Small Wars Journal

Examining Perceptions of the Future of Egyptian Government

Mon, 09/09/2013 - 12:42am

Examining Perceptions of the Future of Egyptian Government

Charles Graham


The future of Egypt’s government, and thus the future of its citizens, foreign relations, economy, security, and many other key areas, is currently a black hole into which nobody can see clearly. The fall of Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring in 2011 and the subsequent democratic election, the first ever of its kind in Egypt, of Mohammed Morsi as President started a chain of events that has led to intensely conflicting views of Egypt’s future. This resulted in the military coup that removed Morsi from power on July 3rd of this year, after only one year in office, and massive riots and protests between those who are pro Morsi/Muslim Brotherhood and those against him and his Islamist party. In the midst of countless self proclaimed “experts” throwing out their opinions on what the future holds for Egypt and U.S. relations with the country, little, if anything, remains clear. That is not to say that many of these individuals are not qualified to speak on the matter or may be providing accurate predictions, but the fact remains that that is all they are: opinions and predictions, some of which are undoubtedly biased in some form.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent turmoil in Egypt, such as the recent ouster of President Morsi and the 2011 uprising that removed Hosni Mubarak from power, in order to identify and assess how biases and perceptions shape analysis about the future of the Egyptian Government. The research will also aim to present analysis on some possible outcomes that have been predicted about the future of the Egyptian Government with the aim of answering the overriding question: what will be the effect of the tumultuous activity in Egypt on the people, future government, and leadership of the country? The research will not attempt to predict who will ultimately take control of the government or what their policies will be, but rather how the recent actions of the people of Egypt will affect the way they view the future government and vice versa. In addition, the research will examine what this could mean for U.S. relations with Egypt, taking into account the biases that guide the actions of both governments.  Given what is currently known and accepted about the Egyptian situation, the initial hypothesis is that the analysis will show that conditions in Egypt will continue to deteriorate amid the extreme separation of its people, and with no clear leadership the military will remain in control of the government while the U.S. unsuccessfully promotes their ideas of democracy to a people unwilling to fully accept them.

Literature Review

The events leading up to the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on July 3rd were eerily reminiscent of those that ended Hosni Mubarak’s rule in 2011. Ilan Berman, writing in Forbes, describes the reasons behind the protests that ended Morsi’s presidency rather well. In the days leading up to July 3rd, Egyptians took to the streets en masse to protest the decline and political disorder that had come to define the rule of former Islamist President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood dominated government[i]. In addition to the domestic turmoil and economic decline that characterized Morsi’s short run as President, Egyptian citizens also witnessed a religious transformation of Egyptian society by a political movement which had initially promised to do no such thing. This spread concern that the Muslim Brotherhood was keen to Islamize the state and control its executive powers[ii], leading to doubts about the first democratically elected president.

Economically, Morsi’s time in office was characterized by a rebounding rate of inflation, rising food insecurity, social instability, and an unemployment rate that showed one in four young Egyptians out of work[iii]. It was these problems that led to the mass protests and eventually caused the military to step in and initiate the “coup” that removed Morsi from office. But was there more to the military’s intervention than just the will of the people? This will be readdressed later.

Jackson Deihl presents the reasons for the ouster of Morsi through the eyes of the Egyptian people in his article “Egypt’s ‘democrats’ abandon democracy”. “When terrorism is trying to take hold of Egypt and foreign interference is trying to dig into our domestic affairs, it is inevitable for the great Egyptian people to support its armed forces against the foreign danger”[iv], stated Abdel Fattah, who is seen as somewhat of a revolutionary figure by the movement of young Egyptians demanding democratic change because of the Facebook page she was arrested for creating in opposition of Mubarak, and who was later nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. This movement of liberal youth, however, is far weaker than the military and the Islamist backed Muslim Brotherhood, and their liberal, secular party remains untested, yet is growing in popularity. The role they will play in Egypt’s future is unclear.

