of people” and “Obama is a Kenyan Black Muslim,” “The FBI and the CIA are corrupt,” “The media is fake news.”
It was Trump’s smearing of Clinton and Obama that granted him inroads into the hearts and minds of many in the military, Ravalgi wrote: “The FBI couldn’t be trusted any longer after letting “Crooked Hillary” off the hook, so anything the FBI and CIA revealed about Russian interference in the 2016 election automatically lacked any credibility. None of it was believed.”
There were legitimate reasons to criticize Obama’s foreign policy, Ravalgi said, but this disdain for Trump’s predecessor was driven more by right-wing talking points and conspiracy theories than actual policy complaints.
And it is this visceral hate for Obama, Clinton and the Democrats in general that makes Ravalgi question just how many members of the armed forces would side with Trump should a civil war break out at home.
The belief that there is indeed a coup being orchestrated against President Trump is a weapon Trump has in his arsenal, depending how far down the road to authoritarianism he decides to go. But Trump would need to deeply fracture the military first, and that is something to watch for. Most members of the armed forces are honorable, patriotic Americans who would never take part in such a scheme, despite their support for Trump. But a significant portion just might.