Dr. Hashim is an associate professor at the Rajaratnam School for International Studies and academic coordinator/research manager at ICPVTR, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
The assassination of President Anwar Sadat on October 6, 1981, inspired profound fear for Egypt's stability. However, rapid elevation to the presidency of Vice President Hosni Mubarak, former head of the Air Force, assured continuity of government. Lacking the charisma of a Nasser or Sadat, Mubarak was regarded as an interim leader with too few political skills to stay in power for any length of time. To the surprise of many, he managed to overcome numerous obstacles and threats, consolidate power and remain in office until 2011, when popular fury forced him out.1
The two immediate concerns of the new president back in 1981 were, first, whether the killing of Sadat presaged an attempt to seize power, and, second, whether the loyalty of the armed forces to the state had been compromised by widespread penetration by religious extremists. In October 1981, within days of the assassination, ebullient supporters of the assassins came out of the woodwork and attacked government property and Coptic Christians. The government airlifted in units of paratroopers and special forces, who swiftly and efficiently crushed the attackers.2 The key worry, though, was the armed forces, the only organization capable of violently displacing the government. Nothing revealed more clearly the possible existence of religious extremism within the armed forces than the fact that Sadat's assassins — Colonel Abboud Zumur, Lieutenant Khalid al-Islambouli, Sergeant Hussein Abbas Muhammad (the sniper who shot the president in the neck) and their cohorts — all were fervent Islamists.3 There was considerable fear that Islamists had made serious gains among enlistees and the junior and middle ranks of the officer corps. The writings of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri have made clear that one of the key goals of Islamic Jihad, the Islamist group with whom he was associated at the time, was to recruit from among the military; the other main radical group, al-Gamaa al-Islamiyah, sought to mobilize the people to rise up against the "infidel" regime.4 The conscripts, who came from the urban and rural poor and were increasingly impoverished as a result of economic restructuring undertaken by Sadat in the 1970s, were susceptible to the siren song of the extremists. They had spent years engaged in harsh military training and then at the gabha — the front with Israel. On their return home, they were promised release from the military, provision of services and consumer goods, and job training for civilian life. Very little of this happened and the military retained a large number of sullen and hardened conscripts.5 Those people do not stage coups. The threat they potentially pose lies in a reluctance to deal with large-scale outbreaks of domestic violence. In the few instances where the state had sent the army into the streets to deal with threats to internal stability, it has generally used top-level units manned by professionals.
The Mubarak government immediately initiated an internal study to assess the reasons for the growth of Islamist militancy, particularly within the armed forces, and how to combat it. Economic distress and poverty were singled out as the culprits.6 In response, the armed forces moved to ensure that conscripts were literate so that they could think for themselves. The military took measures to prevent infiltration by mutaasibin (religious fanatics) and went as far as investigating soldiers' family backgrounds, particularly of individuals seeking commissions in sensitive positions. Senior officers benefited from the existing system. They were judged unlikely to succumb to the message of religious extremists even if they and their families had become more pious in recent years. After all, they had the promise of early retirement, a pension and the lure of a lucrative position in one of the numerous military-owned commercial companies.
Nonetheless, in the wake of Sadat's assassination and the uncovering of extremists within the armed forces, the state was not going to take any chances. It created an oversight institution to prevent infiltration of the armed forces by subversive elements and to weed out extremists that were already present. In 1986, military intelligence uncovered a plot by junior and mid-ranking officers who had allied themselves with civilian plotters allegedly linked with Islamic Jihad.7 However, at the turn of the millennium, the efficient oversight system began to falter. Many senior officers believed that the promise of a lucrative job in the future was enough incentive for officers at the bottom to persevere as dutiful servants of the system. Officers were not indoctrinated with any commitment to a system of beliefs or values along the lines of the Turkish military, whose political power the Egyptian senior command now seeks to emulate. The weakness of the assumption that junior officers would wait patiently for their rewards was that the Egyptian army is huge and top-heavy with officers. The chances of snagging a lucrative post-retirement position were slim because of the number of aspirants, particularly as such positions depended on patronage and kinship ties. A retired officer got a lucrative job in the military's commercial complex only if he had ties to someone already in the system. The failure of many officers to hit the jackpot bred resentment against those who did, and against the nouveaux riches of the liberal class who were in control of the vibrant sectors of the economy.
INTERNAL SECURITY, 1980s
One of the oddest characteristics of Egyptian authoritarianism was the inefficiency of its large coercive apparatus, despite the vast financial and human resources directed its way and its well-deserved, ruthless reputation. Time and time again, the government failed to deal with low morale, poor training and dismal pay that festered well into the twenty-first century. The police and paramilitary failed to deal with bread riots in 1977; the army was called in, as briefly discussed in Part One (Middle East Policy 18, no. 3; Fall 2011). By the 1980s, the police and paramilitary had become the problem. Finally, they did not perform well during the revolution of 2011 either, as was highlighted by a post-Mubarak report on internal security that emphasized the low level of training and skills of the paramilitary Central Security Forces (CSF).
One of the most serious internal threats to the Mubarak presidency came in February 1986 with the "revolt" of 20,000 CSF members.8 A conscript force of 300,000 men, made up largely of illiterate peasants from remote rural areas rejected for military service because of their low educational level and poor health, the CSF was used to maintain security around public facilities and to put down demonstrations by students and workers. Rumors that the government had decided to extend its unpopular term of service provoked a mutiny among 20,000 members of the force.9 The military was called in to put down the rebellion even though there was no danger that the CSF revolt would gain traction with disgruntled elements of urban society; the two groups were culturally alien, even if they shared straitened economic circumstances.
The government did not learn much from the CSF revolt. Very little was done to improve quality of life, pay or skill levels. Units based in Lower (northern) Egypt were given more perks, better barracks and improved training, but those in Upper (southern) Egypt, where the Islamist insurgency erupted in full force in the 1990s, remained deprived and susceptible to penetration by Islamist activists. Not surprisingly, the government used northern CSF units to deal with unrest in the south, as the southern-based units were considered unreliable.
MUBARAK AND THE FIELD MARSHAL
Between 1981 and 1987, the second most powerful man in Egypt, after the president, was the defense minister, Abdul Halim Abu Ghazala. Relations between the two were strained, with Mubarak resenting Abu Ghazala's independence and prominence.10 The defense minister was articulate, cosmopolitan, fluent in English and played a key role in promoting American military aid to Egypt to the advantage of Egypt's defense industry.11 His relations with the Americans turned tense when he roused Washington's displeasure with Egypt's role in a semi-covert ballistic-missile project involving two unlikely partners, Argentina and Iraq.
Abu Ghazala went out of his way in 1981 to deny rumors that he was a candidate for vice president: "All this talk is untrue. Of course, President Hosni Mubarak is the one who will choose the vice president and, of course, he has his own way of choosing. I absolutely do not wish to figure among the ones from whom the choice will be made."12 If the appointment of a vice president was intransparent, so was the coordination on national security between the civilian government and the military. As defense and war production minister, Abu Ghazala often provided detailed overviews of Egyptian national-security threat perceptions and future projections to the Defense and National Security Committee of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). In July 1986, for example, he delivered a comprehensive statement to the NDP in which he discussed political and military developments in the Middle East and their impact on Egypt. He went on to review Egyptian defense strategy, including efforts to modernize the armed forces, equip them with sophisticated weaponry and establish a powerful deterrent capability.13 Mubarak viewed the defense minister's ambitions and the verve with which he presented Egyptian national security needs to foreigners, particularly the United States, with considerable unease. Mubarak was a particularly stultifying speaker whose aura of "bovine stupidity" prompted the nickname of "le vache qui rit," the laughing cow and the name of a bland processed French cheese popular in Egypt at the time.
Mubarak removed Abu Ghazala in 1987 in a bid to depoliticize the armed forces and continue the civilianization of the political process that had been begun by Sadat. The curbing of the military's role in politics was sweetened by giving them economic perks.
The key factor in ensuring the military's allegiance to Mubarak during the long years of his rule was the enormous autonomy granted to officers in creating and running a lucrative military-industrial-business complex.14 The role of the armed forces in a country's economic structure can be complicated and shrouded in secrecy.15 In many non-Western countries, the military rather than civilians or civilian-controlled enterprises dominate the defense sector. The military, moreover, developed non-defense related businesses — referred to as military business or "milbus."16 The defense and non-defense business together can be referred to as the military-industrial-business-commercial complex (MIBCC). In Egypt, MIBCC is a "vast military-run commercial enterprise that seeps into every corner of Egyptian society,"17 producing food (olive oil, milk, bread and bottled water), cement and gasoline, vehicles (Cherokees and Wranglers) and infrastructure.18 Conscripts are often deployed in their last months of military service in construction and farming; the less fortunate end up being domestics for high-ranking officers and their families. The military owns huge tracts of public land that are being transformed into gated communities and resorts. Military corporations do not pay taxes or deal with bureaucratic red-tape that strangles the private sector. Military entities that function as corporations are more loath to address economic aspects of their work than their involvement in the political process.
