Lifting the Freeze on US Assistance to Egypt

These are two excerpts from a particularly informative piece by Jeff Goodson on the Obama administration’s recent decision to lift the freeze on US assistance to Egypt:

“In October 2013, the Obama administration froze hundreds of millions in cash assistance, loan guarantees, Apache helicopters, M1A1 tank kits, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and F-16 fighter jets, and ended joint military exercises. President Obama explained that the freeze was an attempt to encourage the military to seek political reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. The quid pro quo for lifting the freeze was movement towards free and fair elections, and progress on “… inclusive, nonviolent sustainable democracy … one of our core interests in Egypt.”

“Seventeen months later, the Obama administration reversed itself. The decision was made because of bipartisan political pressure, new urgency over events in Yemen and Iraq, and the fact that the freeze simply didn’t work. The administration recognized that the al-Sisi regime “is in place, it’s not going anywhere, it’s stable, and our previous policy hasn’t gotten us very far … Clearly, this is not about democratization.” In ending the freeze, the White House did not claim that Egypt had made progress towards democracy, instead certifying that the move was “in U.S. national security interests.” Common security interests cited in the May 2015 certifying Memorandum to Congress included “countering transnational threats … Egyptian adherence to its peace treaty with Israel, counterterrorism and counter-proliferation cooperation, support for U.S. military operations and international peacekeeping, and the security of the Suez Canal.”

The whole article can be read here.

Follow me on Twitter @eugeniolilli

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