Thursday, October 10, 2013
Obama Slaps Egypt
Angering Everyone in Egypt - Editorial
The annual $1.2 billion Egyptian military aid program predates by three decades the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. The Obama Administration has announced plans to suspend the delivery of "nonessential" weapons to Egypt's military-led government, while continuing to support Egypt's counterterrorism efforts against Islamist militias in Sinai.
With this decision, the U.S. is managing to anger nearly everyone in Cairo. The Islamists who demand President Morsi's return will see this as continued U.S. support for the generals. The generals get to feel the back of Washington's hand. Israel is also upset, since its peace with Cairo was premised in part on U.S. aid.
(Wall Street Journal)
Is Reducing Egypt's Aid a Mistake? - Jeffrey Goldberg
Cutting off a significant amount of U.S. aid to the Egyptian military may be a moral necessity, but curtailing aid raises some difficult questions. American allies in the region - notably Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Bahrain - all share the same adversaries as the Egyptian leadership: Shia radicalism (in the form of the Iranian regime and Hizbullah); the Muslim Brotherhood; and Sunni extremism (in the form of al-Qaeda and like-minded groups).
Another cause for concern is the effect this move would have on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Egypt is pressing hard against Hamas in Gaza, cutting off the flow of weapons and sealing smuggling tunnels. A weak Hamas is in the best interests of the U.S., Israel, and the rival Palestinian Authority.
Next Steps with Egypt - Adel El Adawy & David Pollock
The Obama administration is either underestimating or miscalculating the response of the Egyptian government and people to the suspension of a large portion of U.S. military aid to Egypt. The reality, as most Egyptians and outside observers alike will attest, is that the U.S. is now viewed as an unreliable or even hostile interloper. Many ordinary Egyptians will see this move as further evidence that the U.S. still supports the Muslim Brotherhood, which today is widely reviled in Egypt except among the small minority of its own hardcore adherents. Government-guided media are awash with anti-Obama headlines and images.
If the U.S. proceeds with an inflexible and impractical interpretation of its latest well-intentioned effort to spread the blessings of democracy abroad, the results are likely to be very bad for Egypt, for the region, and especially for American interests therein.
The writers are fellows at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.