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Old 12-27-2013   #61
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The New York Times reported this morning that the Egyptian gov has started to sieze money, assets and land from people it perceives as Brotherhood supporters. This is in my view a very smart small war move, take their money. No matter how stout their hearts are, they cannot fight effectively without money.

That leads me to conclude that the Egyptian army may know what it's about when it comes to small war fighting. Then it occurred to me that the Algerian army and gov won a very hard small war back in the 90s. So I got a question for all but especially JCustis, how effective have Arab armies been at fighting small wars and suppresing insurgencies over the years? Do we study their efforts?
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Old 12-28-2013   #62
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Quote:
the Egyptian gov has started to sieze money, assets and land from people it perceives as Brotherhood supporters.
Would there be any sort of due process involved in that?

Sounds like an excellent way to get your hands on some money, assets, or land, or to get a bit of revenge on someone you don't like. Call him a Brotherhood supporter and take all his stuff. How effective that proves to be as a COIN technique remains to be seen.
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Old 01-27-2014   #63
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Default The revolution in winter

Hat tip to Londonistani via Twitter to this review of why:
Quote:
The revolutionaries lost this opportunity, and lost it because they failed to recognize the limits of their power.
Link:http://arabist.net/blog/2014/1/26/f6...rrm#commenting
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Old 03-16-2014   #64
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Default Blunt approach to COIN fails?

An unusually long anonymous Reuters article, which appears to have had access to officialdom, residents and just maybe others:http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/0...A2F05320140316

Amidst the details is the suggestion the militants are moving into Egypt proper.
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Old 03-25-2014   #65
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Interesting to see where this goes...

http://www.zawya.com/story/Egyptian_...emailmarketing

Quote:
Egyptian court sentences 529 Brotherhood members to death

An Egyptian court sentenced 529 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to death for murder and other offences on Monday, in a sharp escalation of a crackdown on the movement that is likely to fuel instability.

Family members stood outside the courthouse screaming after the verdict - the biggest mass death sentence handed out in Egypt's modern history, defence lawyers said.
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Old 03-27-2014   #66
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Default Insecurity in Sinai

Published by the Dutch ICCT, a review of the situation, by an American author; it provides a good review, but is IMHO hopelessly optimistic that Egypt will adopt a CT strategy that is not blunt and violent:http://www.icct.nl/download/file/ICC...March-2014.pdf
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Old 03-28-2014   #67
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"Egypt's main foreign exchange source is the Suez Canal, which remains a key global shipping route and last month Jihadists claimed responsibility for RPGs fired at a container ship."

Apparently the Chinese and probably others are getting concerned.

From: StratRisks at http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/18623 March 25, 2014

The growing economic alliance between Israel and China is moving forward with a $2 billion, 300 kilometer freight rail link connecting Eilat, on the Red Sea, with Ashdod Port, on the Mediterranean, Germany’s Deutsche Welle news magazine reported on Monday. ...

The rail link will both increase access to goods for Africa, where China is the continent’s biggest partner, with trade worth $120 billion, while also providing an alternative shipping route to the Suez Canal, controlled by Egypt.
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Old 03-28-2014   #68
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The RPG attack was in September 2013, not last month - as you posted. I thought I had missed something. See:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23918642

Interesting strategic development, a Sino-Israeli investment in a railway line. A good catch.
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Old 05-17-2014   #69
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A new Henry Jackson Society report 'Terror in the Sinai', has yet to be read here; their summary:
Quote:
...examines the terrorist threat coming from the Sinai Peninsula. The report assesses the presence of al-Qaeda and its ideology in the Sinai, emerging ties between Salafi-jihadist groups and local Bedouins, and the successes and failures of the Egyptian army’s recent military efforts in confronting the threat. It finds strong indications of an influx of foreign fighters and weapons into the Sinai and a threat against the Egyptian state and Israel that is more co-ordinated and sophisticated than ever before.
Link:http://henryjacksonsociety.org/wp-co...nai-Report.pdf
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Old 05-17-2014   #70
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Default Judgement lacking here?

