Egypt: The January 25 Revolution and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Jeremy M. Sharp Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs February 11, 2011 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL33003 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Summary On Friday, February 11, President Hosni Mubarak resigned from the presidency after 29 years in power. For 18 days, a popular peaceful uprising spread across Egypt and ultimately forced Mubarak to cede power to the military. How Egypt transitions to a more democratic system in the months ahead will have major implications for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and for other countries in the region ruled by monarchs and dictators. This report provides an overview of U.S.-Egyptian relations, Egyptian politics, and U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. U.S. policy toward Egypt has long been framed as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running military cooperation and sustaining the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. Successive U.S. Administrations have viewed Egypt’s government as a moderating influence in the Middle East. At the same time, there have been increasing U.S. calls for Egypt to democratize. In recent years, congressional views of U.S.-Egyptian relations have varied. Many lawmakers have viewed Egypt as a stabilizing regional force, but some members have argued for the United States to pressure Egypt’s government to implement political reforms, improve human rights, and take a more active role in reducing Arab-Israeli tensions. Those concerns, in addition to economic frustration, are now driving the most significant public unrest in Egypt in a generation. The Obama Administration has called on the Egyptian government to respect the basic rights of protestors and has expressed concern about violence, while calling for a meaningful transition toward more democratic governance to begin immediately. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations and these debates are likely to influence consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 112th Congress. The United States has provided Egypt with an annual average of $2 billion in economic and military foreign assistance since 1979. In FY2010, the United States provided Egypt with $1.552 billion in total assistance. Congress appropriated FY2010 aid to Egypt in two separate bills: P.L. 111-117, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, included $1.292 billion in economic and military assistance; and P.L. 111-32, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, FY2009, contained $260 million in FY2010 military assistance. Under P.L. 111-322, the Obama Administration can provide Egypt aid for FY2011 at FY2010 levels until March 4, 2011, or the passage of superseding FY2011 appropriations legislation. For FY2011, the Obama Administration is seeking $1.552 billion in total assistance, the exact same amount as the previous fiscal year. The Administration’s request includes $1.3 billion in military assistance and $250 million in economic aid. Some Members of Congress are advocating a delay or reversal in U.S. assistance policy, while others have argued that decisions about foreign assistance should be made only once the results of recent events are clear. Prior to the recent unrest, Egyptian politics were already focused on the possibility of a leadership transition in the near future, and political and economic tensions rose throughout 2010. In November and December 2010 parliamentary elections, just one Muslim Brotherhood independent won a seat, and the ruling National Democratic Party won over 90% of all seats (as opposed to slightly less than 80% in the last parliament). Some analysts have criticized the Obama Administration for limiting its public criticism of the Egyptian government before and after the election. Others assert that U.S. democracy assistance funding has been largely ineffective and that U.S. assistance should seek to improve the lives of average Egyptians. Some critics of U.S. policy believe that aid should be conditioned on human rights and religious freedom reform. Congressional Research Service Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Contents The January 25 Revolution in Egypt: Latest Developments, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Issues for the 112th Congress ....................................................................................................1 The People’s Revolution: A Timeline ....................................................................................2 January 25 to January 28, 2011: Protests and Police Confrontations.................................2 January 29 to January 30, 2011: Concessions and Chaos .................................................3 Who are the protestors and what do they want? ...............................................................4 January 31, 2011: A New Cabinet and Clearer Positions ..................................................5 February 1, 2011: The “March of Millions” and Mubarak’s Second Speech.....................6 February 2 and 3, 2011: The Battle of Tahrir Square........................................................7 February 4 to February 7: Negotiations Begin, Protests Continue ....................................8 February 8 to February 9: Protestors Inspired and Demonstrations Apex........................ 10 Thursday, February 10: Mubarak’s Defiant Speech........................................................ 10 Friday, February 11, 2011: Mubarak Resigns................................................................. 11 The U.S. Response: “Orderly Transition”, Lasting Security Interests, and Potential Issues for Congress .......................................................................................................... 11 Repercussions for Israel and Middle East Peace ............................................................ 13 Evacuation of American Citizens................................................................................... 13 Issues for Congress ................................................................................................................... 14 Presidential Succession: Who Will Follow Hosni Mubarak?................................................ 14 Managing Egypt’s Leadership Transition............................................................................. 15 The Legal Framework ................................................................................................... 15 The Contenders............................................................................................................. 16 The Opposition ............................................................................................................. 17 Other Prominent Egyptian Leaders................................................................................ 20 The Muslim Brotherhood .................................................................................................... 20 The Role of the Military in Egyptian Society....................................................................... 21 Promoting Democracy in Egypt: ......................................................................................... 22 U.S.-Egyptian Relations ............................................................................................................ 23 U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt ........................................................................................ 24 Overview ...................................................................................................................... 24 Debate over U.S. Assistance to Egypt............................................................................ 24 Economic Aid ............................................................................................................... 25 Military Aid .................................................................................................................. 29 Recent Arms Sales Notifications ................................................................................... 30 U.S.-Egyptian Trade............................................................................................................ 30 Figures Figure 1. Map of Egypt ............................................................................................................. 15 Tables Table 1. U.S. Direct Funding to International and Egyptian NGOs............................................. 28 Table 2. Recent U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt...................................................................... 31 Congressional Research Service Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Table 3. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt, 1946-1997............................................................... 32 Contacts Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 35 Congressional Research Service Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy The January 25 Revolution in Egypt: Latest Developments, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Issues for the 112th Congress Note: A narrative summary of recent events is presented in chronological order below. For the most recent events, please see: “Friday, February 11, 2011: Mubarak Resigns” For the first time in the history of the modern Middle East, an Arab ruler has been overthrown by a popular, peaceful revolution that represented a wide swath of society, religiously and socioeconomically. How Egypt transitions from 29 years of rule by Hosni Mubarak into something more liberal and democratic may have major implications for U.S. foreign policy. The U.S.Egyptian relationship has long helped guarantee regional peace in the Middle East, but has now entered a period of profound uncertainty. The U.S. government and the 112th Congress face the prospect of either a more democratic Egyptian government (and what that means for Arab-Israeli peace), a military dictatorship, or an Egyptian government in transition, struggling to balance the primacy of the military with real political reform. Members of Congress are closely monitoring the situation in Egypt, and some leading figures have called for U.S. assistance to Egypt to be frozen or conditioned pending resolution of the current crisis.1 Other Members have argued that decisions about the future of U.S. assistance should be taken only after recent unrest is resolved. On February 4, a Senate resolution (S.Res. 44) was introduced that echoes President Obama’s calls for restraint by the Egyptian military and calls on “President Mubarak to immediately begin an orderly and peaceful transition to a democratic political system, including the transfer of power to an inclusive interim caretaker government, in coordination with leaders from Egypt’s opposition, civil society, and military, to enact the necessary reforms to hold free, fair, and internationally credible elections this year.” Lawmakers have an array of concerns with respect to events in Egypt including the following. • The potential implications of an immediate resignation by President Hosni Mubarak. • The safety and security of American citizens in Egypt and U.S. efforts to evacuate Americans who want to leave Egypt. • The Egyptian government’s respect for human rights and the security forces’ treatment of civilian protestors. • The possible misuse of U.S.-supplied military equipment to the Egyptian army if soldiers should fire upon peaceful demonstrators. 1 For example, on February 3, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Senator Patrick J. Leahy stated that, “the fact of the matter is, there’s not going to be further foreign aid to Egypt until this gets settled…. Certainly I do not intend to bring it through my committee.” Congressional Research Service 1 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy • The reform of the Egyptian political system into a more democratic space with free and fair elections for president in the fall of 2011. • The role of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics. • Any new Egyptian government’s respect for Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, its commitments to securing the Suez Canal as an international waterway, and plans for military and counterterrorism cooperation with the United States. The People’s Revolution: A Timeline In perhaps the most unexpected development in modern Egyptian history, a purely popular revolution that started only 10 days ago has forced President Hosni Mubarak to announce his intention not to stand for reelection for president this fall after 29 years in power. Although for years experts have described simmering discontent among the urban Egyptian masses and a host of socio-economic factors that may breed instability, 2 none had predicted what has transpired over the last two weeks. Tunisia’s “Jasmine Revolution” has inspired popular protests against entrenched dictatorships across the Arab world, and it resonated strongly in Egypt, where recent sectarian violence, an apparently rigged parliamentary election, and the uncertainty surrounding succession all combined to bring unprecedented numbers of Egyptians into the streets. Since late January, the balance of events in the streets of Cairo has tipped back and forth between opposition protestors and the weight of the political status quo. Events in other major cities have indicated broad dissatisfaction with the status quo and President’ Mubarak’s response to the protests. At the same time, the Egyptian government’s limits on media and Internet, the international media’s focus on central Cairo, and the relative opacity of events in the broader Cairo metro area, the Nile Delta, and the rural governorates make it difficult to accurately represent the scale or likely trajectory of the unrest. Egypt’s U.S.