The Part of Obama’s Arms-To-Egypt Deal That Matters
President Barack Obama’s decision this week to restore military assistance to Egypt was a tough call, but the right one. Yet it is bound to make few happy.
Some critics will claim the president finally bowed to reality, arguing the military relationship with Egypt is so critical that not only should we sustain our assistance untouched, but we never should have suspended it. Others will say he is caving to political pressure and turning his back on democracy, arguing we should fundamentally change our relationship with Egypt, perhaps ending (or at least severely curtailing) the military assistance that has been the cornerstone of the U.S.-Egypt relationship for more than three decades. A third group of critics will criticize the policy’s execution, asserting we now have the worst of both worlds: by first suspending the assistance and then letting it go forward the administration hurt both its credibility in democracy promotion and Egyptian confidence in the United States.