Egypt

Obama Called Weak on Egypt Response

Trying to split the difference

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By canceling a military exercise with Egypt but not cutting off U.S. aid, President Barack Obama sought on Thursday to show his displeasure at the Egyptian army's violent crackdown on protesters—without totally alienating the generals.

Obama announced the move a day after at least 623 people were killed, according to Egypt's Health Ministry, as troops and police used force against protesters seeking the return of President Mohamed Morsi, who was toppled by the military on July 3.

Critics argued that Obama had done too little, too late and that his administration has repeatedly sent mixed messages—among them its failure to brand Morsi's ouster a military coup—thereby eroding its ability to influence events.