-funded and equipped armed forces have heeded U.S. calls for restraint thus far. However, their apparent acquiescence to violence between opposition protestors and pro-government forces has raised questions about the military’s intentions. As of February 11, its leaders, by all accounts, remained loyal to President Mubarak. Observers have examined the durability of that loyalty closely since the protests began. January 25 to January 28, 2011: Protests and Police Confrontations Beginning with a day of protest on January 25, young protestors using social media to organize came out in far greater numbers than initially envisioned, creating a self-sustaining momentum that culminated in ever larger nationwide protests. On Friday, January 28, hundreds of thousands of protestors throughout the country clashed with riot police and central security forces controlled by the widely unpopular Ministry of Interior. An estimated 100,000 people turned up in Cairo alone. Although people were largely peaceful, crowds burned several symbols of Mubarak’s rule, including the National Democratic Party headquarters’ building. Police units appeared to have 2 According to studies by Gallup, overall wellbeing (as measured by Gallup) in Egypt and Tunisia decreased significantly over the past few years, even as GDP increased. Gallup’s data shows that in Egypt, “all income groups have seen wellbeing decline significantly since 2005, with only the richest 20% of the population trending positively since 2009.” See, “Egyptians', Tunisians' Wellbeing Plummets Despite GDP Gains,” Gallup, February 2, 2011. Congressional Research Service 2 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy used a disproportionate amount of force against protesters who at times used violence themselves, although police largely avoided the use of live ammunition.3 Ultimately the police were overwhelmed, and by early evening crowds began to dissipate as the army took to the streets to try and instill a sense of calm. Since the army’s deployment, soldiers have largely refrained from firing on crowds and many protestors initially embraced the army. January 29 to January 30, 2011: Concessions and Chaos In the early morning of January 29, President Mubarak made what some described as a desperate attempt to cling to power in a televised speech to the nation in which he defiantly insisted that he would remain as president to protect the nation. During the speech, President Mubarak announced that he was dissolving the government and, later that day, he appointed national intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his Vice President,4 the first time anyone has held that office under Mubarak. He also appointed Civil Aviation Minister Ahmad Shafiq as Prime Minister. Both men are considered military figures with close ties to the President. The moves failed to calm public anger, and the weekend of January 29-30 witnessed looting, protests, and near-total chaos, with the army remaining the only authority in the country. The army was also deployed to protect important national sites, such as the Central Bank, Ministry of Information, and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Many Egyptian observers have speculated that the withdrawal of police from urban areas was a deliberate policy by the government, a scare tactic intended to sow chaos in order to remind Egyptians that a strongman like Mubarak is needed. Some Egyptians are even accusing the police themselves of terrorizing the country. Throughout the weekend of January 29-30, there were numerous reports of looting, and many Egyptians banded together to protect private property and businesses from armed gangs. Inmates escaped or were released from four main prisons, and state-owned television broadcasted images of burned infrastructure and disorder in what appeared to be an attempt to disparage the protest movement by linking it to the ongoing insecurity. Some human rights groups have alleged that undercover police loyal to the government were among the looters. By Sunday January 30, it appeared that all sides (President Mubarak, the military, and the opposition) were trying to reach a solution in order to stabilize the country and extricate Egypt from falling further into chaos. Since protests began, media sources are citing unconfirmed reports of at least 300 people killed, the Egyptian stock market has crashed (fallen at least 18% in 2011) and trading has halted, and some are predicting that Egypt’s tourist industry (its main source of foreign exchange) has been severely damaged. It is clear that, the longer chaos persists 3 One account of the day’s events cites an unnamed source in suggesting the President Mubarak ordered now-deposed Minister of Interior Habib al Adly “to use live ammunition to put down the protests,” but that Al Adly’s top lieutenant, General Ahmed Ramzy refused.” See, Charles Levinson, Margaret Coker, and Jay Solomon, “How Cairo, Washington Were Blindsided by Revolution,” Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2011. 4 According to Article 82 of the Egyptian Constitution, “should the President be unable to perform his duties due to any outstanding circumstances, his duties will be performed by the vice president, or (if there is none) the prime minister. The person performing these duties may not request constitutional amendments, dissolve parliament, or dismiss the cabinet.” Congressional Research Service 3 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy in Egypt, the more lasting damage will be done to the country as a whole, no matter which government rises in Mubarak’s place. To date, the Suez Canal continues to operate normally.5 Who are the protestors and what do they want? Images and footage from the early days of the protests suggest that the crowds who flocked to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, Damietta, and other major Egyptian cities represented a broad and unexpected cross-section of Egyptian society. While most of the protestors were young men, media accounts showed a significant number of women, children, and older Egyptians who appeared to represent various social classes joining in their demand for President Mubarak’s ouster. Clashes with security forces and battles between protestors and progovernment forces have been dominated by young men, although women have been active participants in many cases. The disparate elements of the crowd largely outshone the cast of expected opposition organizations. At present, Dr. Muhammad ElBaradei is leading a committee of opposition groups/figures that has said that it will negotiate with the government over the demands of the protestors once Mubarak leaves office. 6 Their goals, aside from Mubarak’s immediate resignation, are as follow. • To form a more representative interim national unity government. • To amend the constitution or form an assembly to rewrite it entirely.7 • To remove corrupt Egyptian leaders responsible for repressing protestors. • To dissolve parliament and hold new free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections. 5 In 2009, oil tankers passing through the Canal carried an estimated 1.8 million barrels per day. The Canal has the capacity to handle 2.2 million barrels of oil a day. In addition, an estimated 4.5 percent of global oil supplies flow through the canal and the Sumed pipeline, and 14 percent of the global liquefied natural gas trade is shipped through the canal as well. 6 Some Egyptians are also calling on other prominent figures, such as Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa and former Nobel Prize for Chemistry winner Ahmed Zewail, to become more politically involved. 7 Among many contested articles, the opposition has demanded that Article 76 (eligibility for candidacy for the presidency), Article 77 (presidential term limits), Article 88 (supervision of elections), and Article 179 (emergency measures used to suppress dissent). Congressional Research Service 4 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Members of the Opposition’s Steering Committee Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei: Former head of the IAEA, leader of Egypt's National Association for Change Mohammad Baltagi: Head of Muslim Brotherhood bloc of lawmakers from 2005 to 2010 Hamdeen Sabahy: Head of the Karama Party, a secular, left-wing Arab Nationalist party Abdel Galil Mustafa: The coordinator for the National Association for Change Mahmoud Al-Khudairi: Former vice president of Egypt's appeals court George Ishaq: Former head of the Kefaya protest movement Abdel Ezz Hariri: Formerly of Tegammu, a secular leftist party Ayman Nour: Head of the liberal secular Ghad party Magdy Ahmed Hussein: Head of the pro-Islamist Labor Party Osama Ghazali Harb: founded the secular and liberal National Democratic Front Youth Movements: These groups have been asked to send 3-5 members to the committee: 6 April Youth Facebook, Pro ElBaradei Youth, Al Ghad Youth, Muslim Brotherhood Youth, and National Democratic Front Youth Source: “ElBaradei's Role Cast in Doubt,” Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2011 The Muslim Brotherhood, which has been conspicuously under the radar throughout the last week of protests, has deliberately deferred to secular opposition leaders and groups, especially Dr. ElBaradei. According to one Brotherhood leader, “we’re supporting ElBaradei to lead the path to change…. The Brotherhood realizes the sensitivities, especially in the West, towards the Islamists, and we’re not keen to be at the forefront.” Despite ElBaradei’s prominence, it is unclear whether he commands much popular support beyond the educated middle- and upper-class opposition. He has lived outside of Egypt for decades and was out of the country when protests began. Much of the grass-roots organizing of demonstrations has been carried out by activists several generations younger than the traditional leadership of Egypt’s opposition. January 31, 2011: A New Cabinet and Clearer Positions On January 31, 2011, the army said that it would not use force against Egyptians, a claim that Vice President Omar Suleiman has since repeated in public interviews. The army further added that, “your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everybody.” Many observers initially interpreted this statement as an implicit indication of the end of Hosni Mubarak’s rule, as it appeared at the time that the use of force by the army against civilians was the only method available to stop demonstrations and restore normalcy. On the morning of January 31, President Mubarak named a new cabinet, though it is entirely unclear for how long it will remain standing. Of note, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi remained Defense Minister and was also elevated to the position of deputy prime minister. Mahmoud Wagdy, a retired general, was appointed Interior Minister, replacing Habib El Adli who was widely vilified by the Egyptian public and responsible for police repression against demonstrators. Among others, Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit remained in the cabinet. The cabinet shifts, coupled with the announcements of January 29, gave the impression that the leading figures in the Egyptian military establishment had asserted control and moved to preserve Congressional Research Service 5 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy key elements of the status quo while giving the appearance of substantive change. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq, Defense Minister Tantawi, and Army Chief of Staff Sami Anan are all current or former high ranking military officers with close ties to Mubarak. Some observers have pointed out that these figures have been among the closest of President Mubarak’s interlocutors with the United States and Israel and are thus probably more likely to favor a continuation of partnership and the maintenance of the prevailing regional order. 8 On Monday evening, newly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman read a statement on Egyptian state television that called for new parliamentary elections to be held in districts where appeals were submitted prior to the recent unrest.9 Suleiman indicated that President Mubarak had tasked him “with carrying out immediate contacts with all political factions in order to start a dialogue around all issues at hand with regard to constitutional and legislative reforms, which will lead to a clear definition of proposed amendments and the specific times for their execution.” February 1, 2011: The “March of Millions” and Mubarak’s Second Speech On Tuesday, February 1, an estimated quarter of a million protestors turned out in downtown Cairo for the 8th consecutive day of public protest against the rule of Hosni Mubarak. Large demonstrations also reportedly took place in Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, and Luxor. The army maintained some semblance of order, and protestors and soldiers refrained from any violent confrontation. Observers reported that the scale of the demonstration was unprecedented. Other reports emphasized that diversity of the crowd, which was made up of a large number of women, children, and Egyptians of all socio-economic backgrounds. Late Tuesday night February 1, President Mubarak gave a speech in which he said he would not run for reelection in the fall of 2011 and wants to oversee a “peaceful transfer of power” at the end of his current term. He added: Husni Mubarak, who is speaking to you today, holds dear the long years he has spent serving Egypt and its people. This beloved homeland is my country, as it is the country of each Egyptian man and woman; I have lived in it and fought for it, and defended its land, sovereignty, and interests. And on its land I shall die; and history shall judge me and others in terms of what we owe and what we are owed.10 After the president’s speech, the crowd in Tahrir Square reacted with rage, chanting “leave! Leave!” and “we are not leaving!” Supporters were reported to have welcomed the announcement. Opposition activists have said that Mubarak’s timetable is unacceptable, and his departure must be immediate. This timetable remains the primary point of contention. 8 “EGYPT: Army decision on Mubarak is key to crisis,” Oxford Analytica, January 31, 2011. U.S. Open Source Center (OSC) Report GMP20110131950061, “Egyptian Vice President Says Re-elections To Be Held in Districts Under Appeal,” Cairo Egyptian Satellite Channel 1 Television, January 31, 2011. 10 Open Source Center, "Egypt: President Mubarak Addresses Nation on Transfer of Power," Nile News TV, February 1, 2011, Document ID# FEA20110202014021 . 