Militaries develop vast economic enterprises for several reasons. First, they have "corporate interests" that they expect the state to fulfill: regular salaries, decent housing and fringe benefits such as low-interest loans and special shopping facilities. Second, military enterprises tend to be more efficient and streamlined than those of the public sector. However, they may hinder the state's efforts to achieve privatization and economic liberalization in the realization that private-sector companies are more efficient and productive. Third, the military hierarchy may genuinely believe that its enterprises contribute to economic development and enhancement of their own image.19 The military is determined to maintain its MIBCC and to protect it against attempts to dismantle it.
MILITANTS AND INTERNAL SECURITY
In the 1990s, the stability of the system was shaken by the persistence of a perennially poor economy and rising political extremism, expressed in a vicious war between the state and Islamist extremists. Islamic fundamentalist groups sought to overthrow the political system and replace it with a theocratic state.20 Violent Islamist activism was not new in Egypt, the birthplace of both mainstream and extremist Islamist movements. Nasser and Sadat both had to deal with Islamist opposition. Under Mubarak, it became a full-scale assault on the state,21 particularly virulent in the poorer southern part of the country.22 Within two years, terrorist attacks on the tourism industry and harsh government crack-downs led many observers to express doubts about the stability of the country.23
The armed forces were not involved in a major way in the counterinsurgency campaign. This is surprising, given the extent of the danger posed by the extremists' penetration of various parts of the country, including the Cairo slums and Upper Egypt. The absence of the military contrasts starkly with the extensive role of the Algerian armed forces in fighting to maintain the political system it had helped bring to power in the early 1960s. The Egyptian armed forces have traditionally shown a marked distaste for dealing with domestic disturbances. This was evident in their hesitation to turn their guns inward in 1977 and 1986. By the 1990s, the officer corps had become considerably more depoliticized and professional, ensuring that the armed forces remained externally focused. Their intervention was limited to using military tribunals to try terrorism suspects, training and advising paramilitary units, and lending local forces air power and special units such as paratroopers. The military was nonetheless concerned about the situation in the country. It conducted numerous studies of the rise of religious extremism, and its senior officers offered analyses of its dangers. In October 1992, the chief of staff at the time, Salah Halaby, stated:
These problems [terrorism and extremism] do not come out of a vacuum; they grew as the result of the political void people felt after the setback of 1967, the reduced role of Egyptian experience in the 1960s, and the imported ideas and conflicts that crept into Egyptian society through a perverse minority with the aim of violating security, breaking the law, trying to upset the stability that this country enjoys….24
Halaby proceeded to praise the government for taking decisive action to restore security; however, he also expressed hope that economic reforms would be adopted concurrently and that these would put an end to the extremist phenomenon once and for all:
It is the right of the state, indeed its duty, to confront these attempts to damage its security, impair its national unity, or threaten the social peace.…Thus the government was quick to make certain amendments to the security laws, among them the rules for confronting these strange threats to our society. We hope it will be part of the course of economic reform Egypt is conducting to create a better climate for total control of these phenomena.…25
Halaby suggested that the government adopt a serious long-range strategy above and beyond security and law enforcement. Had the senior brass felt the situation was getting out of hand, they would have intervened more directly to save a system that they had historically buttressed and that provided them more privileges and benefits than ever before. This was made explicit by Defense Minister Tantawi in October 1993: "The armed forces are the last line of defense [and] cannot remain idle in the face of threats that may harm [the country]." He hoped the army would not have to intervene.26 It is further possible that the senior brass did not want conscripts and junior officers, whose loyalties might be suspect, to be exposed to these kinds of operations. Indeed, even though the regime kept close tabs on extremism within the armed forces since Sadat's assassination, links between officers and enlisted men and anti-regime extremists continued to emerge. In 1993, at least five military personnel with links to the "Vanguards of Islam" — former Jihad members who had fled to Afghanistan following Sadat's death and had returned as seasoned radicals — stood among the accused in trials of Islamists. The government, moreover, chose to wage its counterinsurgency campaign using the intelligence and security services, the paramilitary CSF and the national police force.
Over the years, the state developed a ruthless security and intelligence apparatus that had no qualms about using extra-judicial methods in the defense of the system. The key player, the General Directorate for State Security Investigations (GDSSI), achieved notoriety for its brutal methods, efficient network and wire-tapping to gather intelligence. However, despite an ever-increasing budget and large numbers of personnel, the police and other paramilitary forces remained poorly capitalized and in desperate need of modernization, organizational restructuring, and upgraded technology, including computerized data bases. The interior minister at the time, Hasan al-Alfi, alluded to this in an interview with the Egyptian magazine al-Musawwar in 1993:
We are reviewing resources available to all police agencies. Also we are reviewing the training plans, because — now that we are approaching the twenty-first century and in an age of technology — our work must be based on sound and scientific planning and the use of modern tools and equipment.27
Because the militant Islamists were defeated without direct military intervention, civil-military relations did not fundamentally change. As Robert Springborg and John Sfakianakis argued in a study in 1999, "The various security forces have, with very few exceptions, conducted the counterinsurgency (COIN) with only the arms-length involvement of the military."28 The state's counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies were never fully completed due to resource constraints and a desire to avoid risk.29 Lastly, Egypt did little to implement large-scale non-kinetic approaches to counterterrorism (CT) and COIN. Torturing or "bludgeoning the opponents of the state to death" was the state's modus operandi.30 Of course, given the government's enormous resources, this was far easier than formulating a more refined strategy. Nonetheless, it contributed to enlarging the base of the extremist groups and fed their thirst for revenge. Like the U.S. Army after Vietnam, the Egyptian Army after the 1960 Yemen war developed a profound distaste for, and amnesia about, irregular warfare. Egyptian officers received very little, if any, training in what Latin American militaries used to refer to as internal national-security policy.
The reasons for the collapse of the extremists' violent strategy cannot be analyzed here,31 but by 1999, the insurgents and terrorists were all but defeated. Yet, at the turn of the twenty-first century, there seemed to be an increase in the general malaise in the country that celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1952 revolution could not hide.32 The system's rot was apparent to all, particularly the ever-patient Cairenes. However, Western policy makers and their Israeli counterparts missed the signs; they did not wish to see them. They myopically associated stability with Mubarak and turmoil with Islamists. Stability was good for the West, Israel and the Egyptian military, though it meant slow suffocation for the Egyptian people.33 As the revolution unfolded, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confidently declared the regime to be "stable" and in "no danger of falling."34 When it became apparent that she was mistaken, the Obama administration decided to jump on the "people power" bandwagon and began calling for Mubarak to step down. Sadly, the outside world, particularly the democratic West, cared little for the actual promotion of democracy in the Arab world, despite a steady stream of rhetoric directed mainly at recalcitrant regimes such as Syria and Iran.35 Western policy was geared toward controlling oil, protecting Israel and fighting terrorism.36 This required stability, not democracy.37 However, once unrest started to develop in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, the West faced a problem: whether to support the regimes or the revolutionaries. A French minister suggested that France lend Ben Ali troops to help "restore stability" in Tunisia. The subtext was the deep relationship between the kleptocratic Tunis regime and Paris. Approximately 1,200 French companies operated in Tunisia. To France's credit, the suggestion to aid Ben Ali caused some uproar and was dropped.
