Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Should the US cut aid to Egypt's military rulers?.

Whether or not it the US should cut financial support for Egypt's military government it is not going to do so. While the interim regime is trying to cobble together a coalition of new civilian leaders to ensure what it regards as a stable and managed transition to democracy, the US will not regard it as a coup.

In fact, the Egyptian army has been at pains to emphasise that the military takeover is a transitional one and not a reversion to military rule or a dictatorship. That is precisely why the US has shown no indication that it will cut funding as the continuation of funding is seen to be conditional on a transition to democracy.

The obvious problem with this strategy is there is no guarantee between now and the next elections set for February 2014 that the Muslim Brotherhood will not keep up resistance to what it regards as an illegitimate usurper state. Their only elected leader was deposed after a year in office and 80 years of struggle.

Even worse is that this potential for instability is set background of precipitous economic collapse and a polarisation of Egyptian society into those for and against the military takeover or coup. It seems unlikely that the IMF is going to guarantee loans unless the government imposed an austerity programme.

It is hard to see that the problems connected with Egypt's worsening poverty, diminishing resources, overpopulation, colossal debts and difficulty in paying for the vital resources including food can be resolved no matter who is in power. And the collapse into chaos of Egypt would potentially destabilise the entire Middle East.

Egypt has a pivotal role in preserving the balance of power and strategic interests in the Gulf region-in particular the control over the oil that has been increasingly essential for the growth of the global economies from the 1970s onwards. If this settlement were to unravel this could lead to a major global crisis.


  1. Egypt looks like a country that would not need aid from western countries. I don't know why there's an American angle in the first place. (Totally ignorant about world politics, yeah.)

    Egypt and India (thats where I live) have normally shared good relations, so I hope for peace and normal life there. They are one of our better friends in my opinion.

  2. My latest blog explains the reason the US funds the Egyptian army and it's connected to preserving the regional balance of power in the Middle East and protecting strategic interests and the security of the oil supply.