“I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family”
Since our Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program began almost 30 years ago, our strong military relationship has supported peace between Egypt and Israel and ensured critical Suez Canal and overflight access for U.S. military operations. The relationship, however, should now change to reflect new regional and transnational security threats…President Mubarak and military leaders view our military assistance program as the cornerstone of our mil-mil relationship and consider the USD 1.3 billion in annual FMF as “untouchable compensation” for making and maintaining peace with Israel. The tangible benefits to our mil-mil relationship are clear: Egypt remains at peace with Israel, and the U.S. military enjoys priority access to the Suez Canal and Egyptian airspace. We believe, however, that our relationship can accomplish much more. Over the last year, we have engaged MOD leaders on developing shared strategic objectives to address current and emerging threats, including border security, counter terrorism, civil defense, and peacekeeping. Our efforts thus far have met with limited success.
Democracy is mentioned briefly, at the end, to the effect that no progress is being made (“is being stymied,” in a strategic passive voice), because the government of Egypt is skeptical about the whole business. Oh well!