I wrote this piece for AlMonitor. I tried to provide an Egyptian perspective on the U.S. military aid reduction move
It’s hard to find any written analysis about America and Egypt without mention of the $1.3 billion aid package the United States delivers annually to the Egyptian military. Following the 2011 Arab Spring, the general debate in the United States focused on how America could help the Middle East in its time of upheaval. However, things have changed recently. In Syria, instead of focusing on the overall stability of the Levant, the debate has shrunk to a discussion about President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons. In Egypt, the debate that once concentrated on ways in which the United States could help that country’s emerging democracy has now shifted to military aid.
Last May, despite concerns about President Mohammed Morsi’s leadership abilities, US Secretary of State John Kerry quietly approved a huge arms shipment to Egypt. Later, after Morsi was ousted, the United States canceled a joint military exercise with Egypt but continued to provide aid. Now, following the recent turmoil, US officials have said that they will withhold the shipment of a dozen AH-64D Apache helicopters Egypt ordered four years ago. It has been increasingly frustrating to see such a crucial subject being debated under the false trilemma of keeping, slashing or cutting aid.
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