The latest transition plan presented by the new military led government has been met with criticism, wrote David Kirkpatrick in the New York Times. The so called road map, in the form of a “constitutional declaration” by the military appointed president Adli Mansour, elicited immediate opposition from civilian leaders across the political spectrum, including the liberals and activists who sought the removal of Morsi, the faction of ultraconservative Islamists who joined them, and the many thousands protesting to demand his reinstatement[v]. However, the declaration has made clear that the government drew its authority from the military commander who executed the takeover, General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi. The military led government has steadily widened its crackdown on Morsi’s Islamist supporters, which has caused the overwhelming majority of those closely monitoring the situation to classify the takeover as a military coup, yet U.S. policymakers refuse to see it that way for reasons to be discussed in the analysis. The appointments of individuals to key positions in the interim government, such as liberal economist Hazem el-Beblawi as Prime Minister and diplomat Mohamed El-Baradei as Vice President for foreign relations[vi], appear intended to reassure the western allies and donors like the U.S. that Egypt depends on.

The new “constitutional declaration” has laid out a very speedy election schedule, calling for a series of activities such as developing a package of amendments and holding parliamentary and presidential elections within six months. However, many analysts have faulted the plan as repeating the missteps that ruined Egypt’s first attempt at democracy, ensuring the process will again lead to partisan feuds. Examining the events and underlying causes of Hosni Mubarak’s removal from office in 2011 and the activities that took place during the transition to Morsi’s election, as follows, may provide a foundation for the current transition to build on, yet this does not appear to be happening.

What effect did the removal of Hosni Mubarak by popular revolt have on the minds and beliefs of Egyptians that carried over to the ouster of Mohammed Morsi? To answer this, one has to examine the reasons for Mubarak’s removal. Looking back, writes Bery Sanjeev in his analysis “Roots of Discontent: Egypt’s Call for Freedom”, there were key underlying political conditions that made the popular revolt possible. The factors leading to Mubarak’s overthrow were rooted in the three decades of his repressive rule, during which aspirations of the people were held captive by a government that appeared invincible through a combination of ruthless tactics and heavy military support from the United States[vii]. Mubarak implemented a wide range of emergency laws that would ensure the survival of his regime. These laws enabled the regime to ban public demonstrations, disperse political meetings, shut down media outlets, and make arrests without charges[viii]. The alliance between the U.S. and Mubarak also played a key role in the strength of his regime. U.S. military aid to the Mubarak regime rose to $1.3 billion/year, and nonmilitary aid strengthened the regime by limiting the support Egyptian NGO’s could receive from the United States[ix]. While the U.S. repeatedly called for democratic reform in exchange for its aid, Mubarak continued his authoritarian repressive rule and the U.S. aid continued to flow; an indication that the U.S. was, and is, more concerned with the strategic role and location of Egypt more so than seeing any democratic reform. When it became clear that Mubarak’s health was failing and he was preparing to pass his dictatorship on to his son Gamal, the Egyptian people desperately wanted a way out. The initial sparks of the Arab Spring in Tunisia were exactly what the people of Egypt needed to urge them into their own revolution.

Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Studies Islamabad Kashif Mumtaz attributes Mubarak’s fall to the failure of his three primary survival strategies: containment, repression, and external diversion. Containment refers to actions aimed at controlling, absorbing, or deflecting pressures made on the executive; repression to actions involving coercion and the use of force against opponents of the government; and external diversions to actions that aim to turn attention away from unresolved problems in the economy and society[x]. What worked for three decades suddenly became less effective against the changing demographics of Egypt, with a more liberalized, secular, and free thinking youth constituting a third of the population. This factor, along with the public disenchantment of the regime and cracks between the ruling junta and the military, caused the military to side with the public during the revolution, forcing Mubarak out of power[xi]. When Morsi was elected, he failed to enforce any such survival strategies; and with the public disapproval of his policies and their newly found power to thwart the government with a popular uprising, Morsi did not last long.

