Ed's Blog

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

CALIPHATE, COUPS, OR CONSTITUTIONS: Barack Obama’s Greatest Foreign Policy Challenge

2011 Egypt: Flags

Image by Imagery by Pete via Flickr

The sense of relief in the Obama administration and in Washington, D.C., was palpable the day after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt under Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (75) assumed power, promising free and fair democratic elections in September. Fears of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendency waned and hopes for the spread of freedom and democracy were encouraged. The media, for the time being, will focus its cameras elsewhere; and Americans can return to worrying about jobs, deficits, and the economy. The outcome in Egypt, however, is far from settled, and the implications for governments from Algiers to Teheran ensure we will soon go down this road again. Washington now must assess multiple situations and move intelligently and effectively to influence them.  (More)


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5 Responses

  1. EWRoss says:


    This is an excellent video which just happens to support the points I make in my column.


  2. Willy Brandt says:


    Since you are an old “spook” and an accomplished bureaucrat I think you were too hard on the Adminstration guys admitting they were getting information from the media. As you know the guys in the field can’t just pick up the phone and call in the latest “news” to the President, Director CIA or the SECDEF. But all of those guys can watch every TV network that is broadcasting from on the ground. It appeared to me that the tv guys were doing a good job of showing what was going on as it was happening. Hell, if I’d have still been working for you and stationed in Egypt you’d have probably known anything I could have reported by the time I got it cleared, got a phone line or sent a message.

    The change is Egypt was relativley peaceful, lets hope that is true in the other countries that are going to be having demonstrations.

    • EWRoss says:

      Willy, you’re probably right, but that wouldn’t have stopped me from chewing your ass. People in the know tell me that Panetta actually is doing a great job at the CIA. He’s kept a low profile and is working his ass off. They tell me the behind-the-scenes operation in the Obama intelligence community hardly resembles the White House store front. I hope they’re right. I worked with Clapper when he had DIA and I did POW. He’s not a bad guy either, but he has made some dumb statements. I sure miss you’re good old mid-western common sense.

  3. John Moseley says:

    Reading comments from you and Willy is a good thing…..makes me feel young reading stuff from you old guys.


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