The US will not descend into civil war or dictatorship, but it will become increasingly volatile and Canada must prepare: Balkan Devlen in the National Post

The US is experiencing a once-in-a-generation political crisis that will continue for years to come, writes Balkan Devlen in the National Post. Below is an excerpt from the article, which you can read in full here.

By Balkan Devlen, January 13, 2021

In the wake of the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, there has been much debate in the media about what the coming years could mean for American democracy, with some predicting civil war or the turnout. of autocracy. It is more likely that we will see a worsening political deadlock, increasing political violence and a country that is more inward-looking and less focused on projecting its influence abroad. That is the future Canada should be concerned about.

Let’s see why there is neither a civil war nor an American dictatorship on the horizon. The civil war debate has two flaws. First of all it is not clear what people mean when they say the United States is on the brink of civil war, as it could mean anything from an increase in low-level political violence (e.g., violent clashes between rival groups) to full-blown clashes between loyal paramilitaries and security forces to rival authorities.

Second, these warnings lack any sense of the likelihood of such events happening. Without knowing the probabilities associated with those alerts, one cannot decide what resources to allocate to such a contingency and to what extent they should be prioritized. After all, strategy is about prioritizing competing interests and aligning limited resources accordingly.

My own rough calculations suggest no more than a few percent chance that the US will experience a civil war, as commonly defined, in the next three years. The US has experienced one civil war in 246 years (albeit with numerous instances of political unrest) and hardly any country with an economy as advanced as the United States has plunged into civil war. The high degree of political polarization in the US is unlikely to overwhelm these historic precedents.


Leave a Comment