Egypt as a Failing State: Implications for US National Security   [open pdf - 3MB]

"Short-term solutions to more profound, long-term problems are not sufficient to safeguard United States interests in the Middle East. This paper challenges the current US policy towards Egypt and its underlying assumption that regime stability supercedes a US interest in true political development. The key question in this paper queries why the status quo policy towards Egypt is no longer fulfilling US objectives when it has been a successful pillar for US Middle East policy in the past. In the wake of terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001 leading to the US war on terror, along with the continued violence between the Palestinians and Israelis, the potential for acute political violence within Egypt is high. This study presents two scenario-driven US policy options and recommends a realpolitik view of democratization for Egypt. The United States can no longer afford to be timid about the power of democracy. For the United States, pushing for political systems that are accountable to their populations should not be viewed in an idealistic, normative sense, but rather in a strategic context. This paper contends that democracy is a security imperative for the post- 9/11 world." -- Executive Summary

Report Number:
INSS Occasional Paper 51
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