The military's economic stranglehold: Why democracy will fail in Egypt

From this vast web of businesses, the military pays no taxes, employs conscripted labor, buys public land on favorable terms and discloses nothing to Parliament or the public…

“Protecting its businesses from scrutiny and accountability is a red line the military will draw,” said Robert Springborg, an expert on Egypt’s military at the Naval Postgraduate School. “And that means there can be no meaningful civilian oversight.”…

And already there are signs that the military is purging from the cabinet and ruling party advocates of market-oriented economic changes, like selling off state-owned companies and reducing barriers to trade…

Some of the young revolutionaries at the vanguard of the revolt identify themselves as leftists or socialists. And the idea of liberalizing the economy was thrown into disrepute because of the corrupt way that the Mubarak government carried out privatization, bestowing fortunes on a small circle around the ruling party while leaving most Egyptians struggling against grinding poverty and rampant inflation.