The Upside Of Disunity

Joel Wing argues that a military coup in Iraq is highly unlikely:

A coup in Iraq is mentioned every now and then in articles and reports. Writers point to the political divisions that make the government unable to deal with the country’s long-term problems as a reason why some ambitious general may decide to take matters into his own hands. A commander would have to build up the loyalty of a large and powerful force of units to carry out his plans. That would appear to be a difficult task with so many splits within the army, and lack of a cohesive leadership structure. The Iraqi military is developing and hopefully the increasing nationalism will help overcome some of these divisions. Until then the military does not seem a good vehicle to power. As for those that talk about a coup, many appear to want some kind of answer to the country’s endless difficulties. Iraq, with its history of military rule, makes a coup seem like a possible solution to these issues. If they studied the make-up of the Iraqi army, perhaps they would be dissuaded from this line of argument.