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US Condemns Egypt Bloodshed, but Maintains $1.3B Military Aid

The most recent bloodshed in Egypt initially kicked off when the military raided two protest camps supporting ousted President Morsi. In response, the United States government has been quick only to admit that there are significant obstacles on the path to democracy for Egypt right now. However, they have stopped short of saying President Morsi’s removal there was a coup, and their $1.3 billion-a-year in military aid is still flowing into Egypt.

Obama balances goals in Egypt

According to the Washington Post, “Pro-coup demonstrators in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were given a tangible reminder of America’s long-standing support for Egypt’s military last month, when a missile-equipped, U.S.-made Apache helicopter flew low overhead and dropped tiny Egyptian flags to the cheering crowd.

“Helicopters may soon become another kind of symbol, this time of decreasing U.S. support, as the Obama administration debates whether to stop next month’s scheduled delivery of new Apache AH-64D aircraft, according to a senior U.S. official.

“Refusal to send the Apaches, part of an $820 million, 12-aircraft order dating from 2009, would fall far short of the suspension of all U.S. military aid to Egypt — including the crucial spare parts to maintain the American-made equipment — that some have demanded.

U.S. military needs Egypt for access to critical area

According to

“The U.S. military is heavily dependent on Egypt to move personnel and equipment to Afghanistan and around volatile parts of the Middle East, complicating U.S. efforts to place pressure on the Egyptian military in the wake of its violent crackdown on protesters.

“‘Egypt has been a cornerstone for the U.S. military presence in the Middle East,’ said James Phillips, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

“During the past year, more than 2,000 U.S. military aircraft flew through Egyptian airspace, supporting missions in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East, according to U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for the region.

“About 35 to 45 U.S. 5th Fleet naval ships pass through the Suez Canal annually, including carrier strike groups, according to the Bahrain-based fleet. Egypt has allowed U.S. warships to be expedited, which often means getting to the head of a very long line of ships waiting for access to the canal.”

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