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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Egypt wants to remilitarize Sinai

There are a lot of reasons why Egypt wants to 'amend' its peace treaty with Israel. But the biggest one just might be that it wants to remilitarize the Sinai to prepare for an attack.
But since Hamas rarely needs an excuse to attack Israel, the more interesting question is why Egypt permitted the attack. And “permit” seems to be the operative word: The attack took place in broad daylight right in front of an Egyptian army outpost (thus surprising Israel despite intelligence warnings, as it expected the attack to hit an unguarded part of the border), and even when the ensuing firefight moved into Egyptian territory, Israeli news reports offer no indication that Israeli forces ever saw any Egyptian troops in action; they merely note that Egypt later claimed its soldiers had killed two terrorists.

One possible answer, of course, is simple incompetence, which is worrying enough: If Egypt can’t maintain security in Sinai, Israel will have to vastly increase its own troop presence along the border. A more worrying possibility is that the new government, beset by growing domestic unrest, has decided to distract its citizens’ attention by permitting anti-Israel terror from Sinai – which would presumably be popular, given Egyptians’ widespread loathing for Israel (around 90% consistently view Israel as an “enemy” or a “threat”). But there’s a third, equally worrying possibility: This is a deliberate Egyptian tactic aimed at pressuring Israel to annul the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty’s central provision — the demilitarization of Sinai.

Read the whole thing. There's little doubt that Egypt wants to remilitarize the Sinai. I don't believe that they would go to war immediately, but making Israel commit more troops to defend that border would make the entire country a lot more vulnerable than it is today. And that's without the Muslim Brotherhood in power....

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At 4:52 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

The thing to keep in mind re Egypt "remilitarizing" Sinai is that Egypt is not Hamas. Hamas is like murderous keystone cops. Even Hezbollah seems somewhat that way. But EGYPT... Egypt has been getting just as much $$ military aid as Israel has every year for a long time. Their military people have been given training with the U.S. military all over the U.S. They have fighter jets. They have new stuff. One thing Americans paying attention and Israel will have to start talking about is the U.S. being accountable for their Frankenstein creation. Best would be that they confiscate the equipment and do sanctions if the Muslim Bros try to tear up the treaty and send the military against Israel.

At 5:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel allowed a partial remilitarization because a lawless Sinai poses a danger to Israel. The Egyptian self-interest is to keep it out of the hands of factions hostile to Cairo's military regime.

The downside is there is no guarantee a future Egyptian elected government will see things the same way.

What could go wrong indeed


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