Thats a fairly off the wall question isnt it.
However as off the wall, left field a question as it might be, its still something a fellow of the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies, a 'think tank' associated with the ruling partido popular, has taken time to consider. Its President is one Mr. Jose M. Aznar who might be most famous for attempting to use the Atocha bombings for tawdry political advantage to the detriement of his party. FAES by the way is also linked to the European People's Party think tank the Centre for European Studies. Do Fine Gael only realise the fine thinkers who back the EPP.
Anyhow the FAES fellow has taken the time to go and calculate what amount of troops would be required to control Catalonia. A mere 270000 soldiers. However there is a catch here. The Spanish army totals 134,772, including military school and reserve troops, both in the army and the navy, and volunteer reserve as well.
Its a point that FAES acknowledges in its report and goes some way to reinforcing by commenting that even if the much hated Guardia Civil were also deployed its 80,210 personnel would not meet the short fall.
He has considered the Slovenian secession and the minor conflict that represented (isolating it from the wider frm Yug war) and noted that similar to Slovenia the Catalans have 27000 police with some capacity to effect resistance.
Why would such an article be issued. Well one possibility is that Spanish govt. really do believe that there is a possibility of the Spanish military deciding that it needs to act to defend the consititutional integrity of the state which is a consititutional imperative. Importantly the report highlights that it is up to the Spanish Government, not the King, to give the order of occupying Catalonia in case of secession.
Or maybe they really are dealing with hot heads who need to realise that war wont solve the Catalan issue. That the author comments any military action would end in failure and no recourse for further discussion is plain enough a warning. Yet consider to whom such a warning must be given. In recent weeks former Spanish officers have suggested military action in the event of independence and Vidal Quadras a Spanish MEP (though born in Catalonia) and a Vice President in the Nobel peace prize winning EU has called for the Guardia Civil to be sent into stop any referendum.
Signs of how hot and how idiotic much of what passes for current Spanish extreme unionist thinking (unionist being the Catalans description for them) can be seen in this video where a Spanish extremsit gives the falangist salute and tries to burn the Catalan flag only to get a beating from other Spaniards who think he is a Catalan activist.
With this many idiots running around getting hot and bothered about Catalonia the potential to inflame the situation is reasonably high.
(And sadly if anyone thinks such morons are the preserve of PP then the PSOE's former president of extremadura has proposed deporting 150000 Catalonians of extremadurian descent from Catalonia in the event of secession i.e punish them by bringing them back to extremadura. Weird eh!)
While there was a thread on the singular comment by a retired officer this has expanded in scale up to VP of the European Parliament level and is now worthy of a new look
The FAES fellow's aricle is here: Mikel Buesa - Catalua en el espejo de Eslovenia - Libertad Digital
The debate on Scottish independence has been to date very poor, full of misrepresentations and falsehoods but compared to Catalonia's its a paragon. At least the London govt. isnt trying to persuade its fellow unionists that invading might not be a good idea.