A year ago widespread street protests prompted Egypt’s military leaders to oust Hosni Mubarak from the presidency and set in motion a political transition that continues to unfold. Competing centers of power have emerged and the debate over reshaping Egypt’s political system continues at the ballot box and in street protests.
Egypt started renegotiating the basic framework of government, but this negotiation is likely to remain incomplete for years to come. End results probably won’t be clear until the end of this decade, but they will likely mean a major transformation inside of Egypt that will have spillover effects in the region.
As a result, U.S. policy on Egypt and the Middle East will need to make major changes as well. Further, the allegations and potential court cases involving more than a dozen American NGO workers in Egypt distract both countries from the enormous challenges Egypt faces. The United States needs to make a broader reassessment of its Egypt policy that’s not solely based on hot-button issues such as these. A wider reexamination is required.
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