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Actually, Egypt Is a Terrible Ally

Max

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Actually, Egypt Is a Terrible Ally


By ANDREW MILLER and RICHARD SOKOLSKYDEC. 18, 2017


  • Egypt in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in May.CreditMandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

    When Vice President Mike Pence visits Egypt on Wednesday, he will follow in the footsteps of countless American officials who have stopped in Cairo to laud the “strategic partnership” between the United States and Egypt.

    This has become a vacuous and badly outdated talking point — the kind we both drafted during our years in the government. Mr. Pence shouldn’t pay lip service to it.

    American and Egyptian interests are increasingly divergent and the relationship now has far less common purpose than it once did. Mr. Pence should make clear to Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s president, that the two countries need a reset, beginning with a major reduction in American military assistance.

    In addition to saving American taxpayers’ money, this would send an important message to other recipients of American aid that our support is not unconditional. It would also help to rein in an arrangement that has distorted Egyptian-American relations.

    Any doubts that Egypt has ceased to be a strategic partner to the United States were eliminated with the recent preliminary Egyptian-Russian agreement to grant reciprocal access to each other’s air bases. But this is just the most recent example of profoundly unfriendly behavior by a purported friend. In Libya, Egypt has consistently provided military support to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, whose Libyan National Army has clashed with forces loyal to the internationally recognized and United States-backed government. At the United Nations Security Council, Egypt has made common cause with Russia to oppose the United States on issues from Syria to Israel/Palestine. And this year, revelations emerged of Egyptian military and economic cooperation with North Korea.


Even where American and Egyptian goals remain aligned, Egypt struggles to promote our mutual objectives effectively. Washington has not grasped a new reality: Because of its internal decay, Egypt is no longer a regional heavyweight that can anchor America’s Middle East policy.

The Sisi government has contributed shockingly little to the campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Cairo consistently has ignored American offers to train Egyptian forces in the counterinsurgency doctrine and tactics that could help defeat the insurgency in Sinai. The importance of American access to Egyptian airspace has declined; and American privileges at the Suez Canal are drastically exaggerated. Contrary to prevailing wisdom, the U.S. Navy does not receive head-of-the-line privileges, whereby our ships can jump ahead of other vessels.

There was a time when both countries derived important mutual benefits, including reliable Egyptian support for the United States’ interests in the Middle East. But over the past decade, the United States has poured more than $13 billion in security assistance into Egypt with little to show for it except more jobs for a defense industry exporting materiél that is ill-suited to Egypt’s defense needs and that allow the Egyptian military to sustain a patronage system that distorts the economy and fuels corruption.

For too long, the United States has allowed the Egyptian government to treat security assistance as an entitlement owed for making peace with Israel. The United States has not held Egypt accountable for how this money is spent and whether it serves broader American objectives in the region, giving Egypt a free ride on American generosity. The Obama administration took initial steps to make military assistance less generous and limit the weapons systems Egypt could buy with American funds. The Trump administration has withheld or reprogrammed more than $200 million in military assistance.

This is a start. More needs to be done.

In light of Egypt’s declining strategic importance and its problematic behavior, Washington should sharply reduce its annual military assistance by $500 million to $800 million to align our resources with our priorities. A cut in Egypt’s aid would free up badly needed funds. And a move to start reducing security aid to Egypt to a level that is more in line with the actual value the United States derives from the relationship would be broadly popular in Congress, which has grown frustrated with Cairo.

The risks are limited. Egypt is unlikely to change its behavior in response to less aid. It won’t, for example, end its peace treaty with Israel or cease its counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. It will, of course, continue to fight local jihadists.

Advocates of a closer relationship with Egypt argue that cutting aid would make Cairo less willing to accept American military training, but there is scant evidence that years of generous support have fostered a desire in Egypt for additional training opportunities in critical areas like counter-insurgency. Rather, disabusing Cairo of the notion that assistance is an entitlement might help to restore some leverage to extract concessions from Cairo. And, while instability in Egypt is a legitimate concern, we are deluding ourselves to think that American assistance is the difference between order and chaos.

Instead of acknowledging that Egypt’s importance has diminished, President Trump has doubled down on the relationship, promising to be a “loyal friend” to Egypt and lavishing Mr. Sisi with praise. The White House has gone silent on the Egyptian government’s abhorrent human rights abuses, which fuel radicalization, increasing the global threat from terrorism. In so closely tying the United States to the Sisi government and its repressive practices, the administration is all but ensuring that millions of marginalized Egyptian youth will view the United States with hostility.

