The United States can’t save Egypt from itself

Source: Brookings Institute
Author(s): Tamara Cofman Wittes

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Editors’ Note: On March 23, the Working Group on Egypt sent a letter to President Obama urging him to publicly and privately object to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s accelerating crackdown on human rights and civil society organizations. Brookings senior fellow and director of the Center for Middle East Policy Tamara Wittes was among the letter’s signers, and she explains her decision to do so. The letter was originally published by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

Tamara Wittes: In a disordered Middle East, America needs anchors of stability and reliable partners to help it achieve its goals. Both are in sadly short supply.

For more than thirty years, Egypt was an anchor of stability and a reliable American partner in regional security. From the time Sadat expelled Soviet advisers and broached peace with Israel, ties with Egypt have been a core pillar of American Middle East policy. But, as my colleague Steven Cook presciently noted way back in February 2012, Egypt’s revolution accelerated the launch of what he calls a “long goodbye” between these two formerly indispensable partners….

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