Since the Egypt-Israel peace treaty was signed in 1979, Washington has given Cairo more than $50 billion in military grant aid. But a strong military relationship has raised as many questions as it has answered: about the ethics of working with an increasingly harsh authoritarian government; about the partnership’s success in achieving American interests in the region; about the Egyptian military’s willingness to reform; and about whether conditioned aid can spur political change. Correspondingly, the post–Arab Spring years have seen rough patches, caused by U.S. limitations on military aid following the 2013 overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, America’s chafing at Egyptian human rights abuses, and Cairo’s eventual turn toward less restrictive partners such as Moscow and Paris for military supplies.
David Witty is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces colonel and foreign area officer who has spent almost a decade and a half living and working in the Middle East, including seven years in Egypt. He is an adjunct professor at Norwich University’s Online Security Studies Program and the author of the 2018 Institute study Iraq’s Post-2014 Counter Terrorism Service. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval War College.
2 The Egyptian Armed Forces
3 Assessing Bilateral Military Ties
4 A Relationship in Transition Since the Arab Spring
5 A New U.S. Approach to Bilateral Military Relations
6 Analysis, Conclusions, and Recommendations