August 27, 2012
No manifestation of the "Arab Spring" was more dramatic than the popular uprising that ousted Egypt's longtime autocrat, Hosni Mubarak. Until recently, however, it was unclear whether a broad-based revolution would be sabotaged either by a military coup or by an elected Islamist government unwilling to govern in an inclusive way. There will be many opportunities still for this revolution to go awry, but the Egyptian military and President Mohamed...
June 27, 2012 |
Egypt's progress toward democracy over the last 15 months has been raucous, colorful and inevitably complicated. Its dismantling has been dizzyingly swift. Two weeks ago, the Supreme Constitutional Court dissolved the parliament, saying electoral rules had been broken. Then the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces exempted itself from civilian oversight and claimed a decisive role in lawmaking and in the drafting of Egypt's constitution. It also assigned a general to "advise" Egypt's new president.
June 19, 2012
From the moment it was announced that Egypt's authoritarian president, Hosni Mubarak, was stepping down, experts in that country and abroad warned that the Egyptian military wouldn't be content with a limited and transitional role. That prophecy has come to pass, posing a challenge not only for democrats in Egypt and for its newly elected president but for its ally and benefactor, the United States. The Obama administration, which earlier this year waived congressional restrictions in order to keep sending military aid to Egypt, should reconsider that decision if the armed forces continue to thwart democracy.
April 26, 2012
Weary as Americans are of the war in Afghanistan, it has been obvious for some time that the United States would continue to play a role in that country after Afghan forces assume full control of security in 2014. So it isn't surprising that Washington and Kabul have reached a draft "strategic partnership" agreement under which the U.S. will continue providing military, economic and other aid to Afghanistan for another decade. In principle, a continuing relationship is perfectly defensible, but it needs to be circumscribed to prevent a re-escalation ofU.S.
February 26, 2012 |
The criminal trial of 16 American pro-democracy workers opened in Cairo on Sunday as U.S. and Egyptian diplomats attempted to resolve a deepening crisis between longtime allies that have grown increasingly estranged since the uprisings that have swept the Arab world in the last year. The politically charged case, punctuated by bruising rhetoric on both sides, is a sign of Washington's ebbing influence in the region and a test of Egypt's ruling military council's ability to finesse an end to a drama that could result in the curtailment of $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid. Contradictory signals from the Egyptian government and perceived U.S. arrogance have hampered a resolution.
January 30, 2012
When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year, there was immediate concern in Washington about the future of U.S. relations with Egypt. Mubarak, though a tyrant, had been a reliable ally, which explained why the Obama administration temporized about whether he should step down. Once he was gone and a supposedly transitional military council promised elections, a new concern arose: that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups would dominate a new elected government and - in the worst-case scenario - renounce the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli treaty.
January 26, 2012 |
The son of a U.S. Cabinetofficial and other Americans working for a democracy rights group have been stopped from leaving Cairo as part of a criminal investigation of foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations operating in Egypt. The move is certain to intensify a diplomatic rift between Cairo and Washington over American aid to human rights and democracy groups that are viewed with suspicion by Egypt's military rulers. The U.S. government said it was outraged by recent police raids on the Egyptian offices of three American-backed organizations.
January 5, 2012
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is asking lawmakers in his country to approve sweeping changes in the judicial system. The most controversial of these would expand the military's jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute alleged human rights crimes committed by security forces. Currently such cases are handled by civilian courts and judges. That's not the kind of reform Colombia needs. This is a country, after all, where a decades-long armed conflict has led to repeated massacres and human rights violations by government forces.
October 25, 2011 |
The macabre and divisive drama over the decomposing remains of Moammar Kadafi appears to have concluded with his anticlimactic and anonymous burial deep in the Libyan hinterlands. Kadafi's body was interred early Tuesday in a secret grave, Libyan officials confirmed. Also buried were the remains of his son Mutassim and a former chief military aide, Abu Bakr Yunis. The Associated Press reported that a cleric and several relatives of the dead were present for a brief prayer service in the coastal city of Misurata before the bodies were whisked away in wooden coffins for predawn burial at an undisclosed site.
August 10, 2011 |
Six months after pro-democracy protesters ousted longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, U.S. efforts to help promote democratic reforms have created unexpected turmoil in Washington's relationship with one of its closest allies in the Arab world. The Obama administration's plan to pour $65 million into Egypt this year to help organize new political parties has sparked a powerful backlash from Cairo's interim military government, its Islamist parties and even some reform-minded activists.