A commentary by a retired Indian intelligence officer and now a public commentator:http://www.sunday-guardian.com/analy...es-brotherhood

I'd missed this detail in earlier coverage:
Quote:
The strangest feature of these trials was that many of the accused, who were sentenced, were not even in custody....a Minya court, on 27 April, sentenced to death Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie and 682 others for killing or attempting to murder police officers during the August 2013 disturbances....The New York Times said (28 April) that only one police officer was killed for which 683 were sentenced to death. The same Minya judge had reversed 492 of the 529 death sentences passed last month and commuted them to life except for 37.
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Old 05-17-2014   #71
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This is a move that is unlikely to end well

Injustice under the rule of law targeting a specific population is historically one of the most powerful drivers of insurgency.

A wise judge would suspend the sentence and place all onto a form of probation that allows them legal means to reform their approach to addressing their grievances and avoid the hangman's noose.

Maybe hang one or two who are clearly guilty of capital crimes to send a clear message to all.

Otherwise, this a bit too much like what went down in revolutionary France...
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Old 09-29-2014   #72
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Default Will Gaza be the global jihadists' next 'ground zero'?

A short piece from Haaretz by Aaron Zelin, which includes remarks on the appearance in Gaza of IS and their social wlefare activity:http://www.haaretz.com/mobile/.premi...E8CC3C3A150929
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Old 10-13-2014   #73
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Default al-Sisi is not helping

Elliott Abrams from CFR is I think a Washington "insider", OK in the past, but he is rather direct in this article:http://blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2014/10/...lity-in-egypt/

He cites in part a collective "concerned experts" letter to the President:
Quote:
Whatever assistance al-Sisi may or may not provide in the fight against violent extremism in the region is already outweighed by the radicalism and instability he is cultivating every day in Egypt through his oppressive policies….There is great concern that al-Sisi’s rule is fueling radicalization; violence and terrorism in Egypt have increased markedly since the July 2013 coup, as the regime continues to close off avenues for peaceful political dissent. The post-coup crackdown has left more than 2000 protesters dead—including more than 1000 killed deliberately and systematically on a single day in August 2013, rivaling the Tiananmen massacre. Tens of thousands more are in prison, many detained without charge for extended periods or subject to mass trials in rigged courts, suffering torture and inhumane conditions. There are now more than 70 imprisoned Egyptians on extended hunger strikes protesting this brutality, and several are at death’s door, including American citizen Mohammed Soltan and youth leader Ahmed Douma. Sisi’s government is also exerting increasing pressure on the few remaining Egyptian civil society groups that report on or criticize human rights abuses, particularly if they dare to cooperate with international organizations or accept their support
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Old 10-25-2014   #74
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Default Sinai in lockdown after bomb kills 30 troops

Quote:
Cairo (AFP) - Egypt imposed a state of emergency Saturday across parts of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula as the military pounded suspected jihadists after a suicide car bombing killed 30 soldiers.

Friday's bombing was the deadliest attack on security forces since the army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, to the fury of his supporters.

The state of emergency in the north and centre of the Sinai will remain in place for three months, the president's office said.

A curfew is in force from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am.

Egypt also announced it would close the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, the only entry to the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel.
http://news.yahoo.com/car-bomb-kills...142753454.html
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Old 02-05-2015   #75
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A reasonably comprehensive report on the attacks on January 29th, by "Wilayat Sinai”:
Quote:
These organized and qualitative attacks targeted 10 military headquarters and bases in three different cities at the same time, including the largest headquarters of the army in Sinai, known as Battalion 101, in el-Arish. The attacks left more than 35 military personnel dead and 70 others wounded.
Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...cks-army.html?
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Old 02-11-2015   #76
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Default All Egypt’s a prison with soldiers as guards