Western political observers, journalists and many academics were well aware of Egypt's problems. Their analyses, often based on extended travel and open interaction with locals uncommon in other authoritarian Arab states, were often on the mark and easily available to Western governments, but mostly ignored.38 As Egypt entered the twenty-first century, despite extensive government spin suggesting all was well, The Economist's assessment was that "the country is not in the mood for fun."39 In 2005, the UN-sponsored annual Arab Human Development Report humorously referred to the modern Arab state as a "black hole which converts its surrounding social environment into a setting in which nothing moves and from which nothing escapes."40 Few analysts were more prescient than former Washington Post Cairo bureau chief David Ottaway, who wrote in 2010, under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, "Egypt at the Tipping Point," a devastating indictment of the Mubarak regime. Ottaway described Egypt's president as "a highly cautious, unimaginative leader, maddeningly reactive rather than pro-active in dealing with the social and economic problems overwhelming his nation…"41 By the summer of 2011, serious analyses appeared in the West on the origins and causes of the revolution in Egypt.42
Egypt was entering an uncertain political period that would culminate in an "unexpected" and relatively bloodless revolution, ending Mubarak's three-decade rule. The country was beset by profound political and socioeconomic ills that are only now being openly discussed because the president and his cronies are no longer there to take offense. Mubarak made use of a vast array of emergency laws to maintain a firm grip on the country.43 The claim that he was at heart a democrat who would nurture an "Egyptian spring" was greeted with well-deserved ridicule.44 The renewal of the state of emergency in force since Sadat's 1981 assassination and the refusal of licensing requests by 12 political parties indicated a reluctance to allow meaningful change. Egyptians had heard it too often before; this is why, in part, the Kefaya (Enough!) movement emerged in 2004.45 In 2005, Mubarak promised but failed to appoint a deputy president, arousing considerable suspicion that he was promoting his son to succeed him.46 The military allegedly looked askance at the prospect of Egypt's becoming a hereditary republic. The officers apparently despised Gamal, a man who had never completed military service.47 They also considered his influential business cronies a rival elite that would threaten their own lucrative economic activities were he to come to power.48
A profound chasm existed between well-off Egyptians, hobnobbing with foreign tourists in the gated playgrounds of Egypt's Red Sea Riviera, and the masses, struggling to get by on meager incomes and living a precarious existence in "Dickensian" urban tenements.49 Despite high growth, infrastructure improvements, and gains in literacy and health, the economy was sluggish and showed few signs of recovery.50 The government was incapable of downsizing the bloated public sector, and the middle class was shrinking.51 By 2005, Egyptians were clearly fed up.52 Their mood was eloquently assessed by Osama Ghazali Harb, an academic and politician: "We cannot live in the world with a one-party system, a state-owned press, control by the bureaucracy and security over civil society and the unions. All these things must come to an end. This republic, this authoritarian republic, has become exhausted."53
The outside world also impinged on the trajectory of events within the troubled country. In 1992, Defense Minister Muhammad Hussein Tantawi spoke at length concerning the threats to Egyptian national security "from several different directions." These included Israel, Iran and Sudan as well as terrorism.54 The assassination of Sadat did not abort the peace treaty with Israel, but the country remained central to Egyptian threat perceptions. Relations with Egypt had never attained the degree of "warmth" the Israelis had hoped for.55 The Egyptian armed forces do not view Israel positively and focus on the perceived negative aspects of its policies and behaviors. Moreover, unlike the "street," they are swayed less by emotion and more by the asymmetry of power, despite Egypt having made great strides in the past 15 years in building up — with American help — its conventional military assets.
Indicative of how the Egyptian officer corps saw Israel in the early years of the Mubarak presidency was a telling speech by then Defense Minister Abu Ghazala:
Israel still adheres to the pre-peace strategy of military superiority over the entire Arab world, and its military strength is still growing…. Therefore, as Egyptians and Arabs we must view very cautiously the peace treaty with Israel, because of this steady Israeli military growth, and prepare ourselves to be strong and enhance our military deterrent capability so as to neutralize this force and create a balance in the area. Israel has still not declared the extent of Jewish immigration or defined its borders. It wants to create strategic depth for itself in this area.56
What worried the Egyptian government and officer corps in the 1990s was the fact that Egypt's massive military build-up and modernization programs led Israel and its supporters in the United States to complain about allegedly sinister intentions behind these capabilities.57 Any major cut-off of U.S. military aid to Egypt would not only have meant a collapse of the U.S.-Egypt strategic relationship, but would have had a catastrophic impact on civil-military relations in the country.
The regional and international environment worried the ruling elite, particularly as Egypt — hitherto a powerful intermediary in regional affairs — seemed increasingly impotent. Mubarak, the officer corps, the middle classes and the intellectuals resented Egypt's dependence on the United States. This was an issue for a country that had experienced both colonial (British) and "neocolonial" (Soviet) regimes. Particularly galling was the fact that the United States since the Camp David accords treated Egypt differently from Israel, which received more military aid and economic assistance with no strings attached.58 Egyptians became accustomed to their subordinate status, but worried about U.S. behavior during the 1990s and 2000s. The Egyptian ruling elite and officer corps worried that the regional environment was becoming increasingly unstable with the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in 2000 with the Al-Aqsa Intifada, followed by the war in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Serious differences in Egyptian-American relations arose because of perceived American interference in domestic Egyptian issues, U.S. bias in favor of Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians, and the U.S. fixation on Iraq.59 From the perspective of some Americans, Mubarak's Egypt was not a loyal ally; its thinly veiled hostility to Israel and U.S. policy goals in the region was obvious. Senators, particularly ardent Israeli supporters like Republican Mitch McConnell, questioned Egypt's billions of dollars in aid,60 and the growing chill threatened to cause a reduction in the massive U.S. outlay to the Egyptian armed forces.61 This may have contributed to increasing anti-Americanism among officers, already infuriated by Egypt's "emasculation" vis-à-vis Israel.
Whatever happens in Egypt — and one hopes for the emergence of a democratic polity — the strategic relationship with the United States as it took shape after Camp David in 1979 is over. Cairo is no longer going to act as the passive instrument of American and Israeli strategic interests in the region.62 As Egypt's regional influence continues to decline under the rule of the military in the post-Mubarak era, problems will continue to increase in bilateral U.S.-Egyptian and Israel-Egyptian relations, promoted by conspiracy theories that blame Egypt's declining fortunes on the two countries.
THE ROSETTA REVOLUTION
In 2011, several decades worth of simplistic dismissal of the Arab street and particularly the Egyptian masses was rendered obsolete by the victories of the Tunisian and Egyptian peoples against their authoritarian systems. On January 25, 2011, Egyptians, galvanized by the success of the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, rose up en masse.63 The Rosetta Revolution was a social movement that began as a series of street demonstrations, marches, riots and violent clashes. Although the protests were peaceful in nature, violence-prone soccer fans of crowned Cairo arch-rivals Al Ahlawy SC and Al Zamalek SC were on Tahrir Square prepared to do battle with attacking police, as they often did during soccer matches. Modeled on the violent fans of far-right-wing Italian and Serbian clubs, these "hooligans" were feared by the police. The intimidating tactics of these young men provided protection for the peaceful youth revolutionary movement.64 The date of the uprising, National Police Day,65 was no accident; the police are universally despised for their coarseness and brutality and viewed as Mubarak's henchmen.66 The many legal, socioeconomic and political grievances of the masses included habitual police brutality, emergency laws, corruption, lack of a free press and meaningful elections, and high unemployment and food prices. The demands were unswerving: an end to the incumbent regime and the promotion of freedom, justice, responsive civilian government, and effective management of state resources. The Mubarak regime was visibly stunned by the turn of events.67
The important role of the armed forces has still not figured prominently in analyses of the revolution, which can be defined as "a rapid fundamental and violent domestic change in the dominant values and myths of a society, in its political institutions, social structure, leadership, government activity and policies…."68 Armed forces play a key role, either by violently opposing the revolutionaries; staying "neutral," which is tantamount to taking sides; breaking up into pro- and anti-revolutionary units; or joining the revolutionaries.69 As David Sanger of The New York Times wrote in late February, "There comes a moment in the life of almost every repressive regime when leaders — and the military forces that have long kept them in power — must make a choice from which there is usually no turning back: change or start shooting."70 Revolutions are rare; they require a conjunction of events and structural factors to "come together" at a particular juncture in a country's history.71 They are usually quite violent.
However, the twentieth century has also witnessed a new type of revolution in which violence is either completely or relatively absent. The armed forces still play a critical role whether absent or not. The 1989 velvet revolutions in Eastern Europe were nonviolent and anti-utopian. They were based not on a single class or constellation of classes seeking to break the chains of political and socioeconomic oppression, but on broad social coalitions with disparate goals. They were characterized by the application of mass social pressure — "people power" — to bring incumbents to negotiate their surrender of power.72 A velvet revolution ends not in terror and counterterror but in a relatively civilized compromise between revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries, with Romania as the exception that confirms the rule. In the felicitous phrase of Timothy Garton Ash, while the symbol of the 1789-type revolution is the guillotine, that of 1989 was the roundtable. This was echoed by The Economist: "Revolutions do not have to be like those in France in 1789, Russia in 1917 or Iran in 1979."73
The time of higher participation by the masses is when the moment is ripe for negotiation with the incumbents or, as in some cases in 1989 and in the Arab world now, for attempts at violent repression by the security forces, paramilitaries and, if all else fails, the professional militaries. The escalation to the use of the regular military is risky for regimes that are especially brittle; the army can split, refuse to crack down on the revolutionaries, or begin experiencing desertions. In short, even if the masses are keen to start a nonviolent revolution, things could turn violent if the state unleashes its coercive apparatus to confront them. If this apparatus maintains its cohesion, it can crush the revolution — although, as in the case of Syria, it is not certain how long Bashar al-Asad can continue to rely on the military to oppress the people. The coercive apparatus can also fragment, as occurred in Libya.
