21st Century Wire says…
The latest US plan for Egypt’s aid military package is to be announced in a few days. Early indications are that the Obama Administration, still upset over the removal of its preferred leader Mohammed Morsi’s ouster by the Egyptian people and military, will suspend some “nonessential aid”.
Expect an announcement on Friday from US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (photo, left), who has been under severe stress this week – coming at him from all directions, dealing with America’s humiliation over Syria, Israel’s fury over peace negotiations with Iran, and most of all- the Pentagon’s bloated, unsustainable debt-based budgets at home, as well as overseas.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi supporters gathered outside Cairo University on Tuesday chanting, “Down with the military government”, urging students there to protest against the army following the violence on Sunday. Many believe that Egypt is ripe for a civil war, and that elements in Washington, including Present Barack Obama, and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham will, as they have in Syria, support destabilisation there in order to achieve their personal aims.
The US policy of military aid to Egypt sprouted out of multilateral, regional power-balancing arrangements which followed the Arab-Israeli War in 1973. In addition to buying the loyalty of the Egyptian military power base, US aid is also used as a form of patronage, or “stimulus bailout” between Washington and those private military companies who are awarded the contracts to supply Egypt with their gear.
Egypt is now facing the prospect of indefinite asymmetric political and terrorist activity – which will continue to damage the country’s economic fortune, and increase the pressure on society and government. Voice of America reports:
“Along with political turmoil, a surge in militant attacks has hurt tourism, a main foreign currency earner, due to fears it is no longer safe to visit Egypt’s pyramids and beaches.
Gunmen killed a police officer and wounded another in the city of Port Said on Tuesday, and the interior ministry said Egypt may install security cameras at tourist sites.
“There’s a security plan in place in tourist areas that will maintain stability in these areas,” Interior Ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said. “We expected all these problems because we are in a war against terrorism.”
Al Qaeda-inspired militants have attacked police and soldiers almost daily in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi fell.”
The reality is that anti-American sentiment has taken hold among the Egyptian people, as the Arab Street becomes ever the more wise to how US and Israeli manipulation over their political and economic affairs is exactly in their best interest.
Anne Gearan and Scott Wilson
The Obama administration will announce curbs on a significant part of nonessential military aid to Egypt within a few days, U.S. officials said Tuesday, marking a shift in America’s relations with one of its key Arab allies.
Officials would not provide figures about how much of the annual $1.2 billion in military aid would be withheld, but they said the primary focus will be a hold on the shipment of a dozen AH-64D Apache helicopters from an order placed four years ago.
Provision of crucial spare parts for the extensive U.S. military equipment that Egypt already has and training for the country’s armed forces will continue, officials said. They said aid that supports counterterrorism initiatives and Egypt’s relations with Israel, including security efforts in the Sinai Peninsula and monitoring along the border with the Gaza Strip, would also continue.
U.S. officials described the decision — which comes three months after a military coup toppled Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president — on the condition of anonymity. Neither Congress nor Egyptian officials have been notified of the decision, and the announcement could be postponed.
“We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days,” Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.
Citing President Obama’s address to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Hayden said, “As the president made clear at UNGA, that assistance relationship will continue.”
The Apache shipment that will be placed on hold is part of an $820 million, 12-aircraft order dating from 2009. The hold, which can be lifted at a later time, is more a symbolic move than a substantive loss for the Egyptians, who have about three dozen Apaches from previous orders.