Let’s say a would-be Egyptian dictator tosses the head of the military, supports a terrorist assault on Israel, and threatens to send tanks into the streets to fight any opposition. Let’s also say you’re the President of the United States. Would you: A: threaten to cut off aid; B: actually cut off aid; C: send 20 F-16s to Egypt?
If you’re Barack Obama, your clear answer is C. Beginning January 22, the first portions of America’s $1 billion foreign aid grant to Egypt hits the ground in Cairo – four F-16 jets. The last time the United States greenlit aid to Egypt was 2010, when deposed authoritarian Hosni Mubarak was in power. House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said, “The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States.
How nice are these jets? According to Lockheed Martin, they’re the top of the line. “We remain committed to providing our customer with a proven, advanced 4th Generation multirole fighter,” bragged John Larson, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program.
What good are Jets without Tanks?
For Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government, more battle tanks and jet fighters are on their way from the United States.
Cairo’s military link to Washington has remained intact, meaning the U.S. will continue to modernize the biggest military in Africa — even as President Mohammed Morsi has decreed near-absolute power for himself and his supporters and opponents battle outside his palace.
Analysts say Egypt’s military buildup presents risks for Washington — and Israel — with the growing influence of the Brotherhood, whose overriding goal is to establish Shariah, or Islamic, law worldwide.
A Pentagon statement to The Washington Times on Thursday said: “We are always reviewing our foreign assistance to make sure foreign assistance advances U.S. objectives and is being used for the right purposes.”
For now, Egypt is due 200 M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, the same mechanized firepower manned by American soldiers, bringing Egypt’s inventory to a robust 1,200.
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