'Instead of addressing the issue of the coup and its implications for US aid to Egypt, he announced that the US would not hold joint military exercises with the Egyptians, which was just about the smallest punishment that he could have chosen, short of doing nothing'.
Daniel Larison: Unless Obama cuts aid to Egypt, he'll be seen as endorsing coup and crackdown .The Guardian Thursday 15 August 2013.President Obama is going to continue doing nothing because the retaining the support of the Egyptian generals ( SCAF ) is believed crucial to maintaining American foreign policy goals and geopolitical objectives such as the continued supply of relatively cheap oil and gas from the Middle East.
The only reason John McCain is now posturing and calling for an end to the military aid is for the domestic political aim of making Obama seem indecisive and weak. It is merely a way for him to present himself as not Obama at a time when he is facing the consequent fallout of a policy the dates back to 1979.
The Egyptian army is funded by the US to preserve the security of the Sinai Peninsula that borders Israel and is close to Saudi Arabia with which the US also has a strategic military partnership based on oil and arms deals. The Sumed pipeline pumps oil west from the Gulf and needs protection.
Even if the US cancelled military aid, it would acheive little that Saudi Arabia could not do by stepping in to provide more than the $10 billion it has already given the regime for removing and eliminating the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement seen as a potential threat to the oil rich kingdom.
Given that the Obama administration has also seen setbacks in Syria, with the Sunni insurgents being rolled back and defeated by President Assad with help from Hezbollah and Iran, US primacy in the Middle East is seen as threatened which is why McCain is getting increasingly critical.
Yet the security of the Suez Canal is vital to uphold US interests in the Persian Gulf against the nation McCain has ranted against more than any other- Iran. It was Iran's breaking free from US control over its oil in 1979 along with the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan that created the current balance of power.
With Iran being seen as a potential menace to US oil interests in the Persian Gulf, the Suez Canal was all the more vital as a rapid sea route for US Fifth Fleet to have a shortcut to the region. The treaty with Egypt of 1979 gives the US exclusive quick passage whereas other powers must wait weeks.
The naval carriers are also vital to the war effort in Afghanistan. One central war aim seldom mentioned is to secure the construction of the TAPI pipeline as an alternative to Iran's rival IP pipeline through to Pakistan. The transport of Liquified Natural Gas via the Suez Canal is a strategic 'energy security' concern.
With an energy hungry and assertive China also courting influence in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, US dependence upon 12 % of its oil from Saudi Arabia ensures that Washington is going to continue to back the Egyptian army because to do otherwise would severely threaten the basis of its foreign policy in the Middle East.
For some years now the US has been wary on increased Chinese influence in the oil rich kingdom and Russia's tendency to cooperate with Iran and Syria. One reason for the Iraq War in 2003 was to control the globe's second largest oil reserves in order to diversify oil supply.
However, as the Iraq war backfired and led in time to China gaining more oil concessions, the US has seen its global reach shrink and it is not going to want to lose Egypt to rival powers vying for influence in Iraq and Syria-especially Iran along with Russia and China.
With lucrative arms deals with Egypt at stake and increased rivalry with China and Russia in the New Great Game that has arisen in the wake of the end of the Cold War, Washington is not going to halt the flow of military aid nor, more ominously, is it going to watch should Egypt slide into chaos.