Ed's Blog

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


Supporters of Egypt's former President Mubarak shout slogans outside a police academy before Mubarak's trial in Cairo

Since the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) overthrew President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, members of Congress and foreign policy experts in and out of government have debated whether or not the U.S. should suspend the $1.3 billion annual Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to Egypt. The Obama administration’s Egypt and Middle East policies are in tatters, but the one thing it has done right is to continue military assistance to the EAF.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)


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24 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I am on the side of stopping financial assistance for Egypt. Obama doesn’t have a foreign policy. He is on the side of the muslim brotherhood and that is not doing anything for the U.S. He also knows that the unrest in Egypt puts Israel at risk.. Something else he prefers. No one in the world cares what the United States says since Obama has been president. We need a real leader, not a phony president that is for dividing the U.S. population against ourselves (race warfare, class warfare, energy warfare) and wants to see the U.S. destroyed (along with Holder and Michele).

    By Michael Talley

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:


    Great points, logically supported provided the objective is stability in the Middle East, particularly regarding the security of Israel. However, if the objective is instability, the rise of islamist control of the region, and Israel “driven into the sea”, then the article only identifies what not to do.

    In view of the heavy Muslim Brotherhood influence within the current administration, and its assistance in knocking off the secular heads of state in the region, it is uncertain how the administration might receive your suggestion. With Sens Graham and McCain co-opted to the Muslim Brotherhood Public AffairsTeam, the region’s future seems all the more unstable.

    By Peter Ross

  3. John B. Moseley Senior says:

    Great rundown……from someone who knows the situation and worked it for years.

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I am starting to like this Egyptian military.

    By Nicholas “Nick” Voss

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Conclusion, it’s obvious? Sorry Ed, I don’t think it’s all that obvious. Actually, I’m tired of the continued intervention in other countries. The policies you refer to are in “tatters” because because there is no policy.

    By Lee Thompson

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    We are state founded on the rule of law. I’d go so far as to say the rule of law as enshrined in the US Constitution is a core part of the US Center of Gravity. The idea of the rule of law enables so many other key concepts that affect US power in all dimensions. Moreover, when we engage developing states, we often stress the importance of the rule of law. Setting aside a law because it is inconvenient undermines our moral authority and erodes our COG. If the law is wrong, then either repeal or change it. Don’t have the executive branch simply refuse to enforce it. That undermines the Constitution.

    By Jeff Marshall

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I think now, verses previously with anti-American MB, they have earned more of a right to funding. At least they are trying to quell sectarian, including anti-Christian violence. If members of our government love the MB so much, perhaps they should move to Libya

    By Dusty Kitzmiller, CHS-III, SMEMS, RSO

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    It was a coup. The law states aid should be cut off, but once again king Obama doesn’t want to abide by the law. Those are us taxpayer purchased bullets killing those civilians. Bet if Egypt and Syria had oil Libya we would be in there quick or does that argument only hold water with president bush

    By Daniel Peters

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Peters, that sounds wonderful in theory, but what to do with all the US military presence in Egypt? You think they’ll let us keep our Air Force fighters flying out of Cairo if we withdraw the money? You think the U.S. Navy medical research detachment will be permitted to continue working there if we shut them down? How about the UN mission in Gaza?

    The rationalization being applied here is the same one that was applied when we continued to provide aid when Morsi was still in charge. Our engagement keeps us with a chip in the game, and that is worth more than your myopic knee-jerk response to damn near everything out there.

    Stick to local zoning board issues and nuisance claims about trees and barking dogs. It is far more within your purview and expertise than the geopolitical ramifications of Defense and State Department policymaking.

    By Kenneth Bobu

  10. Bill Jordan says:

    Good read on the situation, and a good solution, even if it might not be a great one.

    As the General said in the film ‘Blackhawk Down’, “It’s a complex issue”…in reality, it seems a stable Egypt is one of the few current possibilities for peace in the mid-east. The complexities lie in the shifting terms of security vis-a-vis the time they were enacted. Laws and restrictions in the past have been well-intentioned and even worked for the situation at the time, such as the Pressler Amendment. But you can’t apply a solution like this to every case.

    Also aid to Pakistan would have been much more effective if there had been no Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) directorate, an army within an army that supplants the government. In the case of Afghanistan, the ISI even supplanted the Army. The laws of unintended consequences don’t just rule–they ravage–foreign policy.

