Martial law, Arkin argues, "has the potential to destroy the most fundamental individual guarantees of the Constitution."
Widespread opposition to giving federal troops more power domestically, and more authority to declare martial law, erupted among a wide range of individuals and groups, including: conservative Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., the National Guard Association of the United States, National Sheriff's Association and Fraternal Order of Police.
Both Republicans and Democrats in the National Governors Association expressed strong disagreements with that expansion of federal authority.
Two years later, in 2008, Congress backed away from the 2006 amendment.
Even during disasters like Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Arkin argues, "civilian control of the military has to be maintained."
The federal government's primary concern during Katrina, Arkin writes, was not "making sure lives were protected," but protecting the oil production infrastructure that was so heavily damaged, especially in Louisiana.
Retired Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of the U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command between 2007 and 2010, believes it might be uncomfortable to address security challenges in today's world.
But Arkin "asks tough questions of our security institutions, and the right answers demand a delicate balance between national security preparedness and constitutional protections afforded to our citizens," Renuart wrote.
Obama, Arkin writes, initiated new programs to use the military to exercise increased police powers at home.
"From even before day one, Obama had no real intention of disrupting the Pentagon."
Arkin closes his fascinating, often dense, book by discussing "islanding" - or creating military islands throughout the country.
"Islanding means that over 5,000 separate installations and outposts, including reserve centers and National Guard armories, can retreat to a few hundred self-sustaining and defensible fortresses during a national calamity." The "islands" are able to generate their own energy, have special protections against radiation and diseases, as well as stockpiles of food and drugs.
The role of domestic military installations, Arkin writes, already includes a dozen bases directly piloting drone flights over countries in the Middle East and South Asia.
Today, major wars in offshore countries are being commanded from military headquarters in Florida and Hawaii.
Some from military "islands" are increasingly concerned about nearby civilian facilities, including wind farms and cell phone towers, which can disrupt their own communications and flight operations.
Today's military has changed, Arkin points out, having become a "military where more than 93 percent of everyone under arms joined up after 9/11, an ahistoric group already infected by a peculiar opinion about threats and the nation."
"Armed Coup" urges Americans to focus on the need to return to a nation that is "a community of shared interests" and defends the Constitution.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.