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MajGenWilliams35 karma

That it is not as simple as it seems; the situation is being cast by many as the case of a military coup versus democracy. This is not true. Certainly, El-Sisi is not a democrat. But neither is Morsi. There is more to democracy than having an election. Morsi was elected by a slim margin, but once elected, he made no attempt to govern in a democratic manner. This was one of the root causes of the public anger that caused people to go back into the streets. Morsi was presented with a petition with hundreds of thousands of signatures, asking him to submit his rule to referendum. He refused to do so. So what we have are two sides, neither of which are democratic. When we talk about which side we should back, this fact seems to be forgotten.

MajGenWilliams23 karma

You have to be tough to have a nickname like Pink... I joined the Air Force in 1971, and my first name is Floyd. You do the math.

MajGenWilliams21 karma

I would say yes. Specifically, regarding the military's security assistance programs. The biggest misconception is that we give countries money and they spend it however they like. In fact, the money never leaves the United States, and it must be spend on American equipment. Unless specific exceptions are obtained. People also do not realize how much of the joint training the U.S. Military conducts overseas is pointed toward non-violent themes, such as emphasizing civilian control of the military, providing disaster relief training, etcetera.

MajGenWilliams18 karma

Question 1. Yes. I think the U.S. should have made its position clear very early on in the current crisis, and that position should have been that the Brotherhood, while democratically elected, had failed to govern in a democratic manner. That said, it is almost impossible for the U.S. in the Middle East to not end up being blamed by both sides. I think we should emphasize the fact that we are friends of Egypt, and that we want to see Egypt and its people succeed. We may sometimes stumble as we try to help, but we are trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately, we have been so inept at defining our position that it is no wonder that everyone is blaming us.

Question 2. I think that suspending aid at this time is a huge mistake. It will do nothing to alter the behavior of anyone in Egypt, and it will put a strain on U.S. Egyptian relations, one from which it may be impossible to recover.

MajGenWilliams17 karma

Good question. According to the news today we are on the verge of doing so. At this point, in my opinion, discontinuing military aid will have no positive consequences for us (the U.S.). It may have negative consequences. By that I mean, discontinuing aid will not cause the government of Egypt to do anything that we want them to do. However, it may annoy them and cause them to do some things we don't want them to do. We over-estimate our influence in Egypt based on the $1.3 Billion we give them every year in military aid. They are not going to substantially alter their behavior during what they see as an existential battle for their country, just because we cut aid.