Chased off the front pages first by the NSA surveillance scandals and then by the administration’s attempts to attack Syria, the post-coup US policy toward Egypt remains an issue unresolved, as officials reportedly told President Obama last week that he ought to cut military aid to the new junta.
Legally, this is what he was obliged to do when the coup happened, as US law explicitly forbids continuing military aid after a military takeover. The administration has chosen to ignore that law, however, arguing that the law only requires aid cuts after they notice a coup has taken place, and that they don’t intend to ever notice.
Massacres and an increasingly authoritarian rule by the Egypt military leadership, even if it’s a nominally pro-US leadership, is getting awfully hard to ignore, however, though President Obama intends to keep doing so in the near-term, with officials saying there are no plans to make any decision until after the Syrian war votes.
The Pentagon, which has close ties with the brutal military turned even-more-brutal junta, is opposed to cutting off aid to Egypt, and is arguing that because they have already got deals in the pipeline with massive US military contractors to keep making the billions of dollars in gear for Egypt, actually stopping the status quo would cost $2 to $3 billion in “defaults.” The US military aid to Egypt amounts to $1.23 billion per year.
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