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What would civil war in the U.S. look like?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What would a present day U.S. civil war look like?

Low intensity conflict (like the troubles or Years of Lead)
114
70%
States vs other States
29
18%
Other (state in response)
21
13%
 
Total votes : 164

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Wynnemac
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What would civil war in the U.S. look like?

Postby Wynnemac » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:10 pm

With recent developments, many people are saying that the U.S. has potential to descend into civil war. How would this happen?

I've seen people suggest it would occur due to states attempting to secede, or possibly due to the ongoing racial unrest.

I feel as though riots, such as the ones in 2020, will spark a violent response and it will end in some kind of asymmetric, low-intensity conflict, not dissimilar to the troubles or the Years of Lead in Italy.

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Free Algerstonia
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Postby Free Algerstonia » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:11 pm

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Khuzkia
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Postby Khuzkia » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:18 pm

It would probably be a low-intensity conflict, with paramilitary groups fighting both each other and the US government. Even then it probably wouldn't be considered a bona fide "civil war", especially when compared to the first one.

Overall, I doubt any of these domestic paramilitary groups would pose a major threat to the US government. Most of them would probably be wiped out within a short period, considering the US government's track record with incidents like this.
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Torrocca
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Postby Torrocca » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:20 pm

Much more likely to be a general insurgency made up of numerous factions this time around, IMO. Doubtful a state's governing body's gonna try and tango with the federal government, especially with nuclear armaments backing it, but stranger things have happened.
Last edited by Torrocca on Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vavlar
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Founded: Jan 11, 2022
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Vavlar » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:23 pm

Multiple factions, with most being under a leftist side or right wing side. All others that are similar in ideology but not part of these factions would rejected and those loyal to the US government and not politics would be far and few and crushed.

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Morozistan
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Morozistan » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:24 pm

It would probably be various political factions fighting amongst each other, until the whole country is either shattered or one faction destroys the others.
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Page
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Postby Page » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:44 pm

I don't see a full scale civil war as a realistic prospect, but I think America might soon come into its own Years of Lead like Italy once had.
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Veraguas
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Postby Veraguas » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:49 pm

I don't know, but if current trends are any indication, we may soon find out. I hope not, though.
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Gepanzerberg
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Gepanzerberg » Sun Sep 18, 2022 12:56 pm

Page wrote:I don't see a full scale civil war as a realistic prospect, but I think America might soon come into its own Years of Lead like Italy once had.


It might not be as impactful as the Years of Lead, since the US government has taken a pretty hardline stance against domestic terrorists since the 90s (which I don't see changing anytime soon). Domestic terrorist groups and paramilitaries are also becoming harder to organize due to the advent of (and subsequent government watching of) the Internet, as well as increased suspicion towards those stockpiling arms and weapons. I find it hard to believe that a homegrown organized terrorist group could achieve anything noteworthy in this day and age without the US government (at least) finding out before hand, and then subsequently wiping them out.
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Vurunzil
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Founded: Mar 08, 2022
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Vurunzil » Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:00 pm

I think the most realistic scenario for a second US civil war would probably resemble La Violencia in Colombia, or The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

It won't be split into clear-cut organized states like what happened in the first civil war. I think we can expect normalized and daily assassinations of local, state, and national politicians, local police forces may refuse to defend certain groups of people, massacres, small-scale localized genocides could happen. Militias may fight each other. Acts of terror will be committed against ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities.

Republicans might split between MAGA Trumpist fascists groups and traditional GOP groups and fight each other. Left-wing groups may disperse and defend minority groups from being slaughtered by MAGA fascists. Both circumstances will result in a lot of bloodshed.

During this time, the federal government won't so much be broken-up with states seceding, but more like too weak or corrupt or complacent to try to intervene. The military probably would get involved, maybe state guards, provided they don't rebel and fight in partisan militias.

Congress, the Presidency, the old functions of the old America, would still continue working, but deadlocked, with Republicans and Democrats (perhaps more groups depending on what happens to dissident factions) stuck over recrimination and blame. Partisan talking heads will most definitely continue to stoke violence and promote terrorists and those who commit massacres and hail them as heroes.

Supply lines, electricity, water, transportation, healthcare will be heavily disrupted during these violent times, and tens of millions of Americans may become refugees fleeing from complete societal breakdown, or fleeing being killed.