As the revolution in Egypt unfolded, the government imposed a curfew, which the masses defied and the security services could not enforce. The regime offered concessions that were too little, too late. Mubarak and his aging inner circle claimed to have heard the people but declared smugly that Egypt's constitution required Mubarak to complete his full term. Many Egyptians accepted that an orderly transition would require months of preparation, but the 1971 constitution was tailored to maintain the dictatorship that opponents were seeking to abolish. Moreover, the regime's survival strategy was typical of an authoritarian system under pressure: undertake cosmetic liberalization measures. Liberalization and democratization are not the same things. As political scientists Alfred Stepan and Juan Linz have argued,
In a non-democratic setting, liberalization may entail a mix of policy and social changes, such as less censorship of the media, perhaps measures for improving the distribution of income, and most important the toleration of opposition.… Democratization entails liberalization but is a wider and more specifically political concept. Democratization requires open contestation over the right to win control of the government, and this in turn requires free competitive elections, the results of which determine who governs.74
The Egyptians did not want cosmetic change; emboldened by the success of their mass defiance, they wanted the removal of the system. To the president's chagrin, the crowds gathered in Egypt's streets proved implacable. Mubarak increasingly relied on his closest confidants, intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Air Force Commander Ahmed Shafiq. Mubarak made a display of shifting powers to Suleiman, who had become known as "Mister Rendition," for his enthusiastic collaboration with the covert CIA program of snatching terror suspects from around the world and rendering them to Egypt and elsewhere for "enhanced" interrogation.75 Suleiman was just as bewildered as his mentor; nothing in his sinister skill set had prepared him for this eventful moment.
As the regime found itself backed into a corner, with the police and CSF having a hard time suppressing the teeming masses in Tahrir Square, the military emerged openly on the political scene for the first time in years, declaring that it would guarantee a democratic transition according to the constitutional plan framed by Mubarak. However, contrary to popular perceptions, the military was not on the side of the protesters from the beginning of the revolution.76 People in Tahrir Square developed the narrative of military backing because that was what they wanted to believe and more importantly, they wanted the army to see itself in that light. They hoped that by appealing to the moral stature of the armed forces, they would make it difficult for the military elite to take a decisive stand in favor of the regime, despite bias of senior officers who saw the president as a source of generous patronage.77 At this juncture, senior generals must have told Mubarak that he had no choice but to step down. On February 11, Mubarak resigned from office and formally handed power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), a body of the 24 most senior officers. The military's reluctance to save the regime from a people's revolution was the prime factor in the regime's relatively quick downfall. Had it chosen to take the president's side, the outcome could have been violent.
After February 2011, Egypt entered a period of uncertainty. The army won praise for refusing to save the regime and for gently easing Mubarak out of office when it became apparent that his continuation in power was impossible without bloodshed. That praise was reinforced when the army restored order and promised to promote stability and set the country on the road to civilian rule. They pledged to turn power over to civilians within six months; lift the emergency laws; and, finally, restore Egypt's regional influence and maintain productive relations with its key international partners. None of that has happened. Not surprisingly, the goodwill began to dissipate not long after. The SCAF proved to be an erratic body in both word and deed; Egypt has been strangely adrift under its helm. What comes next is the question on everybody's mind.
"INDEFINITE" MILITARY RULE
As it did after the 1952 revolution, Egypt's military could stay in power indefinitely. It could be under the helm of the established senior leadership of the SCAF or of a younger, more radical, group of officers. As an Egyptian political scientist said over 20 years ago, "The habits of an army not used to taking orders from civilians and of a nation not used to being led by other than the military…have been established in Egypt for more than half a century."78 No matter what, a military regime would justify its continuation in power by reference to its sacred duty to maintain national security and unity in the face of the "political immaturity" of the population at large. On the other hand, many serious and well-established Egypt experts such as Clement Henry and Robert Springborg are quite convinced that the military will not be able to govern the country in the long term.79 After the 1952 revolution, it abolished pluralist democracy and installed the strongman system that Mubarak inherited. Today, Egypt's people, bolstered by the success of their revolution, with its peaceful exercise of power by masses of citizens, appear confident that the 1952 experience will not be repeated. They expect, and appear determined to fight for, a proper democracy.
Within two months of the success of the revolution, Egypt's long-revered military has lost its luster; the generals running the country face accusations that they are threatening the dreams of a new democracy by cracking down on dissent and failing to bring former government officials to justice.80
TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY
While democracy may mean different things to different people, there are certain irreducible principles. A representative democracy presupposes that all of its adult citizens possess a body of fundamental rights and liberties. These include the right to choose officials in free and fair elections, run for elective office, express oneself freely, form independent political organizations, including parties, and have access to independent sources of information. This is a tall order, particularly when powerful vested forces are alarmed by the changed political environment.
An army is not a democracy; generals are more accustomed to giving instructions than negotiating with those under their command.81 The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces simply announced to the civilians its plan for a democratic transfer of power. It appointed a committee of eight jurists and political figures to amend the constitution in order to ensure democratic elections in fall 2011. As Egyptians expected a transition from a military caretaker government to a democratic parliamentary system, people were dejected when the military signed an agreement with 13 major political parties to push back the transition to civilian rule to 2013. The SCAF piously claimed it would get out of power if it could, but needed to maintain stability and order until the civilians organized themselves. Even if there is an element of truth to this, the longer the military stays in power, the greater will be political polarization, uncertainty, drift and a general downward trend in Egypt's regional and international influence.
The structural obstacles to transformation in Egypt are deep. Disengaging the military from direct control of politics is going to be difficult.82 The military clearly wishes to put itself above the civilian body politic, even after it relinquishes power. Maj. Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, a key member of the military council who was involved in drawing up plans for the transition, allegedly said that the country's next constitution should safeguard the armed forces against the "whims" of any future president. A legal consultant to the military, Hisham Bastawisi, proposed that the military have the role of "guaranteeing supra-constitutional principles."83 In effect, the Egyptian military is seeking to emulate the Turkish model of intervening in the political process as it deems necessary in order to safeguard external and internal security. The SCAF wants its "right" to intervene formalized within the constitution.
Any discussion of the implementation of an effective democratic transition in Egypt has to take into consideration the issue of maintaining the military's key corporate interests: (i) its economic empire — military businesses and armaments industries — even though some of them make no economic sense in a rationally driven market economy; (ii) its arms relationship with the United States, which has provided the Egyptian armed forces with some of the most sophisticated weaponry in the world; and (iii) the treaty relationship with Israel, as the military — though, to a man not fond of Israel — is not interested in a replay of radical politics, whether pan-Arab or Islamist. All of these corporate interests constitute a "package" that the military is unwilling to let anybody tamper with. The emergence of a weak democratic entity lacking prudence and realism may pose a threat to these corporate interests, which the military high-command will invariably equate with "true" Egyptian national interests. This fear may make the military reluctant to hand full power to the civilians — or prone to take it back if civilians pose a threat to military aims.
Nonetheless, the military itself has not succeeded in ensuring stability in the post-Mubarak era. The situation in traditionally poverty-stricken northern Sinai has dramatically worsened. There are signs of serious dissatisfaction among the Bedouin, who resent the neglect that has been their lot. There are signs of the emergence of radical Islamist tendencies, and northern Sinai is enmeshed in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which, as it concerns Egypt, is centered on the Gaza Strip. Mubarak worked with the Israelis to keep the Palestinians in this over-crowded prison, outraging public opinion in Egypt. After the revolution, Cairo showed a marked lack of concern with northern Sinai and security declined.84 The assaults on the Israeli embassy in August and September by soccer hooligans and others — ostensibly a response to the deaths of five Egyptian border policemen at the hands of trigger-happy Israeli soldiers, but more a function of deep-seated animosity towards Israel — was a threat to these interests.
