In retaliation for the slaughter of demonstrators in Egypt, the Obama administration has decided to stop joint military war games with the Egyptian military. Other politicos have called for stopping the flow of $1.5 billion in cash to the Egyptians. It won’t work.
The money the US gives to Egypt is dwarfed by the $12 billion in aid given by oil rich Arab countries. The ending of war games is probably a tax savings for the US taxpayers
The Egyptian military is not only a military item but is a major economic player. Their economic power dwarfs anything the US has in its military industrial complex.
A large part of the American economy is heavily invested in military spending to prop up local economies.. Virginia’s number two industry is defense. Democrats and Republican lawmakers from the Old Dominion go into panic mode at the thought of Defense cuts.
The Egyptian model is beyond military spending creating jobs in the private sector. The Egyptian military out right owns economic enterprises.
In the US, a Texas rancher may get rich selling beef to the Army. In Egypt , the military is the rancher.
The scope of the direct ownership is wide. Economists and Mid Eastern think tank types estimate that up to 40 % of the Egyptian economy is controlled by the military. The list of industries include agriculture (farms and cattle ranching), control of public real estate lands. They also directly own plants for producing clothing, weapons and other items of a military nature.
The Egyptian military even produces home appliances. Can you imagine buying your microwave from the American Marines ? Your stove from the Coast Guard ?
The military is also heavily invested in firms that do business in the country’s infrastructure . This includes roads, canals, power grids and other infrastructure needs.
There is also a favorable government no tax and subsidy program. Estimates state that 23% of the government expenditures from 1966 to 1993 went to the military.
Egypt has not been at war since 1973. Yet it has a huge Army of 450,000 men. This is 3 times larger than the Israeli military. The Libyans next door , before their Revolution fielded about 70,000 . The Libyan military was hardly a war monger. Its main purpose was to repress the citizenry for dictator Ghadaffi.
To its south, civil war torn Sudan, fielded about 100,000.Their internal problems were more pressing for their military than any threat from Egypt.
Not only did Americans give cash to the military but equipment. Egypt has received 1,000 American made M1A1 tanks. The M1A1 is considered by many military experts as the world’s best . In addition, they have Soviet era tanks in abundance
The Egyptian Air Force has been a receiver of top of the line American F-16 fighters.
So with this huge pool of manpower , top of the line equipment, a huge economic complex of direct ownership, who is it they are going to war with ?
The Egyptian military is the big kid on the block. Their economic power,prestige and grip on the civilian sector is massive. In short, they are above the law .
America’s puny tactics of ending joint war games and cutting aid are ridiculous. Its like going up against a M1A1 tank with a slingshot.