Report: Obama Expected to Significantly Cut Military Aid to Egypt

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 8 2013 8:28 PM

Report: Obama Expected to Significantly Cut Military Aid to Egypt

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Tires burn as Egyptian Muslim brotherhood and supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi take part in clashes with riot police along Ramsis street in downtown Cairo, on October 6, 2013.

Photo by MOHAMMED ABDEL MONEIM/AFP/Getty Images

UPDATE: According to the New York Times, the United States won't be cutting off all military aid to Egypt, only a "substantial" part of it. The official announcement, set for later this week or early next, "will hold up the delivery of several types of military hardware to the Egyptian military, these officials said, including tanks, helicopters and fighter jets." It will not, however, impact aid for counterterrorism operations or for border security issues involving the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza.

Original Post: The U.S. will cut off military aid to Egypt following the July coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, CNN reports.

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In the wake of the bloody ouster of Morsi and violence in the aftermath of the overthrow, there was much hand wringing in Washington over what exactly to call the change in power because, as the New York Times reported at the time, “under United States law it has no choice but to cut off financial assistance to the country if it determines that he was deposed in a military coup.” The stakes were, and continue to be high both politically and economically. Since 1979, Egypt ranks second, trailing only Israel, in American aid and Obama’s budget for this fiscal year amounted to $1.55 billion for Egypt, with $1.3 billion for the military and $250 million for economic aid, according to the Times.

The Obama administration has already withheld, or put on hold, several parts of Egypt’s aid package in August. But an official tells CNN “the full suspension” comes after the “accumulation of events,” including an uptick in violence against protestors over the weekend. The full suspension will formally go into effect “in the coming days,” according to CNN.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.