The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Egypt, the target of a weapons ban by the US, has a new BFF in Russia and is asking the Putin government to expedite some military hardware for them:
Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has recently intensified contact with the Russian Defense Ministry in order to expedite the completion of an arms deal.
According to senior Egyptian sources that the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai quoted in a report on Wednesday, the deal with Russia includes advanced aircraft, monitoring equipment and other sophisticated weapons that would be used to fight terrorism emanating from Sinai.
The urgent move to close the deal for needed weapons comes after a report on Tuesday that the White House was delaying the delivery of an arms deal that included 10 Apache helicopters. An Egyptian military source told the London- based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that the arms deal was intended to help put down the Islamist insurgency in Sinai.
The delay continues an ongoing US partial aid and weapons freeze that has largely been seen as punishment for Sisi’s military coup and crackdown on former president Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.
It probably comes as a surprise to some that we’re still playing this game given the ties to terrorism the Morsi government certainly had. Although a “coup” is not the preferred method of changing a government, when engaged in realpolitik, sometimes a coup does you a favor by removing an even worse government. And in this case, remember how the Obama administration went through some pretty extensive verbal contortions not to call this a “coup”.
That being said, another rather dubious sanction has had the predictable result. Countries that want advanced weapons don’t only have to shop in the US. And the unwillingness of the US to release weapons ordered (and presumably paid for) by Egypt became enough of a sticking point that Egypt has decided to turn elsewhere for help. The result? An ally we nurtured for decades as a means to furthering the Middle Eastern peace process has turned away from the US.
Another in a long list of foreign policy failures by the Obama administration.