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Old 01-31-2007   #1
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Default Egypt 2007-2016 (merged thread)

ICG, 30 Jan 07: Egypt’s Sinai Question
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Terrorism returned to Egypt in 2004 after an absence of seven years with successive attacks and the emergence of a heretofore unknown movement in Sinai. The government’s reaction essentially has been confined to the security sphere: tracking down and eliminating the terrorists. Egyptian and international NGOs have focused on the human rights violations which have been prominent in police procedures. The media have been preoccupied with whether al-Qaeda was responsible. Both the state’s response and wider public discussion have been confined to the surface of events and have ignored the socio-economic, cultural and political problems which are at the heart of Sinai’s disquiet. The emergence of a terrorist movement where none previously existed is symptomatic of major tensions and conflicts in Sinai and, above all, of its problematic relationship to the Egyptian nation-state. Unless these factors are addressed effectively, there is no reason to assume the terrorist movement can be eliminated...
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Old 06-21-2007   #2
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The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor, 21 Jun 07:

Trafficking and the Role of the Sinai Bedouin
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On the evening of October 7, 2004, three trucks laden with explosives were driven to resorts in the northern Sinai where they were detonated, killing more than 30 people and wounding hundreds more. The targets were Israelis vacationing during their High Holidays at the usually tranquil desert oases of Taba, Ras al-Sultan and Tarabeen. At least three previously unknown terrorist organizations claimed responsibility for the terrorist incident; however, the leading suspect and group named by the Egyptian government was al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad ("Monotheism and Struggle"), comprised of Bedouin tribesmen from the Sinai Peninsula. The Taba attacks marked the first time that Bedouins from the Sinai were implicated in acts of terrorism on Egyptian soil. This trend continued with the bombings at Sharm el-Sheikh, as well as various shootings of police and other security forces. Analysts attribute this development to the fact that northern Bedouin tribesmen have not benefited economically as much as their southern brethren by the high level of tourism available in that part of the peninsula. Deep-seeded ideological, political and cultural differences between the Bedouin and the Egyptian government also explain the rise in terrorist activity.

While certainly a minority within the Bedouin population, the majority of illegal trafficking among Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian Territories is conducted by Bedouin smugglers. Bedouin tradition reaches back thousands of years; they are fiercely independent, principled and tribal. Bedouin smugglers tend to be involved in illegal activities namely for the financial benefits and historically negligible risks that such actions entail. Activities targeting Israel have sometimes been ignored by the Egyptians, unlike the scenes of mass arrests and shootouts between Egyptian security forces and Bedouin tribesmen that have plagued the region since the attacks in the Sinai Peninsula. Since the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, this problem has intensified.....
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Old 12-02-2008   #3
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ISN Security Watch, 1 Dec 08: Sinai Bedouin Simmer
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Clashes this month in the Sinai have again drawn attention to the plight of local Bedouin, largely sidelined in the peninsula's exponential economic expansion.

Armed protests and violent clashes broke out in the northern Sinai earlier this month following the shooting deaths of four Bedouin tribesmen at the hands of police. Officials claimed that officers came under fire in at least one of the incidents and that the three men killed in the second, near the Israeli border, were armed.....

.......Egypt has reportedly moved large troop deployments and dozens of armored personnel carriers into the northern Sinai as it seeks to stymie further Bedouin raids and protests.....
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Old 02-19-2011   #4
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Default Egypt Trip Report (Part I)

Egypt Trip Report (Part I)

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Egypt Trip Report (Part I)
by Andrew Exum

Andrew Exum is a contributor to the Small Wars Journal and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His dispatches from Egypt will be cross-posted here and on his own blog, Abu Muqawama.

If you've been following my Twitter feed, you'll know I arrived in Cairo a few days ago and will be here for another few days doing some research. I tacked this short visit onto a trip to Europe to help train a unit preparing to deploy to Afghanistan, and I must say it's good to be back in the Arabic-speaking world during what continues to be an exciting time in the region.