What occurred between the fall of Mubarak and the election of Morsi, during the so called “transition to democracy”, is pivotal in analyzing the future for Egypt. During this transitional period the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) was placed in charge. Atef Said, author of “The Paradox of Transition to ‘Democracy’ Under Military Rule”, believes this to be a paradox, with two main attributes making it so: 1) The SCAF and the army in general constitute a significant component of the state’s political apparatus. The army leaders can be seen as part of the ruling regime that the revolution was bent on replacing. Hence the SCAF was not a neutral body that was suitable to run the transition and 2) the fact that an institution such as the military, which is based on hierarchy, strict regulations, and obedience, has been leading the transition to democracy[xii]. The military is often the last institution willing to allow change or democratization. In cases of transition, military guardianship generally persists through the economic and political empires built during the transitional periods[xiii]. In Egypt’s case, these economic and political empires never even broke ground before the military reclaimed control after the short stint of a democracy, although this was largely based on the will of the people. Obviously, something resembling a shift to democracy transpired. An interim constitution was adopted, election laws became fairer, and more freedom was given for the formation of political parties[xiv], not to mention the first democratic election in Egypt’s history took place, leading to the election of Morsi and the subsequent events that formed the basis for this research. But was the military willing to give up complete control to a democratically elected Islamist government?

The Egyptian military has been positioned in a set of complex and contradictory economic, social-demographic, historical/cultural, and international geopolitical factors, argues Said, all of which have combined to influence its actions. These factors are: the army’s economic empire and social base, the army’s constructed image as a foundation of the modern Egyptian state, and the army’s special ties with the U.S., especially with the Pentagon and American military-industrial complex[xv]. It was these factors that led the army to side with the revolution in 2011, guided their actions during the transition, and again surfaced during the ouster of Morsi and the ongoing transitional period currently taking place; which saw them resort to the same repressive methods used in the past. These factors and level of repression have led many to question whether or not the army leaders will ever be willing to truly transfer power to a civilian, democratic government.

Whether or not any progress has been made among Egyptians that will allow the current transition to lead to a better outcome than the last is another question on the minds of many. None of the challenges of the last period have disappeared; Egypt is still going to be faced with fundamental questions on security sector reform, economic stability, transitional justice, and the list goes on[xvi], states Kristen Chick, author of “Can Egypt’s Popular Coup Resist a Faltering Transition?” Despite the recent and ongoing crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, the Islamist party is still the largest and best-organized grassroots movement in the country. Whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood will be included in the next democratic election, if one occurs, remains to be seen. Either way, the secularists will need to organize and grow to have any influence on Egypt’s future, as the military is currently demonstrating the extent of their power and influence over Egypt to a global audience.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former CIA case officer and current Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is of the opinion that the military and Egyptian liberals, who are now responsible for Egypt’s problems, will fail abysmally, and their failure will allow the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists to recapture control[xvii]. Although religious tyranny secularizes society, the Brotherhood’s time in office was probably too short for the majority of those in support of the Islamists to be affected in this way. They simply did not have a chance to see how religious tyranny negatively affects their lives and country. Egypt’s experiment with democracy is probably over, stated Gerecht; Egyptian secularists may win the next election, but most will see the vote as illegitimate. Islamists may return to violence, or more likely, the brethren will rally their followers in the streets and return to neo-fundamentalism, biding their time until Egypt’s army cracks[xviii]. There are other, not so negative, opinions on the matter as well however.

Egypt’s political crisis can be interpreted in two sharply conflicting ways, write Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo in their article “The Odds are Good for Egypt”. Opponents of the coup lament the irreparable damage it does to democracy, while supporters of the coup argue that it will set the stage for a stronger democratic future by offsetting illiberal aspects of the constitution such as the exclusion of secular groups from power and free expression[xix]. Perhaps history can shed some light on the future of Egypt, as its circumstances are not unique. Between 1875 and 2004 there were 117 transitions to democracy, based on the “conventional definition” of the term[xx]. Of these transitions, twenty five were quickly overturned by military coups similar to Egypt’s.  The good news for Egypt, from a historical perspective, is that twenty of these cases returned to a democracy within fifteen years, with nine of those twenty transitioning back within five years. The other five, however, yielded a return to a prolonged dictatorship in which democracy was either democratically delayed or permanently shelved[xxi]. Of course, Egypt is its own unique case and basing the likelihood of its return to democracy on the ratio of similar situations doing so in the past would be a biased analysis. That does not mean, however, that one cannot examine the factors and variables that played a role in similar past occurrences, of which there are some that are applicable to Egypt’s situation. These “structural” factors, while far from deterministic, play an important role in whether a transition makes a quick return to democracy or a renewed lapse into dictatorship[xxii]. Some of these structural factors include: 1) countries located in regions with a greater number of democratic neighbors are more likely to return to democracy; 2) very poor countries, and those that have a legacy of a repressive dictatorship, are less likely to return to democracy; 3) states with a history of financing large militaries and police forces employed to maintain order and quash dissent, rather than invest in education and infrastructure, are less likely to witness protest movements that advance the return to democracy; and 4) if the initial foray into democracy was the result of a revolution that brought down a long lived authoritarian regime, then mobilized popular groups are less likely to melt back into political irrelevance[xxiii]. These factors will be revisited and applied to Egypt in the analysis portion of this research paper.

