But Is It a Coup? Obama Reconsiders Military Aid to Egypt

U.S. Air Force Photo

AA Font size + Print

The Pentagon delays the shipment of F-16s to Egypt as Obama decides whether Morsi’s ouster was a military coup or not. By Stephanie Gaskell

When is a coup not a coup? Apparently President Barack Obama is still trying to figure that out. 

The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that it is delaying the shipment of several F-16 fighter jets to Egypt while the Obama administration tries to figure out whether the July 3 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi was in fact a military coup.

If it was a coup, military aid must halt, under U.S. law. That means an end to the $1.3 billion in aid that the U.S. sends to Egypt each year. But since Morsi’s swift removal from power by the Egyptian military, U.S. officials have been reluctant to call it a coup. And they’ve been reluctant to abandon the country, one of the most strategic and vital nations in the region to U.S. security.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that the decision to stop the delivery of the fighter jets was made by Obama himself. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi directly on Wednesday to deliver the news.

Just given the overall situation in Egypt right now we thought it prudent to make this decision,” Little said. “We remain committed to the U.S.-Egypt defense relationship as it remains a foundation of our broader strategic partnership with Egypt and serves as pillar for regional stability.”

Little said the Defense Department is going ahead with a long-standing military exercise with Egypt called Bright Star.

“Moving forward, everything that we do and say will continue to be focused on hastening Egypt’s return to a democratically elected government as soon as possible,” Little said.

Just not with the help of American F-16s.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • GBC Issue Brief: Supply Chain Insecurity

    Federal organizations rely on state-of-the-art IT tools and systems to deliver services efficiently and effectively, and it takes a vast ecosystem of organizations, individuals, information, and resources to successfully deliver these products. This issue brief discusses the current threats to the vulnerable supply chain - and how agencies can prevent these threats to produce a more secure IT supply chain process.

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.