9 Congressional Research Service 6 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy February 2 and 3, 2011: The Battle of Tahrir Square On Wednesday, February 2, an iconic struggle unfolded on live global television in the center of Cairo. Supporters of President Mubarak went on the offensive against opposition protestors in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, and the army, while not deliberately hurting anti-government demonstrators, did little to help them. In fact, the army had earlier called on protestors to leave the streets in an appeal for calm, a move that some observers believe was really intended to deflate protestors’ momentum. In what appeared to be an orchestrated show of force, a huge crowd of pro-Mubarak strongmen, some riding on horses and camels, stormed Tahrir Square on Wednesday morning and attacked anti-government protestors with metal rods, stones, and sticks. A storm of stones rained down on both sides of the battle, as participants tore metal sheeting from nearby construction sites and shops for protection. Some of the men appeared to be activist supporters of the embattled president, while eyewitness accounts from Egyptians and international journalists suggested that others were drawn from the ranks of a group known in Egyptian Arabic as Baltagiya,11 or gangs, many of whom were reportedly paid $10 to break up the demonstrations. Some reports even suggest that plainclothes police officers were among them. Army units posted at Tahrir Square initially did nothing to stop the pro-Mubarak crowd. As the day wore on and clashes intensified, the army positioned itself between the two camps, with each side setting up barricades in the square and hurling projectiles and Molotov cocktails at each other well into the early morning hours. On the political front, Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq promised in a televised news conference to bring to justice those responsible for instigating violence while denying the government had any part in it. Egypt’s attorney general also issued a travel ban on former government ministers and NDP party officials, such as former Interior Minister Habib al Adly and steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz.12 In addition, Egypt’s new government, as laid out in President Mubarak’s February 1 speech, promised to amend constitutional provisions dealing with presidential elections. The government also suspended parliament until a judicial panel reviews the results of 2010 parliamentary elections. Vice President Omar Suleiman stated that the president’s son, Gamal Mubarak, would not stand for president in future elections. Suleiman also promised to engage in a dialogue with the Muslim Brotherhood13 saying, “we have contacted the Muslim Brotherhood and invited them, but they are still hesitant about the dialogue…. I think that their interest is to attend 11 According to one source, “in the 1980s, the police faced the growth of “gangs,” referred to in Egyptian Arabic as baltagiya. These street organizations had asserted self-rule over Cairo’s many informal settlements and slums. Foreigners and the Egyptian bourgeoisie assumed the baltagiya to be Islamists but they were mostly utterly unideological. In the early 1990s the Interior Ministry decided “if you can’t beat them, hire them.” So the Interior Ministry and the Central Security Services started outsourcing coercion to these baltagiya, paying them well and training them to use sexualized brutality (from groping to rape) in order to punish and deter female protesters and male detainees, alike.” See, Paul Amar, “Why Mubarak is Out,” http://www.Jadaliyya.com, February 1, 2011. 12 Many observers believe that the government is now prosecuting the symbols of Egyptian crony capitalism, especially those businessmen, like Ahmed Ezz, with close ties to Gamal Mubarak. According to one expert, “the people around Gamal became the wealthiest group in the country…. They monopolized everything.” See, “Egypt’s Ire Turns to Confidant of Mubarak’s Son,” New York Times, February 6, 2011. 13 In response, the Muslim Brotherhood, like the rest of the opposition, has called on Mubarak to step down immediately. It also has called for the Supreme Constitutional Court chief to step in and oversee new elections as dictated by Article 76 and 84. Congressional Research Service 7 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy the dialogue.” Suleiman also asked the nation for time to reform the political system. The government stopped blocking the Internet. To date, various reports indicate that at least 10 Egyptians have died in the vigilante-instigated violence that started on February 2. On February 3, numerous reports streaming out of Egypt indicated that mobs were targeting foreign journalists. Some reporters were pulled from their hotel rooms, beaten, and had their equipment confiscated or smashed. Meanwhile, in the streets of Cairo, government-backed strongmen continued to fight hand-to-hand with demonstrators, in an attempt to further sow a climate of fear. Vice President Suleiman even blamed the news media for “sending the enemy spirit.” As Egypt faces more protests on Friday, February 4, the goal of the pro-Mubarak forces were clear: intimidate the demonstrators and break their will to sustain mass protests. The role of the military has become clearer. Although it is impossible to gage the sentiment of all senior officers, clearly the high command has sided with the President. 14 Robert Springborg, an Egypt expert and professor at the Naval Postgraduate School argued: The threat to the military's control of the Egyptian political system is passing. Millions of demonstrators in the street have not broken the chain of command over which President Mubarak presides…. The military high command, which under no circumstances would submit to rule by civilians rooted in a representative system, can now breathe much more easily than a few days ago.15 For now, the key question is whether or not demonstrators will overcome the climate of fear and intimidation, and turn up en-masse for demonstrations in the days ahead. On February 3, President Mubarak claimed that if he resigned now, chaos would ensue, and clearly some Egyptians believe him. 16 Many others apparently want him to depart sooner rather than later, but fear that continued unrest will breed extremism, discord, and cause lasting economic damage. President Mubarak’s government has calculated that the political concessions he has made combined with brute force and suppression of all news coming out of Egypt could be enough to maintain the regime in power, a government that is now entirely dominated by the military. Should this government stand in the months ahead, most Western observers doubt that it would embark on an ambitious reform program that would transform Egypt into a genuine democracy. February 4 to February 7: Negotiations Begin, Protests Continue On Friday February 4, after two days of violence and uncertainty over the turnout for planned demonstrations and the army’s response to them, hundreds of thousands of people again filled Tahrir Square for peaceful protests. The army continued to stand aside and allow demonstrations to continue, though media reports suggest that the army has tightened its control over downtown 14 It is unclear what the opinions are of mid to senior level officers. Some analysts have speculated that if the situation continues to deteriorate, splits in the military may emerge. So far, that does not seem evident. 15 Robert Springborg, "Game Over: The Chance For Democracy In Egypt Is Lost," http://www.ForeignPolicy.com, February 3, 2011. 16 Mubarak claimed that he told President Obama that “you don't understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.” Congressional Research Service 8 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Cairo by erecting checkpoints, installing coils of razor wire, and limiting media access to Tahrir Square. On the morning of February 4, Defense Minister Tantawi appeared in the square to review his troops and counsel non violence from all sides. Amr Moussa, Arab League President and former foreign minister, also appeared in the square later in the day to show solidarity with the opposition. Observers consider Moussa a potential presidential frontrunner due to his popular persona. With the momentum returning to the opposition, an unexpected development occurred over the weekend. Some opposition groups/figures, including the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed to meet with Vice President Suleiman to discuss a democratic transition despite earlier pledges not to do so until President Mubarak resigned. At the same time, the Obama Administration refrained from earlier calls for an immediate transition (i.e. Mubarak’s resignation), and instead stressed that Egyptians themselves must negotiate over the details of reform. On Sunday February 6, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “we are putting a lot into making sure the dialogue process that has begun is meaningful and transparent and leads to concrete actions…. But ultimately, we are not the arbiters. It's the people of Egypt who are the arbiters. And a number of voices that are now being heard recognize there has to be some process. And there is a desire to test this, to see how it unfolds, and we support that.” Many media reports indicated that street protestors were distraught by the tacit U.S. approval of a negotiated transition with President Mubarak still in power. After the Suleiman-opposition meeting, the Vice President released a statement that was partially disputed by the opposition, saying that “consensus” had been reached on, among other things, allowing President Mubarak to complete his term, amending the constitutional provisions that govern eligibility for candidacy for the president, and lifting the state of emergency “based on the security situation and an end to the threats to the security of society.”17 Dr. ElBaradei, who did not attend the meeting, denounced some of these concessions as insufficient, and some street protestors denounced opposition politicians for even negotiating prior to Mubarak’s resignation. The Muslim Brotherhood, like the larger opposition, remained divided. Mohamed Saad El Katatni, a member of Muslim Brotherhood’s Executive Bureau, said that keeping Mubarak in power while changes are made is a “safer option” to win implementation. Yet, Mohammed Morsey, another spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said that Mubarak should leave immediately. 18 Clearly, the President and his allies believe that they can outlast the protestors and methodically chip away at the opposition by dividing them through offers of concession and political reform while maintaining the primacy of the military in power. However, on Sunday February 6, another 100,000 people returned to Tahrir Square to continue their demonstrations. On Monday, February 7, 2011, though demonstrators remain in Tahrir Square, the government tried to convey the appearance of a return to normalcy. Banks reopened, and the new cabinet held its first meeting. Some workers returned to their jobs, though the stock market remained closed. The Egyptian government also announced that it was raising public salaries and pensions. 17 18 Egyptian State Information Service, “Statement of the Office of the Vice-President,” February 6, 2011. "Mubarak Divides Egypt Opposition Parties to Carry Out Mandate," Bloomberg, February 7, 2011. Congressional Research Service 9 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy February 8 to February 9: Protestors Inspired and Demonstrations Apex After a weekend during which the government appeared to gain the upper hand, protestors significantly expanded their uprising against President Mubarak and his government between Tuesday, February 8 and Thursday, February 9. Sparked by the release of Wael Ghonim, a young Google executive who had been detained by authorities for 12 days, demonstrators flooded Tahrir Square in record numbers. Ghonim revealed that he was the creator of the Facebook group, “we are all Khaled Said,” the protestors’ main social networking site named after a 28-year-old man murdered by police in Alexandria last year. Ghonim gave a number of emotional television interviews in which he said, “I apologize to every father and mother and every person who lost his life for his country. For 12 days, I’ve been isolated. I saw the people who died. These are the heroes, and you are the heroes.” He also appeared before the crowds in Tahrir urging them to expand the movement and not fear the government. In another televised interview, he remarked: This president needs to step down because this is a crime. And I am telling you, I'm ready to die. I have a lot to lose in this life...I work in the best company to work for in the world. I have the best wife and I have, I have - I love my kids….But I'm willing to lose all of that for my dream to happen. And no one is going to go against our desire. No one. And I'm telling this to (Vice President) Omar Suleiman. He's going to watch this. You're not going to stop us. Kidnap me, kidnap all my colleagues. Put us in jail. Kill us. Do whatever you want to do. We are getting back our country. You guys have been ruining this country for 30 years. Enough. Enough. Enough. Although Ghonim’s words struck an emotional chord with many Egyptians, widespread labor strikes across Egypt also gave the movement renewed strength. Several deaths were reported in smaller Egyptian cities, and reports also surfaced that demonstrators burned government buildings and police stations. Some Suez Canal workers also heeded calls for a nationwide strike. Journalists, postal workers, bus drivers, doctors, steel workers, weavers, pharmaceutical workers, and sanitation workers also joined the strike. In addition, demonstrators physically began moving outside Tahrir Square and, by Wednesday night, had camped out in front of parliament effectively blocking all access to it. As an indication of how quickly labor strikes spread to all of Egypt, protesters asked railroad workers not to go on strike because people in distant provinces wanted to travel to Cairo to join rallies in Tahrir Square. In response to Western fears that the Muslim Brotherhood would “hijack” the protest movement to seize power, a spokesman for the group issued a statement on February 9 stating that, “the Muslim Brotherhood are not seeking power. We want to participate, not to dominate. We will not have a presidential candidate, we want to participate