Needless to say, this period in American history will be viewed as a dark time and probably will lead to the US's collapse.

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Stellar Colonies
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Stellar Colonies » Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:59 pm

Very unlikely.

If it did happen, something like the Troubles. If it got out of hand, maybe something like the Russian Revolution for either side at the most (very unlikely) extreme.
Last edited by Stellar Colonies on Sun Sep 18, 2022 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Crysuko
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Postby Crysuko » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:17 pm

Stellar Colonies wrote:Very unlikely.

If it did happen, something like the Troubles. If it got out of hand, maybe something like the Russian Revolution for either side at the most (very unlikely) extreme.

imagine the troubles on the magnitude of the US, multiplied by American gun culture.
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Wayneactia
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Postby Wayneactia » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:24 pm

There won't be a civil war. The U.S Federal government is quite likely the biggest beast on the planet. I am quite sure they have infiltrated every single organization who would even consider overthrowing the government, since Jan 6. In the event there is an uprising I am quite sure the police, who like to shoot first and ask no questions can handle anything that pops up....
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Lomacrato
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Lomacrato » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:28 pm

The US would look more horrible than the War Of Independence and 1812 War combined. Also, their would be massive rumors about the US government being overthrown and replaced either with a Monarchy, Theocracy, etc. That's my personal opinion.
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Sordhau
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Postby Sordhau » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:32 pm

Civil War doesn't look likely at the moment. But if we're definitely heading for our own Irish Troubles/Years of Lead situation at this rate.
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Haganham
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Haganham » Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:36 pm

Wayneactia wrote:There won't be a civil war. The U.S Federal government is quite likely the biggest beast on the planet. I am quite sure they have infiltrated every single organization who would even consider overthrowing the government, since Jan 6. In the event there is an uprising I am quite sure the police, who like to shoot first and ask no questions can handle anything that pops up....

This doesn't account for a civil war happening because the federal government, or more specifically the intelligence apparatus decides it's the best way to keep power and avoid accountability, and can use it's sockpuppeted extremist organizations to start one.

The most likely course for a "civil war" would be a Reichstag fire event, followed by a night of the long knives. Of course I belive it's the most likely because the first has already happened, and the last two years have been the second.
Last edited by Haganham on Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gepanzerberg
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Gepanzerberg » Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:14 pm

Wayneactia wrote:There won't be a civil war. The U.S Federal government is quite likely the biggest beast on the planet. I am quite sure they have infiltrated every single organization who would even consider overthrowing the government, since Jan 6. In the event there is an uprising I am quite sure the police, who like to shoot first and ask no questions can handle anything that pops up....


My thoughts exactly.

Haganham wrote:This doesn't account for a civil war happening because the federal government, or more specifically the intelligence apparatus decides it's the best way to keep power and avoid accountability, and can use it's sockpuppeted extremist organizations to start one.

The most likely course for a "civil war" would be a Reichstag fire event, followed by a night of the long knives. Of course I belive it's the most likely because the first has already happened, and the last two years have been the second.


I don't see the US government starting a civil war when the current way the US is divided is much more profitable for the leaders of the status quo (whether they be Democrat, Republican, or opportunistic), in comparison to a full-blown civil conflict.
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Forever Indomitable
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Anarchy

Postby Forever Indomitable » Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:20 pm

Non-existent, in terms of large or small scale conflict. Most people aren't realistically interested in dying, watching their families die and sacrificing their livelihoods for more political autonomy. You have "Red and Blue" states that most people can self segregate to and the all encompassing US surveillance state would make quick work of any potential rebellion almost immediately. There's also no hope for a "Right-Wing insurgency" because war costs money and that demographic doesn't have the funds to bankroll a conflict, as they don't have the luxury of growing opium like the Taliban or receiving aid from external benefactors like most rebel groups. There's also the fact that an actual modern U.S. civil war would trigger massive international intervention, so we'd either go back to the existing government or would come under control by a foreign faction. It's not going to happen.

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El Lazaro
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Postby El Lazaro » Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:14 pm

The most likely scenario of a national far-right insurrection would be a combination of state vs. state and an insurgency. Generally speaking, most people in the US would support the government, and they would outnumber insurrectionists in population centers. Federal military and law enforcement personnel would mostly be pro-government, while they would be divided between loyalist and insurrectionist governments at the state level. I think we could generally expect a more patriotic military and more partisan police simply due to ideological motivations of the two groups, but densely populated areas have more police per capita (thus the majority will be employed by loyalist governments) while the military has looser ties to the civilian part of government.

