Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

U.S. LEVERS OF INFLUENCE IN EGYPT: Military Ties are Critical

Freedom flotilla Cairo protest

Image by Wild_atHeart via Flickr

Whatever the eventual outcomes of popular uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Islamic countries in the region, historians likely will mark January 2011 as the month the political tectonic plates suddenly shifted in the Islamic world. Will they note also that it was when Islamic fundamentalism began wresting power from pro-Western, secular, albeit autocratic, governments; or will they record it as the indigenous birth of freedom and democracy? (More)

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3 Responses

  1. Bob Hoelle says:

    Ed,
    This is troubling. It seems that when one uprising ends in that part of the world, another one begins.
    Our administrations hands are no doubt tied at this point. If the Muslim Brotherhood is fueling this, shouldn’t we see an anti American theme taking place? So far, the relationship between the Egyptian military and the protesters is puzzling. I can’t tell if it is one of restraint by the military, one of indecision, or maybe even one of agreement. Time will certainly tell.
    I get a little anxious every time we train, educate, and supply military arms and equipment to “Today’s” friends and allies in the middle east.

  2. Willy Brandt says:

    Ed: To my way of thinking the Philipines and Egypt are a long ways from being similar in how to handle the removal of rulers the people of the country have decided must go. An island nation with a majority of the population that looked upon the USA as a positive infulence and only had a small Muslim minority is not the same as a Middle East Muslim country with a significant number of the population and neighboring countries that can’t stand the USA. Maybe continuing military assistance would be of some benefit (at least until Murbaruk leaves.) But it can be a double edged sword. If we suspend too soon it may look like we abandoned him like the followers of the Shah claimed, but if we continue military assistance to a governement that is overturned we can be looked upon as attempting to thwart the will of the people for our own interests. I believe he will be gone by the end of the week based on current events, so it is probably not going to be something we have to think about for too long.

    • EWRoss says:

      Willy,you make good points. I agree that there are many differences between Marcos and Mubarak and the Philippines and Egypt. My principal point was that we have influence with the EAF and we shouldn’t move too quickly to undercut that influence. But I agree with you that this isn’t going to drag out for a long time. Things are going to break one way or the other pretty soon. All the best.

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