On Thursday Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) criticized the Obama administration for sending twenty F-16 fighter jets to the new Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government.
“It is reckless and unwise for the U.S. to give F-16s to Egypt and its new president/dictator, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood,” Poe explained. “This extremist group is notoriously anti-American and anti-Israel. The United States should not be arming a country ruled by a group that has the destruction of Israel in its charter.”
Poe joined a chorus of legislators who earlier this month voiced their opposition to the Obama administration’s gift of F-16s to Egypt. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) cautioned: “At this point, we don’t know where Egypt is headed. We should be cautious about driving them away, but we should also be cautious about the arms we provide.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, (R-FL) shared the sentiment: “The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States.”
Obama promised the twenty F-16s to Egypt back in 2010, when American ally Hosni Mubarak was in power. But after the “Arab Spring” of 2011, Mubarak was overthrown. In his place, radical jihadists helped bring Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi to power in June of this year. Last week, Egypt approved a new Islamist constitution.
Despite these developments, the Obama administration has not re-evaluated the wisdom of the F-16 gift. The first of the F-16s will be sent to the new Egyptian government next month, in January, 2013.
Many international experts have expressed concern that an unfriendly Egypt will soon use the American provided F-16s against American ally Israel, further destabilizing an already violent and uncertain Middle East. Despite these concerns, twenty more American F-16s will soon be added to the Egyptian air force.