Since rural and urban areas are highly partisan, most fighting would take place in suburbs. There’s not really a geographical demarcation besides coasts vs. interior that would give way to a North-South split like the Civil War, so it would look more like a chaotic mess than a war between two countries. Although it’s true that insurrectionists would have more guns per person, the difference is largely exacerbated by the fact that gun distribution is heavily based on population density and region. It would be a less drastic difference in likely conflict zones. Gun distribution in population centers after the war breaks out would be another factor to account for if the government mobilizes militia groups.

Foreign intervention is another variable. We know from Russia would prefer a right-wing isolationist dictatorship, while most allies of the US would not. I’m not confident about either side’s military capabilities though. China might intervene to exploit the situation, but nuclear deterrent could still exist to prevent an invasion. Their main interest would be prolonging the war. Trade/sanctions would generally be favorable towards the government, but most people would rely heavily on imported food while domestic logistics would hampered by areas controlled by insurrectionists.

Overall, I’d give the government a >60% chance of winning. Keep in mind, however, a swift coup d’etat is a more probable than a civil war.

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Rusozak
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Postby Rusozak » Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:19 pm

There isn't enough unity within states and division amongst them to have a civil war like the last one. Everyone's all mixed up. We're probably just become like Mexico, with swathes of the country being under the de facto control of rogue political groups and criminal organizations.
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Haganham
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Haganham » Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:27 pm

Gepanzerberg wrote:I don't see the US government starting a civil war when the current way the US is divided is much more profitable for the leaders of the status quo (whether they be Democrat, Republican, or opportunistic), in comparison to a full-blown civil conflict.

A civil war would allow them to lock down the electoral process by criminalizing oppositions and create the opportunity to force through a new constitution.
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The Lone Alliance
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Postby The Lone Alliance » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:06 pm

I'll argue we're already in a civil war, it's just being waged through words and passive aggressive combat with the occasional lone wolves taking it to violence level.

Right now the battlefield is still ultimately fought with words, memes, and media spread ideas, with ideologues of both sides in positions of power using the media to enhance the hate because the ideologues think that the end result is that they will bully everyone in the country into adopting their ideas.

And because all this hate makes a lot of news which gives the media profits.
Last edited by The Lone Alliance on Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Almightily Dollar
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Postby The Almightily Dollar » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:10 pm

The Lone Alliance wrote:I'll argue we're already in a civil war, it's just being waged through words and passive aggressive combat with the occasional lone wolves taking it to violence level with ideologues of both sides in positions of power using the media to enhance the hate because the ideologues think that the end result is that they will bully everyone in the country into adopting their ideas.

I wouldn't say that's a civil war, any more then the chaos of weimar republic, where gangs of extremists Beat the shit of each other was a civil war
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Nevertopia
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Postby Nevertopia » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:11 pm

Wynnemac wrote:With recent developments, many people are saying that the U.S. has potential to descend into civil war. How would this happen?

I've seen people suggest it would occur due to states attempting to secede, or possibly due to the ongoing racial unrest.

I feel as though riots, such as the ones in 2020, will spark a violent response and it will end in some kind of asymmetric, low-intensity conflict, not dissimilar to the troubles or the Years of Lead in Italy.


lol if the Jan 6th American insurrection attempt has shown us anything, it'll be riots and convoys here and there before the insurrectionists get bored and go broke.
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Big Bad Blue
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Postby Big Bad Blue » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:33 pm

When the political infrastructure broke down in Colombia there were ten years of civil war, "La Violencia." Readers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez ("No One Writes to the Colonel" and other stories of Macondo) will be familiar. Over ten years, 200,000 Colombians lost their lives. Civil war in the US between the forces of democracy and the Republican forces of authoritarianism would be like that, but last longer, leave many more dead and be neighbor against neighbor, not just village against village. Vote blue.

Wayneactia wrote:There won't be a civil war. The U.S Federal government is quite likely the biggest beast on the planet. I am quite sure they have infiltrated every single organization who would even consider overthrowing the government, since Jan 6. In the event there is an uprising I am quite sure the police, who like to shoot first and ask no questions can handle anything that pops up....


imo it's much more likely that the insurgents have infiltrated the government than vice versa.
Last edited by Big Bad Blue on Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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