Ties with Egypt Army Constrain Washington

(New York Times) Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt - Most nations, including many close allies of the U.S., require up to a week's notice before American warplanes are allowed to cross their territory. Not Egypt, which offers near-automatic approval for military overflights, to resupply the war effort in Afghanistan or to carry out counterterrorism operations in the Middle East, Southwest Asia or the Horn of Africa. American warships are also allowed to cut to the front of the line through the Suez Canal in times of crisis. Those are some of the largely invisible ways the Egyptian military has assisted the U.S. - and why the generals now in charge in Cairo are not without their own leverage in dealing with Washington. "We need them for the Suez Canal, we need them for the peace treaty with Israel, we need them for the overflights, and we need them for the continued fight against violent extremists who are as much of a threat to Egypt's transition to democracy as they are to American interests," said Gen. James N. Mattis, who retired this year as head of U.S. Central Command.

2013-08-21 00:00:00

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