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Why Egypt is Important to America

Updated on August 17, 2013

With hundreds killed and more rioting occurring over the Egyptian military crackdown, president Obama faces a tenuous position. The American administration has called off its annual military exercise with them, which is just a minor slap to show disapproval of how their military leaders are handling the Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

But Egypt is very important to the US in practical ways to access the region, which accounts for the billions of aid given to them. One item is air access to the region. US flights flying into or over Egypt get an automatic approval prior to entering Egyptian airspace going to Iraq, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa or Southwest Asia. All other countries must request this a week in advance. When there is a crisis in the Middle East, US warships have top priority in moving through the Suez Canal. They bypass all other ships in the canal. Egypt is critical to keeping peace in the area with Israel. So far, 40 years have passed with no war between the two countries. The US helps diffuse treaty violations between Israel and Egypt with direct communication with their generals. Israel and Egypt are working together in the Sinai to remove the terrorists there and their smuggling operations as Iran tries to destabilize the region.

Should Egypt fall into anarchy or another Islamist state under the Muslim brotherhood, for example, all this would change for the worse for the US strategy to keep the region stabilized and in peace. Withdrawing the billions of aid, as some have suggested, may be more detrimental than sending a strong condemnation about what the Egyptian military is doing there. The US did delay the delivery of F-16 fighters bought by Egypt much to their anger. Egypt could instantly deny the airspace needed for US over flights to other regions and it could deny access or deny the "fast lane" in the Suez canal to US shipping. The current military could ask Russia for help. They were fully supported by them in the 1960's. Putin would love to return to Middle East. The Egyptian military could renounce the peace the treaty with Israel out of anger towards the US government should the aid be stopped.

In other words, Egypt is a crucial part of the Middle East problems and Obama has to be careful how to handle this current situation or it could get even worse.


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    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Good points swordsbane!

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      Well, the Suez Canal alone would cause problems. Can you imagine, the canal in the hands of some hardline Islamic nut-jobs who think the Western world is evil? And could you imagine the rain of hell should an Islamic nation begin extorting the western world for passage through the canal? Talk about a touchstone for WWIII....

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      Yes, there IS a reason for the aid. However, my other Hub shows that in July, Saudi Arabia and UAE offered $12 billion to Egypt. Egypt is in a bargaining position.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for explaining this importance to the USA . I have been wondering what was behind this large amount of aid. Religion strikes again.