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5. Egyptian F-16s
One of the most disturbing recent developments is the continued military support the Egyptian government is receiving from the U.S.
The Egyptian government will receive at least 20 F-16s as part of a 2010 $1 billion aid package in the middle of a constitutional crisis that has inspired protests similar to those of early 2011. Lt. Col. Wesley Miller defended the deal:
The delivery of the first set of F-16s in January 2013 reflects the U.S. commitment to supporting the Egyptian military's modernization efforts. Egyptian acquisition of F-16s will increase our militaries' interoperability, and enhance Egypt's capacity to contribute to regional mission sets.
The current deal is similar to deals the U.S. made with former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Indeed, the U.S. supplied many of the weapons used to intimidate and put down Egyptian protesters during the Arab Spring (including F-16s).
The results of the Arab Spring will not be known for some time. Protests against an authoritarian regime have resulted in a democratically elected president who grants himself extra powers and insists on a referendum on a constitution many say is too Islamist. U.S. officials should consider how many Egyptians will view a country that gives military support to the likes of Mubarak and Morsi. It should be considered a huge foreign policy blunder that the U.S. has not halted the sale of F-16s to Egypt or at least renegotiated the conditions of the deal.