    I would come down on the side of providing the aid to Egypt, and have the President say, “the Muslim Brotherhood has stated and demonstrated that their policy, ideology, and aims are destructively different from ours and the non- radical Islamic world, therefore we prefer Egypt’s secular Army to fight them rather than our American military. And besides, its their war.” Somehow I don’t think he’ll say that. But I’d like to hear what the Israeli view is; after all, they have the biggest dog in this fight. Their survival probably depends on it with their government becoming more and more estranged from former allies, particularly the U.S.

    After all, the Egyptians gave them a close contest in the 1973 Yom Kippur war and have been relevantly pacific and prone to peaceful negotiation since then. I believe the Israelis respect their army, and those young Egyptian officers who came over the berm with new weapons and tactics that temporarily reeled the IDF are probably senior decision makers in their present army, or at least are still influential in Pol-Mil affairs.

    Oh gosh, I forgot–the current administration doesn’t like Israel, darn!

    The Muslim Brotherhood is like the Taliban gone international–they will be our worse nightmare in the mid-east.

    Of course we could ask our Congress to pause in their permanent reelection campaign, examine the issue and formulate some thoughtful resolution in the form of meaningful legislation.

    And if you believe that, I have this bridge in Brooklyn…

    Bill Jordan

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Ed, I agree. Only the Egyptian people know what is best for them. And judging from the various sources of information, the majority approves the actions of the Egyptian army. The latest news is that a Jihad is underway in Egypt. Not taking a firm stance, dancing between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military will only weaken the already broken American credibility on the world political scene. Cutting off military or economic aid to Egypt is nothing else but sending a signal of support to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    By Jasna Savovic

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Right ON! Jasna, I completely agree with your assessment. If you read my posts on this subject I have been echoing your concerns. Why are we backing the MB? After all they are terrorists right?

    By Jeff Machtig

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I don’t know Michelle, can’t even get the author to comment. If you read to the bottom though, he has a somewhat vested interest. It says, “Ed Ross was the Principal Director for Operations in the Defense Security Cooperation Agency from 1994 to 2007 where he oversaw military assistance to Egypt.”

    The fact is there’s never going to be peace in that area of the world. I’m the exact opposite of a peacenik, but on this, sorry, no help. It’s not like anyone is on our side there.

    By Lee Thompson

  14. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Rob makes a good point. We are pretty much bankrupt, yet we continue to send money to other countries like water. I suppose it would be one thing if we had mass amounts of endless money, but even then I wouldn’t be on board with it. The people aren’t getting a choice as to what the government does with our money, and I think they need to be cut off. What would the government do if we all stopped working for a specific amount of time and they didn’t receive funds? They would be forced to shut down or continue to get money from China. This whole topic burns me up – I try to avoid politics sometimes because its so aggravating how many people aren’t paying attention or are complete libiots believing our government is all about helping others.

    By Michelle S

  15. EWRoss says:

    It’s not so much a “vested interest” as it is I know how all this works and the value the U.S. receives for its military assistance. Just think of the hundreds of billions wasted by the federal government. What we get for our $1.3 billion in Egypt and our less than around $10 to $15 billion in world-wide military assastance is well worth it. It’s one of the most efficient uses of goverment money there is. This is difficult to get across to the American people. I understand that. It’s difficult to explain the wars we didn’t have to fight because our friends and allies were able to deter agression. As for the Middle East, it’s a mess and the Obama administrations foreign policy is a wreck. That doesn’t mean we should stop doing what’s worked extremely well since the end of World War II. The bottom line in Egypt is who do you want to see come out on top the Muslim Brotherhood or a secular Egyptian military? Thanks for your comment.

  16. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Until there is some resolution of the conflict within Egypt – by Egyptians themselves – we can speculate all we want about what should be done or not done. At this point in time there is no correct answer, only opinions.
    I find extremely interesting that most in here are willing to overlook the fact that funding those who supported a coup is against the law, as Mr. Ross correctly stated. In this case its convenient to overlook the law to suit your viewpoint. If Obama went against a standing law and you disagreed, you would vilify him to no end. So hypocritical…

    By Danny Lesa

    • Bill Jordan says:

      I go back to my original comment, Danny…there are laws that are good at the time and situation when they were enacted, but not so good at present…there are also acts of repeal and amendment procedures for cases where the law might be harmful under today’s volatile, changing political climate.

      If Egypt’s own military, in this case an imperfect institution, but one that offers the most hope for Egypt’s democratic survival removes a tyrant and a tyranical regime that may enact sharia, maybe our lawmakers should consider an appeal, amendment, or (gasp) even a new law.

