Hours After Denial, US Cuts Egypt Military Aid

Will Withhold Heavy Weapons, Cash Pending Election 'Progress'

A 24-hour span has seen reports, counterreports, denials, and counterdenials, but the Obama Administration has finally confirmed what was reported in the first place, that the US is going to significantly cut military aid to Egypt’s junta.

Just hours after State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf issued a public denial of the reports that this was coming,  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki issued a statement confirming that the cuts will happen and will include large-scale weapons systems as well as cash subsidies to the junta.

Early estimates are the the cuts will amount to several hundred millions of dollars out of the $1.5 billion in annual tribute to the nation, and despite US law obliging a full cut in the event of a military takeover, most of the aid program will remain intact, including direct training aid for the nation’s military leadership.

Psaki’s statement says the cuts are temporary until the junta shows some “progress” toward credible elections, but since the junta has already banned the party that won the last election and arrested most of its leadership, it seems increasingly apparent that a vote, if indeed one happens at all, is going to be among a handful of pro-junta parties.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.