|In a brilliant coup, Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi [right] fired head of the Egyptian military Tantawi [left]|
The Israel Border Attack's Unintended Consequences -Zvi Mazel
President Morsi capitalized on the massacre of 16 Egyptian soldiers near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, by firing a number of high-ranking defense personalities from the old regime. Newcomers will be chosen for their sympathy to the Brotherhood, the first step toward doing away with the old army guard by pensioning them off and appointing officers closer to the new regime in their stead.
The Muslim Brothers have no wish to go on sharing power with the army.
Egypt's Morsi Replaces Military, Consolidates Power -Ernesto Londono
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi forced out Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi - the defense minister and top military chief - and his deputy, army chief of staff Sami Anan, suggesting that the Muslim Brotherhood is willing to act more quickly and assertively in taking control of key institutions than analysts had predicted.
The president also announced that he had suspended a constitutional amendment the generals passed on the eve of Morsi's election giving themselves vast powers and weakening the presidency.
"Now, officially, it is a Brotherhood state," said Zeinab Abul-Magd, a history professor at the American University in Cairo. "Now it is official they are in full control of state institutions."
Tantawi's removal sidelines a longtime U.S. interlocutor in a country that has received tens of billions of dollars in military aid in exchange for maintaining peace with Israel.
New Egyptian Defense Minister -David Ignatius
What's indisputable is that the Muslim Brotherhood has now tightened its grip on Egypt, controlling the military as well as the presidency and the parliament.
Morsi's Velvet Revolution -Zvi Mazel
Without firing a single shot, President Mohamed Morsi managed to neutralize the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and complete his takeover of Egypt.
Morsi now holds dictatorial powers surpassing by far those of President Hosni Mubarak.
Though Egypt will strive to maintain good relations with the U.S. in order to continue receiving impressive sums in military and other aid, it is turning more and more to Arab countries for help.
The writer is a former ambassador to Egypt.