The One Chart That Explains Everything You Need to Know About the Egypt Crisis

The term "military coup," in the crudest vernacular, means some heavy sh*t is about to happen to a government. 

"Military coup" comes from the French coup d'état, a seductively sexy term that encapsulates the moment when a small group of the existing elite — typically the military — depose the extant government and replace it with another body, civil or military.

There are bloodless coups, and violent coups, and popular coups — regardless, a coup d'état is considered successful when the usurpers establish their dominance. 

Indeed, we are being reminded of this pivitol political storm today in Egypt where the military is staging it's own dethroning of the Mohamed Morsi government. 

But how does a textbook coup actually work?

Well, like this: 


This coup chart comes from the famous Edward Luttwak book Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook, which was written in 1968.

Boom. Coup. 

So what does the end game look in Egypt?

At 12:42 p.m. ET Cairo journalist Jake Shenker tweeted: "Egypt's current crisis is approaching a disturbing climax."

At 3 p.m. ET the Egyptian state media reported Morsi was out as president.

A coup is a watershed moment in a government's history. For all intents and purposes, the climax here will be disturbing indeed.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to remove language that was used without attribution to Business Insider and the New York Times' Lede blog. We apologize to our readers for this violation of our basic editorial standards. Mic has put in place new mechanisms, including plagiarism detection software, to ensure that this does not happen in the future.


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Chris Miles

Chris has worked for media outlets including the Associated Press and Stars and Stripes. He worked with the Clinton Foundation, the United Nations, and with the Kentucky state legislature. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Louisville, and a BA in journalism and political science from the University of Kentucky. He is originally from Lexington, Ky. Kentucky basketball occupies a majority of his free time.

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