I remember a Ron Silver story from the Clinton innaugual in 1993; as a good liberal, he had a bit of disdain towards the military after 12 years of GOP rule and military build-ups. When some planes flew over Washington in a salute, he stated that "they're our planes now."
That vignette came to mind when I read this story about the Syrian civil war-
Pity the Syrian people. They had been given to believe that fighter jets in the arsenal of the state - those Russian-made MIGs they once viewed with pride - were there for the stand-off with Israel.
Now they know better. The runs over Aleppo, the bombings of Idlib, have laid bare the truth. It is no accident that the founder of this regime, Hafez al-Assad, emerged from the ranks of the air force, which is not often an incubator of coup-makers. There would come a day, the masters of this minority regime doubtless knew, when fighter jets would be used at home.
The planes seemed to be "theirs" when the threat was an assertive Israel making sure they stayed put on their southwestern border. However, government power doesn't just extend to external enimies, especially when it is a dictatorship unbounded by consitutions and elections.
That use of force brings to mind the libertarian disdain of the military, knowing that all that hardware and training could be turned on them if they were on the wrong side of a power-hungry government who was willing to play nasty. That's where the checks and balances of American government come into play, along with a long-standing standard against using the military in a domestic setting, whether it be border mainanance or disaster-relief.