As the Biden administration is committing geopolitical harakiri, it has brought the USA into a vulnerable position. And as the administration scrambles in panic, it is taking even worse decisions. After abandoning allies, it has started intimidating them. Now the Biden administration has compensated Egypt for its role in solving the Israel-Palestine issue in consideration of Washington’s concerns by slashing military aid to the country. According to a US official, the Biden administration has decided to withhold some- but not all of $300 million in conditioned military aid to Egypt due to human rights concerns, as reported by Politico. The money sent will also have its limitations on how it can be used.
Egypt has been working assiduously with the UAE and Israel to fill the gap that America’s strategic retreat has created. While this is in the best interest of the USA’s regional allies, but considering the actions, Joe Biden looks not at all keen to see closer cooperation between Israel and Egypt. This only makes sense if the Biden administration has become scared of the possibility of its allies eating up the USA’s area of influence.
Activists and the prelude to the US actions
An Egyptian-American activist, Mohamed Soltan, was at the centre of a massive headache for President Joe Biden and his top aides. Of late, the powerful lobbies of progressive and far-left Democrats have been looking to restrain all the military aid currently being sent to Egypt by the United States. This aid amounts to approximately $300 million. However, the Democratic Party and the U.S. State Department was split into two factions regarding this issue – while one faction is calling for the aid to continue, given Egypt’s geostrategic significance for the United States, the other is calling for the aid to be ceased owing to the Egyptian government’s human rights abuses and repression of dissidents.
Among those who oppose any move to cut down the aid or block it, is the State Department bureau that deals with the Middle East. Interestingly, just when the anti-Egypt faction was beginning to gain momentum and at least appearing to take the lead in ensuring that the $300 million aid is scaled-down, Cairo dropped a big bombshell in Washington DC. According to ‘Politico’, during a visit to Washington last month, Egypt’s spy chief made a claim that startled U.S. lawmakers, who were already concerned about human rights in the Middle Eastern country.
Progressives within the Democratic Party have been pushing Joe Biden to act tough on Egyptian ruler Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who they say, has imprisoned tens of thousands of dissidents. The alliance between Democrats and the Muslim Brotherhood is no secret. In fact, the very reason why Barack Obama orchestrated the Arab Spring protests was to ensure that the Islamist movement gains power across the Middle East. And the fact, that Israel and Egypt are coming together to cooperate in multiple areas is not sitting well with Joe Biden, who has decided to go with the demands of the ultra-left and Muslim brotherhood.
Improving Israel – Egypt ties
In the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, Sisi met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for talks on Monday. It was the first public meeting between an Israeli and Egyptian leader in more than a decade, and it was sure to delight Washington, which wants to see better relations between Israel and its neighbours. However, Washington’s actions convey a completely different storey.
Although Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, relations have remained tense, with only minimal security cooperation and commercial ties. Due to Hamas threats, Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza. Following four Arab states’ agreements to normalise ties with Israel last year, Cairo was able to reestablish its diplomatic role in the area by brokering the Gaza truce. Bennett’s visit looked to have boosted transportation links between Egypt and Israel.
These new realignments are not favourable for Joe Biden, who feels that it will further depreciate the US influence in the region. By slashing military aid to Egypt, Biden’s attempts to fuel tensions between Egypt and Israel, and the humanitarian concerns seem to be just a camouflage.