and help, we are not seeking power.” Thursday, February 10: Mubarak’s Defiant Speech On Thursday night, February 10, (the 17th day of protests) President Hosni Mubarak announced that while he was delegating certain powers to Vice President Suleiman, he would not resign until September 2011, upholding his earlier pledge. He added “this will be the land of my living and my death. It will remain a dear land to me. I will not leave it nor depart it until I am buried in the ground.” Earlier in the day, Egyptian officials had warned that if protestors didn’t disband, the military would “intervene to control the country.” Congressional Research Service 10 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Friday, February 11, 2011: Mubarak Resigns On the 18th day of peaceful protests, Vice President Suleiman announced that President Mubarak has resigned and the Supreme/Higher Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces has taken control of the country.19 Hosni Mubarak and his family departed for the resort town of Sharm el Sheikh where he maintains a residence. As of Friday morning, it is unclear what steps President Mubarak took prior to his resignation toward a democratic transition, or whether the military would take over indefinitely. In statements to the public, the military has said that it would end the emergency law “as soon as the current circumstances are over.” Earlier in the morning, Gen. Hassan al Roueini appeared in Tahrir Square and told protesters that “all your demands will be met today.” General Sami Hafez Enan, the chief of staff of the armed forces, also told the protesters that Friday would be a decisive moment. The U.S. Response: “Orderly Transition”, Lasting Security Interests, and Potential Issues for Congress The revolution in Egypt has put the Obama Administration in a major quandary. Since taking office, President Obama has devoted greater time and attention to the pursuit of Middle East peace than to efforts to promote reform and democracy in the Arab world. This has been a deliberate tactic of the Obama Administration, designed to differentiate itself from the Bush Administration by giving priority to what President Obama believes is a core national interest— the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. By switching its public focus to an issue more amenable to the Egyptian government, the Administration also hoped to repair the damage to the U.S.Egyptian relationship incurred during President’s Bush’s focus on the democracy agenda. By all accounts, reform efforts remained a component of U.S. diplomacy toward Egypt both in private and in public, but the Obama Administration had avoided overtly pressuring the Egyptian government for specific changes. Now, the Administration has had to engage in what some see as “rhetorical catch up” by publicly demanding immediate reform. On Friday January 28, as images of Egyptians clashing with police filled the airwaves, the Administration said it would reassess U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt. Several days later, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “there is no discussion as of this time of cutting off any aid.” President Obama and other U.S. officials urged all sides to refrain from violence, though the United States did not publicly call on Mubarak to step down. However, on Sunday, January 30, Secretary of State Clinton expressed in clearer terms the Administration’s desire for a new political order in Egypt, stating, “we want to see an orderly transition so that no one fills a void, that there not be a void, that there be a well thought out plan that will bring about a democratic participatory government.” In response, Dr. Muhammad El Baradei stated that: The American government cannot ask the Egyptian people to believe that a dictator who has been in power for 30 years will be the one to implement democracy….You are losing credibility by the day. On one hand you're talking about democracy, rule of law and human 19 Suleiman read a statement saying “taking into consideration the difficult circumstances the country is going through, President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the post of president of the republic and has tasked the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the state’s affairs.” Congressional Research Service 11 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy rights, and on the other hand you're lending still your support to a dictator that continues to oppress his people. On January 31, the Administration sent former Ambassador to Egypt Frank Wisner for personal talks with President Mubarak. According to unnamed sources, Wisner told Mubarak that “he was not going to be president in the future. And this message was plainly rebuffed.”20 In addition, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that any new Egyptian government “has to include a whole host of important non-secular actors that give Egypt a strong chance to continue to be [a] stable and reliable partner,” a remark most likely directed at U.S. support for the inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in any future government. On February 1, the current U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, spoke with Dr. ElBaradei “to convey support for orderly transition in Egypt.” The Obama Administration has continued to insist that there be an “orderly transition in Egypt that should be meaningful, peaceful and must begin now.” The Administration has denounced attacks against foreign journalists and has demanded that those who have perpetrated violence against innocents be held accountable. As of February 3, while some lawmakers have raised the possibility of halting foreign aid to Egypt, the Administration has not further addressed any punitive U.S. measures, such as cutting assistance or trade sanctions, in great detail. France suspended arms sales to Egypt in late January. Reportedly, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia stated that his country would provide aid to Egypt if the United States withdrew its foreign assistance to Mubarak’s government. On February 3, the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for President Hosni Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transitional government headed by Vice President Omar Suleiman with the support of the Egyptian military. Reportedly, the United States is seeking an immediate process of constitutional reform with participation for a broad range of opposition groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.21 Between February 5 and February 8, many observers suggested that the Administration had somewhat softened its insistence that a transition occur immediately. Analysts attributed the subtle shift to a combination of Mubarak’s intransigence, the U.S. military’s concern that the United States was isolating a key Arab military partner, and fears that the Muslim Brotherhood could dominate future parliamentary or presidential elections that by law would need to be held sooner rather than later. Then, as protestors regained momentum, the Administration appeared to reapply pressure on the military and government to remove President Mubarak. Vice President Biden called Egyptian officials and insisted that authorities end the arrests and violence against protestors and journalists and rescind the emergency law. 20 21 "Envoy for Obama Tells Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Step Aside," Los Angeles Times, February 1, 2011. "White House and Egypt Discuss Plan for Mubarak’s Exit," New York Times, February 3, 2011. Congressional Research Service 12 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Repercussions for Israel and Middle East Peace For more than 30 years, the United States and Israel have based their core assumptions about the basic stability of the Middle East and the absence of major Israeli-Arab conventional warfare on the cornerstone of the March 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. The Israeli government is concerned that its quiet, though cold, peace with Egypt may suffer as a result of the changing of the guard in Cairo. Some Israelis have suggested that their government may now have to change its defense posture and increase defense spending to counter a possible Egyptian threat. Because, among other things, of its treaty with Egypt, Israel had reduced its defense expenditure from 23% of its gross national product in the mid-1970s to about 9% today. According to Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo, “the only people in Egypt who are committed to peace are the people in Mubarak’s inner circle, and if the next president is not one of them, we are going to be in trouble.” Some Israelis believe that a more pluralistic government in Egypt would be less inclined to side with Israel in containing Hamas and blockading the Gaza Strip due to public sympathy for Palestinian rights. In addition, it is uncertain if the next president of Egypt would try to serve as an intermediary between Israelis and Palestinians and between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Although a new Egyptian government may be expected to uphold the 1979 peace treaty, it may behave more as Turkey has over the past year and take a more confrontational approach with its neighbor Israel, a potentially dangerous development for U.S. foreign policy. Egypt also provides Israel with 40% of its natural gas, a deal that was widely criticized by the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups. Natural gas export revenue has been an important contributor to Egypt’s national budget, as oil revenues have declined in recent years. Between February 5 and 7, violence erupted in the Sinai desert and along the Gaza border. Militants struck a gas pipeline to Israel temporarily halting Egypt’s delivery of gas to Israel. A group called Takfir Wal Hijra also clashed with Egyptian police in the border town of Rafah. With Israel’s approval, Egypt had deployed an additional 800 army soldiers to the Sharm el Sheikh region and around Rafah. Israel denied Egypt’s second request for a deployment of troops. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also has ordered the army to speed construction of a 13foot-tall, radar-monitored fence between Israel and Egypt that is being constructed mainly to keep out Sudanese migrants and smugglers. Evacuation of American Citizens The U.S. State Department has urged all American citizens to leave Egypt. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has said that for U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart the country, arrangements are being made to provide transportation to locations in Europe, such as Athens, Greece; Istanbul, Turkey; and Nicosia, Cyprus. According to the State Department there are about 52,000 Americans registered with the embassy in Cairo. Many other U.S. citizens, however, are not registered with the Embassy. On February 1, the U.S. State Department ordered all nonessential American government personnel to leave the country. To date, at least 2,000 American citizens have been evacuated. So far, more than 3,000 U.S. citizens have communicated a desire to be evacuated. For the latest Warden Message from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, please see: http://egypt.usembassy.gov/wm2311.html Congressional Research Service 13 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Issues for Congress Presidential Succession: Who Will Follow Hosni Mubarak? The broad political discontent currently on display in nationwide protests has been fueled by longstanding concerns over presidential succession in general and more recent concerns that President Mubarak was enabling the election of his son Gamal in particular. Since power in the Egyptian political system is highly concentrated in the office of the president and his cabinet, the issue of who would succeed President Hosni Mubarak has long been critical not just for the Egyptian people, but for Egypt’s relations with the international community and especially with the United States. Since Mubarak has never personally endorsed a successor and, until January 2011, had kept the vice president’s office vacant, the issue of presidential succession has been opaque to Egyptians and foreign observers alike for a decade, perhaps deliberately so. Nevertheless, Mubarak’s health problems in the spring of 2010 led many to speculate that a possible changing of the guard was imminent. While that did not materialize and his health has since improved, presidential elections set for September 2011 and the unrest in the wake of Tunisia’s popular revolution have thrust the issue back into the limelight. For some U.S. policymakers, there is a desire to see an orderly, legal, and transparent transfer of power in which the incoming president maintains support for key U.S. goals: Egypt’s peace with Israel, U.S. access to the Suez Canal, and general bilateral military cooperation. Others see a possible transition as an opportunity to change the trajectory of Egyptian politics away from a military dictatorship/oligarchy and toward a genuine democracy even if it empowers nationalist forces or the Muslim Brotherhood. Many analysts long found the prospect for the emergence and autonomy of a freely elected government to be highly unlikely given the assumed coercive power of the Egyptian security services. Some observers now find themselves focused on the unexpected questions of whether or not a post-Mubarak elected government would pursue a confrontational foreign policy. Amid this uncertainty, many democracy advocates continue to encourage the United States vocally support a genuine free and fair presidential election in which all opposition groups are fairly represented. Congressional Research Service 14 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Figure 1. Map of Egypt Managing Egypt’s Leadership Transition The Legal Framework Based on a series of constitutional amendments enacted in the last few years, ruling elites have worked to establish the veneer of a legal framework to facilitate a smooth transition of power, despite claims by the opposition that the amendments are illegitimate. For potential presidential candidates not from the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), Egyptian law sets a high bar for establishing eligibility to run. For example, amended Article 76 states that for any