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  • Opinion: Egypt is the center piece in the new cold war


    This is an opinion piece. It could be right, it could be wrong.

    But in my humble opinion Egypt is being used as a chess piece in a three dimensional game of chess. Where the players are Iran & US.

    startrek 3d chess

    In order to understand my opinion lets look at what each country pieces are:


    - Bases in Gulf states such as Bahrain, Saudi & Qatar

    - Oil interest in Saudi

    - Current control of Iraq & Pakistan.


    - Deterrent of Nuclear Weapon

    - Strait of Hormuz; in the event of a war Iran can easily block the strait which is literally at its narrowest point is 33 Kilometers ! (read more here)

    now what about the loose PIECES…. well that is US, the Arab World. The Arab spring.

    Think about it, Syria and Egypt are the two most vital pieces in their game.

    Syria, a close ally of Iran who actually before the arab spring signed 10 Bil USD trade agreement, for a gas line that went through Iraq, lebanon to the EU (source here). Syria also a threat to America’s baby, Israel.  How does the states fight that threat, well using its allies Saudi & Qatar to finance the syrian opposition, in order to see the down fall of Asad, and have a person who is an ally of the states to come to power. Regardless of how evil Asad is, that is not the question. The point is the use of Syria to make sure next person to come power is PRO-US

    ” Syria has thus become a part of a region-wide tussle that is essentially about the re-calibration of two interrelated balances of power: one between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf; the second the overall regional balance of power between the American-Israeli axis and Iran. Syria is merely a sideshow of these wider and strategically much more important struggles. Iran’s support for Assad and the US-Saudi support for his opponents can only be understood in the context of these larger struggles for power and influence. The resolution of the Syrian crisis is, therefore, linked to what happens in these other arenas and cannot be separated from them.” (source: national interest )  .

    What about Egypt ?

    well lets look what Egypt represents,

    1 – Suez Channel. if the strait of Hormuz is blocked, then one way of coming close to the Iran is to fire from the Mediterranean sea, and to do that they need the to cross using the Suez. Secondly the the oil would be exported from Jeddah instead of Damman (west side of saudi) which again would need to pass through the suez.

    2-  Sina as a military base. It is the US dream to have a military base in Egypt, due to its strategic locations, naval vessels can refuel, restock there

    3- Arab support. Egypt has always been the epee center of the Arab world, what happens in Egypt resonates across the region.  So if US can control egypt, it can in effect control rest of the arab states,

    4- Iran & Egypt. The US fears a good egyptian iranian tie, which is something morsi used in the beginning of his presidency to scare the states, by attempting to normalising ties. Why do they fear it, because they fear for example in the event when they acutally launch a war against iran, that we egypt for example would open the suez channel.

    So what does that have to do with what we are in right now ?

    Its simple. Mubarak, was a stubborn leader, and he came from military. Egyptian military is actually strong and also stubborn, and wont allow it to be controlled by others. If the US wanted bases in Egypt, it would have never happened under the Mubarak regime or with Tantawi. So destabilise Egypt. Put a group in charge who would allow them to do it. The Muslim Brotherhood. After all the US has bases in a country where the leader does support the MB, Qatar.

    Again this is my own personal opinion, i could be very much wrong. However if i am so, or if you have a different opinion i would very much like it if you leave a comment with what you think on this post,

    with that i would leave you with a report that came from Center of Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) in March 2012. to read the full report (click here)

    Egypt and Jordan
    Lastly, US policy towards Egypt and Jordan are driven by a number of common factors that have impacted whether or not these two key US allies become exposed to Iranian influence and interference.
    - President Mubarak’s exit from power means that Egypt will go through a prolonged cycle of  instability as it reconciles itself with the role of the military in and out of politics, the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist political forces and the other political and reform movements working to shape post-Mubarak Egypt. The US government and Congress must both remain flexible as it tries to sustain ties with the “new” Egypt – a move that is crucial to ensuring stability across the Levant and the broader Middle East and North Africa
    -  Military aid from the US, and financial assistance from the Gulf states, are crucial to stabilizing post-Mubarak Egypt. The US must continue to nurture its military-to-military relationship while recognizing that Egypt’s economic needs must also be addressed. While funding from the Gulf can help sustain investment and macroeconomic indicators, only the US and other Western democracies can provide the sort of socio-economic aid that can bolster governance and state
    accountability in the long term.
    -Uncertainty about bilateral ties with Israel is likely to increase as the Egyptian military comes to terms with the country’s Islamic political forces. The threat of suspending military aid to Egypt is no more effective than proposed cuts to Lebanon and the Palestinians. If nothing else, the implications could be far more damaging to regional stability and Israeli security. That being said, the US must balance aid with Egypt’s continued adherence to Egyptian-Israeli peace and more
    efforts to stabilize an increasingly unmanaged Sinai Peninsula.
    - While Egypt will face challenges in the years ahead, a post-Mubarak Egypt has an opportunity to re-capture much of the authenticity and prestige it lost over the course of the past three decades. While this could lead to an Egypt that is less sensitive to US and Israeli national security and foreign policy prerogatives, it is also clear that a more important role for Egypt in Arab politics could come at the expense of Shi’a Iran.
    - The ratcheting up of sectarian tensions between Egyptian Muslims and Coptic Christians presents a serious risk. The continued deterioration of communal ties will likely have an increasingly negative effect on the country’s internal stability. While accounting for 10% of the Egyptian populations, at some 10 million strong the Copts remains the largest Christian community in the Levant. With the rise of sectarian tensions in Syria, continued sectarian recrimination in Lebanon, and the depletion of Christians in Iraq and the Palestinian Territories, the US and Egypt must both do more to prevent the communal and primordial politics from becoming yet another source of instability in a region in a deep state of flux.
     - As with Egypt, Jordan is too important to the US and its Gulf allies not to make every effort to help it avoid prolonged or even limited instability. Here too, the US needs to continue to support  security and economic assistance programs to the Hashemite Kingdom, while supporting peaceful democratic reforms as well. It should also continue to support Gulf efforts to integrate Jordan into the Gulf Cooperation Council as one measure to limit regional instability and bolster the Kingdom’s security