Moreover, the dramatic decline in bilateral Egyptian-Israeli relations threatens to unhinge the three-decade-old Camp David accords, the cornerstone of U.S. diplomacy in the region. The relationship between the United States and Egypt is critical to the military because of the largesse it receives as a result. Egypt is not in a position to take a belligerent attitude towards Israel, nor does it want to. Israel will never be popular in Egypt, and this is not only or primarily about Palestine or the Palestinians. The Egyptian armed forces are still not capable of going head to head with the Israelis in a conventional war. They could bloody the Israelis, particularly in ground combat, making the latter wonder what their Pyrrhic victories accomplish. However, Egypt will lose in the end. Modern high-tech warfare is joint warfare, which the Israelis — despite the disastrous 2006 Lebanon incursion — understand better than the Egyptians do. Past governments in Cairo ensured that military interoperability was kept at a low level for political reasons.
The institutionalization of democracy will not be complete until Egyptians establish a framework for civilian control over the military. In fact, security-sector reform, particularly of the ramshackle and ineffective but brutal internal security apparatus, is one of the most important tasks of the post-Mubarak era. This will be a complicated endeavor, fraught with setbacks. However, there has been much recent debate within Arab intellectual circles concerning the real worth of Arab armies and security services. What is it that they actually do? Should more effort be spent on making them effective? Or should their funds be diverted to more socially beneficial programs? How does one control the military's appetite for weaponry and ever-more-sophisticated gadgets?85 Such discussions took place in Egypt in the late 1980s, but they were nipped in the bud due to a fierce counterassault by the military and its allies. The officer corps does not take kindly to such criticism and is going to be suspicious of any imposition of democratic control over the military, particularly as it pertains to its vast business and commercial interests.86
The military's veto power over much of Egyptian politics was forcefully articulated by retired General Hussam Sweilam in an interview with an American journalist: "We shall obey the president because he will be accepted by the people, but we will not accept any interference by the political parties in our military affairs."87 The long-time Egypt expert Robert Springborg agrees that the military will be very difficult to bring under control. The generals, he argued, "will try to massage the new order so that it does not seek to impose civilian control on the armed forces. It's not just a question of preserving the institution of the Army. It's a question of preserving the financial base of its members."88 This does not augur well for parliamentary oversight, a proactive and powerful role in the management of the armed forces — a sine qua non of democracy.89 Given the sensitivities of the matter for the Egyptian military, it would be best for future civilian rulers to work with the military high command as they proceed gingerly to formulate and implement security-sector reforms.90 Egypt must look to other countries, in Latin American and Eastern Europe, to find models of transitions from authoritarianism to democracy. Moreover, the military must not play a role outside of its domain. Apparently, it has begun to apply the brakes to some post-Mubarak market reforms.
Much of the goodwill that the military gained because of its alleged pro-people stance has dissipated since the SCAF has shown a marked inability to understand democratic politics. It has reacted vigorously to criticism of the military establishment as a whole and looked on as the country remains politically deadlocked amid alarming Muslim-Christian violence. This has often been egged on by militant Muslim Salafist groups that have used jihadist social-media networks to engage in vitriolic attacks on the Copts, the latest of which occurred in early October 2011. These situations may offer the military leadership an opportunity to conclude that they need to stay in power to ensure national security and stability. The military is also encountering pressure from current and former junior officers who have joined the protests and posted YouTube videos accusing the army of protecting former government officials and abandoning the ideals of the revolution. Progressive officers have criticized the 75-year-old Tantawi and the rest of the old guard as too inflexible to meet the demands of a changing Middle East.91
Given the domestic and regional uncertainties, the current deficits of Egyptian political institutions including civil society, the weak organizational capacities of most political parties and the potential for religious militancy and sectarian violence, the military is likely to be more forward-leaning in its oversight of the political realm than in the recent past. Comparisons with Turkey are both pertinent and misplaced. Egypt has a long way to go before civil politics is "coup-proof" or politically inoculated against undue military influence. Moreover, the kind of coup-proofing that Egyptian politics will require depends a great deal on the implementation of extensive security-sector reforms. This, in turn, needs as its foundation mature political institutions and mechanisms for the effective management of civil-military relations in matters including the military budget, national-security policies, relations with the outside world, and the handling of domestic extremist threats to the nascent democratic order.
THE TURKISH MODEL
As the Egyptian revolution unfolded, many observers referred to the appropriateness of the "Turkish model" for Egypt, a country that bears some similarities to its former imperial overlord. Both have large and influential armies that consider themselves the guardians of the established political system. They have huge populations, powerful Islamist groups and increasingly pious middle classes. But what exactly is the Turkish model? I suggest that there are actually two Turkish models and that neither will be easy for the Egyptians to follow.92 The one most people refer to involves military intervention in the political process to overthrow governments that have deviated from the principles of the founder of the state, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Between 1960 and 1997, the Turkish army intervened for this reason four times (1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997). Each time, the generals returned the government to civilian hands. The military plays a moderating role in the political system, keeping the excesses of civilian politicians, whether Rightists, Leftists or Islamists, in check. 93
Stephen Cook is right to criticize this model for having been "hyped up" too much. He argues that the real lesson of the Turkish model is that Turkey has become more democratic, not because of the military, but rather in spite of it. I take this to mean that a set of structural factors has propelled democratization. Turkey, admittedly with considerable encouragement from the European Union, has moved dramatically towards consolidation of civilian control over the armed forces. Egypt has a long way to go; moreover, it has received neither encouragement nor aid in the matter of security sector reform from the West.94 Turkey has become democratic because of its longstanding desire to become part of the European Union and the emergence of a dynamic civil society and burgeoning economy. There is no critical external actor to play the role of the European Union and constrain the Egyptian military from threatening democratization. Egyptian civil society is also weak and beset by religious forces that are not particularly tolerant, democratic or globalized. Lastly, though they have similar population levels, Turkey's economy is three times as large as Egypt's
The second Turkish model, the one that Arabs talk about more than Westerners, refers to a democratic Islamic government managing to establish control over the powerful military establishment in Turkey. Turkey has become a democratic nation that is less and less threatened by the corporate or nationalist interests of the military. What set of security-sector reforms has Turkey managed to implement over the years that has allowed civilians to slowly but surely exert control over the military? This is what has inspired the imagination of Arab observers, including journalists, academics and civilian politicians, over the past half decade. They would like to see similar extensive security-sector reforms undertaken in democratizing Arab states. It will be a long time before the Arab world begins to approximate what Turkey has achieved so far in formulating and implementing an ethos of civilian control over the military, particularly with respect to national security and budgetary issues.
SEIZURE OF POWER BY "YOUNG TURKS"
It is possible, though not likely, that a group of junior and middle-ranking officers of Islamist and nationalist orientation might be waiting in the wings to seize power at an opportune time. There is a vast gulf between the pampered senior command and the junior and middle-ranking officers. The latter have access to some of the extensive benefits that accrue to members of the armed forces, such as shopping at military stores and cheap/free housing. However, their pay is meager, and the cost of living has increased tremendously in the past several years. Promotion is slow, and quite often junior and middle-ranking officers are still doing the jobs of non-commissioned officers, despite major strides in creating a professional NCO cadre, traditionally one of the major weaknesses of Arab armies. Finally, there is an ideological vacuum within the armed forces that has been apparent for the past two decades. In order to gain access to Western arms and sustain the strategic peace with Israel, the Egyptian military establishment has renounced ideology, national mission and belief systems. I am not suggesting that enmity towards the West or Israel should be promoted, though the EAF is right to focus on its powerful neighbor to the east as the only serious external national-security threat, despite the bafflement exhibited by Americans and Israelis over this matter. The Egyptian military was ideologically emasculated during the Sadat and Mubarak years. It is clearly unlike the Turkish military, which stands for the promotion and protection of Kemalist principles, even if many of them are irrelevant to the thoroughly post-modern and sophisticated society of Turkey.95
AN ISLAMIST EGYPT
Egypt is an Islamic society — courtesy of the policies of the so-called "believer" president, Anwar al-Sadat, and Mubarak, who ignored the Islamization of society during his three decades of rule — but it is not yet an Islamic state. What is often ignored — especially in the West, which is worried by the Islamic bogey man — is how complex Islamist politics are in Egypt. One of the more amusing aspects of media coverage of the 2011 revolution was the scare mongering concerning the so-called "Green" (Islamist) threat.96 I watched a TV reporter ask a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood if the organization was "in touch" with the Iranian government and taking its cues from Iran. The interviewee was nonplussed, as was I. He proceeded to explain that Iran was Shia and Egypt was Sunni, a fact that was not evident to the glib TV reporter. Other channels played up fears that Islamists in the guise of the allegedly monolithic and sinister Muslim Brotherhood would hijack the revolution and take power.
