No plans to halt US military aid to Egypt: Pentagon

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 3, 2011 15:15 EDT
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WASHINGTON – The Pentagon on Thursday said it had no plans to halt weapons deliveries to Egypt in coming months despite a popular revolt against President Hosni Mubarak’s rule.

While the US administration was examining its economic and military aid to Egypt in light of political upheaval there, military assistance had not been suspended, a spokesman said.

“There’s a difference between halting the aid and reviewing it,” said Colonel Dave Lapan.

As senior US officers closely monitored fast-moving events in Cairo, Lapan said Egypt’s military continued to display “restraint” in the crisis so far.

“To date we have seen them act professionally and with restraint. Again it’s a very fluid situation so we’re watching every single day,” Lapan told reporters.

The White House has suggested that US assistance for Egypt is under review in the face of a wave of street demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down.

Spare parts for F-16 warplanes, coastal patrol ships and fuses for munitions are among items due to be delivered to Egypt in the early part of this year, Lapan said.

The United States has provided tens of billions worth of arms and training to Egypt over more than three decades, with annual defense assistance at $1.3 billion.

Lapan also said the US military had no immediate plans to redeploy its forces in or near Egypt in response to the crisis, but as always the armed forces were carrying out “prudent planning” for all scenarios.

The majority of the more than 600 US troops stationed in Egypt are part of the multinational observer mission in the Sinai, with the remainder providing security at the embassy or working in a defense cooperation office, he said.

A US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, a guided-missile destroyer and other warships are currently in the Mediterranean with tentative plans to sail through the Suez Canal on the way to the Arabian Sea possibly later this month.

US ships in the Arabian Sea back up the war effort in Afghanistan, with fighter jets based on carriers running combat missions for troops on the ground.

Mubarak’s government has long provided the US military with access to its air space and safe passage for naval ships through the Suez Canal, which Washington has used to supply troops in the Iraq war.

The US military’s top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, on Wednesday spoke to his counterpart by phone and said in a statement that he had “confidence” in the Egyptian army’s ability to provide security for the country and the Suez Canal.

US officials and analysts view the role of Egypt’s army as crucial in eventually resolving the crisis, and the administration is hoping that longstanding defense ties with Cairo will provide some leverage.

The White House said Wednesday that US contacts with various levels of the Egyptian armed forces had helped rein in possible violence earlier in the week.

Agence France-Presse
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  • Johnny Warbucks
  • Guest

    The Military Industrial Complex doesn’t give a ragged fuck who gets arms, who’s killing who or why. “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”, say they.I, as only one people, say with John Lennon, how ’bout we “Give Peace A Chance”.

  • Anonymous

    This is merely Mubarak’s golden handshake.

  • ThorsteinVeblen2012

    It’s all over except Lanny Davis hasn’t been hired as Hosni Mabarak’s spokesperson.

  • Jaimie11

    and made by a company in Pennsylvania that flies the American and Israeli flags at its front entryway.


  • Anonymous

    The Egyptian Military has been in control in Egypt for decades and they are in charge today. Mubarak sits at their convenience and when leaders, like Sadat, get out of hand, the military offs them.

    The anti-government protesters have no idea of who’s responsible for their discontent – and who’s not. The Egyptian military’s ties to the Pentagon are thick and they only charge 1.3B/yr for free passage of U.S. forces through the canal. The U.S, has no policy here and no choice —. back the real power brokers in Egypt or take a hike (all the way around Africa). Once more, poor decisions and strategic deployments (Iraq & Afghanistan) dictate other poor choices and the sad show goes on.

  • Taleisin

    Wow. If I hadn’t seen the pic, I wouldn’t have believed it.
    How patriotic of them.

  • Taleisin

    Good ol’ gunboat diplomacy!
    Will America continue to send aid to Egypt if democracy is restored,
    or only if the regime is maintained?

  • Anonymous

    I’m a United States national, but unlike the masses of my country, I’m not a Zionist. I believe that the US has many reasons to have an allegiance with Egypt, but none of the reasons justify the support of the epitomy of unamericanism, ie an autocracy. I think our support for a tyrannical ruler like Mubarak is hypocritical at best, and murderous at worst. We supply Israel and it’s allies with so many weapons to “keep the peace” (because the US is obviously really good at achieving peace, we’re only fighting 2 wars right now!). I pray that the Egyptian people get what they want and deserve. Mubarak is gone, now the only thing left to do for us is to wait, negotiate, and hope that the morally RIGHT thing is carried out.

  • Anonymous

    I am a US national, born and raised here. Now unlike the masses of my country, that I DO love, I am not a Zionist. I believe that the US has many strategical military reasons to have allied with Egypt, but none of those reasons justify supporting the epitomy of anti-democracy and unamericanism – an autocracy. Aligning with a tyrant is at best hypocritical, and at worst murderous. I only hope and pray that the Egyptian people acheive what they have fought PEACEFULLY for, the God given right to live freely. While I disapprove of the US support of Israels blood campaign, and the two wars we’ve waged on Afganistan and Iraq, I do believe that Egypt and the US should continue allegiance, and that the US should no longer support leaders that oppress their people, no matter how strategically sound it may be. We flaunt our idealism, and even use the pursuit of democracy as an excuse to invade innocent peoples homes. Don’t you think it’s time we stop using empty rhetoric and actually stand for what we say we believe in?