America is getting a bad deal in Egypt. That’s ironic for a president who prides himself as a negotiator. Mr. Pence’s visit is an opportunity to turn a new page with Egypt, and make the United States’ commitment to the country commensurate with what Washington receives in return. If the Trump administration does this, it will take a small but important step toward restoring America’s tarnished credibility and reputation in the region.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/18/opinion/united-states-egypt-pence.html
 

Kambojaric

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Everyone seems to be a terrible ally to the US nowadays. Pakistan, Turkey, Europeans(EU) , and now Egypt. Maybe the fault is not with these countries/organisations but with the Americans themselves.
 

The SC

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Wow.. The US is jealous and complaining about the Egyptian strategic relationship with Russia.. While at the same time having more than strategic relationships with Usrael.. stirring trouble a creating havoc all over the place from Libya to Syria and Iraq..passing by Egypt.... this article depicts a very childish behavior on the part on those advocating it in the US.. who should know that national interests are the main guidelines of any nation's policy.. they believe in it for themselves but not for others!!!?
 

Gomig-21

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I was reading this guy's tweets today and I've followed some of his articles from the NYT and let me tell you, there is a MAJOR biased agenda to his writing and it's across the board, not just with Egypt. Egypt just happens to be his latest target. I started picking a bunch of his different reasons and they're largely misleading and disingenuous, to say the least, but I'm too tired to quote them all.

Suffice it to say, Egypt would actually be MUCH better off by recommending ending the aid itself. $830 million is not worth all this aggravation just like the economic aid that dropped down to $300 million about 10 years ago and Mubarak decided to end it himself.

Egypt is in a much better position to be independent now with a lot of resources opening the door for tremendous economic growth that this aid will only fester worst sentiments between the two countries and it will actually free up the shackles that come with it. I say good riddance ASAP.
 

HAIDER

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Every country facing it own internal issues and nobody is interested to jump in others issue. Egypt is under too much stress. People taste a short democracy and now they want it back. Democracy in Egypt is only solution to control terrorism. When public share the national pain , they handle wisely .... Not authoritarians ...
 

Mahmoud_EGY

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I was reading this guy's tweets today and I've followed some of his articles from the NYT and let me tell you, there is a MAJOR biased agenda to his writing and it's across the board, not just with Egypt. Egypt just happens to be his latest target. I started picking a bunch of his different reasons and they're largely misleading and disingenuous, to say the least, but I'm too tired to quote them all.

Suffice it to say, Egypt would actually be MUCH better off by recommending ending the aid itself. $830 million is not worth all this aggravation just like the economic aid that dropped down to $300 million about 10 years ago and Mubarak decided to end it himself.

Egypt is in a much better position to be independent now with a lot of resources opening the door for tremendous economic growth that this aid will only fester worst sentiments between the two countries and it will actually free up the shackles that come with it. I say good riddance ASAP.
if he is talking about alliance and friendship why did he not mention obama support of extremest groups around the region and that we with other powers in the region are cleaning up this mess which caused a lot of death and economic losses
 

BHarwana

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I was reading this guy's tweets today and I've followed some of his articles from the NYT and let me tell you, there is a MAJOR biased agenda to his writing and it's across the board, not just with Egypt. Egypt just happens to be his latest target. I started picking a bunch of his different reasons and they're largely misleading and disingenuous, to say the least, but I'm too tired to quote them all.

Suffice it to say, Egypt would actually be MUCH better off by recommending ending the aid itself. $830 million is not worth all this aggravation just like the economic aid that dropped down to $300 million about 10 years ago and Mubarak decided to end it himself.

Egypt is in a much better position to be independent now with a lot of resources opening the door for tremendous economic growth that this aid will only fester worst sentiments between the two countries and it will actually free up the shackles that come with it. I say good riddance ASAP.
LOL i will say nothing here I know why this article showed up. hahahaha

Egypt moved the UN resolution.
 

Ahmet Pasha

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How dare you Egypt to oppose me in UN
I will bitch in every neighborhood.

Sometimes US feels like one of those hisgh school mean girls. You are popular when u r their friend. Bullied when u are not.

Such a paphey kuttni.
 

Gomig-21

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LOL i will say nothing here I know why this article showed up. hahahaha

Egypt moved the UN resolution.
That probably triggered this goofball at the NYT writing this article. Hey, you know what they say, even a nobody is entitled to a worthless opinion.

