Continued from page 2

“[The Obama administration is] frustrated that many of America’s allies remain largely autocratic, but they are also so dependent on them in all of their daily strategic planning,” Mr. Telhami said.

‘No going back’

Egypt backed the U.S. war in Iraq and continues to support its effort against al Qaeda. It also has been instrumental in maintaining a fragile Arab-Israeli peace.

Since, 1979, the U.S. has provided Egypt with about $1.3 billion in annual aid, much of it for the military.

Mr. Mubarak’s handling of the crisis likely will have a detrimental effect on his relationship with the U.S.

“The drift in American rhetoric to a more demanding posture reflects the Obama administration’s knowledge that there is no going back to the relationship we had with Egypt until last Monday,” said Mr. White.

On Sunday, the State Department advised U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Egypt and said U.S. citizens in Egypt should consider leaving as soon as they can do so safely.

Mr. Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have urged Mr. Mubarak to refrain from any violence against the protesters and called on demonstrators to protest peacefully.

According to agency reports, the death toll in the Egyptian unrest has surpassed 100.

Mr. Mubarak’s decision to insert the military into the crisis could turn into a double-edged sword because many of the troops share the civilians’ grievances, especially about skyrocketing food prices.

Signs of military sympathy for the protesters were evident in many instances, as soldiers waved to cheering crowds from atop their armored vehicles.