"The reasons behind the decision, according to the sources, is that Egypt doesn’t wish to harm its relations with Iran, as well as it doesn’t believe that US President Donald Trump would be elected for a second term. If Trump is gone that jeopardizes the entire “Arab NATO” idea since the next POTUS may decide not to follow through.
On April 9th, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi visited the US and met with Donald Trump. Trump said that they spoke of security issues, but neither the Arab NATO nor Iran were mentioned in the press conference following the meeting.
Both leaders praised the warm relations between the countries, which could presumably be spoiled if the reports of Egypt giving up efforts are true.
In addition to the US and Saudi Arabia, the MESA proposed participants include the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Jordan.
Two anonymous sources also told Al Jazeera that the project would be moving forward and that Egypt would be pressured into not revoking its membership. The project was initially proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2017, and was perpetuated by US President Donald Trump.." SF and al jazeera
It surprises me that Egypt has rather brazenly walked away from the Boltonesque fantasy of an "Arab NATO." I would have thought that the paychecks Egypt receives every year from the American taxpayer and the Saudis would have kept Sisi in line, but apparently the prospect of other sources of funding affected the decision to defy the Amiirkaan.
With the exception of Jordan's small but competent armed forces, Egypt is the only country among the members that possesses significant military power, The armed forces of the other countries are mere playthings for princes. Egypt's withdrawal from this alliance makes the farcical nature of the plan quite clear.
This is a humiliation for the US in that it demonstrates the waning power and influence of the US in the region and most especially of Donald Trump who has demonstrated his indifference to the interests of the Arabs in repeated slavish support of Israel against the Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians. pl
Hey Colonel —
There’s a great thread over at Ian Welsh’s blog on the value of a liberal arts education. There are some STEM’ers over there that could use a good lashing.
Thought you might want to check it out.
In response to Rep. Ilhan’s comment about 9/11 I’ve seen many tweets with the theme of “Never forget” with images of the smoking towers. But….none of them mention that the overwhelming majority of the jihadists that attacked the WTC were Saudi nationals. No one from Iran, Iraq, Libya or Syria attacked us. Yet we have attacked and sanctioned these countries not Saudi Arabia. Why is that?
I note that Sudan and Algeria seem to have taken note of the Egyptian’s experience and seem determined not just to get rid of one dictator only to have one of his underlings assume the role.
Is there any relation to this news and the meeting between Sisi and Haftar in Cairo?
I’m guessing it might be difficult domestically for any Egyptian leader to commit to this. They face significant internal problems and the collective memory of the terrible price paid in the pursuit of pan-Arabism under Nassar hasn’t completely faded.
He/they HAD committed to this and now have withdrawn.
It probably means that Egypt is pursuing an independent foreign policy in Libya.
Designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization was likely the last straw.
Let’s suppose the U.S. was getting a stipend from another country to be a part of some contrived ‘American NATO’. We play along for the paycheck. However, this benefactor has this obsession against Canada and declaries the Canadian Mounties a terrorist organization which means that we are now in an organization that technically makes us obligated to be in conflict with them. At some point one has to push back against such extremism.
The timing just seemed too coincidental for it not to be a factor.
Now, will al-Sisi buy the Su-35’s after Pompeo’s threat? That would be taking a real risk. Pompeo / Bolton must be in a real sour mood given their lack of success with Turkey and Venezuela.
none of them mention that the overwhelming majority of the jihadists that attacked the WTC were Saudi nationals.
It is not politically correct to do so.
“… the collective memory of the terrible price paid in the pursuit of pan-Arabism under Nassar hasn’t completely faded”
I would be interested to know what that “terrible price” was. The Egyptians I’ve talked to would bristle at hearing an American claim that either Nassar or pan-Arabism was the source of their problems. It’s kind of like hearing a Brit assert that George Washington was the root of US problems.
I’ve argued with the Colonel before that I think the Sunni vs Shia enimity is overblown – and while I defer to his greatly superior knowledge of the subject and the region, I wonder if Hezbollah can’t possibly make pan-Arabism work. Hezbollah’s greatest advantage is that they are very uncorrupt in a region plagued by corruption.
I also wonder if we are seeing a follow-on from events in Turkey – specifically, that being tied into NATO weapons can backfire if one loses friend of NATO status – i.e., NATO may be able to kill switch Patriots but not S-300s. And the loss of getting access to F35s is not really a loss.
Evidently Sisi now judges that while Trump has bark, he has no bite. There also is a mercurial quality to Trump projects. Supposedly this would confound our negotiating adversaries and friends, but it seems to mostly cause (laughter and raised eyebrows – e.g., Trump at UN).
You must have misunderstood me. Shia and Sunni are only at serious odds when non-Muslims are not an over arching enemy.
That makes sense, Colonel.