The key issue here is the relationship between the military and Islamist groups and how Islamists could take power? First, can the army act as the vanguard for an Islamist takeover? This is not likely, the prevalence of Islamic piety within the armed forces notwithstanding. Many within the military are quite religious and increasingly openly so; this, however, does not mean they want an Islamic political system. Any such attempt would lead to serious violence within the country, and a senior spokesman indicated that they would not allow a "Khomeini to take power" in Egypt.97 What does that actually mean in light of the fact that there are distinct Islamist tendencies in Egypt and that the SCAF is actually negotiating with the mainstream tendency?
First, there are the Salafists who are orthodox Sunni Muslims and believe that the Islam preached by the Prophet Mohammad and practiced by His Companions and the two succeeding generations, constitutes the true and pure religion. Contrary to popular opinion, Salafism is not ipso facto violent, although many people in Egypt believe that violence lies beneath the surface within allegedly apolitical or anti-political traditional Salafism and that it is, in effect, a social bridge to violence. While the 10-12 satellite TV channels of the Salafist movement have not advocated violence, some Salafist preachers have issued blood-curdling sermons. Most Salafists made the mistake of being supportive of the regime and boycotted the revolution, claiming it was sedition. This was not surprising. The Mubarak government, obsessed with the "threat" posed by the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and best-organized mainstream Islamist party, had turned a blind eye to Salafist activities funded by Saudi Arabia and Egyptian Islamist NGOs. Even though on the eve of the revolution the government had awoken to the challenge posed by the Salafists and had decided to ban their TV channels, it actually employed Salafi sheikhs in its war against the revolution. Some went so far as to question the patriotism of those who instigated the revolution, arguing that it was an American-Zionist or Iranian conspiracy.
Salafi opposition to the revolution did not mean that there were no Salafi voices in favor of it. Some took a hard-line stance against the regime, perhaps even more radical than that of many liberals and leftists. The Salafists' growing prominence in politics may become a source of concern for the military and any immediate civilian government. They are organizing openly and effectively; they are dynamic and have attracted a strong segment of the youth population, although there are clear divisions within the ranks of the Salafist groups concerning their role in the new Egypt.98 Salafist ideology has made considerable inroads within the middle, and particularly the lower middle, class (the "petty bourgeoisie" of Marxist rhetoric). It is from these two classes that the military draws most of its recruits. Not surprisingly, the military fears infiltration of Salafis into the armed forces in the manner of the militant Islamists of the 1970s and 1980s. Many of the personnel within the conscripted junior and middle ranks are alleged to be sympathetic to Salafi ideas, but it is difficult to ascertain the number of Salafists within the armed forces.
The militants of the 1980s and 1990s, many of whom had recanted their violent past, have issued no coherent response to the events of 2011. With the exception of a statement by Jihadi leaders Abud and Tarik Al-Zumur in support of the revolution, Al-Jamaat Al-Islamiya and the rest of the Jihadis called for an end to it. The recantation of violence by the older —imprisoned — Jihadi generation, about which much has been made, holds no water with their successors already out in the streets brutalizing Copts and the secular youth.99
Currently, however, Egyptian politics is a power struggle among the three paramount groups in the body politic: the SCAF, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the pro-democracy masses, as analyst Eric Trager has pointed out.100 Unfortunately, the pro-democracy masses are becoming marginalized as the prospects for transition to a secular civilian system diminish day by day. If anything, we are witnessing a two-way political dance between the SCAF and the main Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, which has grown in strength and prestige over the past several decades.101 The largest, most popular and most effective opposition group, the MB won a plurality in the parliamentary elections of September 2011 because of its ability to mobilize its base effectively. It will seek a more active role in politics and society. Mubarak's suppression of all opposition, including the Muslim Brotherhood, succeeded in marginalizing the secular opposition, but not the MB. Its cultural and social policies have managed to transform Egypt into an Islamic society, a fact that the military is well aware of, having devoted considerable effort to studying this phenomenon. Not surprisingly, the SCAF has shown a marked willingness to deal with this enormously important element of post-Mubarak politics. It recognizes its importance, and it increasingly fears the Salafist movement. This is combined with a disdain for and lack of confidence in the secular opposition.
The situation does not augur well for the emergence of a secular and democratic civilian body politic in the coming years. Would an Islamist government abide by the rules of the democratic game? If the future government is a partnership between the military and the Islamists, it is unlikely that the Islamists would disturb the military's economic prerogatives. Such a government would roll back the neoliberal reforms that led to the emergence of the rich capitalist class under Mubarak and to whom the military and the Islamists were so hostile. An Islamist Egypt's relations with the West will sour, as will relations with Israel. The major drawback for the military here will be the termination of its relations with the United States; an alternative source of major weapons systems will not be easy to find. Egypt would have to try to maintain its panoply of advanced weapons independently as it proceeded to seek effective means of deterrence and defense. Admittedly, this is a worrisome scenario, but it is not far-fetched. Neither the United States nor the Europeans can afford to remain blasé about the turmoil in this key regional state.
While the disengagement of the military from the body politic is laudable, disengagement from the society is not. It is an incontrovertible fact that the senior command either knew little or decided to know as little as possible of the malaise that gripped Egypt in the run-up to the revolution of 2011. In short, its understanding of its own society proved to be woefully inadequate; the only bright point was its recognition that supporting Mubarak's suppressing of his people was not a viable option. For this, the Egyptian people are grateful because their armed forces' capacity for violence is massive. What is not so inspiring, however, has been the military's post-Mubarak role. The longer it stays in power, the longer it will stay in power and imbibe the mind-set that it is ultimately the savior of the country. Or it could come to some form of arrangement with the second-most powerful political force in the country, the MB. Both scenarios are an indication of the military's lack of understanding and disregard for the need for democratic politics in the Arab world's largest country.
1 Adam Shatz, "Mubarak's Last Breath," London Review of Books, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n10/adam-shatz/mubaraks-last-breath/.
2Christian Science Monitor, October 13, 1981, 15; Die Zeit, October 23, 1981, 3; and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 15, 1981, 5.
3 Among the few studies that deal with extremist infiltration of the EAF, see Joseph Kechichian and Jeanne Nazimek, "Challenges to the Military in Egypt," Middle East Policy 5, no. 3 (September 1, 1997); John Riddle, "The Egyptian Military and Fundamentalism," Journal of Defense and Diplomacy 4, no. 5 (May 1986): 15-20.
4 See Lawrence Wright, "The Rebellion Within," New Yorker 84, no. 16 (2008): 36-53.
5 When many were finally released, they entered into lives of crime by joining or heading violent organized criminal syndicates.
6Wall Street Journal, November 4, 1986, 1.
7Wall Street Journal, December 8, 1986, 1.
8 For details of the CSF riots see Nazih Ayubi, The State and Public Policies in Egypt since Sadat (Ithaca Press, 1991), 240-241.
9 "Egypt: The Fire Next Time?" Middle East Policy Survey no. 147 (1986): 1.
10Information, (Copenhagen) December 30, 1988, translated in JPRS-NEA 89-019, March 10, 1989, 14.
11Financial Times, April 18, 1989, 5.
12 Huda al-Husayni, "Interview with Defense Minister Lt.General Abd al-Halim Abu Ghazalah," Al-Hawadith, November 20, 1981, 36-38, in FBIS-MEA, November 20, 1981, D2.
13 "Egyptian Defence Minister on the Role and Development of Armed Forces," African Defence (September 1986): 10.
14 Thomas Demmelhuber, "Political Upheaval in Egypt: The Mubarak System without Mubarak," Qantara.de, February 22, 2011, http://en.qantara.de/wcsite.php?wc_c=7155.
15 Akram Belkaid and Hicheme Lehmici, "Egypte, la toute-puissance de l'armée," SlateAfrique, February 12, 2011, http://www.slateafrique.com/407/egypte-armee-pouvoir-economique.
16 For an extensive theoretical analysis and case study of Pakistan, see Ayesha Siddiqa, Military Inc.: Inside Pakistan's Military Economy (Pluto Press, 2007).
17 Ken Stier, "Egypt's Military-Industrial Complex," Time, February 9, 2011, http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2046963,00.html.
18New York Times, February 5, 2011, 1.
19 This section on the military industries and on the economic and commercial activities of the Egyptian military relies on the following works: Gerard Turbe, "Egypt: Arms Manufacturing Base for the Arab World?" International Defense Review 1 (1988): 73-76; Hans Sigmund, "Die agyptische Rustungsindustrie," Osterreichisches Militarische Zeitschrift 3 (1989): 230-237; "Self-Sufficiency: Guiding Egypt's Defense Industries," Defense and Foreign Affairs, (1989): 49-52; Lt.Col., Ivanov, "Egypt's Military-Industrial Cooperation with Western Countries," Zarubezhnoye voyennoye obozreniye 4 (1989), in JPRS-UFM-89-010, September 08, 1989, 39-42; Thomas Koszinowski, "Die Rustungsindustries in Agypten," in Nahost Jahrbuch 1989, Deutsches Orient Institut (Opladen: Leske & Budrich, 1990), 197-207; Christopher Foss, "Egypt's Winning Formula," Jane's Defence Weekly, December 14, 1991, 1181-1182; R.G. Matthews, "Egyptian Defense Industrialization," Defense Analysis 8, no. 2 (1992): 115-131.
