Budget for a Coup d’Etat

How much does it cost to stage a coup? €21 million, according to this document.

It’s the work of a Congolese military group called the Union des Forces Révolutionnaires du Congo, keen to topple president Joseph Kabila.

Before they can do that, though, they need to raise some cash. So they have reached out to the diaspora — especially in Belgium — to chip in. And in the process, somebody has put together the budget. The UN got hold of this and included it in a report, giving us all a glimpse of coup planning.

Suborned generals aside, it’s the kind of vague document that will be familiar to any middle manager. Some areas are uncharted territory — “maintaining hold on power” after the coup is a single, unelaborated line item.

Other areas are elaborated into full-fledged fantasies. We know not only that broadcasters will be taken over, but what will be broadcast. “Day Zero” of the coup begins with 2 hours of classical music, for instance. I imagine it Clockwork Orange style, Beethoven playing as ministers are dragged from their beds.

The sums don’t add up, the plans seem half-formed, and the whole document smells of wishful thinking. And, having seen the bureaucracy required for government work, I can say for sure: this is one coup Uncle Sam won’t even think about funding.

3 replies on “Budget for a Coup d’Etat”

I’m disappointed, Dan. I thought you had more spirit than this. You are feeding right into the hands of the established oligarchy by trivializing leaked intelligence documents.

Conan, I don’t understand what you mean. This has been public-but-ignored for several months, I’m just hoisting it out of a 200-page report and giving a summary. I do find the fuzziness and banality of it funny, but I can’t work out what harm I’m doing by blogging it.

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