As the Khashoggi affair will likely show, accountability is never a problem for Arab leaders.
Egypt’s economy may be improving, but this is neither inclusive nor sustainable.
Despite variances in threat intensity and risk, challenges loom across the Maghreb. The specter of jihadism may haunt North Africa for a long time.
Washington condemns its Middle Eastern enemies for their abuses, but green lights its friends.
The Trump administration’s plan for an “Arab NATO,” aimed at countering Iran’s influence, poses serious risks for the region.
Uprisings from Tunis to Cairo promised to end autocracies and bring democratic reforms. Those early hopes for a fundamental shift in Middle Eastern politics appear to have been misplaced.
By releasing military aid before Egypt fully meets the United States’ conditions, the Trump administration is inviting the Egyptian government to backslide.
What the U.S. government, and particularly Congress, can do is scrutinize engagement with and assistance to Egypt in order to ensure that they promote stability for the nation rather than one man rule.
Egypt is on a dangerous course, one with grave implications for the United States. It will be difficult to reverse this trajectory, but Congress has an important opportunity to help the Trump administration tackle this thorny challenge by restoring U.S. credibility and influence with Egypt.
Cairo is no longer a prize to be won. It is a challenge to managed through careful and, where necessary coercive diplomacy.