Coups d’état were a relatively common means of regime change during the Cold War. From 1945 through 1985, 357 attempted coups d’état occurred in the Third World, and 183 succeeded. The high frequency of coups during this period is unsurprising, especially considering the advantageous position of the military during the rapid and destabilizing pace of modernization and decolonization in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Coups d’état were not exclusive to the Third World, however. They also occurred in members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Surprisingly, however, few scholars have explored why these extra-constitutional regime changes were tolerated, or how they were even possible, within NATO. This article attempts to answer these questions within the context of the 1960 coup in Turkey by closely evaluating the notion that the United States had no knowledge or warning that a coup was about to unfold.

You do not currently have access to this content.