The Muslim Brotherhood government desperately needs a $4.8-billion IMF bailout to stop the bleeding but it refuses to curtail its subsidies, as the IMF demands, for fear of triggering a popular revolt. It is instead hoping for aid from oil states and the U.S. government, but even if this materializes, it will be at best a stopgap. With tourists, the country’s chief source of foreign exchange, steering clear of Egypt because of its anti-Western riots, and with foreign investors equally fearful of venturing into the country, Egypt’s options are daily becoming more limited. The temptation to look next door to Libya could be irresistible, particularly since Egypt views union with Libya as inevitable…

Following the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood not only rules Egypt, through its affiliates it controls neighbouring Gaza and part of Syria to the north and may be close to seizing power in Jordan. Across the north coast of Africa to the west, with one exception, Muslim Brotherhood groups control Tunisia and Morocco while its Algerian wing, not yet in power, warns of revolution. The one exception is Libya, an immediate neighbour, where the Muslim Brotherhood lost the electoral contest but not the war. An anatomy of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the American consulate in Benghazi points to troubling Egyptian involvement.