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The United States of America has 50 states and 14 territories (according to Google). In my story, each state is drawn far apart from each other due to conflicting interests. If all 50 states + 14 territories went to war against each other, which state would win?

Conditions: I am talking about militaristic winning. The exact details, I'm not sure. I would prefer it to be conquering all other states, but I'm not sure if that is entirely possible.

Time Period: Current

Methods of fighting: Everything each state has, EXCEPT for nuclear war. So states with nuclear missiles would NOT have an advantage.

Could you guys include specific details and facts? Thanks :D

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closed as primarily opinion-based by StephenG, Andon, L.Dutch, NL628, RonJohn May 8 '18 at 4:35

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Please help me improve my question, as the specific part of the question (what is the definition of winning?) doesn't really make sense and is not specific. $\endgroup$ – NL628 May 8 '18 at 2:18
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    $\begingroup$ did "dotard" fired everybody in the federal congress? $\endgroup$ – user6760 May 8 '18 at 2:32
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    $\begingroup$ The United States of America has 50 states and 14 territories... and the largest and most powerful army in the world. The U. S. army does not belong to the states; it belongs to the U. S. The last time a bunch of states tried to break away due to conflicting interests the U. S. army objected. The military forces of the states are vastly insufficient to overpower the U. S. army. $\endgroup$ – AlexP May 8 '18 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ I think we need to know the conditions of the collapse. Following onto @AlexP comment, you have to tell us how the Fed gov't got out of the way. $\endgroup$ – SRM May 8 '18 at 2:47
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    $\begingroup$ As written who would win is simply opinion based. @AlexP makes an excellent point about this as the US military swears allegiance to the US Constitution, not to States. And note that part in the oath about "enemies both foreign and domestic". So what happened the Federal Government is rather significant in this context, and especially whether a US Armed Forces exists and considered itself still guardian of the US Constitution is important to your question. $\endgroup$ – StephenG May 8 '18 at 2:51
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Conflicts like this depend on an enoremous number of issues. This is true when there's two sides. When there's many individual nations engaging in an all out brawl, it's even more complicated.

A big question would be what alliances form. Obviously there's a desire to not ally with your enemy, but when your option is forming an alliance or getting blown away, alliances form.

All those complexities aside, I'd point out that California, Texas, and Virgina have more military bases than the other states. It's not a 1:1 mapping to success, but it certainly means they will have the resources to engage in a fight.

EDIT: SRM brings up an interesting point. Obviously how this predicament occurs will have a tremendous impact on the behavior of our armed forces. And, to StephenG's comment, this is the oath sworn to by the enlisted forces of the United States (emphasis mine):

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

It'd be a heck of a complicated situation to untangle!

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    $\begingroup$ The soldiers on those bases hail from all 50 states. Are you sure that the Kentucky commander is going to fight for Texas just because he is at Ft. Hood? $\endgroup$ – SRM May 8 '18 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ Good point on alliances; there was never a point in history with more than 3 sides in a conflict. And good point on out-of-state troops. Even if state governors order troops on their territory to go fight each other, current military will just depose them and establish nationwide military rule (and hopefully hold new elections soon). Military members will act on loyalties to each other, and then to their home state. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear May 8 '18 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ When the Quebec separatists in Canada nearly won an election, part of their calculation was based on Quebec having more military bases than the rest of Canada, and the requirement that soldiers be bilingual french and English meant that most of the military hailed from Quebec. They didn't count on the military having just returned from policing the outcome of separatism in Bosnia, and wanting nothing to do with such a mess at home. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy May 8 '18 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ Many of Virginia's bases are for research, administration, etc. Housing a lot of low-paid infantry enlisted men in expensive Virginia doesn't happen anymore. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn May 8 '18 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ Why assume that each state would remain a unified entity? California would likely split into at least 3 mutually hostile entities, two of them aligning with northern & southern Nevada. Upstate New York would separate from NYC... $\endgroup$ – jamesqf May 8 '18 at 4:46

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