According to a report published on December 12, 2011 under the title “Contemporary Challenges: Life after Mubarak,” written by Stratfor researcher Maverick Fisher and obtained from WikiLeaks, the January 25 uprising was a “palace coup” rather than a revolution. Excerpts (edited and consolidated) from the leaked report below:
The mainstream media’s narrative on the Arab Spring portrayed popular uprisings as the driving force that swept away the regime of Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to democracy. But a closer examination indicates that the rules of the past still apply. Concentration of power, physical isolation from the outside world, and dependence upon outside forces for economic security remain the trifecta that drives Egyptian society and governmental development. As ... President Mubarak aged, however, an internal challenge arose to the military oligarchy in the form of the former president’s son, Gamal Mubarak, who wanted to transform Egypt from a military oligarchy into a more traditional Egyptian dynasty. Doing this required the breaking of the military’s hold on the economy. Gamal and his allies … worked to privatize Egyptian state assets to themselves. This process was a direct threat to the military’s political and economic position at the top of Egyptian society ... The result was the Arab Spring. In the months leading up to the January demonstrations, Egypt’s top generals were delivering very stern ultimatums to the president to abandon any hope of passing the reins to Gamal while looking at their options to unseat Mubarak via more unconventional means … The demonstrations provided the generals with the means to dismantle the Mubarak legacy … The military would much prefer to return to the days of ruling behind the scenes while leaving day-to-day governing to a civilian government that ultimately answers to the generals. But the political opening that the military helped to create has also greatly complicated matters: the military must now employ a much more complex balancing act at home to altogether keep the civilian government impotent, the opposition divided and foreign funding flowing toward a half-hearted democratic transition.