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How American Weapons Are Crushing Dissent in Egypt

The Egyptian armed forces receive $1.3 billion in annual military aid from the United States.

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White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday, “We are going to examine this and monitor this, and take the time necessary in making the determination in a manner that’s consistent with our policy objectives and our national security interests.

“But we do not believe that it is in our interests to make a precipitous decision or determination to change our assistance programme right away,” he said.

Still, there are several U.S. legislators, including Senators John McCain (Republican of Arizona), Patrick Leahy (Democrat of Vermont), and Carl Levin (Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Armed Services Committee) who have called for a suspension of U.S. aid to Egypt until the restoration of democracy.

Prior to the Camp David peace treaty, Egypt was a long-time recipient of Soviet weaponry under a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Moscow. The Aswan Dam, a major economic showpiece, was built with financial assistance from the then Soviet Union.

But with the Camp David accords, Egypt switched its political and military loyalties from the Soviet Union to the United States.

Still, Egypt remains in the process of steadily weaning itself off former Soviet legacy hardware; prior to 1978, the Egyptian Army was largely equipped with Soviet weaponry.

 
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