This study examines the relationship between the military and politics in the Arab world, not as a flaw or symptom of an Arab predicament, but as a product of history and a result of the nature, formation and structure of the Arab state. The study starts from the presumption that, by definition, there is no military without politics, since armies have historically played a key role in establishing modern states in developing countries and in accelerating the process of transition. The study distinguishes between “revolution” and “coup”. While acknowledging the challenges in developing a theory or law to account for the army’s relationship with political rule, the study attempts to highlight five key commonalities among military coups. The study also discusses the military coup’s need for an alliance with civil and political forces in order to prevail.