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World View: U.S. to Cut Off Military Aid to Egypt

World View: U.S. to Cut Off Military Aid to Egypt

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Afghan president Karzai slams Nato for fighting the Taliban
  • U.S. to cut off military aid to Egypt in wake of coup
  • North Korea puts its military on high alert

Afghan president Karzai slams Nato for fighting the Taliban

Hamid Karzai on Monday (BBC)
Hamid Karzai on Monday (BBC)

Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai has indicated that Nato’s12-year-old war was a failure. In an interview, Karzai said:

“On the security front the entire Nato exercise wasone that caused Afghanistan a lot of suffering, a lot of loss oflife, and no gains because the country is notsecure.

They [the Taliban] are Afghans. Where the Afghan president, theAfghan government can appoint the Taliban to a government job theyare welcome. But where it’s the Afghan people appointing peoplethrough elections to state organs then the Taliban should come andparticipate in elections.

The return of the Taliban will not undermine progress. Thiscountry needs to have peace. I am willing to stand for anythingthat will bring peace to Afghanistan and through that to promotethe cause of the Afghan women better.”

So, the implication is that the 12-year effort to eject the Talibanafter 9/11/2001 was a waste. This isn’t a surprising conclusion. AsI’ve been writing for years, when President Obama announced a “surge”into Afghanistan, hoping to duplicate the success of the presidentGeorge Bush’s “surge” into Iraq, there was no chance that theAfghanistan “surge” would succeed, based on generational reasons, andon the relationship of the Afghan Pashtun to the Pakistan Pashtun.(See “29-Sep-13 World View — Violence in Afghanistan surges in September”) And it was justtwo months ago that Secretary of State John Kerry announced, withgreat pomp and fanfare, an agreement with the Taliban to hold peacetalks, but the talks collapsed in one day after they were announced.

Karzai and Obama have never gotten along very well anyway, and in 2009Obama described Karzai as an unreliable and ineffective partner.Still, Karzai’s remarks come at a crucial time in negotiations overhow many troops the U.S. will leave behind for training and such,after the Nato withdrawal in 2014. Karzai’s outburst appears to makethe “zero option” more likely — that zero troops will be leftbehind. BBC andVOA

U.S. to cut off military aid to Egypt in wake of coup

Reports indicate that the U.S. will announced on Wednesday a decisionto cut off military aid to Egypt. Egypt currently receives $1.5billion in US aid annually, $1.3 billion of which is designated forthe military. The aid includes military equipment, includingF-16s.

Ever since the July 3 army coup ousting Egypt’s democratically electedpresident, Mohamed Morsi, the Obama administration has carefullyavoided using the word “coup,” since the U.S. has a strict law thataid will be terminated to any country where the army stages a coupagainst a democratically elected leader. (See “4-Jul-13 World View — Egypt’s army deposes Morsi in a non-coup coup”) The administration has repeatedly refusedto declare whether a “coup” occurred on July 3, but thisreport seems to indicate that the administration has finallymade up its mind.

Whatever the symbolism of cutting off $1.5 billion in annual aid,there will be little practical effect. The reason is that, withMorsi’s Muslim Brotherhood out of government, Egypt has been promised$12 billion in aid from Gulf Arab states that don’t like or trust theMuslim Brotherhood — Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), andKuwait — and reports indicate that the money has been pouring in.

The cutoff of aid has the potential of changing the balance of powerin the Mideast. Ever since Egypt and Israel signed the Camp Davidpeace agreement in 1979, America has been providing billions in aid toboth Israel and Egypt. With the cutoff of aid, Egypt’s government maybe under pressure to repudiate the treaty.

Relations between the U.S. and Egypt have been deteriorating steadily,every since President Obama’s “apology tour” speech in Cairo in 2009,where he raised everyone’s hopes, and where he made promises thatcould never be kept, with the result that America’s popularity inEgypt today is at its lowest point in decades. When the Arab Springbegan, President Obama called for Hosni Mubarak to step down,humiliating Mubarak and infuriating King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Inrecent months, President Obama has repeatedly damaged Americancredibility with incompetent flip-flops with respect to the conflictin Syria, endorsement of an Afghanistan peace process that collapsedin 24 hours, and endorsement of a new Mideast “peace process” that’sconsidered a joke in the Mideast. Now, the new report that PresidentObama is going to end aid to Egypt is going to convince anyone whoisn’t already convinced that President Obama and Secretary of StateKerry don’t have the vaguest clue what they’re doing, or what they’regoing to do next. CNN

North Korea puts its military on high alert

North Korea has put its military forces on high alert, afterU.S. warships reached South Korea in preparation for scheduledmilitary exercises with South Korea and Japan. According toa statement by North Korea’s official news agency, whichrefers to North Korea as the DPRK and to South Korea asAmerica’s puppet:

“That the U.S. and its south Korean puppettrigger-happy forces seek the joint military exercises with anuclear carrier involved is the revelation of the bellicoseattempt to escalate the situation on the Korean Peninsula to theextreme pitch of tension, prevent the dialogue and peace fromprogressing and attain the ambition for invading the DPRK byopenly threatening it with nukes.

The South Korean puppet regime plans to deploy the nuclear carrierin waters off south Korea in collusion with the U.S. in a futilebid to frighten the DPRK.

The DPRK will never be browbeaten by it or any other things morepowerful than it.

It has all means and forces to cope with any adventurous nuclearwar scenarios of the U.S. and the puppet forces. It is fully readyto show its mettle to the bellicose forces running amuck bycounting on the nuclear carrier.

The regime would be well advised to be well aware that it is fatedto meet the complete ruin which can never be recovered by thenuclear carrier and anything else more powerful than it if itcontinues pursuing reckless military provocations against theDPRK, backed by its American master.”

Evidence is growing that North Korea is restarting its nuclearreactors. TIME and KCNA (Pyongyang)

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