candidate to run for president, he or she has to gain the approval of 250 members of elected assemblies and municipalities, including, among other signatures, 25 members of the Shura Council (upper Congressional Research Service 15 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy house), which is almost entirely composed of pro-ruling party members. In addition, a candidate must be a member of a political party’s higher board for at least one year.22 Parties that have had at least one member in either house of parliament since May 1, 2007 are eligible to nominate a candidate for the presidency until 2017. Finally, all parties that nominate a candidate must have been legally operating for at least five consecutive years before the starting date of candidature. Key provisions of the Constitution affecting the transition of presidential authority include: • Article 82 – “Should the President be unable to perform his duties due to any outstanding circumstances, his duties will be performed by the vice-president, or (if there is none) the prime minister. The person performing these duties may not request constitutional amendments, dissolve parliament, or dismiss the cabinet.” • Article 84 – “In case [of] vacancy of the Presidential office or the permanent disability of the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the People’s Assembly shall temporarily assume the Presidency; and, if at that time, the People’s Assembly is already dissolved, the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall take over the Presidency, provided, however, that neither shall nominate himself for the Presidency, subject to abidance by the ban stipulated in paragraph 2 of Article 82. The People’s Assembly shall then proclaim the vacancy of the office of President. The President of the Republic shall be chosen within a maximum period of 60 days from the day the Presidential office becomes vacant.” The 2010 elections for the People’s Assembly (lower house) gave the NDP an overwhelming majority (96%), making it nearly impossible for any non-NDP endorsed candidates to obtain the constitutionally-mandated 65 signatures from members of the People’s Assembly to stand on the ballot for president. Furthermore, only a handful of opposition parties, including the Wafd and Tagammu, would be eligible to field a candidate in September 2011. The Contenders Since Egypt’s legal framework favors pro-government candidates and many opposition activists charge that elections are fraudulent, only a handful of NDP or military figures are considered presidential frontrunners, including the following. Omar Suleiman—Unless a new figure comes to light, analysts have speculated that the only other viable candidate for the presidency is Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. However, at age 75, it is unlikely that Suleiman, should he become president, would rule for a long period of time. Furthermore, as head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service (GIS), Suleiman would need to retire from military service since active-duty military officers are not allowed membership in political parties.23 In addition, if Suleiman desired party sponsorship, he would need to be a member of a party’s supreme council for at least one year before the election. 22 However, an NDP member not in the party’s leadership council could run as an independent if the party’s representatives in government endorsed such a figure. 23 Others suggest that Omar Suleiman has not been an “active duty” officer since 1984 and that if he was determined to serve as a candidate, he would overcome the legal technicalities barring his candidacy. Congressional Research Service 16 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Suleiman is currently engaged in a number of sensitive diplomatic operations and is one of President Mubarak’s closest confidants, making his departure from military service unlikely. Ahmed Shafiq—69-year-old Ahmed Shafiq, the current Minister of Aviation and former Air Force Commander (1996-2002), is considered a long shot candidate. Observers are intrigued over the speculation surrounding his potential candidacy due to his background as a military officer who successfully transitioned to the private sector, a profile that epitomizes the modern Egyptian leader. Shafiq graduated from the Egyptian Air Academy in 1961 as a fighter pilot, and took part in both the 1967 Six Day War and the October 1973 war with Israel. Shafiq is largely credited with revitalizing Egypt Air and expanding Cairo international airport. He also served in the Air Force under Hosni Mubarak’s command and reportedly is close to the Mubarak family. According to one unnamed source, “Shafiq has a good reputation. He's tough, honest, and low-key…. His name is definitely out there.”24 Field Marshal and Defense Minister Mohammed Hussein Tantawi—Though too old to be considered a long term replacement for President Mubarak, 75-year-old General Tantawi, a Mubarak loyalist, might be considered as a possible short-term presidential placeholder. Experts believe that Tantawi, one of the most powerful army officers, would be more likely to serve as one of the few behind-the-scenes regime decision-makers who guide Egypt through the transition from Mubarak to his successor. It is unclear whether or not Tantawi supports Gamal Mubarak or the idea of hereditary succession. Tantawi’s Chief of Staff, General Sami Annan, also is considered a key decision-maker in the Army and possible behind-the-scenes player in the event the military becomes involved in the succession issue. It is unclear what implications, if any, the army’s reported deployment to quell January 2011 protests will have on its potential role as an arbiter of future leadership questions. The Opposition For many Egyptians, young or old, educated or uneducated, urban or rural, and secular or religious, there is widespread opposition to the concept of hereditary dictatorship. 25 Until the protests of January 2011, there was little way of quantifying the depth of this opposition or assessing the willingness of activists to protest against it, should such a scenario come to pass. Now, it is clear. Many Egyptians want President Mubarak to leave office and his son not to inherit power. Popular protests against Gamal Mubarak and a familial succession have transpired for nearly a decade, and opposition movements have been formed solely to thwart such a transition from occurring. To his opponents, Gamal Mubarak is the ultimate symbol of Egyptian corruption, corporate greed, and growing wealth imbalance between workers and private sector elites. Until the protests of January 2011, many observers believed that the Egyptian opposition was fractured and feckless and easily manipulated by pro-government forces backed by the veil of physical force. 26 As has been the case for many years, the Muslim Brotherhood, a political, 24 "New Contender Emerges in Egypt," Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2010. When speaking of a father to son succession, Egyptians use the term tawrith al sulta, translated as “inheritance of power.” 26 Though periodically Egyptian secular and Islamist (Muslim Brotherhood) opposition groups/political parties unite to protest government repression. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, “in the 1984 parliamentary election the (continued...) 25 Congressional Research Service 17 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy religious, charitable, and educational group that has been banned as a political party since 1954, remains the only well-organized opposition movement in Egypt today. Other political parties (Wafd and Ayman Nour’s Al Ghad party—now banned), labor demonstrations, secular protest movements (Kefaya, April 6th), and spontaneous demonstrations organized through online social networks all exist in the sphere of opposition politics, but, until January 2011, no single issue or event was able to unite them against the primary institutions of Egyptian rule, President Mubarak, the NDP party, NDP-affiliated businessmen, and the security forces. Key Groups/Figures The January 25 Revolutionaries. Until Wael Ghonim was released from detention on February 8, most analysts knew little of the young Egyptian professionals who started the January 25 revolution. According to various news accounts, the protest leaders are mainly secular liberals with some Muslim Brotherhood members among them. According to one account in the New York Times, “they are the young professionals, mostly doctors and lawyers, who touched off and then guided the revolt shaking Egypt, members of the Facebook generation who have remained mostly faceless—very deliberately so, given the threat of arrest or abduction by the secret police.” Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and the National Association for Change (NAC). Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei is the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and 2005 Nobel Prize winner. ElBaradei has publicly expressed his intention to reform the political system, amend the constitution, and possibly run for president as an independent candidate. President Mubarak has said that ElBaradei can run for president as an independent so long as he respects the constitution. Because independent presidential candidates must meet extremely rigid criteria in order to run, ElBaradei has called for free and fair elections that are monitored by both Egyptian judges and international monitors. He also has insisted that the constitution be amended in order to remove all “legal impediments that limit the majority of the people from becoming candidates.” Since returning to Egypt in February 2010 after a 27-year absence, ElBaradei has formed a new broad political coalition called the National Association for Change. The NAC is not a political party. It has an active youth wing that encompasses some of the key leaders of the 2011 demonstrations. ElBaradei has allied his organization with the Muslim Brotherhood, though the latter rejected his call for a boycott of the 2010 parliamentary elections. In January 2011, ElBaradei called for a boycott of the 2011 presidential election, stating that “according to these rules, only five people—out of some 85 million Egyptians—can qualify to stand in elections…. It would be better if the president appointed his own successor…than to subject the Egyptian people to the “farce” of elections.”27 (...continued) Brotherhood won 15% of the vote in an alliance with the Wafd Party and in 1987 it campaigned with the Labour and Liberal parties under the slogan ‘Islam is the Solution’. Although the names of such political parties suggest a secular liberal ideology, Islam still offers a common ground to unite the small opposition parties. However, such alliances have tended to be temporary and ineffectual in the long term.” See, “A Potential Coalition of Opposition Leaders Emerges,” EIU Egypt Country Report, January 1, 2011. 27 Open Source Center, “Egypt: ElBaradei Calls For Boycott of Presidential Election," Al-Masry Al-Youm Online , January 9, 2011, Document ID# GMP20110110839002. Congressional Research Service 18 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy The April 6 Youth Movement. In early April 2008, spontaneous demonstrations and rioting broke out in Mahalla al Kubra, as protestors responded angrily to the government’s heavy-handed attempts to deter activists from carrying out a nation-wide general strike called for Sunday, April 6. During the riot, protestors destroyed portraits of President Mubarak, two schools were burned, and 70 people were injured from tear gas and rubber bullets used by the police. One bystander, a 15-year-old, was shot while standing in the third-floor balcony of his apartment Many Egyptian youth sympathized with the demonstrators, and activists formed a 100,000-person Facebook group to express solidarity with workers protesting. Ahmed Maher is a founding member and has been active in the January 25 revolution. Ayman Nour. Ayman Nour (age 46), a former member of parliament and second-place finisher in Egypt’s first multi-candidate presidential election in 2005, had been serving a five-year sentence for forgery in a prison hospital until his sudden and unexpected release on health grounds in February 2009. Some Members of Congress and officials in the Bush Administration had regularly called for Nour’s release from prison. In June 2007, at the conference on Democracy and Security in Prague, Czechoslovakia, President Bush named Ayman Nour as one of several “dissidents who could not join us, because they are being unjustly imprisoned.” During his incarceration, Nour’s political party, Al Ghad, split in half, and the party headquarters burned to the ground after a violent confrontation there between rival wings of the party. Some experts caution that Nour’s popular support is fairly limited. In February 2010, Nour stated his intention to run for 2011 presidential elections. The Egyptian Movement for Change—Kifaya (‘Enough’). In December 2004, a group of political activists, most of whom are secular in orientation and hail from Egyptian universities, formed the Egyptian Movement for Change, or what has been referred to in Arabic as Kifaya (enough), their primary slogan which refers to their opposition to a further term for President Mubarak. Since its formation, the movement has held a number of small demonstrations, and some of the group’s members have been detained. In May 2005, female Kifaya activists accused Egyptian police officers of sexually assaulting female protesters, which led to widespread condemnation of the government by both secular and Islamic opposition forces. Kifaya encompasses a mix of opposition groups. During the 2006 war in Lebanon, Kifaya activists reportedly circulated petitions to abrogate the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty; a sign, perhaps, that the movement has lost focus and has reverted to supporting popular causes, such as support for the Palestinians, as a way to broaden its outreach and separate itself from U.S. calls for democracy in the Arab world. Kifaya was one of the first Egyptian opposition groups to use social media and has been active in the January 25 revolution. Legal Opposition Political Parties. A handful of legal opposition parties, which must be approved by the government, serve as the token, official