POMED’s Cole Bockenfeld Quoted in Al Jazeera about Cuts to Egypt’s Military Aid

On August 24, POMED’s Deputy Director for Policy Cole Bockenfeld spoke with Farah Najjar of Al Jazeera English about recent U.S. cuts to Egypt’s military and economic aid:

According to Cole Bockenfeld, deputy director for policy at the Project on Middle East Democracy, at least $400m in economic assistance is in the works for Egypt, much of which is “actively obstructed by the Egyptian government”.

According to Bockenfeld, the justifications for the decision are not clear, yet the move is not likely to affect Egypt’s military campaign in Sinai.

“This decision does not have any practical impact on the Egyptian military’s ability to conduct operations in the Sinai.”

…….

By the early 1990s, Egypt became one of the US’ major military allies in the region. Although the event had been suspended since 2009, it is scheduled to recommence next month. According to Cole, Egypt has sufficient funds in their account to continue military operations “unimpeded”.

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Others believe that the US move has little to do with human rights abuses.

“If the Trump administration truly wanted to send a strong signal to Sisi’s government on human rights, they could have used the authority in the law to cut (instead of delaying) this $195m in military aid to Egypt,” said Bockenfeld.

Read the full article here.