20New York Times, July 12, 1992, 6.
21 Lisa Blaydes and Lawrence Rubin, "Ideological Reorientation and Counterterrorism: Confronting Militant Islam in Egypt," Terrorism and Political Violence 20 (2008): 461-479.
22 James Toth, "Islamism in Southern Egypt: A Case Study of a Radical Religious Movement," International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 35 (2003): 547-572.
23 The most extensive analysis of the counterterrorism campaign by the Egyptian state is Nachman Tal, Radical Islam in Egypt and Jordan (Sussex Academic Press, 2005), 80-259.
24Al-Jumhuriyah, October 8, 1992, 2.
26 "Defense Minister Underlines Armed Forces' Role," FBIS-NES-93-195, October 12, 1993, 31.
27 Makram Muhammad Ahmed, "Interview with Interior Minister Hasan al-Alfi," Al Musawwar, May 7, 1993, 5-11 and 70-72, in FBIS-NES-93-090, May 12, 1993, 16-17.
28 Robert Springborg and John Sfakianakis, "The Military's Role in Presidential Succession," in, "Armee et nation en Egypte: pouvoir civil, pouvoir militaire" by May Chartouni-Dubarry, Les Notes de l'IFRI 31, Institut francais des relations internationales, 64.
29 W. J. Dorman, "Informal Cairo: Between Islamist Insurgency and the Neglectful State?" Security Dialogue 40, no. 4-5 (August-October 2009): 419-441.
30 For a detailed analysis of torture in Egypt and its impact on political violence, see The Guardian, January 24, 2003, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/jan/24/alqaida.terrorism1.
31 For details of the extremists' defeat see Stefan Malthaner, Mobilizing the Faithful: Militant Islamist Groups and their Constituencies (Campus Verlag, 2011), 144-173; Fawaz Gerges, "The End of the Islamist Insurgency in Egypt: Costs and Prospects," Middle East Journal 54, no. 4 (2000): 592-612.
32 "Egypt Rises Up," Economist, February 5, 2011, 15. The Egyptian revolution of 2011 has been referred to as "Revolution 2.0," to denote the importance of social media in its eruption and success. The Economist has referred to it as the "Rosetta" Revolution. This is the term I will use here, as "Revolution 2.0" is too clinical and not very evocative.
33 Prescient commentary by an American professor on sabbatical in Egypt, John William Salevurakis, "Darkness on the Edge of Cairo," Monthlyreview, http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2006/salevurakis080706p.html.
34 Michael Schwartz, "Why Mubarak Fell," Mother Jones, February 15, 2011, http://motherjones.com/print/100632.
35 Alanoud Al Sharekh, "Reform and Rebirth in the Middle East," Survival 53, no. 2 (2011): 55.
36 Shadi Hamid, "The Cairo Conundrum," Democracyjournal.org (2010): 34-45.
37 For an extended discussion of the United States' traditional preference for promoting stability and security at the expense of reform, see Bruce K. Rutherford, Egypt after Mubarak: Liberalism, Islam, and Democracy in the Arab World (Princeton University Press, 2008), 3-14.
38 For a gloomy view of the stability of the Egyptian state in the 1990s, see Cassandra (pseudo.) "The Impending Crisis in Egypt," Middle East Journal 49, no. 1 (1995): 9-27; Stanley Reed, "The Battle for Egypt," Foreign Affairs 72, no. 4 (1993): 94-107; Jon Alterman, "Egypt: Stable, But for How Long?" Washington Quarterly (2000): 107-118; Mohammed El Sayed Said, "Egypt: The Dialectics of State Security and Social Decay," Politik und Gesellschaft 1 (2000), http://www.fes.de/ipg/ipg1_2000/artelsayed.html.
39 "The Revolution and its Legacy," Economist, July 25, 2002.
40 Gilbert Achcar, "Arab Spring: Late and Cold," Le Monde Diplomatique, http://mondediplo.com/2005/07/06arabworld.
41 David Ottaway, "Egypt at the Tipping Point?" Occasional Paper Series, Middle East Program, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, D.C., Summer 2010, 1.
42 Dina Shehata, "The Fall of the Pharaoh: How Hosni Mubarak's Reign Came to an End," Foreign Affairs (2011): 26-32; Lisa Anderson, "Demystifying the Arab Spring: Parsing the Differences Between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya," Foreign Affairs (2011): 2-7; Jack Goldstone, "Understanding the Revolutions of 2011: Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies," Foreign Affairs (2011): 8-16; and Shlomo Avineri, "The Middle Eastern Dialectic," Jewish Review of Books (2011): 44-45.
43 For descriptions of the political climate in Egypt in the early 2000s, see Denis Sullivan, "The Struggle for Egypt's Future," Current History (2003): 27-31; Ahmed Abdalla, "Egypt before and after September 11, 2001: Problems of Political Transformation in a Complicated International Setting," DOI Focus 9 (Deutsches Orient Institute and Deutsches Ubersee Institute, 2003).
44 International Crisis Group, "Reforming Egypt: In Search of a Strategy," Middle East/North Africa Report 46 (2005).
45 Manar Shorbagy, "Understanding Kefaya: The New Politics in Egypt," Arab Studies Quarterly 29, no. 1 (2007): 39-60.
46 Michael Wahid Hanna, "The Sun Also Rises: Egypt's Looming Succession Struggle," World Policy Journal (Fall 2009): 103-104.
47 "Wikileaks: l'armée égyptienne ne veut pas que le fils succéde au pére," Le Monde, December 13, 2010, http://www.lemonde.fr/imprimer/article/2010/12/13/1452924.html.
48 Thanassis Cambanis, "Succession Gives Army a Stiff Test in Egypt," New York Times, September 11, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/world/middleeast/12egypt.html?_r=2&re….
49 For stark descriptions, see Scott Anderson, "Under Egypt's Volcano," Vanity Fair, October 2006, http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/10/egypt200610; Financial Times, December 13, 2006, 5.
50 Dan Steinbock, "Egypt After Mubarak: New Era of Modernization?" Globalist, February 15, 2011, http://www.theglobalist.com.
51 James Badcock, "Mubarak Walks a Tightrope," African Business (2003): 52; "An End or a Beginning," Economist, February 5, 2011, 29-31.
52 Iman Farag, "De Moubarak à Moubarak: l'élection presidentielle de 2005 en Egypte," Critique Internationale 33 (2006): 29-51.
53Washington Post, July 28, 2005, A01.
54 "Defense Minister on Main Threats to Security," Al-Ahram Press Agency, December 8, 1992, in FBIS-NES-92-237, December 9, 1992, 15-16.
55 For a discussion of Israeli concerns over the cold nature of the peace with Egypt see, inter alia, Barbara Opall, "Israel Seeks to Warm Cold Peace," Defense News, July 29-August 4, 1996, 3.
56Al Sharq al-Awsat, December 31, 1982, 4.
57 For example, "Intelligence Sees Egypt As Adversary," Foreign Broadcasting Information Service – Near East/South Asia, March 6, 1995, 30; "Israel: Defense Minister Criticizes Egyptian Military Exercise," FBIS-NESA-96-200, October 14, 1996; David Bar-Illan, "Egypt's Unrelenting Arms Build-Up," New York Post, November 9, 1999; Steve Rodan, "Israel Worried Over U.S. Strategic Ties With Egypt," Jerusalem Middle East Newsline, March 13, 2001; and John Lancaster, "U.S.-Egypt Arms Deal Questioned," Washington Post, November 27, 2001, A1. However, a more measured tone was taken by a one-time Commander of the Southern Command, General Shlomo Yanay, in 1997, when he said: "the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] differentiates between a threat and a risk. Egypt today is not a threat to the State of Israel because a threat includes the component of intent. To the best of our knowledge, Egypt does not have aggressive intentions toward Israel. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the risk factor, which is the military term we use to describe the potential we in the army have to deal with. Since the 1978 peace accord, Egypt's army has undergone a process of westernization. A very large sum of money has been invested in this army. Egypt receives economic and military aid, which has made the Egyptian army bigger, better equipped, and more westernized," in Shmuel Meiri, "General: Egyptian Army Stronger, But Not a Threat," Haaretz, September 09, 1997, A6, in FBIS-NES, FTS19970909000632. See also, Yaaqov Katz, "Borderline Cooperation," Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2006, https://www,opensource.gov/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_0_4933_476… and the series of articles put out in 2002 by the pro-Israel Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: "Eye of the Sphinx: Egypt's Military Doctrine," Alexander Joffe, "Eye of the Sphinx: Egypt and the Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction," and Aaron Mannes, "Eye of the Sphinx: Egypt's Drive for Military Parity with Israel," in The Journal of International Security Affairs 2 (2002): 7-28. The cover of the journal reads: "Our Egyptian…Ally?" and is, of course, meant to suggest that Egypt is not an ally of the United States. These Israeli worries — some of which are understandable given the lack of attention that Israel gave to its Southern Command (i.e., front with Egypt) for the longest time — had an impact in the United States, where some senators lobbied against military and economic aid to Egypt. In 2000, two influential Republican senators, Jesse Helms and Sam Brownback, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright complaining about the so-called "pernicious role" Egypt played in agitating the Arab world against Israel; see Herb Keinon, "Senators Lobby Albright against Egypt Aid," Jerusalem Post, December 6, 2000.
