In a dramatic shift toward a major Arab ally, the Obama administration announced a suspension of significant military aid to Egypt on Wednesday over Egypt's crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.
This decision would seem to be a result of what some in the administration see as “undemocratic” removal of Mohammed Morsi. The Obama administration should be reminded that last January it announced $250 million in aid to Egypt, despite the “undemocratic” decision of Morsi to break his oath to the Egyptian people and to control all powers in the country in his hand.
Let us not forget the brutal killing of 50 innocent demonstrators in Port Said by the Morsi government — all while the administration promised this aid. While we're at it, it should not be overlooked that Morsi turned a blind eye to his supporters' vicious attacks (and murders) of those who were peacefully demonstrating in front of his palace.
So why the abrupt about-face for the Morsi crackdown?
In addition, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that a cut-off in aid could backfire by distancing future generations of Egyptian military officers from the United States. That could spell serious trouble.
He also noted privileges, including overflight rights, that U.S. aid helps ensure. "When we use funding to separate ourselves from prior partners, nothing good comes of it," Dempsey told the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
Furthermore, it is important to mention that this decision against the Egyptian military in such a critical time empowers the Islamists to intensify their attacks on the country, which can only make things worse. The more Islamists resort to violence the more the population of Egypt will demand action from the military.
It is also vital to clarify that attempts to weaken the Egyptian Military by depriving it from the U.S. aid will not work as several wealthy gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., and Kuwait are currently standing beside the Egyptian military.
A decrease in aid will only push Egypt to seek other sources. Possibles to fill this void? President Vladimir Putin could be the first candidate. Is the United States ready to see the Russians replacing them in such strategically important part of the world?
Is the administration ready to face security interruptions at the Suez Canal region, which may significantly increase the gas prices both in the United States and globally?
The decision to cut aid seems to work only for the benefit of the Islamists.
Dr. Tawfik Hamid is the author of "Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam." Read more reports from Tawfik Hamid — Click Here Now.
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