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Morsy, the Coup and the Revolution: Reading between the Red Lines

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President Mohamed Morsy’s recent decision to force Egypt’s most prominent military leaders into retirement has been lauded as a major step toward the demilitarization of the Egyptian state. For some optimists, his decision represents the triumph of the revolution over its adversaries inside the military establishment. There is indeed little doubt that this event will prove monumental and may be the prelude to a new era in civil-military relations in Egypt. At the same time, as compelling as it is to interpret these recent developments as a civilian coup against Egypt’s military rulers, there are some indications that they are the product of a movement within the military’s own ranks to avert an impending confrontation with civilian political forces and to reconfigure the army’s role in politics in a way that leaves its autonomy and long-term interests intact.

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