- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president a product of army’s U.S. military training
In ousting Muslim Brotherhood rule, the Egyptian army did what it has been taught to do for decades: Keep Cairo out of the hands of Islamists.
It is a creed imbued by its former secular presidents who first served as military officers and molded the armed forces into a pro-Western bulwark against Islamic extremism, analysts say.
It is an esprit de corps nurtured by America. The U.S. has played host to hundreds of Egyptian officers at the Pentagon’s elite educational institutions such as the Army War College and the Naval Postgraduate School. The U.S. educates and trains about 1,000 Egyptian military personnel each year.
Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s supreme armed forces commander who engineered the ouster Wednesday of President Mohammed Morsi, attended the war college in Carlisle, Pa., in 2006. In the 1990s, he was a student at Britain’s prestigious Joint Services Command and Staff College.
Robert Springborg, who has taught Egyptian officers at the naval school in Monterey, Calif., calls the Egyptian military’s culture “the creation of a sense of superiority above civilians, reinforced by privilege.”
Egypt’s two, pre-Brotherhood presidents — Anwar Sadat and the now-imprisoned Hosni Mubarak — were products of military education. Sadat joined Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Free Officer Movement, which staged a coup 1952 against King Farouk. Mubarak led the air force under Sadat.
“I would thank Mubarak and, indeed before him, Sadat, Nasser and the British, to say nothing of Muhammad Ali,” Mr. Springborg said. “The tradition of the military at the core of the state is 200 years old.”
Ali, who ruled in the 19th century, is considered the founder of modern Egypt and its dominant military tradition.
American ties to Cairo have run deep ever since Sadat evicted Soviet advisers and attached his star to Washington and its military-industrial complex.
The alliance has brought to the Egyptian military some of the most powerful U.S. weapons, such as the F-16 Falcon fighter jet and the M1A1 Abrams tank — thanks to American taxpayers.
“There is first of all the fact that we provided them $1.5 billion a year, the majority of it in U.S. weapons and equipment,” said Ken Allard, a retired Army colonel who has lectured on Egyptian military’s role in society. “But there is also the fact that both its current leaders are U.S. Army War College grads. They are only the most obvious ties between military establishments that have lived, trained and worked together ever since Sadat.
“As I used to tell my students at the National War College, the instruction was vital, but the friendships formed were what shapes lives and careers.”
James Phillips, a Middle East analyst at the Heritage Foundation, said the coup underscores a fact of life in Cairo.
“The army essentially has run Egypt since Nasser’s coup in 1952, and it will be reluctant to give up its role as the ultimate arbiter of Egyptian politics,” Mr. Phillips said. “But it will be willing to step back from direct rule and operate behind the scenes.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Hillary Clinton all but erased from tragic story of the attack in Benghazi
- Indiana assured that Pakistani firm working to thwart bomb makers
- Doubts on military's sex assault stats as numbers far exceed those for the U.S.
- Political hunt for sex abusers puts military justice in peril, lawyers say
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- IRS emails reveal discussion with Justice about suing nonprofits for election activities
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Brewer signs 1 of 4 pro-gun bills passed Wednesday
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.