NO, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT SUSPEND AID TO EGYPT
By Aaron David Miller
Aaron David Miller, for many years the principal assistant to Dennis Ross in executing U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians, is one of the more thoughtful Middle East experts in the United States. In this Foreign Policy article he lays out cogent reasons why the U.S. should not cut military assistance to Egypt. He, or Foreign Policy, chose the unfortunate title of "Dumb and Dumber" for this article, something I have dropped in order not to lose possible readers of this review. Although the article is now two months old and the Obama administration appears to have made the decision to continue providing military assistance to Egypt, it still deserves reading for the contradictions and challenges about American foreign policy it highlights. Here are two of those contradictions, even though Miller might not agree with the conclusions I draw from them:
) Laws often fail to anticipate reality. This is especially true in foreign policy where the impact of legislation often is not what Congress intended. Case in point: the laws that impose sanctions when a "democracy" is overthrown by coup and for violations of what Americans hold dear as human rights. Miller notes that U.S. support for the Sadat and Mubarak regimes in Egypt was "a devil's bargain," giving them a pass on human rights and political reform in return for maintaining stability. It wasn't permanent but, as he notes, "lasted a long time." Now he sees in the Egyptian military the only organization that promises stability in a region where that is arguably more important than ever. So he believes that a similar pass should again be given to the Egyptian military, suggesting that the positive role the U.S. can play is to work with the...