This is my first trip back to Egypt since living here for seven months in 2006, and since I am no one's idea of an expert on Egypt and Egyptian politics, I am grateful to my friends here in Cairo for hosting me and providing me with plenty of people to meet with.

The research questions I'll be trying to answer here concern the position in which the Egyptian Army and other security forces now find themselves.

Continue on for Andrew Exum's Egypt Trip Report...



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Old 02-20-2011   #5
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Default Egypt Trip Report (Part II)

Egypt Trip Report (Part II)

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Egypt Trip Report (Part II)
by Andrew Exum

Andrew Exum is a contributor to Small Wars Journal and a fellow at the Center for a New American Security. His dispatches from Egypt will be cross-posted here and on his own blog, Abu Muqawama.

I am rather busy today, traveling around looking for answers to some of the security-related questions I posed in Part I of my Egypt Trip Report (see below). I want to briefly share, though, an interesting wrinkle to a rather polarized debate that has developed concerning the role the Internet and social media played in the protests in Egypt and the eventual downfall of Hosni Mubarak. Both sides of the debate, a friend told me last night, are essentially correct: yes, the Internet, Facebook and Twitter played a terribly important role in mobilizing the Egyptians who filled the streets of Egypt to protest the regime. But yes, too, it took ACTUAL BODIES out there in the streets and not "Facebook Revolutionaries" just re-tweeting the struggle from the comfort of their homes. One interesting piece of analysis I have now heard from several smart observers is that by shutting down the Internet and the cellular phone networks, the Egyptian regime actually increased the number of Egyptians on the streets protesting. Not only did shutting down the Internet force people to leave the house and physically connect with their fellow protesters, but one friend noted that if you really want to piss off all of Egypt, a good way to do so is by shutting off cell phone service. More than Facebook or Twitter, cellular phone service unites Egyptians in a virtual community. And by shutting down cellular phone service, you're sure to anger Egyptians of all generations and classes -- and not just the college kids with Facebook accounts. So score one for the enduring power of 20th Century technology, perhaps.

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Old 01-24-2012   #6
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Default Rethinking Revolution: Egypt in Transition

Rethinking Revolution: Egypt in Transition

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Old 07-03-2013   #7
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Default Egypt: has the Spring ended?

Moderator's Note

Egypt features in many SWC threads and what is happening today deserves a new thread. A number of posts on another thread 'Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?' have been moved here, so this opening thread will not appear first (ends).

The situation in Egypt may be the most current experiment on Military Government, we will have to see how it turns out. IMO it can be a good thing if done in accords with the original concept as was presented in the USMC Small Wars Manual.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2013 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Add Mod's Note. Copied from the thread Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?
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Old 07-03-2013   #8
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I was going to write the same thing. They seem to have decided to keep a relative low profile - if it can be called that way - and avoided the usual arrests.

We will see.
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Old 07-03-2013   #9
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Egypt News Update

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Old 07-04-2013   #10
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A good thing? No. A necessary thing, maybe, in some very rare circumstances, if the people to be governed accept it.

Anybody who starts thinking a military government would be a good thing for somebody else needs to be hit hard on the head before he has any chance to put that idea into action.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Copied from the thread Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?
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Old 07-04-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
I don't have a copy and would love to know.

As far as I can see, military coup is just another option for a bloodless transition. It depends on the motivation of the military. I don't think it needs to be automatically and arbitrarily attacked.
I define good as being better than a decent into internal Civil War. The Army appears to be trying to preserve the primarry purpose of Government which is to Protect and Provide the

jmm99 has provided several references for the manual. Chapter 13 on Military Government appears to be what the Egyptian Army is in so far as they are being selective as to who and what is replaced until elections can be established.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2013 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Copied from the thread Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?
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Old 07-04-2013   #12
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Originally Posted by Firn View Post
I was going to write the same thing. They seem to have decided to keep a relative low profile - if it can be called that way - and avoided the usual arrests.

We will see.
I was completely right, they only took a great deal of key members into costudy. Morsi is still a free man, so far.
Quote:

Egypt's new military rulers have arrested the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme leader, security sources say, and issued warrants for up to 300 other members hours after ousting the elected president, Mohamed Morsi, and taking him and his aides into military custody.

