April 13, 2011

The U.S. Response to the Egyptian Revolution(s)

From Anouar Abdel-Malek's Egypt: Military Society:

The United States ambassador in Cairo,
Jefferson Caffery, enjoyed the most cordial relations with the military group; his
subordinates, especially the assistant naval attaché, David Evans, and his
counselor, Colonel Lakeland, later active in Iraq, were of the same view. On
September 3, 1952, Secretary of State Dean Acheson promised Egypt “the active
friendship of the United States.” Fulbright scholarships multiplied. The
various credits rose from $6 million to $40 million between 1952 and 1954.
Within the framework of the land reform that the State Department had
constantly advocated, a so-called Egyptian-American Rural Improvement Service
was set up with Egyptian capital of £E5,450,000 and American capital of
£E3,469,000, in order to reclaim and redistribute a model area of 37,000 feddans.

From the Washington Post:

Clinton arrived in Cairo with a package of financial aid, parts of
which had been previously announced. She pledged to secure quick
congressional passage of a $60 million U.S.-Egypt Enterprise Fund, a
program backed by Democratic and Republican lawmakers to stimulate
investment and provide Egyptian businesses with access to low-cost


The new aid would augment a previous pledge by the Obama
administration of $90 million in near-term economic assistance. as well
as $80 million in insurance backing for letters of credit issued by
Egyptian banks.


Clinton also said that up to $2 billion in
financial aid will be made available to Egypt and other countries in the
Middle East and North Africa by the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation to fund small- and medium-size businesses and stimulate job

I am currently looking at ways in which U.S. policy makers can support democracy in Egypt and have found it interesting to look at the similarities between the ways in which the U.S. government responded to the coup of 1952 and has thus far responded to the events of 2011.

I am still of the opinion that one of the better ways the United States can support Egypt going forward is to take an active interest in the reconstitution of Egypt's internal security services. A responsible police force in Egypt would be welcomed, I suspect, by both the people of Egypt and the Egyptian military.