opposition to the NDP. Most experts regard Egypt’s legal opposition parties as divided with limited popular support. Among them, the Wafd is the most significant and is one of Egypt’s oldest political parties. It was the driving force behind the Egyptian independence movement after World War I. The Wafd party dominated parliamentary elections during Egypt’s experiment with parliamentary democracy (1922-1952), though the Wafd gradually began to lose popularity to more radical organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Currently, the New Wafd is headed by Sayyid al Badawi, a 60-year-old businessman who owns Hayat satellite channel, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, and the independent daily newspaper Al Dostour. Congressional Research Service 19 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Other Prominent Egyptian Leaders Amr Moussa. Amr Moussa is the current Arab League Secretary General and former foreign minister under Mubrak. Reportedly, Mubarak removed him from the cabinet due to his popularity stemming from his criticism of Israel. In response to questions regarding his political future as a possible president, Moussa responded saying “of course, if the people ask me to. There has to be a national consensus until the date set for the elections….Why say no?”28 The Muslim Brotherhood The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) was founded in Egypt in 1928 to turn Egypt away from secularism and toward an Islamic government based on sharia (religious) law and Muslim principles. The MB operates as a religious charitable and educational institution, having been banned as a political party in 1954; however, many Brotherhood members run for parliament as independents. In the 2000 parliamentary elections, 17 independent candidates regarded as Brotherhood sympathizers were elected. In 2005, Brotherhood-affiliated candidates won 88 seats in parliament. In 2010, just one MB candidate was elected, and the group withdrew from elections after the first round of voting accusing the government of fraud. Over the years, the Egyptian government has alternated between tolerating and suppressing the Muslim Brotherhood, sometimes arresting and jailing its members, and other times allowing them to operate almost without hindrance. Many foreign observers agree that the organization renounced its former policy of using violence as a political tactic decades ago, and point out that the former Brotherhood members most committed to violence largely gravitated toward organizations formed the basis for Al Qaeda. Nevertheless, many Egyptian officials continue to perceive the Brotherhood as a threat and are unwilling to legalize the movement. In the United States, the issue of whether or not to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political actor continues to perplex policymakers, particularly given the complex scenarios posed by regional Islamist groups still devoted to militancy and terrorist tactics such as the Palestinian Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. On the one hand, there has been a general reluctance among U.S. decision-makers to push for Islamist inclusion in politics, out of concern that, once in power, groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood will pursue policies counter to U.S. interests in the region or will transform states into theocracies like Iran. On the other hand, some experts believe that if Islamists were brought into a functional democratic system, then they would temper their rhetoric in order to appeal to a wider audience. According to current U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey: The Muslim Brothers is a banned group in Egypt, and there are no direct relations with them. But we deal with political personalities through parliament. The day of President Obama’s address, invitations were issued to independent personalities who could be from the Muslim Brothers and were elected through Parliament and recognized. But there is no direct dialogue between us and them. The channels are open, and it is possible to contact official personalities through parliament. 28 Open Source Center, “Arab League's Musa Prepared To Take Part in Egyptian Politics,” Paris Europe 1 Radio in French, February 4, 2011, Document ID# EUP20110204950002. Congressional Research Service 20 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Prior to the protests of January 2011, most analysts had believed that, from an organizational standpoint, the Brotherhood was the only movement capable of mobilizing significant opposition to the government, though opinions vary on how much mass support the Brotherhood commands. As is typical for Islamist groups across the region, the Muslim Brotherhood is strongest among the professional middle class, controlling many of the professional syndicates (associations), including those representing engineers, doctors, lawyers and academics. For years critics have charged that the Muslim Brotherhood, like other Islamist groups, has been unable to articulate concrete policies and has relied too heavily on conveying its agenda through vague slogans, such as the party mantra of “Islam is the solution.” When the Brotherhood circulated a draft party platform in late 2007, it generated a great deal of attention and condemnation by its opponents. The draft, which was contested by a more moderate faction of the Brotherhood, called for the establishment of a board of religious scholars with whom the president and the legislature would have to consult before passing laws. According to one critic, Reminiscent of Iran’s Guardian Council, this undemocratically selected body could have the power vested by the state to veto any and all legislation passed by the Egyptian parliament and approved by the president that is not compatible with Islamic sharia law.... The Muslim Brotherhood should have looked to Turkey as a model for how to integrate Islam into a secular system. The draft platform also states that neither women nor Christians may stand for president. As part of their systematic coercion strategy, Egypt’s security forces continually arrest and imprison Brotherhood members to keep the group on the defensive. According to Egyptian law, citizens who have been incarcerated cannot stand for elected office, and authorities have used this provision to target some of the Brotherhood’s most promising young leaders, even those who may be more accommodating toward improving the group’s relations with the West. In June 2009, police arrested Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a member of the group’s elite Guidance Bureau/Council and secretary-general of the Union of Arab Doctors, along with six other leaders on charges of belonging to an outlawed group, conspiring with international terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah, and money laundering. Prosecutors charge that MB leaders were responsible for forming terrorist cells inside Egypt and had funneled fighters and funds to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian authorities have criticized the MB’s support for Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon and have accused the Brotherhood of disloyalty to the state and of having an international agenda. Arrests also have targeted a number of MB-owned businesses in order to financially squeeze the Brotherhood’s extensive charitable organizations. The current Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood is 66-year-old Mohammed Badie. The Role of the Military in Egyptian Society Prior to the unrest of 2011, military officers had refrained from playing a direct role in the affairs of the civilian-run government. Now, the military has returned to the forefront, as it remains the preeminent institution in society, and has been called on by successive governments to maintain internal security and regime stability. The military also provides employment and social services for hundreds of thousands of young people in a country with annual double-digit unemployment rates. Military experts have often asserted that Egypt’s armed forces are bloated and maintain manpower at unnecessary levels for peacetime (approximately 310,000 conscripts and an additional 375,000 reservists), while others contend that the large size of the military is justified Congressional Research Service 21 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy by the services it provides to soldiers and their families. Some experts estimate that the military trains 12% of young Egyptian males and that defense industries employ over 100,000 people. The military has its own companies that produce consumer products, food (olive oil, milk, bread, and water), cement, vehicles (joint ventures with Jeep to produce Cherokees and Wranglers), pharmaceuticals, and manufactured goods. The military also sponsors sports organizations. The military also is a major holder of public land. The officer corps also benefit from higher salaries, better housing, and high-quality health care, which help ensure their loyalty to the government. Some members of the opposition have criticized these special benefits and the military’s fiscal autonomy, asserting that there is little civilian control over the military’s budget. According to Janes, “Egypt's $4.56 billion defense budget in 2010 makes it the strongest among its immediate neighbors in Africa, but is substantially lower than the budgets of its two middle-eastern neighbors Israel and Saudi Arabia. Defense spending has been increasing steadily in recent years and is likely to maintain this progress as long as economic conditions allow.”29 Promoting Democracy in Egypt: Among the many reforms advocated by proponents of a more democratic Egypt, advocates would like to see: (1) the Emergency Law30 abolished in line with Mubarak’s 2005 campaign promise; (2) constitutional reforms enacted to ease barriers for independent and opposition candidates to run for office; (3) judicial independence31 restored by eliminating the state-controlled Supreme Judicial Council that appoints judges; (4) the Legislative branch strengthened; (5) restrictions on non-governmental organizations curtailed, 32 and (5) presidential term limits adopted. Under the 1971 constitution, authority is vested in an elected president who must stand for reelection every six years.33 The president appoints the cabinet, which generally drafts and submits legislation to the legislature: the People’s Assembly (lower house) and the Shura Council (upper house). The People’s Assembly debates legislation proposed by government ministries and 29 “Egypt Defence Budget,” Jane's Defence Budgets, February 7, 2011. Under the emergency law, the government can hold an individual for up to 30 days without charge. In May 2010, parliament approved a two-year extension of the emergency laws, which have been in place since Sadat’s assassination in 1981. During his 2005 election campaign, President Mubarak pledged to introduce a number of reforms, including the elimination of the emergency laws which have been used to quell political dissent by holding people without charge for long periods and referring civilians to military courts, where they have fewer rights. 31 In addition, proponents of greater judicial independence in Egypt also would like to see the restoration of judicial supervision of elections and the elimination of state security courts. Earlier versions of the Constitution required that “balloting take place under the supervision of a judicial body.” Amended article 88 of the Constitution transfers the oversight of elections to a higher committee (Supreme Electoral Commission), which, although made up of some judges, removes most from direct oversight of balloting stations. 32 In Egypt, NGOs are required to apply for legal status and, according to Association Law 84-2003, NGOs must be registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs. There are an estimated 16,000 registered civic organizations in Egypt. In some cases, it may take years before the ministry rules on an application, and many groups are routinely rejected. Often, no response is given to the application, leaving an organization in legal limbo. If an NGOs application is rejected, it has few legal rights and can be shut down. 33 In 1980, the Constitution was amended to allow the president to run for an unlimited number of terms, rather than one as was stipulated in the 1971 Constitution. An English language version of the Egyptian Constitution is available at http://www.parliament.gov.eg/EPA/en/sections.jsp?typeID=1&levelid=54&parentlevel=6&levelno=2. 30 Congressional Research Service 22 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy calls for amendments to government-sponsored bills but rarely initiates its own bills. The Shura Council has modest legislative powers and must ratify treaties and constitutional amendments. Overall, analysts consider Egypt’s legislative branch to be weak; the ruling party constitutes an overwhelming majority. Based on low voter turnout in recent elections, there appears to be a clear lack of public confidence in the parliament. U.S. attitudes toward Egypt’s political system range from passionate opposition to a perceived brutal regime to passive acceptance of a stable government that is largely supportive of U.S. foreign policy goals in the Middle East, specifically the pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace. This lack of consensus hinders any uniform U.S. approach toward how to best promote democracy in Egypt. To the extent that there is agreement among experts, most espouse the general principle that a politically and economically vibrant Egypt at peace with its neighbors and legitimate to its own people is not only good for most Egyptian citizens but for U.S. national interests. However, when it comes to formulating policy to enforce these principles, democracy advocates clash with “realists” over the degree of U.S. pressure to place on the Mubarak government, while Egypt itself resists U.S. attempts to influence its domestic politics, charging that U.S. interference empowers the Muslim Brotherhood. Some experts believe that Egypt is already changing in profound ways due to the global spread of information technology, rising economic inequality, and demography, and that the United States needs to vocalize its support for reform regardless of its capacity to bring it about. According to Michele Dunne, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “I think that the United States should advocate democratization and greater respect for human rights for Egyptians. This does not mean that the U.S. can make these things happen in Egypt, but we should be clear that we are in favor and willing to use the influence we have to promote them.”34 U.S.