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How can a small group of determined people overthrow a country's government and seize control of the state. This book, a practical guide to the coup d'etat analyzes the political, military and intelligence techniques which provide the answer. It begins by isolating the historical and socio-economic conditions which make the coup possible and goes on, using charts, diagrams amd tables, to describe: The classification of the armed forces; police and other security agencies in terms of intervention capability; The infiltration of the system of state security and the subversion of its crucial components; The selection of the physical facilities which must be seized or neutralized and the identification of the political personalities to be isolated; The organization and operational use of active teams of the coup and their security procedures. An economic and a technical appendix covers some of the preventive and technical aspects of the problem, while the factual background is listed in the statistical appendix.
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Edward N. Luttwak serves or has served as a contractor for the Office of Net Assessment of the U.S. Department of Defense and for the U.S. armed forces, and as a consultant to the U.S. National Security Council, the White House Chief of Staff, and several allied governments.Review:
Additions bringing this work into the twenty-first century include Luttwak’s observations about how coup plotters in the age of the internet must now take control of more than the central television station to control public propaganda... It offers as much wisdom on the counter-coup as on the coup itself... It remains in print more than forty years after it was written and still commands sales. The reason may be that it is a good read: wry, observant and practical. (Charles Glass Times Literary Supplement)
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