For many Egyptians, democracy was not simply a matter of faith, or even principle, but a means to something else: a sense of dignity, the promise of economic benefit, or the freedom to dress and think as they wish. The sense of Egyptians that democracy had failed to bring real gains set in motion the breakdown of political order, the return of the generals, and the overthrow of the first democratically elected government[xxiv]. The coup that brought the end of Morsi’s presidency and the popular uprising that led to the removal of Mubarak, however, threaten to exacerbate the ongoing turmoil rather than resolve it. With the country divided over the legitimacy of its leaders, repression is almost inevitable as a way to enforce the new order, as is evident in the nearly 300 deaths inflicted on protesting citizens by the military and police since July 3rd, when this all began[xxv]. What are these citizens learning from the uprisings and coups in which they are participating and dying? If all it takes are massive crowds in the streets to bring down an elected leader, then the cycle will continue. This puts the very notion of democratic legitimacy under attack by a permanent revolution of sorts[xxvi], casting doubt on the chances of success for the next leader of Egypt, whoever it may be.

Research Methodology

When presented with the task of analyzing the recent activities in Egypt discussed above, as is always the case, one is presented with the perennial problems of intelligence analysis: the complexity of international developments, incomplete and ambiguous information, and the inherent limitations of the human mind[xxvii]. Understanding the intentions and capabilities of the key actors in Egypt is challenging. The first hurdle is to identify the relevant information from the ever increasing volumes of ambiguous data piling up about Egypt. Next is overcoming the cognitive and perceptual biases in human perception and judgment that are inherent in any analytical process. Overcoming these “mental models”, the experience based constructs of assumptions and expectations about the world[xxviii] that have shaped analysis about Egypt’s crisis, will be key for the following analysis. To help with this, analytic techniques from “A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis”, a collection of analytic techniques compiled by the U.S. government, have been used.

The method used for this research took a qualitative approach rather than a quantitative. Analyzing the current events as they unfold in Egypt takes into account much more qualitative data. Case Studies, congressional documents, analyses, and media articles are all valuable sources from which to draw information for this research. In particular, case studies have proven invaluable to this research. They provide historical information and analysis of Egypt’s past relevant to the current situation, such as the underlying factors that led to Mubarak’s removal and what took place during the first democratic transition. These analyses can be applied to this research by building on it to form new hypotheses on what lies ahead for Egypt’s future.

Findings and Analysis

With the knowledge of the situation in Egypt as it currently stands and the insights into the reasons for Mubarak’s and Morsi’s fall from power, it is now possible to examine the analysis of individuals such as Reuel Gerecht and the factors for the probability of Egypt’s return to democracy presented by Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo more closely, in fact, the two can be intertwined. Analyzing the thoughts of these authors will be the first goal of this analysis, followed by an analysis of how all of these issues have possibly affected the way the people of Egypt view and react to their government and what it means for their leaders. Finally, this analysis will attempt to look at the Egyptian situation from the perspective of the U.S. to determine if a democratic Egypt is really what the U.S. wants, or needs.

Gerecht definitively states that “Egypt’s experiment with democracy is probably over”[xxix], believing that Egypt will return to being Islamist fueled and militarily ruled until the Islamist’s can once again take political power from the military. He bases his argument on historical instances in which theocratic, repressive rulers have played their hand and the people are tired of it, such as in Iran where religious zeal has died after the toll of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s and three decades of repressive, clerical rule under Grand Ayatollah Khomeini. In this environment, secularism thrives. In Egypt, on the other hand, the people were subject to Islamist rule for just one year, and did not witness the repression of society that it can bring with it. Morsi’s ouster was due to his failure in the political and economic spectrum, not his Islamist religious stance. For this reason, Gerecht argues that Islamist’s will once again take control of the government with the backing of a majority of the people in the future. The Muslim Brotherhood is, after all, still the largest and best-organized grassroots movement across the country[xxx]. Until that time, the secularists may have their chance, but it will likely be squashed by more violent outbursts from Islamist supporters or by conflicts of interest with the military, resulting in a military led, repressive, and long lasting transition period.