-Egyptian Relations Though U.S.-Egyptian relations are rife with tension owing to the democracy issue and Egyptian disappointment with a perceived lack of U.S. pressure on Israel to compromise with the Palestinians, the Obama Administration has made efforts to calm the diplomatic atmosphere. Aside from the State Department’s recent mild admonishment of Egypt’s 2010 parliamentary elections,35 high-level officials have largely refrained from publicly admonishing Egypt’s poor human rights and democracy record. U.S. foreign assistance levels remain unchanged (the FY2011 request is $1.55 billion, same as 2010) despite some calls from opponents of aid to Egypt to either cut or condition aid. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, has said that 2011 will be the U.S.-Egypt Year of Science, celebrating U.S.Egypt engagement in science, promoting interest among young Egyptians in science-related 34 "Middle East: As Egypt Cracks Down On Critics, U.S. Looks Away," Inter Press Service, November 8, 2010. “We are disappointed by reports in the pre-election period of disruption of campaign activities of opposition candidates and arrests of their supporters, as well as denial of access to the media for some opposition voices. We are also dismayed by reports of election-day interference and intimidation by security forces. These irregularities call into question the fairness and transparency of the process.” See, U.S. State Department, “Egypt's Parliamentary Elections,” Office of the Spokesman, Washington, D.C., November 29, 2010. 35 Congressional Research Service 23 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy careers and research, and promoting digital engagement among the Egyptian science community with U.S. peers and institutions. Overall, with the peace process stalled, Egypt preoccupied with Mubarak’s succession, and the rise of other, arguably more dynamic, actors in the region such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Egypt plays a less prominent role in Middle Eastern diplomacy despite its self-image as a regional powerhouse. Egyptians partially blame this decline on their country’s close relationship with the United States, and some analysts believe that over time, though Egypt and the United States appear set to continue to cooperate on military and intelligence issues, Egypt will move in a more independent direction, much like Turkey has in recent years. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt Overview The unrest of January 2011 suggests that the terms of recent debate over U.S. assistance to Egypt may change significantly in the coming months. Since 1979, Egypt has been the second-largest recipient, after Israel, of U.S. foreign assistance. In FY2010, Egypt was the fifth-largest aid recipient behind Afghanistan, Israel, Pakistan, and Haiti, respectively. In the past decade, overall U.S. assistance to Egypt has declined from $2.1 billion in FY1998 to $1.55 billion in FY2010 owing to a gradual reduction in economic aid. In July 2007, the Bush Administration signed a 10year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel to increase U.S. military assistance from $2.4 billion in FY2008 to over $3 billion by 2018. Egypt received no corresponding increase in U.S. military aid; instead, the Bush Administration pledged to continue to provide Egypt with $1.3 billion in military aid annually, the same amount it has received annually since 1987. Unlike with Israel and Jordan, the Bush Administration did not sign a bilateral MOU with the Egyptian government.36 Congress typically earmarks foreign assistance for Egypt in the foreign operations appropriations bill. Debate over U.S. Assistance to Egypt Although U.S. assistance has helped cement what many deem to be a successful 30-year IsraelEgypt peace treaty, as time has passed, critics of continued U.S. assistance to Egypt have grown more vocal in arguing that U.S. aid props up a repressive dictatorship and that, to the extent that any U.S. funds are provided, policymakers should channel them toward supporting opposition or civil society groups. Over the past five years, Congress has debated whether U.S. foreign aid to Egypt should be conditioned on, among other things, improvements in Egypt’s human rights record, its progress on democratization and religious freedom, and its efforts to control the EgyptGaza border. Some members believe that U.S. assistance to Egypt has not been effective in 36 A year after the 2007 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the U.S. and Jordanian governments reached an agreement whereby the United States will provide a total of $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan over a five-year period. Under the terms their non-binding MOU, this first-of-its-kind deal commits the United States, subject to future congressional appropriations and availability of funds, to providing Jordan with $360 million per year in Economic Support Funds (ESF) and $300 million per year in Foreign Military Financing (FMF). Congressional Research Service 24 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy promoting political and economic reform and that foreign assistance agreements must be renegotiated to include benchmarks that Egypt must meet to continue to qualify for U.S. aid. Successive administrations, some lawmakers, and the Egyptian government assert that U.S. assistance to Egypt is symbolic of a strong strategic partnership which directly benefits U.S. national security interests. Proponents of strong bilateral ties argue that Egypt is key to the United States maintaining a strong military presence in the oil-rich Persian Gulf and projecting power in south and central Asia. Reducing Egypt’s aid, they argue, would undercut U.S. strategic interests in the region, and could jeopardize the Mubarak government’s support for Middle East peace, U.S. naval access to the Suez Canal, and U.S.-Egyptian intelligence cooperation. U.S. military officials argue that continued U.S. military support to Egypt facilitates strong military-to-military ties. The U.S. Navy, which sends an average of a dozen ships through the Suez Canal per month, receives expedited processing for nuclear warships to pass through the Canal, a valued service that can normally take weeks otherwise required for other foreign navies. Egypt also provides over-flight rights to U.S. aircraft. In addition, some U.S. lawmakers argue that cutting aid, particularly military assistance, harms the United States since all of Egypt’s FMF must be spent on American hardware and associated services and training. Others question the will or ability of the Egyptian government to change the terms of its long-standing bilateral partnership with the United States because of the government’s displeasure with U.S. criticism and pressure for reform. Economic Aid The United States has significantly reduced economic aid to Egypt over the last decade. There are several reasons for the reduction in U.S. assistance. Overall, U.S. economic aid to Egypt has been trending downward due to a 10-year agreement reached in the late 1990s known as the “Glide Path Agreement.” In January 1998, Israeli officials negotiated with the United States to reduce economic aid and increase military aid over a 10-year period. A 3:2 ratio that long prevailed in the overall levels of U.S. aid to Israel and Egypt was applied to the reduction in economic aid ($60 million reduction for Israel and $40 million reduction for Egypt), but Egypt did not receive an increase in military assistance. Thus, the United States reduced ESF aid to Egypt from $815 million in FY1998 to $411 million in FY2008.37 For FY2011, the Administration is requesting $250 million in ESF for Egypt, the same amount it has received since FY2009. Funding for Democracy Promotion Each year, a portion of USAID-managed economic aid is spent on democracy promotion programs in Egypt, a policy that has been a lightning rod for controversy over the last seven years. On principle, the Egyptian government rejects U.S. assistance for democracy promotion activities, though it has grudgingly accepted a certain degree of programming. On the other hand, democracy activists believe that the U.S. government, particularly during the Obama 37 In FY2003, Egypt, along with Israel and several other governments in the region, received supplemental assistance as part of the FY2003 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-11). It included $300 million in ESF for Egypt, which could have been used to cover the costs of up to $2 billion in loan guarantees. The loan guarantees were to be issued over three years. Congressional Research Service 25 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Administration, has not been aggressive enough in supporting political reform in Egypt. Often, the Administration is caught between these polar opposites. The degree of U.S. direct support for civil society groups is a major issue. The Egyptian government has staunchly opposed foreign support to independent civic groups that demand government accountability, as well as civic groups that have not received government approval. During the Bush Administration, policymakers and members of Congress directed some amounts of Economic Support Funds toward direct support to Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, some experts note that only a small proportion of USAID’s democracy and governance (D&G) funds are spent on independent Egyptian groups and an even smaller proportion to groups that do not receive approval from the Egyptian government. The vast majority of USAID D&G assistance goes to Government of Egypt-approved consensual, government-to-government projects.38 Most importantly, in FY2005, Congress directed that “democracy and governance activities shall not be subject to the prior approval of the GoE [government of Egypt],” language which remained in annual foreign operations appropriations legislation until FY2009 (see below).39 Egypt claims that U.S. assistance programs must be jointly negotiated and cannot be unilaterally dictated by the United States. P.L. 111-117, Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2010, contains general legislative language on the use of U.S. funds to NGOs, stating in section 7034: With respect to the provision of assistance for democracy, human rights and governance activities in this Act, the organizations implementing such assistance and the specific nature of that assistance shall not be subject to the prior approval by the government of any foreign country. 40 As overall ESF aid to Egypt has decreased, so too has U.S. democracy assistance. For FY2009, the Bush Administration unilaterally cut overall economic aid to Egypt by more than half, requesting $200 million in ESF. Therefore, because U.S. economic assistance is divided among several sectors (health, education, economic development, and democracy promotion), fewer funds were available in FY2009 for D&G aid ($20 million instead of previous appropriations of up to $50 million). P.L. 111-117, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, FY2010, provided $25 million in economic aid for democracy promotion (or 10% of total economic aid). Perhaps in order to ease tension with the Egyptian government, the Obama Administration has reduced funding for U.S.-based NGOs operating in Egypt while increasing funding for stateapproved and unregistered Egyptian NGOs (see table below). Since FY2009, the Administration 38 CRS conversation with Tamara Cofman Wittes, Director, Middle East Democracy and Development Project, Brookings Institution, September 1, 2009. 39 Congress sought to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance for Egypt was being appropriately used to promote reform. In conference report (H.Rept. 108-792) language accompanying P.L. 108-447, the FY2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, conferees specified that “democracy and governance activities shall not be subject to the prior approval of the GoE [government of Egypt]. The managers intend this language to include NGOs and other segments of civil society that may not be registered with, or officially recognized by, the GoE. However, the managers understand that the GoE should be kept informed of funding provided pursuant to these activities.” 40 P.L. 111-117. The conference report accompanying the Act notes, “the requirements of section 7034(m)(4) of this Act shall apply with respect to the provision of assistance to Egyptian NGOs.” Congressional Research Service 26 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy has used other State Department aid accounts, such as the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF), to support Egyptian and international NGOs. In October 2009, USAID’s Inspector General issued an audit of the agency’s democracy and governance activities in Egypt. Among other findings, the audit concluded that: The impact of USAID/Egypt’s democracy and governance activities has been limited based on the programs reviewed. In published reports, independent nongovernmental organizations ranked Egypt unfavorably in indexes of media freedom, corruption, civil liberties, political rights, and democracy. Egypt’s ranking remained unchanged or declined for the past 2 years, and the impact of USAID/Egypt’s democracy and governance programs was unnoticeable in indexes (sic) describing the country’s democratic environment….The Government of Egypt signed a bilateral agreement to support democracy and governance activities (page 5), but it has shown reluctance to support many of USAID’s democracy and governance programs and has impeded implementers’ activities. Despite the spirit with which the U.S. Congress espoused the civil society direct grants program, the Government of Egypt’s lack of cooperation hindered implementers’ efforts to begin projects and activities through delays and cancellations.41 41 USAID, Audit of USAID/Egypt’s Democracy and Governance Activities (Audit Report No. 6-263-10-001-P), October 27, 2009. Congressional Research Service 27 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Table 1. U.S. Direct Funding to International and Egyptian NGOs FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 Request 54,850,315 23,539,643 29,000,000 25,000,000 54,800,000 20,000,000 25,000,000 25,000,000 DRL 0 2,057,000 2,000,000 n/a MEPI 50,315 1,482,643 2,000,000 n/a 27,900,315 9,539,643 25,000,000 21,000,000 27,850,000 6,000,000 21,000,000 21,000,000 DRL 0 2,057,000 2,000,000 n/a MEPI 50,315 1,482,643 2,000,000 n/a 925,286 1,482,643 2,000,000 n/a 925,286 0 0 n/a 0 1,482,643 2,000,000 n/a 5,669,529 5,000,000 10,000,000 n/a 5,619,214 5,000,000 10,000,000 n/a 50,315 0 0 5,801,846 1,000,000 1,000,000 5,801,846 1,000,000 1,000,000 15,503,654 2,057,000 2,000,000 15,503,654 0 0 Democracy and Governance Total USAID Civil Society Total USAID Egyptian unregistered orgs USAID MEPI Egyptian registered orgs USAID MEPI US registered groups USAID US unregistered groups USAID TBD TBD Source: U.S. State Department, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. U.S.