Egypt faces a cycle of instability, writes Joshua Kurlantzick, but it can break that rotation if it manages expectations in the early years of emerging democracy and takes lessons from Nelson Mandela's post-apartheid South Africa and Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva's Brazil.
"The liberals and revolutionaries who are now dancing in the streets must not rest on their laurels, but must begin agitating for a sustained national dialogue to reinterpret the proper role of the armed forces in the life of the country," writes Steven Cook.
Egyptian protestors' return to the streets signals the public's discontent with President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood's authoritarian tendencies and economic mismanagement, says CFR's Isobel Coleman.
Outside of a humanitarian crisis—such as a famine or a natural disaster—it is hard to make the case that any country deserves another's economic support. To paraphrase Britain's Lord Palmerston, countries do not have permanent friends, only permanent interests.
Isobel Coleman writes that while it is widely recognized that food and fuel subsidies in Egypt are expensive and inefficient, Egyptian leaders do not want to touch the political third rail of subsidy reform. But they also realize that the country's fiscal situation is untenable without it. Sooner or later, serious subsidy reform is inevitable, and a well-planned process is preferable to the alternative.
Secretary John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr gave these remarks on March 2, 2013. During this visit, Secretary Kerry also met with President Morsi, Egyptian business leaders, and nongovernmental representatives, and announced the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and more U.S. foreign aid.
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, Elliott Abrams argues that the timing, conditionality and composition of U.S. aid to Egypt should be re-examined in light of governance issues that have stalled its progress toward democracy.
The Egyptian uprising presents a rare opportunity for the United States to resolve the tension between its strategic priorities in the Middle East and its desire to support democratic change in the region. Washington's past approach to aiding Egypt was based on relations with authoritarian leaders who could be counted on to advance the United States' interests. With the fall of Hosni Mubarak and Egyptian efforts to build a more open political system, a policy based on "authoritarian stability" is no longer possible, and the United States is now forced to alter the way it appropriates and distributes bilateral assistance.
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The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
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