Applying the factors affecting a return to democracy presented by Michael Albertus and Victor Menaldo to Gerecht’s analysis is one way to see if he is working in the right direction. The first factor affecting the likelihood of Egypt’s return to democracy is the political environment of the region, more specifically, if the countries surrounding Egypt are governed using a democratic system, if so, Egypt is more likely to follow suit. Off to a bad start; the region is inundated with dictatorships and authoritarian rulers. Next, very poor countries are less likely to return to a democracy. Egypt fares better in this regard; it enjoys a higher income per capita and a more open market than most of the countries that quickly returned to a democracy[xxxi] of which Albertus’ and Menaldo’s study was based. The next factor is that countries which have a legacy of a large repressive apparatus under a dictatorship are less likely to return to a democracy. While Mubarak wasn’t an exact match to the textbook definition of dictator, he was dictator-esque, and used repressive techniques to build his own empire while the people suffered. That being said, he applies to the term dictator as presented in this factor, adding another black mark to Egypt’s chances of a swift return to democracy on the Albertus-Menaldo scale and lending credibility to Gerecht’s analysis. Moving on, states with a history of financing large militaries and police forces employed to maintain order and quash dissent, rather than invest in education and infrastructure, are less likely to witness protest movements that advance the return to democracy. This one is a mixed bag for Egypt. Under Mubarak, the size and influence of the military and enforcement of “emergency laws”[xxxii], as discussed in the literature review above, was a key survival strategy for his regime, and U.S. military aid allowed it to continue unchecked for three decades. The revolution that overthrew Mubarak emboldened civil society and showed them that they could stand up to the repression, which was a major factor in the July 3rd removal of Morsi from office, which gives the point for the final factor, if the initial foray into democracy was the result of a revolution that brought down a long lived authoritarian regime, then mobilized groups are less likely to melt into political irrelevance, speeding the return to democracy (or chaos).

Let’s count the points, in favor of a quick return to democracy: 2.5, in favor of a return to a dictator-esque military rule: 2.5. These are not exactly the results Egypt was hoping for, and while this application of historical analytical factors by no means proves Gerecht’s analysis, it does support it. The results suggest that Egypt is stuck in a bog in which it cannot move in either direction. The factors that support a quick return to a secular democracy and those that support a slow arduous climb through authoritarian rule to (possibly) reach the same goal are on even footing. This leaves the still relevant and popular Islamist Muslim Brotherhood an opening to work their way back in, all they have to do is wait and make sure the secular revolutionaries don’t get their way. An easy task given the way recent events have unfolded; which brings up the next section of this analysis: how have these events shaped the Egyptian people’s perception of their “role” or power in government?

The overthrow of Mubarak and the popular uprising that sparked the coup that removed Morsi from power has very likely implanted in the minds of the people of Egypt that they have the power to depose of any leader they disapprove of that may find their way to the head of the Egyptian government. All it takes is a crowd large enough and devoted enough to hold their ground, riot, and protest until the military sides with them and denounces the current leader. There are certainly enough people who support each of the differing views of how Egypt should be run (secular vs. Islamist) to be able to stage another uprising against whichever side is lucky, or unlucky, enough to come out ahead. This is a major issue that plays an important role in the shaping of Egypt’s future. The strengthening of civil society and “revolutionary fever” has been escalating since the fall of Mubarak[xxxiii], and threatens to keep the state of Egypt’s government in a constant state of flux; one coup begets another. Should this happen, it would all but ensure that the military and SCAF would be left to maintain some semblance of control over the country, and would probably have to return to the survival strategies of repression, containment, and external diversions[xxxiv] used so effectively under Mubarak’s rule that ensured cohesion to the emergency laws that governed such popular uprisings. The current state of Egypt and the wide differences in mindsets of how the government should move forward seems destined to maintain its current course, and the quick return to democracy, especially in the six month time frame currently planned for, seems sure to fail.

