Days before Myanmar’s military coup, I was messaging with a prominent Myanmar intellectual who reminded me of a recent evocation of the Edward Luttwak classic study from the 1960’s Coup de-État: A Practical Handbook in the context of the growing political crisis. Many Myanmar friends mentioned the same book. Just as many foreigners were dismissing the probability of an impending putsch, Myanmar analysts saw it as imminent. They knew better.
Monday’s seizure of power has abruptly ended the turbulent, tawdry relationship the West has had with Myanmar’s military, or Tatmadaw, for nearly ten years. Nothing says it’s over like a coup.