      It wouldn’t be good for the region or the global community if a large, professional Egyptian army was co-opted by a politically dominant Muslim Brotherhood.

      As late as end-August 2011 our lawmakers and Department of State were divided about whether the Taliban were total outlaw pariahs or a group that would gradually moderate, despite the quaint headgear, beards, and unfortunate but apparently forgivable chauvinism toward women.

      We found out after 2500 U.S. servicemen perished in a war longer than Vietnam–one that made that conflict seem almost gentlemanly quaint in terms of fanaticism of the enemy.

      Somehow I don’t think it will peacefully resolve and evolve when our commander in chief withdraws our forces.

      I seem to recall that we overthrew an inimical, hostile regime ourselves a couple of centuries or so ago. No one rushed about lobbying the Continental Congress to enact a law against it either.

      Bill Jordan

  17. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Danny, you find it extremely interesting that most of us are willing to overlook the fact that funding those who supported a coup is against the law. As far I know, President Obama himself didn’t recognize the Egyptian military action to be a “coup”. I am of the opinion that the law must be obeyed, however, when a country such as Egypt is hit by unrest and under the threat of slipping into a bloody civil war, any law unfortunately loses its validity. The Egyptian army is trying to stabilize the situation in the country. Egypt has been a long-time ally in the fight against terrorism, so why all of a sudden are we questioning sending military or economic aid to them? Especially, and I repeat it, when we know that President Obama didn’t recognize the Egyptian military action to be a “coup”. Our hesitation to act will only open the door of opportunities for other countries to finally accomplish their long-term goals in the region.

    By Jasna Savovic

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Aren’t both sides killing civilians? The world fights wars because democracies let themselves become week. WWII is a great example of it. My thought is Obama’s policies are neither weak nor strong, the problem is he doesn’t seem to have a policy. Didn’t he usher in the Muslim Brotherhood? Kinda dumb when you think about it. Peace through strength seems to work but with terrorists, I’m not convinced it does.

    By Lee Thompson

  19. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    The PTSD is causing the troops to really have problems fighting. It’s very sad, and yes..Obama IS definitely a Muslim, which is fine but he should keep it real on that. I thought we were supposed to have troops here in case we are invaded, so much for that..we’re too busy policing the world. Wars are about government control/gain, not really about democracy in my opinion.

    By Michelle S

  20. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Sorry, Ed, but I don’t see what has worked so well since WWII. Because we gave military support to both Israel and Egypt, they didn’t have a war, in which we would be somehow required to participate?

    I don’t buy the assumption that the US is required to step in and stop every act of aggression. I’m sorry for it, and I wish it wouldn’t happen, but we are not required to intervene in every civil/religious/ethnic clash throughout the world.

    If we were to decide that it is worth our time, treasure and lives to intervene, then I want an up or down vote by congress on that specific action, not some vague “The president is authorized to keep us safe” bullshit legislation that we currently operate under.

    By Mike Hignite

  21. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Mike, I really love your response and feel the same way! We do tend to have a problem with illegal wars

    By Michelle S

  22. Bill Jordan says:

    Good answer, Michelle…just exactly what is an illegal war? Looks to me like letting the Egyptian army fight the Muslim Brotherhood itself, a state-endorsed entity removing a radical group with a stated, fanatic desire to hurry along the destruction of the west and other non-Islamic societies, may be illegal, but it sure is a necessity.

    I agree with Mike that the U.S. isn’t required to intervene in every civil/religious clash to keep us safe, but this goes a little beyond that. Intervention in the Balkans under the aegis of the UN brought the indiscriminate rape and murder the Serbs committed to an end…I think that was a civic/religious/ethnic clash worth intervening in…I just wish the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and groups the ISI in friendly and collegial Pakistan would realize that we risked U.S. and U.N. lives to save a weaker Islamic nation from non-Islamic thugs. Then we chased their leaders down.

    Time to realize the world is filled with tigers and wolves that don’t study the niceities of rules of international conflict. Getting congress or this administration to go up or down on intervention is a nice thought, but I don’t think that’s going to happen either. I do agree with Mike’s bullshit theory of Congressional decisionmaking, and I think you can apply it to about everything they do anymore.

    We can be sheep, or we can be sheepdogs.

    Or as we used to say in west Texas, “only thing in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and squashed armadillos…”

    Bill Jordan

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