What does this mean for the United States’ relations with Egypt? Under the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act, if a military coup topples the government of a democratically elected government then the U.S. is required by law to stop providing aid to that country, yet the U.S. has yet to classify the toppling of Morsi by the military as a coup, and has no plans on halting its military or economic aid to the country, which amounts to over $1.5 billion/year combined[xxxv]. This makes no sense, the whole reason the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act exists is to deter a coup like this one. If the Obama administration was allowed to pick and choose which coups they liked and which ones they didn’t, there would be no reason for this law. It is supposed to bind the president’s hands, forcing the U.S. to support democratic values and to guide militaries like Egypt’s that rely on U.S. aid[xxxvi]. This indicates that the U.S. is more interested in maintaining military superiority in the region than in promoting a democratic transition that favors the people, also indicated by the failure of the U.S. to withhold aid to the Mubarak regime after repeated calls for democratic reform that went unanswered[xxxvii]. The tangible benefits the U.S. receives in return for its aid to Egypt are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, the U.S. military enjoys priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace, and they are able to collaborate on strategic objectives such as border security, counterterrorism, and other emerging threats[xxxviii]. The fact that President Obama has faced very little criticism or argument from other U.S. leaders and policymakers over his decision not to classify Morsi’s ouster as a coup shows that he is not the only one who holds the strategic benefits of supplying aid to Egypt as of higher importance than any democratic reform in the country. That being said, it is possible the U.S. may benefit more from a military led, repressive government, rather than a democratically elected government, whether it is secular or Islamist; which answers the question as to why the U.S. has resorted to taking more of a back seat to the situation in Egypt rather than actively interfering in support of democratic reform.

Of course, the analysis thus far has taken into account much of the popular opinion and information from widespread, open source intelligence, which can lead to a biased analysis. For that reason, another technique from the U.S. government issued “A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis” will be applied to the Egyptian situation in order to overcome the mental models and perceptual biases that plague intelligence analysis. The technique that will be used is the Devil’s Advocacy technique, which challenges a single, strongly held view or consensus by building the best possible case for an alternative explanation[xxxix]. Using this technique one may predict that the current transition could go smoothly, leading to democratically elected president who is able to effectively balance the ideological, political, security, and economic issues in a way that appeases both the secularists and the Islamists while maintaining a strong military relationship with the U.S. The challenges that would need to be overcome for this to occur are great, and while it is not likely, it is not impossible either. The desire of the people of Egypt for a democratically elected government that allows them to lead a better and more fulfilling life is strong from both sides, and it is possible that if a middle ground could be found then both secularists and Islamists could benefit from a strong democracy. The military appears to be willing to lay the groundwork for such a government to succeed, but the sharp contrast between the secular and Islamist supporters is stalling the transition. Should a middle ground be found, this devil’s advocate analysis is possible.


The events in Egypt over the past two and a half years have had a debilitating effect on the country as a whole. While the people have stood up to a repressive and authoritative regime and overthrew a president who failed to deliver what he had promised, this newly discovered revolutionary spirit has also destabilized the country to a point where an authoritative military led and appointed transitional government has already begun to resort to the repressive tactics used by Mubarak. If the current trend continues it is possible a return to democracy may take many years or never occur at all, transgressing into a repressive military junta, the only entity that can maintain some semblance of order. This is of course, as this research has shown, a biased analysis based on popular opinion, yet it does seem probable. Overcoming biases is important for solving this situation, not just for analysts, but also for the Egyptians stuck in this transitional quicksand. Perceptions of the “power of the people” in Egypt have changed dramatically in the last two years. It is a gift and a curse, leading them out of repression and into the makings of an unstable government susceptible to one coup after the next.

In returning to the initial hypothesis: that the analysis will show that conditions in Egypt will continue to deteriorate amid the extreme separation of its people, and with no clear leadership the military will remain in control of the government while the U.S. unsuccessfully promotes their ideas of democracy to a people unwilling to fully accept it, the research has supported all but the last portion, which claimed that the U.S. will unsuccessfully promote their ideas of democracy on the Egyptian people. In reality, the U.S. calls for democratic reform appear to be more to appeal to their international image as a promoter of democracy than anything else. The U.S. has taken a very limited role in the democratic transition, and there are indications that a military led or influenced government is more conducive to U.S. strategic interests in Egypt than a democratic one. Egypt is currently performing on a world stage, and everyone is watching to see what the finale will bring. The verdict is not yet out, but all signs point to a box-office flop.


