Morsi's Purge Jolts an Entrenched Military Establishment

(Los Angeles Times) Jeffrey Fleishman - The Egyptian military had long been run by aging generals and ambitious colonels who for six decades guarded the nation's power while sitting poolside at social clubs and enriching themselves and their ranks through an intricate business empire. A major or a captain could collect stars on his epaulets and slip gracefully into retirement by managing an olive oil business, a cement factory or a string of other military-controlled corporations that by some estimates account for 10% of the country's economy. That opaque world was upended last week by President Mohamed Morsi's purge of the military brass. The armed forces remain a potent counterbalance that can intervene if its commanders sense Morsi is tilting too heavily toward an Islamist agenda. Yet it is the president who is now suddenly on top.

2012-08-21 00:00:00

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