Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Egypt: Things are getting too interesting

The Egyptian military appears to be on a collision course with the U.S. government. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey is heading to Cairo to talk to the generals. What makes it especially interesting is that Egypt appears to be calculating that President Obama and Congress won’t cut off the $1.5 billion (that’s a B) in ...

John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

The Egyptian military appears to be on a collision course with the U.S. government. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey is heading to Cairo to talk to the generals.

What makes it especially interesting is that Egypt appears to be calculating that President Obama and Congress won't cut off the $1.5 billion (that's a B) in aid that the U.S. provides annually. Given the mood of Congress, and Obama's visceral disdain for Third World tinpot generals, I think that is a bad bet.

It is interesting that two of our largest aid recipients (Egypt and Pakistan) appear increasingly to be acting as adversaries.

The Egyptian military appears to be on a collision course with the U.S. government. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Dempsey is heading to Cairo to talk to the generals.

What makes it especially interesting is that Egypt appears to be calculating that President Obama and Congress won’t cut off the $1.5 billion (that’s a B) in aid that the U.S. provides annually. Given the mood of Congress, and Obama’s visceral disdain for Third World tinpot generals, I think that is a bad bet.

It is interesting that two of our largest aid recipients (Egypt and Pakistan) appear increasingly to be acting as adversaries.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.