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Gerecht, Reuel M. (2013, July 12). “In Egypt, the popularity of Islamism shall endure”. Washington Post.

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End Notes

[i] Berman, Ilan. “In Egypt, Rethinking the Revolution”. (2013, July 2). Forbes. Page 2.

[ii] Ibid. (2013). Page 2.

[iii] Ibid. (2013). Page 2.

[iv] Deihl, Jackson. “Egypt’s ‘democrats’ abandon democracy”. (2013, July 21). Washington Post.

[v] Kirkpatrick, David. “Egypt Leaders’ Transition Plan Meets with Swift Criticism”. (2013, July 9). The New York Times.

[vi] Ibid. (2013).

[vii] Sanjeev, Bery. “Roots of Discontent: Egypt’s Call for Freedom”. (2011). Kennedy School Review, (11). Cambridge: Harvard Journal of African American Policy Studies. Page 40.

[viii] Ibid. (2011). Page 40.

[ix] Ibid. (2011). Page 41.

[x] Mumtaz, Kashif. “The Fall of Mubarak: The Failure of Survival Strategies”. (2011). Strategic Studies, XXXI(3). Page 2.

[xi] Ibid. (2011). Page 2.

[xii] Said, Atef. “The Paradox of Transition to ‘Democracy’ Under Military Rule”. (2012). Social Research, Special Issue: Egypt in Transition, 79(2). New York: New School for Social Research. Pages 397-98.

[xiii] Ibid. (2012). Page 397.

[xiv] Ibid. (2012). Page 398.

[xv] Ibid. (2012). Page 398-99.

[xvi] Chick, Kristen. “Can Egypt’s Popular Coup Resist a Faltering Transition?” (2013, July 5). CSMonitor.

[xvii] Gerecht, Reuel M. “In Egypt, the popularity of Islamism shall endure”. (2013, July 12). Washington Post.

[xviii] Ibid. (2013).

[xix] Albertus, Michael & Menaldo, Victor. “The Odds are Good for Egypt”. (2013, July 18). Foreign Policy. Page 1.

[xx] Ibid. (2013). Page 3.

[xxi] Ibid. (2013). Page 3-4.

[xxii] Ibid. (2013). Page 5.

[xxiii] Ibid. (2013). Page 5-6.

[xxiv] Hamid, Shadi. “In Egypt, one coup leads to another”. (2013, July 12). Washington Post.

[xxv] Hassieb, Ingy. “Egypt government plans to breakup Islamist protests”. (2013, July 31). LA Times, World.

[xxvi] Hamid, Shadi. (2013).

[xxvii] “A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis”. (2009). U.S. Government. Page 1.

[xxviii] Ibid. (2009). Page 1.

[xxix] Gerecht, Reuel M. (2013).

[xxx] Chick, Kristen. (2013).

[xxxi] Albertus, Michael & Menaldo, Victor. (2013). Page 3.

[xxxii] Sanjeev, Bery. (2011). Page 40.

[xxxiii] Said, Atef. (2011). Page 411.

[xxxiv] Mumtaz, Kashif. (2011). Page 2.

[xxxv] Sanjeev, Bery. (2011). Page 42.

[xxxvi] Feldman, Noah. “Top of the Agenda: Egypt Begins Forming Transitional Government”. (2013, July10). Council on Foreign Relations.

[xxxvii] Sanjeev, Bery. (2011). Page 40.

[xxxviii] “U.S. Embassy Cables: Egypt’s Strategic Importance to the U.S.”. (2011, January 28). The Guardian.

[xxxix] “A Tradecraft Primer: Structured Analytic Techniques for Improving Intelligence Analysis”. (2009). Page 17.


About the Author(s)

Charles Graham is a graduate student at American Military University studying in the field of intelligence. He has been accepted into Navy Officer Candidacy School and will work as an Intelligence Officer in the USN upon his commission. Mr. Graham also holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and an MBA with a focus on international business from Tarleton State University, part of the Texas A&M University system.