Please Stop Pretending US Aid To Egypt Matters Much

In the wake of the military coup/non-coup against the Morsi government in Egypt a fight has broken out over whether the US should suspend it’s roughly $1 Billion in aid. Here’s my take: It doesn’t matter.

As Americans we constantly overestimate our ability to control or even influence events around the world. The political classes here seem to think that what we do with that aid money will affect the course of Egypt’s political future. It really won’t. Here’s two stories from the last two days that demonstrate how much we overestimate our influence.

Story 1:

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday announced a total of $8 billion in economic aid to help shore up Egypt’s military-backed interim leaders after Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was removed in a coup last week.

Story 2:

My admittedly weak math skills tell me that’s $12 billion oil rich Arab countries just tossed over to Cairo. I’d bet anything that money comes with a lot fewer strings than the us money does.  It’s also doesn’t come with the taint of “western imperialism” either.

So tell me again how pulling a billion dollars in targeted aid from the US is going to make or break the Egyptian Army and its political plans.

Americans need to get over the idea that if we just pull the right strings and push the right levers we can control something as complex and volatile as Egypt’s chaotic political process.


About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on July 10, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. President Bush couldn’t do it; President Obama can’t either. I don’t understand what you define as “fewer strings”. My math logic sucks but what is less than zero requests for our aid? Do they get to tell us what to do?

  2. You’re missing the more interesting point. The State Department’s policy is closer to radical Sunni Qatar’s sentiments than the more moderate GCC countries. How did Saudi Arabia react to the fall of Mubarak? Concern and outrage. How did Saudi Arabia react to the coup against Morsi? Congratulations and support. How did the State Dept react to these instances? So, the State Department’s support for radical Sunni groups is stronger than even Saudi Arabia in a number of different situations.

  3. And Drew, can you watch for my comments is spam. Tor browsers are great for privacy but not so much for sites

  1. Pingback: Egypt On Brink Of Civil War…The Longer And Wider View | DrewMusings

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