Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

US hopes aid will lure Egyptian army back to democracy
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 05, 2013

Egypt army intervenes to stop Tahrir clashes: spokesman
Cairo (AFP) July 05, 2013 - Egypt's military intervened to separate supporters and opponents of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who clashed on Friday near Cairo's Tahrir Square, a military spokesman and witnesses said.

The military sent in armoured vehicles to separate the two sides, who traded shots. Two people were killed in the violence, state television reported.

"We are not taking sides. Our mission is to secure the lives of protesters," military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali told AFP. "The military is going to intervene to separate the protesters."

Two days after Mohamed Morsi was deposed, Washington has still not termed his ouster "a coup," hoping warnings of cuts in US aid will prove enough leverage to force the Egyptian military to restore democracy.

The law is clear: under legislation dating back to 1985, US military and economic assistance to another country must be suspended if a legitimately elected government is overthrown by the army.

But the verbal acrobatics by the US administration to avoid the "c" word show President Barack Obama's desire not to undermine the generals amid the chaos of Morsi's ouster, hoping that, as they did in 2011 after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, they will steer Egypt back toward democracy.

"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available... shall be expended to finance directly any assistance to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup d'etat or decree," states the law.

A special clause on Egypt also states the government must be supporting a transition to civilian government, but gives the secretary of state the right to grant a waiver and allow the aid anyway if it is in "US national security interests."

The US contributes military aid each year of some $1.3 billion -- out of a total aid package of about $1.5 billion -- covering about 80% of the cost of material and equipment for the Egyptian army. In practice, that has meant the US funds multi-year contracts with American manufacturers, particularly of tanks and fighter jets.

"It's not as though we give the Egyptians a check ... what they get is essentially their procurement material for the year, and it's valued at that amount of money," said Robert Satloff, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"Now the administration can hold up deliveries of items if it chooses to do so, but the money itself has already been appropriated and much of it has already been expended."

A contract was signed for 20 F-16 fighters in 2010 with aeronautics giant Lockheed Martin, of which four were delivered in January, according to an independent congressional report. Since 1980, the Egyptian military forces have taken delivery of some 220 F-16s.

In the hours after Morsi was toppled, Obama said the US administration was "deeply concerned" by the turn of events, adding he had ordered a review of "the implications under US law for our assistance to the government of Egypt."

"The administration wants to see as quick as possible a return to civilian elected authority, and it's signaling that it has in its pocket the threat of suspending aid," Satloff explained to AFP.

Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Brookings Saban Center, told AFP the State Department would have to work through a "legal determination whether or not what happened in Cairo fits the definition of a coup established by Congress."

"So yes, that does provide time for the US government and the Egyptian government to have a set of conversations about what the military's intentions are, what the roadmap is, what the timeline is," she said.

"If they want to toss out last year's constitution and start over, that's going to take more time then if they just want to come up with some amendment to what they've got."

She recalled that, under direct military rule after Mubarak was ousted and before Morsi was elected, it was a "very fraught period," and there had been real concerns "about the way the military was governing Egypt and the rights abuses."

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have also avoided using the term "coup d'etat," waiting to see how things play out and what will be in the best interests of US national security.

Such interests include the Suez canal guarded over by Egyptian soldiers, recalled Michael Rubin, an expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute think-tank, saying he did not "see a situation in which the Americans would antagonize the military to that extent."

"All of the ships from our East coast fleet which pass through the Mediterranean on the way to the Gulf go through the Suez canal," he told AFP.

But time could be on Washington's side, as US aid for the fiscal year 2014, set to start from October 1, is not due to be voted on by Congress until after its summer recess.


Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Tunisia's Marzouki says no risk of Egypt contagion
Tunis (AFP) July 04, 2013
President Moncef Marzouki on Thursday ruled out the risk of Tunisia's elected authorities being deposed, after Egypt's army ousted its head of state, while stressing the need to "pay attention" to popular demands. "Could Tunisia witness the same (Egyptian) scenario? I don't think so, because it's missing the fundamental ingredients. Here we have a professional, republican army that has never ... read more

REACTing to a crisis

RESCUE Consortium Demonstrates Technologies for First Responders

India chopper crash kills 20 as flood rescue forges on

India rescue chopper crash death toll rises to 20

BBC announces decision to halt 3D television programming

Making hydrogenation greener

Inmarsat's First Fully Assembled Global Xpress Satellite Achieves Significant Testing Milestone

The quantum secret to alcohol reactions in space

Red Cross cartoon to demystify Pacific climate change

Greenhouse gas likely altering ocean foodchain

Breakthrough in El Nino forecasting

El Nino unusually active in the late 20th century

CryoSat maps largest-ever flood beneath Antarctica

Is Arctic Permafrost the "Sleeping Giant" of Climate Change?

The rhythm of the Arctic summer

Global cooling as significant as global warming

Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes

China probes Tetra Pak for "abusing" market role

Workers at industrial farms carry drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock

Improving crop yields in a world of extreme weather events

Tropical storm Erick forms off Pacific coast of Mexico

6.1-magnitude quake strikes off Solomons: USGS

Storm Erick strengthens off Mexico's Pacific coast

Landslides and floods in Nepal kill 50

UN intervention force raises hopes in DR Congo

Grenade strike kills aid worker in Sudan's Darfur: UN

Military claims 100 attackers killed in central Nigeria

UN peacekeepers take over ahead of Mali polls

Scientists link ancient remains with living Canadian woman

Amputee creates LEGO prosthetic

Altitude sickness may hinder ethnic integration in the world's highest places

What Is the Fastest Articulated Motion a Human Can Execute?

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement