First, we have a tactical analysis from, of all places, the Wall Street Journal. It turns out that the “spontaneous” beginning to the demonstrations was anything but, and involved a pretty masterful plan that included 20 announced protest sites and 1 unannounced site: the police all went to the 20 announced protests sites, and therefore the 21st was able to succeed at reaching the main square.
Secondly, a more editorialized analysis from the blog It Begs the Question that suggests that we’ve seen is a sort of fifth-generational warfare. Note that despite this blog’s assertion, Sun Tzu never said (to my knowledge, and I’ve certainly read the art of war) that the army that knows they’re ethically right will prevail. In fact, that’s what’s so interesting about Sun Tzu, he just explores how to actually win, not to just murmur “god is with us” and go fight and die. The Wall Street Journal piece better reflects the art of war.
Anyhow, we’ll see what is to come with a moment of military rule, but honestly what is fascinating to me about the protests in Cairo is that they were largely non-violent but were perfectly willing to defend themselves. They took space and then held that space… they didn’t all grab guns, but they sure set some shit on fire.