It's very, very clear that Rummy wants a different army; the re-organization of the mech brigades makes that very obvious, if nothing else -- such as purging the ranks of the general officers, or (mostly successfully) attempting to inculcate millennialist Christianity at the Air Force academy (presumably so they'll have pilots who will obey nuclear first strike against a non-nuclear power orders) -- has managed to do that.This gives voice quite nicely to one of my own ongoing unstated concerns. I haven't had the inspiration or the ability to put these views into words, but now that Graydon has done so, I can just point to them here and say, "Just read that if you want to know what I think."
To my mind, the question is whether or not Rummy's willing to expend the army he has deployed in Iraq to get the pretext he needs to run roughshod over the objections -- the generally very sensible objections -- of the professional military on the way to getting the army he wants.
Put in those terms, well, of course he is; such a plan would differ only in rate of expenditure of troops from what is being done now, so it's clear that SecDef Rumsfeld possesses no fundamental objections to achieving his ends by such means.
The current professional Army, in such a scenario, would mostly be dead; the forty percent or so gone when the army on the ground in Iraq was destroyed, and then the other forty percent of maneuver units gone in the counter-attack out of Kuwait or otherwise into Iran before the mercenary army could come in behind them. Much of the remainder would go when used as cadre for elements of the mercenary army, which will probably not be officially called that.
Note that the current mercenary forces are by no means themselves adequate in numbers to provide meaningful maneuver elements for a field army; they are, however, heavily drawn from former US army special forces personnel, and are heavy with people whose separation ranks were from the junior end of senior NCOs. They'd be entirely capable of training a mercenary army, should the recruits be provided to them. (Though they themselves are likely to be independently retained on grounds of greater reliability and whiteness.)
At that point, not less than two years in the future, you're dealing with scattered veterans of the professional army, not in formed units and not provided with heavy weapons, being the only remaining elements of the professional army available to oppose the use of a mercenary army to quash dissent.
Those veterans of the professional army would, in that scenario, lack a snowball's chance under any circumstances short of a committed general uprising.
I would judge a general uprising impossible in the United States; too much of the population is generally pro-authoritarian for that to occur.
It is also worth noting that the areas most likely to rise in defense of their traditional liberties are those areas being systematically stripped of military materiel and infrastructure by the current National Command Authority.
Update: And here you will find Max Boot explaining why you should lie down on the floor, keep calm, and always remember that America prevails.