The day after a momentous night in Cairo has revealed the full extent of the military overthrow, with key support bases of the Muslim Brotherhood, including television stations, closed down or raided.

Security officials told the Associated Press and Reuters that the Brotherhood's supreme leader, Mohammed Badie, was arrested in a coastal city near the Libyan border on Wednesday and flown to Cairo in a military helicopter.

The Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad said he could not confirm the reports because the group had lost their lines of communication to Badie.
@jmm99: Cui bono indeed?

Morsi certainly was elected in a quite democratic fashion but selected to ignore a good deal of that democracy as a sort of fading fashion. Shame on him. Religion alone does in any case not sort out the economy of a country. It is of course impossible to tell how much the last years in government have weakened the brotherhood and how much strenght they can win from this coup.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Copied from the thread Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?
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Old 07-05-2013   #13
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Egypt News Update II

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Old 07-05-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firn View Post
Morsi certainly was elected in a quite democratic fashion but selected to ignore a good deal of that democracy as a sort of fading fashion.
Even so, does that justify removing him from office in an illegal manner? I feel like one of corollaries of adopting a democratic system is accepting that voters are going to make the wrong decision at times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firn View Post
Religion alone does in any case not sort out the economy of a country.
As painful as it would have been for the people of Egypt to let the Morsi stagnation continue, I have to believe that with enough time many of his supporters would have come to accept exactly what you are saying. (Not all of them would have, admittedly. I’m an American. I know that ideology can blind people to facts. )

Al-Qaeda has been saying for years that democracy will never give an Islamist party the opportunity to succeed. Whatever favors the Egyptian military may have just done for their country’s economy may have been matched by the favors done for Al-Qaeda.

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It is of course impossible to tell how much the last years in government have weakened the brotherhood and how much strength they can win from this coup.
I did a short post on my blog [LINK] questioning whether ‘coup’ is the best word for what happened in Egypt. I’m not saying that I know the right word, just that I suspect that coup might not be it.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-06-2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Copied from the thread Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?
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Old 07-06-2013   #15
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Default Egypt: has the Spring ended?

Egypt features in many SWC threads and what is happening today deserves a new thread. A number of posts on another thread 'Can Military Governments be a good thing (for a while)?' have been moved here, so this opening thread will not appear first.

Previous, recent threads of value are:

1) Arab armies and the 'Arab Spring' http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=17859

2) Arab Spring Phase 3? http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=17692

3) Egypt's "Spring" Revolution (now closed) http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=12371

4) The transformation of the Arab World (which looks at the wider impact and the impact on AQ) http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16634
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Old 07-06-2013   #16
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Default "Mirroring" can be dangerous....

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Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
I prefer to think that, in other parts of the world, military men think the same way.
IMO, the "mirroring" attitude of the American military--in particular, the Army--caused a lot of problems in "AfPak", especially with regard to old relationships from the time of working with the Pakistan Army and intelligence agencies against the Soviets. Assuming the military in other parts of the world think the same is problematic.

Future historians studying this aspect of the American military, at least circa 2001-2005 or so, are going to have a field day of it, I predict.

But each situation is different and Egypt is not Pakistan. I don't know the Egyptian situation very well so I should probably stick to commenting on South Asia.

This sort of thing always interests me though:

Quote:
Egypt’s ruling military has warned against any interference in its murky economic empire amid a burgeoning power struggle with Islamists who control parliament, state media reported March 28.

The warning comes as the military prepares to hand power to a civilian leader when presidential elections end in June, and as the dominant Islamist Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) pressures the generals to sack the government.

Maj. Gen. Mahmud Nasr, a member of the ruling council, warned that the military “will not allow any interference from anyone in the armed forces’ economic projects,” the official MENA news agency reported.

