Monday, July 08, 2013

Egypt's Possible Civil War

Hunger strikes again, and Egypt is on the brink of civil war. Watching their money melt away, this was guaranteed to happen in some form (post from the spring). David Goldman's twin articles on the Egyptian situation both get two thumbs up from me. This battle is the Egyptian military (funded by US + Saudis) versus Muslim Brotherhood (funded by Qataris + Muslim charities) with other groups clinging to those two power centers. I did like how Obama took time out of his vacation and golf schedule to say, "that's not nice" to the Egyptian military. Tipping your hand there Barry for your boys in the MB? Where will this all lead? Most likely skirmishes between the military and the MB, which will blow up into larger fighting if the food isn't delivered.

It would be an interesting time for Sudan and Ethiopia to take a chance and lean on Egypt over water. Instead of leaning, Sudan could always serve as a smuggling point for weapons into Egypt for the Muslim Brotherhood to arm them for a fight versus the military (don't forget Libyan weapons!), and then turn around and fight the weakened victor. If I were the Sudan, I'd call up the Qataris and set something up for an entry point to get heavier missiles to use against tanks and choppers for the MB. There must be some IED expertise to shift their way as well since Syria is neighborhood fighting. Sudan could always just wait out the victor and lean on Egypt, threatening a fight, which by then Egypt may cave on any demand over water use. Patience will win them more than pushing their luck now.

Syria, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, and whomever else is pulled into the flames in the Middle East will not be the start of World War Three. This is the Sunni-Shia civil war unleashed. This is all the MENA regional outcome of knocking over the Taliban, which emboldened our elite leaders to knock off Saddam and start the symphony of tapping crude building democracies. I'm starting to view this as a double proxy war. The US is shaking the trees of Chinese and Russian trading partners/clients, with the Saudis/Qataris (Sunnis) using jihadi mercenaries to go after the Shia aligned segments in the ME. Alliances are tricky, and America should be nowhere near this briar patch. Our politicians are hucksters, sex addicts and former Harvard and Yale law students. Intrigue and grand strategy are not courses they took.

The British did this so much better than us.


Joseph Moroco said...

"The British did this so much better than us."

Little good it did them. Not too many colonies left. The empire was a waste of time.

Portlander said...

"Little good it did them."

You had to be there.