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
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
Commentary9/11 swallowed U.S. foreign policy. Don’t let the coronavirus do the same thing.
For two decades, American foreign policy has been shaped by the 9/11 attacks. The catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our failure to see the full threat posed by Russia...
By Ilan Goldenberg
CommentaryBig Ideas for NATO’s New Mission in Iraq
Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s calls for America’s allies to “get more involved in the Middle East,” NATO defense ministers last month agreed to “enhance” the Atlanti...
By David H. Petraeus & Vance Serchuk
CommentaryThe American Public Wants a Sustainable Middle East Policy
After the U.S. strike on Qasem Soleimani, Americans feared the United States was on the brink of war with Iran. “World War III draft” memes circulated around the internet, and...
By Kaleigh Thomas & Emma Moore