Four Reasons Why Egypt Doesn’t Need US Military Aid

Egypt's fighter jets being put to good use during recent demonstrations

Egypt’s fighter jets being put to good use during recent demonstrations

For more than 30 years, Cairo has received billions of dollars of aid from Washington. Recently, this aid has become a topic of heated discussions, with US government officials threatening to pull the aid over uncertainties over whether or not to label Egypt’s recent uprising as a “coup.” Yet, here are four reasons why US aid to Egypt is here to stay, and why Egypt does not ‘need’ this aid.

1.        Egypt Doesn’t Choose Where The Aid Is Spent

Every year, the USA sends Egypt $1.3 billion in military aid, for Egypt’s military to spend on technology and infrastructure of its choice, right? Wrong.

According to a government official, the US government decides exactly which weaponry to send to Egypt. The same government official states that often, Egypt is sent weapons that are not as advanced as those sent to neighboring countries like Israel.

This fact was recently supported by an email sent to NPR from the State Department, which said “The U.S. decides which weapons to send to countries like Egypt in consultation with our partners’ own determination of their strategic and force structure requirements.”

2.       Egypt has too much of the same weaponry

The fact that Egypt doesn’t explicitly choose where the military aid is spent, has led to stockpiles of weaponry that Egypt no longer requires – or has enough of.

NPR recently discovered that the US has sent Egypt more than 1,000 tanks – valued at $3.9 billion – which Egypt maintains “along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.”

One source interviewed by NPR said “There’s no conceivable scenario in which they’d need all those tanks short of an alien invasion.”

So what happens to these tanks? “They are crated up and then they sit in deep storage, and that’s where they remain,” said NPR. 

This is also the case with F-16 fighter jets sent to Egypt. Though recently Obama ordered the suspension of delivery of four F-16s to Egypt, the USA has sent Egypt 221 jets since 1980, valued at $8 billion.

Essentially, deliveries of tanks and fighter jets has amounted to nearly nine years of US aid to Egypt.

Where are the drones that can be used to track, locate, and eliminate militants in the Sinai (which Egypt has none of)? Why has none of this aid been spent to invest in an anti-missile shield, like Israel’s “Iron Dome”?

Have too many tanks? Deploy them across Egypt!

3.        US aid is keeping America’s war-machine alive

100 percent of the $1.3 billion sent to Egypt is spent on weaponry and equipment that is manufactured by the United States.

Though Egypt is receiving tanks, aircraft, and other equipment for “free”, the aid is also crucial for many weapons manufacturers and their employees in the USA.

So, while certain US Senators (i.e. Rand Paul) believe that the US should cancel its military aid to Egypt, it is important to recognize that this aid also benefits the US economy.

Yet, apart from the economy, US aid has also bought valuable cooperation between the Pentagon and Egypt’s Military: from joint military exercises and counter-terrorism operations to priority passage through Egypt’s Suez Canal, this cooperation has become invaluable for the US government.

According to Time Magazine, “the U.S. is the world’s only nation entitled to “cut the line” at the crowded canal – usually months long – and to sail nuclear-armed and powered vessels through it.”

4.       US aid is getting in the way of Egypt’s control in the Sinai

American aid to Egypt has often been connected to the 1978 Camp David Accords, which established peace between Israel and Egypt.

This treaty also limits the control Egypt has over the Sinai, with limits and restrictions placed onto the type of weaponry, number of security personnel and more that Egypt is allowed to have in the Sinai. Essentially, Egypt does not have full sovereignty over the Sinai region.

Where is the link between that and the aid? The US government has often encouraged Egypt to not officially call for amendments of the treaty, using aid as leverage. 


7 Comments on Four Reasons Why Egypt Doesn’t Need US Military Aid

  1. Egypts military spend 4 times the aid package on weapons and they will shop in Russia and China if the US stop the aid and cancel existing purchasing and maintainance contracts.


  2. Tarek Abdel Hady // October 9, 2013 at 10:49 am // Reply

    We do not need your AID.. keep it.. just leave us alone with our problems.. we made a revolution to get rid of such stupid things


  3. Aid is a disaster for Egypt and the Egyptians, and once upon a time, Egyptians were not aware that Egypt receives ‘conditional aid’ but now all are aware, and 90% calling for the aid to be stopped asap! …….posted by a commenter who has lived in Egypt for over 13 yrs! It is time for Egypt to be master of it’s own destiny whatever that may be!


  4. Andrew Reid // August 12, 2013 at 8:19 am // Reply

    OK then, demand that the Egyptian military refuses US military aid (just like you demanded they remove Morsi) and see how far you get. The truth is that Egypt’s military is addicted to the aid. They will never refuse it.
    The reason they send so many F-16s and tanks, rather than drones and other more necessary equipment, is to ensure Israel maintains complete military superiority. I believe they also supply Apache helicopters, which are useful for the exercises in Sinai.
    The current ratio of US military aid to development aid is about 3:1. If the US and the Egyptian govt really cared about the future of the country, they would reverse that ratio.


  5. I believe you meant Senator Rand Paul.


  6. Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Have to agree – deal is designed as warfare welfare for US industry. Besides that who wants to fight an all out war. Egypt has the people to design what defensive weapons it might need in future . Remember that peace is the answer and working on a vibrant Egyptian economy is the best defense!


  7. This article is 100% accurate and hence why we Egyptian want our sovereignty and no longer want this stifling aid


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