With that said, I don't think states will secede nor will we have a Civil War. But I sure wish one of those two things would happen because it's gotten to the point that I don't see us ever coming together again. We're too deeply divided. We're no longer the United States of America.
While I was in the shower the other day, I was daydreaming of a what-if scenario: what if Oregon, Washington State, and California secede and form the "Free States of America" (or more likely, the "Green States of America"). President / Emperor Trump declares war on the traitors, deploys the National Guard, and launches nuclear weapons. A world-wide economic collapse ensues. In a post-apocalyptic world, the player characters roam the wilderness of the Southwest looking for survivors of the holocaust while battling roving bands of nuclear mutants and the fanatical Lone Star Hunters, former Texan lawmen whose mission is to find and execute the enemies of the Republic.
Sounds like a plausible basis for a Mad Max-style Cyberpunk game.
Well, California has a whole host of military bases, active anti-air defense and seacoast defense stations, and nukes. They alone are also the 6th largest economy in the world. It would be very unwise to attack them. The nukes alone I'd imagine would be quite the deterrent. You have to understand that a war among nuclear powers isn't like the wars of old. When you really back someone into a corner and they have that kind of weapon... well, let's just say most people wouldn't want to back someone into a corner that has that kind of power. Not only would they have the capability but they could nuke literally anywhere in the continental US. More than that, they have a nuclear weapons lab in Livermore... so they could definitely make more. And if they get Washington, if they're lucky then they also get some nuclear submarines at Kitsap. 3 nuclear power plants would be more than enough for making Plutonium-239 from U-238 for more bombs too. And y'know, Washington would come into play again because they have a big uranium mine in Spokane. Best of all? The largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the United States
is in Washington, in Bangor - 2364 nukes. There's tons
of places to fire them from in CA & WA too.
No, if they were going to retake California they'd want to sneak in and retake the nukes before risking any kind of nuclear retaliation. I don't think that would be easy though, and assuming the people controlling the CA/OR/WA military aren't stupid they'd be heavily guarded and garrisoned with troops.
So I mean honestly, if they ever did decide to secede and form their own country it'd be pretty hard to stop them. The only real way would be sanctions, tariffs, crippling the economy, and pushing public sentiment towards rejoining the union.