I am aware that it would be illegal to do it or to even conspire to do a typical coup, but what I mean by coup is much broader than literally taking over the country by force. What I mean is an illegal military action that significantly alters the government such as using threats of violence to get Congress to pass a law giving them more, but not absolute power over civilians in times of emergency.

Other possibilities are overstepping their powers in a very large way such as when there is no emergency occupying cities under the Insurrection Act or arresting a president without any conviction to make the Vice President commander in chief.

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    Really the only protection is that everyone in the military has sworn an oath not to do so. To have a military coup, you'd have to convince a significant fraction of active military to violate that oath. – jamesqf Jan 11 at 4:25
  • This is going to turn into an opinion fest; 2nd amendment and what not. – Fizz Jan 11 at 5:31
  • Maybe, but I think there may be some totally factual answers such as military code rules. I’ll take it down if it gets too opinionated, thanks for pointing that out though. – The Mamba Jan 11 at 5:33
  • Frankly a better q to ask is: in countries that experience thwarted coups, what (f)actors led to their early failure? This will no catch every mechanism, because the probability of success might be so low in some countries as to never experience coups, but still it would probably be a q that can answered with data on events rather than opining about non-events... – Fizz Jan 11 at 5:51
  • I suggest you look at jstor.org/stable/3176221 and cross-check their (general) criteria with the US case. – Fizz Jan 11 at 6:09

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