Monday, July 02, 2012

Barry Rubin: Who Rules Egypt? The Battle Begins

by Barry Rubin

It is impossible for the moment to say what’s going to happen in Egypt. But there are two basic scenarios:
  • The armed forces, which have declared martial law, will continue to control the real power and will use the Muslim Brotherhood leader who has become president, Muhammad al-Mursi, as a figurehead. Evidence for this includes the fact that the military is the current source for legislation in Egypt and controls foreign policy.

  • The armed forces will impose a sweet deal on al-Mursi, letting him do pretty much what he wants as long as he doesn’t touch the military’s economic wealth and the army as an institution. The armed forces will determine who becomes defense minister and will set their own budget. Perhaps the generals will also insist al-Mursi doesn’t go too far in threatening Israel or antagonizing the United States (placing U.S. aid to the military in jeopardy).
Events could go either way, and it might take a while to see what’s happening since presumably it will take at least six months to elect a new parliament and another six months to write a constitution. In addition, the precise arrangements will be very important. Is the military only saying “hands-off” towards its economic empire and autonomy, or does it seek far more power? Will it effectively restrain the Muslim Brotherhood from possibly provoking war with Israel?
Continue reading Who Rules Egypt? The Battle Begins

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His latest book is Israel: An Introduction, was published by Yale University Press in January 2012. You can read more of Barry Rubin's posts at Rubin Reportsand  Rubin Reports, on Pajamas Media 

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