News / USA

    US Reviewing Aid to Egypt

    Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi stand in a line as volunteers distribute juice ahead of iftar (breaking of fast) during the holy month of Ramadan, as they continue a sit-in around Rabaa Adawiya mosque, east of Cairo, July 17, 2013.
    Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi stand in a line as volunteers distribute juice ahead of iftar (breaking of fast) during the holy month of Ramadan, as they continue a sit-in around Rabaa Adawiya mosque, east of Cairo, July 17, 2013.
    Egypt’s interim president has sworn in a new Cabinet, but not one of its 34 members is associated with the Muslim Brotherhood - the movement that came to power with last year’s election of Mohamed Morsi as president.

    On July 3, the Egyptian military ousted the democratically elected leader after millions of Egyptians took to the streets for four days, protesting the way he ran the country.

    Mirette Mabrouk, with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said Morsi and his government were simply incompetent.

    “The Brotherhood made just about every mistake in the book, really. They proved enormously inept at running the country, and they proved enormously inept at running the country at a very difficult stage in its time,” said Mabrouk. “As a result, the president is out and the Brotherhood are - after 80 years of having been in opposition and having been, it must be said, having been persecuted by the regime, all of a sudden they had power - they have been unable to hold onto it.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood considers the current military backed government to be illegitimate.

    Review of Aid after Miltary Action

    The Obama administration is reviewing U.S. aid to Egypt after the military action. A U.S. law stipulates the cutoff of aid to “any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup.” But U.S. officials have been hesitant to apply the “coup” label to what happened in Egypt.

    Each year, Washington provides $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt. Some U.S. lawmakers are pressing to end that aid.

    But former U.S. State Department Middle East expert Aaron David Miller said that is a bad idea.

    “After all, we supplied this assistance for 30 years - three decades - to a regime that made no pretense of being democratic, a regime in which there were no elections, a regime in which there were no popular demonstrations of this magnitude. A regime, essentially, that wasn’t open in any way, shape or form, to a serious sharing of power,” said Miller. “And so, how by extension, could you now, at a time when Egypt maybe is in the process of democratization, where you’ve had elections, where you’ve had massive outpouring of the popular will - how can we suspend the aid now? It’s fundamentally illogical.”

    U.S. Has Little Leverage Over Egypt

    Many experts say the U.S. government has very little leverage over what is happening or will happen in Egypt.

    Jeffrey Martini of the RAND Corporation said one reason is that U.S. economic aid to Egypt has been reduced over the years, in part due to the growth of Egypt’s economy.

    “In the mid-1980s, the total aid flow to Egypt from the United States was equivalent to about 7 percent of Egypt’s economy - that would give you a lot of leverage,” said Martini. “Today, it’s about [zero-]point-seven percent - so a 10-fold drop as compared to the size of the Egyptian economy. So you don’t get much leverage when you are looking at aid flows of [zero-]point-seven percent the size of the Egyptian economy.”

    Leverage or no leverage, the United States and other countries believe having a politically stable Egypt is essential for the Middle East.

    “Other countries have depended on it [Egypt] culturally, they have depended on it in terms of labor, they have depended on it in terms of political leadership,” said Mabrouk. “Israel is dependent for a stable Egypt on its borders. A stable, prosperous, if you like, but certainly stable and healthy Egypt is absolutely vital to the Middle East. Otherwise, frankly, no one would care. If Egypt were irrelevant, then people would not be paying attention - people pay attention because Egypt is vital.”

    Looking ahead, Mabrouk and others say the United States and other countries should stay on the sidelines and let the Egyptian political process take its course.

    Andre de Nesnera

    Andre de Nesnera is senior analyst at the Voice of America, where he has reported on international affairs for more than three decades. Now serving in Washington D.C., he was previously senior European correspondent based in London, established VOA’s Geneva bureau in 1984 and in 1989 was the first VOA correspondent permanently accredited in the Soviet Union.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora