Egyptian Influence is for Sale to the Highest Bidder
Part of the dilemma for President Obama regarding the US aid- over a billion dollars- to Egypt yearly is that America's so-called friends, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, have out bidded the American yearly support to Egypt.
It seems more and more, the cards are in Egypt's favor and its military in firm control. The dream of a democracy in that county is DOA, if it ever did arrive.
On July 9th, all three Arab countries together offered $12 billion in oil and hard currency aid. These are the same countries we think of as friends in the region, and they are, but they are playing both sides. America's aid is only $1.3 billion. The Saudis, in particular, dislike the idea of a democratic Egyptian state or a democratic anything. They know the Egyptian army is the strongest forces in all of the Middle East thanks to the Russians and Americans who have armed them since the 1960's. The Saudis want to stifle democracy there because it is anti-Islam and Saudi ways of life. One of the conditions for the Saudi aid is that President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood apparatus are dismantled and made inept.
That explains why the current military crackdown and raids upon the Muslim Brotherhood are happening. The military is dismantling both. Once the Saudis are satisfied, they promise to resume oil imports to Egypt. Removing the Muslim Brotherhood will be a problem because they did very well in the only elections completed because of Egypt's youth vote. Over 51% of the population is under 25 yrs. This is even more dramatic than what Iran's is, about 30%. The Brotherhood.
Saudi Arabia, which promised $5 billion of the $12 billion in aid to Egypt, hopes to basically use the vast Egyptian Army, when needed, to control North Africa against al-Qaeda terrorists, including Sudan and Yemen. They are hoping to use the aid as influence, like America, to make their interests in the area more secure. However, the World Bank has stated that by 2016, Saudi Arabia will be running a deficit. This could complicate the issue.
For now, the ball is in the Egyptian Army's court. Which aid package to they prefer?