A long article on Egypt in LRB:http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n04/tom-stevenson/sisis-way

It ends with:
Quote:
The Egyptian state demands compliance: ‘security’ is all that counts. Anyone thought to be a threat to civil order is extracted from the population, locked up and imaginatively punished, terrifying those who remain outside the cage. And of those who four years ago dreamed of a new society and are not themselves behind bars, most are now succumbing to the lethargy of defeat.
Let General Sisi explain. An interview (in English):http://www.spiegel.de/international/...a-1017434.html
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Old 03-05-2015   #77
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Default Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt

Dr. Omar Ashour's latest Brookings paper 'Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt' and summarised in part:
Quote:
Ashour concludes that Egypt's prospects for social stability and economic recovery will remain bleak if the relationship between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood is not redefined within institutional, democratic rules of political competition. He argues that Egypt’s military should embrace a balanced civil-military relationship to realize broad, long-term benefits and avoid otherwise inevitable and costly clashes with segments of Egyptian society. As for the Muslim Brotherhood, Ashour recommends that it reevaluate its recent decisions and work to develop a sustained, solid, and cross-ideological civilian front that can pressure the military to leave politics and allow for democratization.
Link:http://www.brookings.edu/research/pa...n-egypt-ashour
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Old 03-19-2015   #78
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It's quite easy to demand political liberalisation and similar from a safe office thousands of miles away.

But it's getting rather complex when one talks with Egyptians. The last I've hard from them, even the few former members of MB I used to know are satisfied with what Sissi is doing: while it was still in power, they began considering Morsi's government that of 'terror', have abandoned the MBs and supported the anti-Morsi coup.

(Indeed, some of them went to the streets during the coup and became activelly involved in fire-fights against armed MB gangs, often in support - even in protection - of local policemen and fire-brigades.)

So, who should now expect from them to demand from Sissi something like to 'embrace a balanced civil-military relationship to realize broad, long-term benefits and avoid otherwise inevitable and costly clashes with segments of Egyptian society'? There were such 'inevitable and costly clashes' already during Morsi's reign, they were continued during and after the coup, and ever since, and they were all provoked by the MBs.

While it's clear that the core problem with Egyptian state and society in general is that of military hegemony over the entire system, as far as I can say, majority of Egyptian population is supportive of anti-MB actions and measures. (Of course, I've got no representative pools to support this, but this is what I get to hear from Cairo, from various places along the Red Sea and even from the Sinai.)

Overall, while unlikely to appear 'civilized' to us, 'Sissi's actions' are 'perfectly OK' for all too many Egyptians who remain more concerned about a possible return of MBs to power, than 'loss of few personal freedoms'.

(On a funny side: one of most obvious 'changes' ever since anti-Morsi coup can be observed at various Egyptian music-TV-channels. It seems these are demonstratively anti-MB and are now showing more semi-naked singers there than ever before.)

Last edited by CrowBat; 03-19-2015 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 07-18-2015   #79
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Default Sinai (and Egypt): far from "stable" or "under-control

A noteworth commentary on the insurgency in the Sinai by Dr. Omar Ashour, of Exeter University & Brookings and near to the end makes a wider point:
Quote:
Historically, military and security blunders in Sinai have caused major shifts in the balance of power within the ruling elite. This includes the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the Suez Crisis over other rivals, the death of Abd al-Hakim Amer after the June 1967 debacle, and finally the removal of Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi and his deputy General Sami Anan in August 2012 after 16 soldiers were massacred in a Rafah border post.
The further deterioration in the security situation has caused rifts within the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Egypt's most powerful political entity at the moment. Whether these rifts will expand or shrink remains to be seen.
But as currently seen is Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere in other regions, military-based dictatorial regimes can be future civil war projects - even if, at some point, they succeed in wiping out opposition, as the Assad regime did in Hama in 1982.
Link:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...081441982.html
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Old 09-08-2015   #80
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Default Status Quo in the Sinai

Status Quo in the Sinai

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