Aid Conditions

Aid Conditions

I concluded my article last week with a question about the US attempt to make its military aid to Egypt contingent upon conditions relating to democracy. In the following lines, I cast doubt on the effectiveness of such condition. I”m convinced that the national forces have nothing to do but to reject it.


1- The US has managed to make the economic aid conditional upon the Egyptian successive governments adopting liberalization of the economy.


However, the US policy could not have succeeded without a positive reaction by the Egyptian official stance that has been developed since the 1970s in that regard. Such Egyptian-US harmony disappears and turns into radical contradiction in the case of military aid.


2- President Hosni Mubarak and the ruling elite reject any detriment to military aid and see it as a right gained from the strategic alliance between Egypt and the US. The Egyptian side realizes that Washington used the peace treaty with Israel and Egypt“s regional policies that achieve US interests to play a dominant role in the region.


Egypt also knows very well that military aid is the price that the superpower should pay in return for services rendered. Therefore, it is unacceptable to exclude military aid from a strategic alliance that has been forged since the 1970s and that serves the interests of both parties.


3- Egypt threatens to search for alternative sources for armament and freeze some of the strategic cooperation with the US when the latter talks about the possibility of linking aid to democracy.


Apart from the official discourse, the regime has no intention to make genuine democratic changes. So Congress attempts to make military aid conditional upon free elections, independence of the judiciary, human rights … etc. This is a line that should not be crossed.


The national forces that seek genuine democratic change realize that the regime”s foreign allies protect it and enable it to continue its authoritarian practices.


4- More importantly, the military aid has very serious internal and regional goals. It turned during the past decades into a main guarantee for the stability of the Egyptian military establishment.


It has also enabled Egypt to maintain a minimum military balance with Israel and other regional forces. The two matters are very important, especially if we took into consideration the potential transition of power in Egypt and the state of regional instability. Therefore, the military aid conditions should frankly be rejected.