58 See the extensive article in Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 1987, 14-15.
59USA Today, January 23, 2003, 15; and New York Times, December 17, 2002, 1.
60 Philip Finnegan, "U.S. Support for Jordan Rises; Egypt Falters," Defense News, June 23-29, 1997, 4 and 14.
61 James Bruce, "Problems Challenge Egyptian Transition," Jane's Defence Weekly, September 2, 1995, 51-54; and James Bruce, "Country Briefing: Egypt," Jane's Defence Weekly, February 28, 1996, 20.
62 For sobering clear-headed analyses of the bankruptcy of the American strategic design for the Middle East, see Stephen Cook, and Adam Shatz, "After Egypt," London Review of Books, February 19, 2011, http://www.lrb.co.uk/2011/02/19/adam-shatz/after-egypt/print.
63 On the events in Mahalla al-Kubra, see Joel Beinin, "The Militancy of Mahalla al-Kubra," MERIP, September 29, 2007, http://www.merip.org/mero/mero092907.html.
64 For more details, see James Dorsey's blog, "The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer."
65Wall Street Journal, February 02, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487034459045761185028194089….
66 "A Nile Insurgency and Uncertain Egyptian Future," Der Spiegel, January 30, 2011, http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,druck-742458,00.html.
67 For analyses of the trajectories of the Arab revolutions of 2011, see, inter alia, Lisa Anderson, "Demystifying the Arab Spring: Parsing the Differences between Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya," Foreign Affairs (May-June 2011): 1-7; and Dina Shehata, "The Fall of the Pharoah: How Hosni Mubarak's Reign Came to an End," Foreign Affairs (May-June 2011): 26-32.
68 Samuel Huntington, Political Order in Changing Societies (Yale University Press, 1968), 264.
69 Katherine Chorley, Armies and the Art of Revolution (Faber and Faber, 1943), 11.
70 David Sanger, "When Armies Decide," New York Times, February 19, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/weekinreview/20military.html?_r=2&emc…..., and Robert Farley, "Over the Horizon: Egypt's Army and Military Professionalism," World Politics Review, February 09, 2011, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/print/7822.
71 Jack Goldstone, "Understanding the Revolutions of 2011: Weakness and Resilience in Middle Eastern Autocracies," Foreign Affairs (May-June 2011): 8.
72 Timothy Garton Ash, "Velvet Revolutions: The Prospects," Lucan Way, "The Real Causes of the Color Revolutions," Journal of Democracy 19, no. 3 (July 2008): 55-69.
73 "Egypt Rises Up," Economist, February 5, 2011, 15.
74 Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 3.
75 Jane Mayer, "Who is Omar Suleiman?" New Yorker, January 29, 2011, http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2011/01/who-is-omar-sule….
76 Tewfik Aclimandos, "Armee Populaire," Outre-Terre 3, no. 29 (2011): 326.
77 For extensive details of the military's rather ambivalent relationship to the manifestation of "people power" in Tahrir Square, see Wendell Steavenson, "On the Square," New Yorker, February 28, 2011, http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/28/110228fa_fact_steavenson.
78 Ahmed Abdalla, "The Armed Forces and the Democratic Process in Egypt," Third World Quarterly 10, no. 4 (October 1988): 1464.
79 See Clement Henry and Robert Springborg, "A Tunisian Solution for Egypt's Military: Why Egypt's Military Will Not Be Able to Govern," Foreign Affairs (February 21, 2011): 132-136, http://foreignaffairs.com/articles/67475/clement-m-henry-and-robert-spr….
80 Jeffrey Fleishman, "Egyptian Protestors Increasingly Disillusioned with Army," Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2011; http://www.articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/11/world/la-fg-egypt-military-….
81 Shadi Hamid, "A Crisis of Legitimacy," New York Times, October 09, 2011.
82 Clement Henry and Robert Springborg, "A Tunisian Solution for Egypt's Military," Foreign Affairs (February 21, 2011): 132.
83 "Egypt's ‘Seeks Future Turkey-Like Political Role', Hurriyet Daily News, July 20, 2011.
84 See Milan Vesely, "Sinai: Discord in the Desert," Middle East (October 2011): 22-23.
85 For a summary of such debates, see the excellent article by Asaf David and Oren Barak, "How the New Arab Media Challenges the Arab Militaries: The Case of the War between Israel and Hizbullah in 2006," Middle East Policy Brief, no. 20 (2008).
86New York Times, February 17, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/world/middleeast/18military.html.
87 In Cambanis, "Succession Gives Army a Stiff Test in Egypt."
88 In Cam Simpson and Mariam Fam, "Egypt Generals Running Child Care Means Transition Profit Motive," Bloomberg, February 15, 2011, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-02-15/egypt-generals-running-d….
89 Hans Born, "Democratic Oversight of the Security Sector: What Does It Mean?" Geneva Center of the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces, Working Paper 9 (2002): 3-4.
90 For more details, see Ahmed S. Hashim, Guardians of the State: The Egyptian Military from Revolution to Revolution, forthcoming manuscript, 2012; for recently published studies, see Mohamed Kadry Said and Noha Bakr, "Egypt Security Sector Reforms," Arab Reform Initiative, February 2011; and Bassma Kodmai and May Chartouni-Dubarry, "The Security Sector in Arab Countries: Can It Be Reformed?" IDS Bulletin 40, no. 2 (March 2009).
91 Jeffrey Fleishman, "Egyptian Protestors Increasingly Disillusioned with Army."
92 Another observer, Tony Karon, also pointed out the existence of two Turkish models, see, "Will Egypt's Military Hijack Its Revolution?" Time Magazine, July 19, 2011, http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/07/19/will-egypts-military-hijack….
93 This section relies heavily on the blog analysis by Stephen Cook, "The Turkish Model for Egypt? Beware of False Analogies," http://blogs.cfr.org/cook/2011/02/04/the-turkish-model-for-egypt-beware….
94 See Stephen Cook, "The Weakening of Turkey's Military," Council on Foreign Relations, (March 01, 2011), http://www.cfr.org/turkey/weakening-turkeys-military/p21548.
95Christian Science Monitor, July 8, 1987, 1.
96 For a typical Israeli right-wing overreaction, see Matthew Duss, "Letter From Herzliya, Neocon Woodstock," The Nation, February 14, 2011, http://www.thenation.com/print/article/158547/letter-herzliya-neocon-wo….
97 "Army: Egypt Not to Be Ruled by "Khomeini," Al Bawaba, April 4, 2011, http://www.albawaba.com/main-headlines/army-egypt-not-to-be-ruled-khome….
98 "Inqisam dakhl al-salafiyyun hawl al-intikhabat al-barlamaniyah" (Divisions within the ranks of the Salafists concerning the parliamentary elections), Al-Masry al-Youm, April 12, 2011, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/node/397474.
99 On the evolution of the militant Islamists of the 1970s and 1980s, see Amr Hamzawy and Sarah Grebowski, "From Violence to Moderation: Al-Jama'a al-islamiya and al-Jihad," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Paper, no.20 (April 2010).
100 Eric Trager, "Egypt after Mubarak: A Triangular Power Struggle Emerges," The Cutting Edge, July 24, 2011, http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=52441.
101 There is a considerable literature on the Muslim Brotherhood; see, inter alia, Bruce Rutherford, "What Do Egypt's Islamists Want? Moderate Islam and the Rise of Islamic Constitutionalism," Middle East Journal 60, no. 4 (Autumn 2006): 707-731.