Aug. 17, 2013
Although Washington claims that suspending the 1.3-billion-dollar annual aid will destabilize the North African country, “There is perhaps a more significant – but undisclosed – reason for sustaining military aid flows to Egypt: protecting U.S. defense contractors,” said a Friday report carried by the Inter Press Service.
“Virtually all – or an overwhelming proportion – of the 1.3 billion dollars granted under Foreign Military Financing (FMF) is plowed back into the US economy, specifically into the US defense industry,” it added.
The United States has shown no sign to stop its annual aid to Egypt’s military as the latest figures show over 600 people have died in the recent fatal crackdown by Egyptian security forces on the supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Over the past 30 years, the bulk of the roughly USD 40 billion US military aid to Egypt has “gone straight into the coffers of US weapons makers,” the report quoted William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy (CIP), as saying.
According to the report, the sophisticated weapons systems already purchased by Egypt include F-16 fighter planes, E2-C Hawkeye reconnaissance aircraft, Apache and Sikorsky helicopters, C-130 transports, Sidewinder, Sparrow, Improved-Hawk and Hellfire missiles, M-1A1 Abrams and M60A1 battle tanks, and M113A2 armored personnel carriers.
Major US defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Boeing, Sikorsky, General Dynamics, United Defense and Raytheon, are among the companies which have delivered or will deliver the weapons to Egypt, the report read.
The report cited political analyst Jacob Chamberlain as saying that although the Congress allocates the hefty military aid to Egypt on an annual basis, “That money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to US military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.”
On Friday, tens of thousands of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood activists and their supporters across the country took part in what the party called the “Day of Rage” against the army and its handpicked government.
On Friday, security forces and opponents of the Brotherhood opened fire on pro-Morsi supporters, leaving more than 100 people dead and hundreds more injured across the country.
The carnage followed Wednesday’s bloodshed when Egyptian security forces killed almost 640 people during a crackdown on two pro-Morsi camps– one near the Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City and a another one in Nahda Square in Giza.
Egypt has been the scene of massive protests since July 3, when army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi removed Morsi from office, suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.