Egypt drafted that UN resolution that passed 14-1 and we know who that 1 was, with her skinny, lanky wanna be arm sticking way up in the air like a 13 year-old gumlush in math class. She was bragging on CNN about being some tough chick from South Carolina lol I was laughing like yeah, ok, you loony bin. You're just the orange-headed baboon's mouth piece, nothing more.

if he is talking about alliance and friendship why did he not mention obama support of extremest groups around the region and that we with other powers in the region are cleaning up this mess which caused a lot of death and economic losses
Exactly, and the part where he says why won't the Egyptian Armed Forces get trained by the US forces on COIN operations that would help them in Sinai" LOL! That would help the relationship? Or it would help secure Sinai with US troops in favor of Israel? lol, he thinks everyone reading this is gullible.

The other silly thing was the North Korean shipment of RPG rockets. And that happened a few months after Egypt ended all relationships with NK because of the US. I'm not sure of the validity of that, whether it was a covert shipment from NK and we played dumb or not. Either way, if there is anything to be taken from all the things this guy listed is that Egypt is BY FAR not quite the US puppet lol! Where are the haters? :-)
 

The SC

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That probably triggered this goofball at the NYT writing this article. Hey, you know what they say, even a nobody is entitled to a worthless opinion.

Egypt drafted that UN resolution that passed 14-1 and we know who that 1 was, with her skinny, lanky wanna be arm sticking way up in the air like a 13 year-old gumlush in math class. She was bragging on CNN about being some tough chick from South Carolina lol I was laughing like yeah, ok, you loony bin. You're just the orange-headed baboon's mouth piece, nothing more.



Exactly, and the part where he says why won't the Egyptian Armed Forces get trained by the US forces on COIN operations that would help them in Sinai" LOL! That would help the relationship? Or it would help secure Sinai with US troops in favor of Israel? lol, he thinks everyone reading this is gullible.

The other silly thing was the North Korean shipment of RPG rockets. And that happened a few months after Egypt ended all relationships with NK because of the US. I'm not sure of the validity of that, whether it was a covert shipment from NK and we played dumb or not. Either way, if there is anything to be taken from all the things this guy listed is that Egypt is BY FAR not quite the US puppet lol! Where are the haters? :-)
Take a look at this:
Trump hints at cutting foreign aid over U.N. vote on Alquds
https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/trum...over-u-n-vote-on-alquds.534451/#post-10102556
 

Gomig-21

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Take a look at this:
Trump hints at cutting foreign aid over U.N. vote on Alquds
https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/trum...over-u-n-vote-on-alquds.534451/#post-10102556
I saw that, bro. This is the clown show that is the Trump administration. This girl from South Carolina threatening with aid. That would be a blessing! Please, take it away without even a threat! And as if a letter from this chick is gonna rattle the Egyptian delegation that drafted this resolution in the first place looool. They probably opened it up thinking there's gonna be some tickets to a Broadway show or something lol then they see this threatening letter "I'm gonna tell on you na na, na na, naaa naa" and I can just picture the Egyptian rep to the UN looking up at her and suddenly laughing out loud HA HA HA HA then turning to his left to the China rep and saying "look at this" and the Chinese rep says "I know, I got one too hahahah silly little girly" then they both burst out in laughter.

Then the Egyptian fella says, Obama tried this, did not work. The orange baboon tried this also earlier in the year, did not work let's see if they mean it this time. It would be most welcome. You want to terminate aid that is conditional on peace for the sake of the criminal entity next door? Jeopardize a huge partner in the ME for a stupid building that represents the legalization of a crime? Ok, then we can revisit the conditions of the peace treaty while we're at it! Mmm...little did the baboon and his high school rep at the UN know there's huge leverage that Egypt holds.

How about throwing out all International peace keeping forces out of Sinai and then we can build our military bases and defend it like we should be able to, like a true, sovereign country? Let's see how fast the criminals next door come crying to the US. How about now allowing not only the Russians to use the bases in Cairo, but base them out of Sinai. How would the Israelis like that? At the same time, the French would love to land their Rafales in the Sinai also. You accused us of dealing with the North Koreans? Ok, let's allow North Korea to pull its ships into any naval base along the Red Sea. They can use the Suez Canal any time they want. The Iranians can bring their naval ships up and down the Suez Canal and have access to the southern Lebanese territory all they want. How would the Jewish state like that? Much more money for Egypt in canal tariffs that are already seeing record earnings.

All this for moving a stupid embassy and the legalization of a criminal act from 1967? This could blow up in their faces big time.

Egypt has been juggling international partners since the mid-80's for exactly this reason. If and when the day comes. And this silly, little girl is playing tough guy in the prison yard lol! :lol:

Nimrata Randhawa aka Nikki Haley, AIPAC's darling. Bet. May & June, 2016, Sheldon Adelson contributed $250,000 to Haley’s 527 political org, Koch Industries $50,000...she raised $1mil that year,most came from pro #Israel grps! surprised by her hostility towards Palestinians?
 

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