I was doing dishes thinking about an article I had just perused in my quick glance at Google for Venezuelan news. My thoughts quickly wandered to what would happen if El Burro were to get his wish and the US were to attack Venezuela.
Before I go off into my day dream, let me first say that the likelihood of the US having to invade Venezuela is VERY VERY VERY remote. Given the two fronts on which we are fighting the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, our forces are stretched a bit thin to start another war.
Furthermore, there isn't enough provocation at this time to even think about invading Venezuela.
But let's continue the thought of what would happen if the US were to invade Venezuela.
There would be some resistance from the military and armed civilian 'militias', but it would be defeated within about 2 weeks at the most. Pockets of resistance would remain in the mountains of eastern and western parts of the country, and maybe in the south in the dense rain forest. Those would be the only really safe areas for Chavez' allies to hide and operate from. Those would take a little longer to eradicate, but would be eventually wiped out as well.
Those in the opposition, including current military and ex-military members, would rise up and help overthrow Chavez and his buddies. There would be a new government quickly formed to fill the void of Chavez exiting the presidency. It wouldn't be a long drawn out, sectarian process like Iraq. A new government could be in place in a matter of months, with a new Constitution in place as well. The Venezuelan people have previously tasted the freedoms of democracy, and are eager to revisit those days again.
For sure, the US would suffer some casualties, and the armed resistance would be a bit tougher than what was seen in Iraq and Afghanistan - Venezuela has a Navy and Air Force which would quickly engage any invasion force. But even so, these forces would be defeated fairly easily, as loyalties for and against Chavez would quickly split the command and control of the Fuerzas Armadas.
If there were ever a 'winnable' war that the US has faced since WWII, it would be against Venezuela.
Heaven forbid we ever get to that point though.....