Egypt Turmoil Puts Damper on Military Contracts

Thursday, 03 Feb 2011 12:31 PM

By Dan Weil

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U.S. military companies have contracts worth billions of dollars for weapons sales to Egypt, our biggest Arab ally until now. While the nation’s political unrest doesn’t yet affect those contracts, it could in the future, Politico reports.

egypt contracts fighter jets
American companies sell fighter jets to Egypt. (Getty Images)
“None of these contracts are binding in the face of a hostile regime,” Anthony Cordesman, who holds the Arleigh Burke chair in strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells the news service. “We’ve seen that with Iran and other cases in the past.”

But Eric Edelman, a distinguished fellow with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and a former Pentagon undersecretary, says, “I would expect that everything would, for the moment, stay on course. There’s no reason [for it] not to.”

He says recent talks between Egyptian military leaders and Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen probably were meant to “reassure” the Egyptian military.

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