Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, declared a three-month state of emergency last week after two suicide attacks on Coptic churches killed forty-four people. In response, President Trump tweeted that he was confident in Sisi’s ability to “handle the situation properly,” less than a week after he also vowed to rejuvenate Egypt’s military and fight terrorism. To be an effective security partner, Trump must do more than just order military equipment. He must hold Sisi accountable for his governance and ensure basic security assistance provisions are met. Failure to do so will result in writing a blank check that backfires on U.S. interests.
Trump’s warm embrace of Sisi is a serious departure from U.S. policy. In 2013, the Obama administration suspended partial aid to Egypt following Sisi’s ousting of Mohamed Morsi, a democratically elected leader from the Muslim Brotherhood. The suspension failed to induce major policy changes by Sisi, but the United States regained leverage in its security assistance by adding several new stipulations, including the discontinuation of cash-flow financing, increased reporting on human-rights performance, and narrowing of military assistance to include counterterrorism, border security, Sinai security and maritime security.
Read the full article at The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentaryHow Iran Became the New Battle Line Between Conservatives and Twitter
In the latest salvo in the conservative war against Twitter, Senator Ted Cruz is calling for a criminal investigation into the social media platform for violating U....
By Peter Harrell & Elizabeth Goitein
PodcastThe Trump Administration’s Latest Moves to Dismantle the Iran Nuclear Agreement with Peter Harrell and Richard Nephew
On May 27, the Trump administration announced that it was withdrawing sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to work with Iran on sensitive...
By Peter Harrell
CommentarySharper: Global Coronavirus Response
As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
CommentaryHow the US can learn from Israel to counter Iran
During the COVID-19 crisis, one would have thought the United States and Iran would find ways to reduce tensions. Instead the Trump administration refuses to relax sanctions i...
By Ilan Goldenberg & Kaleigh Thomas