-Egyptian Science, Business, and Technological Cooperation President Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo envisioned greater U.S. collaboration with Middle Eastern and Muslim-majority nations. As a result, the Administration has created several new small-scale initiatives, dubbed the Cairo Initiatives, to promote science, business, and technical cooperation with certain countries in the region, notably Egypt. In December 2010, the United States launched the President’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) program in Alexandria, Egypt. Egypt also is a significant participant in the Administration’s Global Entrepreneurship program (GEP), a USAID-funded program designed to assist entrepreneurs in Muslim communities around the world. Several GEP pilot programs have been launched in Egypt to train entrepreneurs and assist them with access to foreign investment. In January 2011, a GEP delegation traveled to Egypt to meet with Egyptian businessmen and learn of new investment opportunities. According to the U.S. State Department's Senior Advisor for Global Entrepreneurship Steven Koltai, “regional investments in economic reform and human Congressional Research Service 28 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy and capital infrastructure in Egypt provide a strong foundation for entrepreneurs and investors, both local and international.” In 2010, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) invested $100 million in a fund managed by a subsidiary of Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital. The investment was touted by the Administration as part of President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world and U.S. efforts to spur entrepreneurship. In addition, the Administration has proclaimed that 2011 is the year of U.S.-Egypt science. One of President Obama’s science envoys, Dr. Ahmed Zewail, a Nobel prize-winning Egyptian American, has visited Egypt several times. In May 2010, the United States announced that the U.S.-Egypt Science and Technology Joint Fund will double its annual grants (from $4 million to $8 million) for Egyptian and American scientific collaboration. Military Aid The Administration has requested $1.3 billion in FMF for Egypt in FY2011—the same amount it received in FY2010. FMF aid to Egypt is divided into three general categories: (1) acquisitions, (2) upgrades to existing equipment, and (3) follow-on support/maintenance contracts.42 According to U.S. and Egyptian defense officials, approximately 30% of annual FMF aid to Egypt is spent on new weapons systems, as Egypt’s defense modernization plan is designed to gradually replace most of Egypt’s older Soviet weaponry with U.S. equipment.43 That figure is expected to decline over the long term due to the rising costs associated with follow-on maintenance contracts. Egyptian military officials have repeatedly sought additional FMF funds to offset the escalating costs of follow-on support. They point out that as costs rise, static aid appropriations amount to a reduction in net assistance. U.S.-Egyptian coproduction of the M1A1 Abrams Battle tank is one of the cornerstones of U.S. military assistance to Egypt. A coproduction program began in 1988. Egypt plans to acquire a total of 1,200 tanks. Under the terms of the program, a percentage of the tank’s components are manufactured in Egypt at a facility on the outskirts of Cairo and the remaining parts are produced in the United States and then shipped to Egypt for final assembly. General Dynamics of Sterling Heights, MI, is the prime contractor for the program. Although there are no verifiable figures on total Egyptian military spending, it is estimated that U.S. military aid covers as much as 80% of the Defense Ministry’s weapons procurement costs.44 42 According to U.S. defense officials, Egypt only allocates the minimum amount of FMF funds necessary for followon maintenance, resulting in inadequate support for weapon system sustainment. 43 According to a 2006 Government Accountability Office report, over the life of Egypt’s FMF program, through August 2005, Egypt had purchased 36 Apache helicopters, 220 F-16 aircraft, 880 M1A1 tanks, and the accompanying training and maintenance to support these systems, among other items. See Government Accountability Office, “Security Assistance: State and DOD Need to Assess How the Foreign Military Financing Program for Egypt Achieves U.S. Foreign Policy and Security Goals.,” GAO-06-437, April 2006. 44 According to one source, U.S. military assistance pays for about a third of Egypt’s overall defense budget each year. See, “Three Decades of Weapons, Training for Egypt Keep U.S. in Loop,” Bloomberg, February 2, 2011. Congressional Research Service 29 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Egypt also receives Excess Defense Articles (EDA) worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the Pentagon.45 Egyptian officers participate in the International Military and Education Training (IMET) program46 ($1.4 million requested for FY2011) in order to facilitate U.S.-Egyptian military cooperation over the long term. IMET assistance makes Egypt eligible to purchase training at a reduced rate. Bright Star is a multinational training exercise co-hosted by the United States and Egypt that helps foster the interoperability of U.S. and Egyptian forces and provides specialized training opportunities for U.S. Central Command Forces (CENTCOM) in the Middle East. Eagle Salute is a U.S.-Egyptian joint maritime training exercise conducted annually in the Red Sea. In addition to large amounts of annual U.S. military assistance, Egypt benefits from certain aid provisions that are available to only a few other countries. Since 2000, Egypt’s FMF funds have been deposited in an interest bearing account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and have remained there until they are obligated. By law (P.L. 106-280), Congress must be notified if any of the interest accrued in this account is obligated. Most importantly, Egypt is allowed to set aside FMF funds for current year payments only, rather than set aside the full amount needed to meet the full cost of multi-year purchases. Cash flow financing allows Egypt to negotiate major arms purchases with U.S. defense suppliers. Recent Arms Sales Notifications In FY2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the following proposed arms sales to Egypt using FMF funds: • July 2, 2010—40 Skyguard AMOUN Solid-State Transmitters to support the upgrade of the Skyguard-SPARROW Launcher/Illuminator System, prime contractor is Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Tewksbury, MA, estimated value: $77 million. • July 2, 2010—Continuation of technical services in support of four OLIVER HAZARD PERRY and two KNOX CLASS Frigates, prime contractor is VSE Global in Alexandria, Virginia, estimated value: $210 million. U.S.-Egyptian Trade Egypt is the 48th largest trading partner of the United States, which has an annual trade surplus with Egypt amounting to $3.13 billion in 2009. The United States is Egypt’s largest bilateral trading partner. Egypt is one of the largest single markets worldwide for American wheat and corn and is a significant importer of other agricultural commodities, machinery, and equipment. The United States also is the second-largest foreign investor in Egypt, primarily in the oil and gas sector. Since the mid-1990s, Egyptian officials have sought to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement 45 According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), past EDA sales and grant transfers have included two PERRY class and two KNOX frigates, numerous HAWK parts, mine rakes, helicopter spare parts, assorted armored vehicles (M60 tanks and M113 APCs) and various types of munitions. 46 Egyptian officers participating in IMET study and train at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C. Congressional Research Service 30 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy (FTA) with the United States, claiming that an Egyptian-American FTA could significantly boost Egypt’s economy. However, due to an array of concerns both Egypt-specific (human rights, intellectual property) and macroeconomic, an Egyptian-American FTA has not moved forward. In 1996, Congress authorized the creation of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) in order to entitle goods jointly produced by Israel and either Jordan or Egypt to enter the United States duty free. In December 2004, Egypt finally reached an agreement with Israel to designate several QIZs in Egypt under the mandate of the U.S.-Israeli Free Trade Agreement. Goods produced in Egyptian QIZs allow Egyptian-made products to be exported to the United States duty-free if the products contain at least 10.5% input from Israel. Egypt would like to see this percentage reduced to around 8%, which is the case with the U.S.-Jordanian-Israeli QIZ agreement. Most products exported from Egyptian QIZs are textiles, and products manufactured in QIZs now account for one-third of Egyptian exports to the United States. Table 2. Recent U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt ($ in millions) Fiscal Year Economic 1948-1997 Military IMET Total 23,288.6 22,353.5 27.3 45,669.4 1998 815.0 1,300.0 1.0 2,116.0 1999 775.0 1,300.0 1.0 2,076.0 2000 727.3 1,300.0 1.0 2,028.3 2001 695.0 1,300.0 1.0 1,996.0 2002 655.0 1,300.0 1.0 1,956.0 2003 911.0 1,300.0 1.2 2,212.2 2004 571.6 1,292.3 1.4 1,865.3 2005 530.7 1,289.6 1.2 1,821.5 2006 490.0 1,287.0 1.2 1,778.2 2007 450.0 1,300.0 1.3 1,751.3 2008 411.6 1,289.4 1.2 1,702.2 2009 250.0 1,300.0 1.3 1,551.3 2010 250.0 1,300.0 1.9 1,551.9 2011 Request 250.0 1,300.0 1.4 1,551.4 30,820.8 39,211.8 43.0 70,075.6 Total Congressional Research Service 31 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Table 3. U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt, 1946-1997 (millions of dollars) Year Total Military Loan Military Grant I.M.E.T Grant 1946 9.6 — — — 1948 1.4 — — 1951 0.1 — 1952 1.2 1953 Misc. Economic Grant D.A. Loan D.A. Grant ESF Loan ESF Grant P.L. 480 I P.L. 480 II 9.3 Surplus 0.3 UNWRA — — — — — — — 1.4 Surplus — — — — — — — — 0.1 Tech Asst — — — — — — — — — — — 0.4 — — — 0.8 12.9 — — — — — 12.9 — — — — 1954 4 — — — — — 3.3 — — — 0.7 1955 66.3 — — — — 7.5 35.3 — — — 23.5 1956 33.3 — — — — — 2.6 — — 13.2 17.5 1957 1 — — — — — 0.7 — — — 0.3 1958 0.6 — — — — — 0 — — — 0.6 1959 44.8 — — — — — 2 — — 33.9 8.9 1960 65.9 — — — — 15.4 5.7 — — 36.6 8.2 1961 73.5 — — — — — 2.3 — — 48.6 22.6 1962 200.5 — — — — 20 2.2 20 — 114 44.3 1963 146.7 — — — — 36.3 2.3 10 — 78.5 19.6 1964 95.5 — — — — — 1.4 — — 85.2 8.9 1965 97.6 — — — — — 2.3 — — 84.9 10.4 1966 27.6 — — — — — 1.5 — — 16.4 9.7 1967 12.6 — — — — — 0.8 — — — 11.8 CRS-32 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Military Grant I.M.E.T Grant Misc. Economic Grant D.A. Loan D.A. Grant ESF Loan ESF Grant P.L. 480 I P.L. 480 II Year Total Military Loan 1972 1.5 — — — — 1.5 — — — — — 1973 0.8 — — — — — — — — — 0.8 1974 21.3 — — — — — — — 8.5 9.5 3.3 1975 370.1 — — — — — — 194.3 58.5 104.5 12.8 1976 464.3 — — — — — 5.4 150 102.8 201.7 4.4 TQ 552.5 — — — — — — 429 107.8 14.6 1.1 1977 907.8 — — — — — — 600 99.2 196.8 11.7 1978 943.2 — — 0.2 0.1 Narc. — — 617.4 133.3 179.7 12.5 1979 2588.5 1500 — 0.4 — — — 250 585 230.7 22.4 1980 1167.3 — — 0.8 — — — 280 585 285.3 16.1 1981 1681.2 550 — 0.8 — — — 70 759 272.5 28.9 1982 1967.3 700 200 2.4 — — — — 771 262 31.9 1983 2332 900 425 1.9 — — — — 750 238.3 16.8 1984 2470.8 900 465 1.7 — — — — 852.9 237.5 13.7 1985 2468.7 — 1175 1.7 — — — — 1065.1 213.8 13.2 1986 2539.1 — 1244.1 1.7 — — — — 1069.2 217.5 6.6 1987 2317 — 1300 1.8 — — — — 819.7 191.7 3.9 1988 2174.9 — 1300 1.5 — — — — 717.8 153 2.6 1989 2269.6 — 1300 1.5 — — 1.5 — 815 150.5 1.2 1990 2397.4 — 1294.4 1.6 — — — — 898.4 203 — 1991 2300.2 — 1300 1.9 — — — — 780.8 165 52.5 1992 2235.1 — 1300 1.8 — — — — 892.9 40.4 — CRS-33 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Military Grant I.M.E.T Grant Misc. Economic Grant D.A. Loan D.A. Grant ESF Loan ESF Grant P.L. 480 I P.L. 480 II Year Total Military Loan 1993 2052.9 — 1300 1.8 — — — — 747.0 — 4.1 1994 1868.6 — 1300 0.8 — — — — 561.6 35 6.2 1995 2414.5 — 1300 1 — — 0.2 — 1113.3 — — 1996 2116.6 — 1300 1 — — — — 815 — 0.6 1997 2116 — 1300 1 — — — — 815 — — Total 45669.4 4550 17803.5 27.3.0 11.2 80.7 82.8 2620.7 15923.8 4,114.3 455.1 Notes: Totals may not add due to rounding. No U.S. aid programs for years 1947, 1949, 1950, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1971. P.L. 480 II Grant for 1993 includes $2.1 million in Sec. 416 food donations. Q = Transition Quarter; change from June to September fiscal year * = less than $100,000 I.M.E.T. = International Military Education and Training UNRWA = United Nations Relief and Works Agency Surplus = Surplus Property Tech. Asst. = Technical Assistance Narc. = International Narcotics Control D. A. = Development Assistance ESF = Economic Support Funds P.L. 480 I = Public Law 480 (Food for Peace), Title I Loan P.L. 480 II = Public Law 480 (Food for Peace), Title II Grant CRS-34 Egypt: The January 25 Uprising and Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy Author Contact Information Jeremy M. Sharp Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs jsharp@crs.loc.gov, 7-8687 Congressional Research Service 35