The terrorist violence that killed at least 33 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula last week was the latest in a string of attacks aimed at destabilizing the country. Egypt is too big to fail. If it experienced the sort of collapse other countries in the region have witnessed, the consequences for global security would be devastating. There are no easy answers to how Egypt can succeed amid its enormous security, political, economic, and social pressures. But it must remain high on the U.S. policy agenda.
For decades the U.S.-Egypt relationship centered on ensuring the endurance of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. But with Egypt’s leaders touting their close ties to Israel, it’s time for a broader strategy.
Helping Egypt address its many challenges–particularly when Washington is dealing with threats from Islamic State (ISIS) and nuclear talks with Iran–requires greater dexterity than the U.S. has demonstrated since the start of the Arab uprisings. It also requires Washington and Cairo to have a more honest conversation.
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Former Senior Fellow