RELEASE: CAP Report Calls for Egypt and the United States to Make a Major Course Correction in Bilateral Relations
Washington, D.C. — Four years after Egypt’s revolution, the region’s most populous country represents a central test in the broader battle for stability and progress in the Middle East. The bilateral relationship between the United States and Egypt has drifted apart. The two countries should use the proposed strategic dialogue this year to reflect on the lessons learned from the past four years of transitions in Egypt and to apply those lessons to broaden relations, says a report released today by the Center for American Progress.
“At a time when Iran nuclear negotiations and the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham have dominated U.S. Middle East policy, Egypt should remain a top priority. But both the United States and Egypt cannot afford simply to go back to the old way of doing business,” said Brian Katulis, CAP Senior Fellow. “The two countries should work together to establish a broader framework for cooperation on the economic, political, and security fronts that more effectively addresses the roots of instability and extremism.”
Based on field research in Egypt, the report analyzes the recent security, political, and economic trends in the country. “The challenges of violent extremism in Egypt today require a balanced and sophisticated approach—one that modernizes Egypt’s security institutions but also links reforms to a more positive path for political and economic reforms,” said Mokhtar Awad, Research Associate with the National Security and International Policy team at CAP. “The current environment in Egypt is helping breed a new generation of jihadists and extremists.”
Among the recommendations made in the report are:
- Comprehensive security-sector reform to help Egypt meet the evolving threat of militant terrorist groups
- An open dialogue to counter violent extremism with political and economic reforms focused on pluralism and basic rights
- A new framework for economic reform that helps transition Egypt’s economy away from decades of donor dependency and crony capitalism
The report was released at an event hosted by CAP and The Century Foundation. The event featured a keynote address by retired U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis—former commander of the U.S. Central Command—and two panels of experts discussing the future of the nation four years after its revolution.