In the unusually detailed defense of the military’s economic ventures, which include factories and hotels, Nasr said the businesses’ annual revenues were 1.2 billion Egyptian pounds ($198 million).
http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...ness-Interests

I have no friggin' idea really. As others have said, we shall see. Perhaps it is a genuinely popular coup that will lead to some more inclusive government and is one step on the road to better governance, maybe it's just one more chapter of the military behind the scenes from the 1950's onward. When does the clock start on the goodness of enlightened militaries stepping in when needed?
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Old 07-06-2013   #17
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Default What to read on Egypt

Shashank Joshi, of RUSI, is always worth reading and he has a list of items to read:http://shashankjoshi.wordpress.com/2...read-on-egypt/

The penultimate passage from a good Egyptian account:
Quote:
Still, there is something utterly inspiring in seeing people rise up once more and show that they will not be taken for granted or intimidated. Of course, one has to wait and keep a vigilant eye before any final conclusions can be made about where Egypt is going.
Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...pt-bsabry.html
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Old 07-08-2013   #18
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Laura Dean is a freelance journalist living and working in Egypt and sometimes other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. She grew up in Bahrain and graduated from the University of Chicago. Previously, she worked as an election observer with the Carter Center in Tunisia and Libya and served on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC.
Over the last week, she's posted a dairy of events in Egypt:

Cairo Diary, June 30: An Introduction and the Scene at Tahrir

Cairo Diary, July 1: The Day After Tamarod

Cairo Diary, July 2: Brotherhood and Defiance

Cairo Diary, July 3: Praying We Don’t Get Fooled Again

Cairo Diary, July 4: The First Day of the Rest of Egypt’s Life

Cairo Diary, July 5: “Friday of Rejection”—and Violence

Cairo Diary, July 6: A New Prime Minister, Maybe

Cairo Diary, July 7: An Outside Perspective

From the 6 Jul piece, (IMO) an astute observation:

Quote:
During the Parliamentary elections in 2011, I worked as an election observer in the Northern governorate of Beheira and Marsa Matrouh on the Libyan border. In both places, I visited many small towns and hamlets. The only political parties I saw with any consistency there were the Freedom and Justice Party (the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm) and the Salafi Noor Party. They had the numbers, they were on the streets. At the time, those who later came to become the opposition said the Islamists had an unfair advantage: they had been organized for years, these people said; they had existing charity networks; they had money that allowed them to set up cheap markets to sell meat and other staples at cut rates; they had a natural networks in their mosques, many of which encouraged their congregations to vote for Islamic parties.

The answer, then as now, is suck it up: if the opposition wants to get through to people in a meaningful way, they too must go to the villages and organize.
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Old 07-08-2013   #19
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Default Democracy takes a while to stick

Via FP Blog a CNN interview of General Dempsey, US CJCS, which includes this portion on the situation in Eygpt:
Quote:
CROWLEY: When you look at what's going on the streets of Egypt and has been for the past several days, what is the U.S. thinking that?

DEMPSEY: Well, at one level, our stake is we probably have 60,000 or so dual-American-Egyptian citizens in Egypt. And we have several hundred official American citizens serving in Egypt. But more broadly, look, Egypt is a great country. It's a cornerstone of the Middle East. It's got an incredible history and culture and the world needs Egypt to be stable.

CROWLEY: But they don't want their government in anymore.

DEMPSEY: Well, you know, I - again, that's for them to decide. And I really mean that sincerely. And incidentally, I mean, as a student of that part of the world, as someone who lived there for most of the last 10 years, not in Egypt but in the region, I mean, what we're seeing is that democracy takes a while to stick.
Link:http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/20...k-temporarily/
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Old 07-08-2013   #20
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...red-floor.html


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Islamic lynch mob waving Al Qaeda banners throw terrified teenage boy off 20ft ledge before beating him to death. Teenagers thrown off rooftop ledge by Morsi supporters in Alexandria, were celebrating ousting of Islamist leader when they met pro-Morsi mob. One of the members of the mob were carrying an al-Qaeda flag. Two boys are thrown off the ledge and beaten as they lie motionless. One of them, aged 19, was killed, according to local media.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middle...320932698.html

Quote:
Massacre in Cairo deepens Egypt crisis


At least 51 dead after gunmen open fire at Muslim Brotherhood protest against military coup in Egyptian capital
.

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