Muslim Brotherhood inherits U.S. war gear

imagesCAP32439By Rowan Scarborough

For Egypt’s Muslim  Brotherhood-dominated government, more battle tanks and jet fighters are on  their way from the United States.

Cairo’s military link to Washington has remained intact, meaning the U.S.  will continue to modernize the biggest military in Africa – even as President Mohammed Morsi has decreed near-absolute power  for himself and his supporters and opponents battle outside his palace.

Analysts say Egypt’s military buildup presents  risks for Washington – and Israel – with the  growing influence of the Brotherhood, whose overriding goal  is to establish Shariah, or Islamic, law worldwide.

A Pentagon statement to The Washington Times  on Thursday said: “We are always reviewing our foreign assistance  to make sure  foreign assistance advances U.S. objectives and is being used for the right  purposes.”

For now, Egypt is due 200 M1A1 Abrams battle  tanks, the same mechanized firepower manned by American soldiers, bringing Egypt’s inventory to a robust 1,200.

Also in the pipeline is a squadron of the Air Force F-16 Falcon, a  multipurpose warplane able to dogfight and drop ordnance.

The government awarded Lockheed  Martin Corp. a contract in March 2010 for 20 F-16s, the last to be delivered  next year. That would increase Egypt’s total fleet  to 240, according to a company press release at the time.

Egypt has far and away the largest army in  Africa,” said Egypt analyst Robert  Springborg, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in  Monterey, Calif.

The billions of dollars in U.S. military aid – in annual $1.3 billion  stipends – have made the Egyptian air  force the fourth-largest F-16 operator among 25 countries. Egypt’s  4,000 tanks, including the 1,000 or so M1A1s, make it the world’s  seventh-largest tank army.

“This is a pretty substantial capacity that they have developed,” Mr.  Springborg said.

‘A top regional priority’

In Cairo, the Egyptian army sealed off  the president’s palace with M-60 tanks and barbed wire Thursday, a day after Morsi supporters and detractors clashed  outside the residence. At least six people were killed Wednesday.

What’s more, another member of Mr. Morsi’s  17-member advisory board resigned to protest his handling of the growing crisis  over his power grab and a controversial draft constitution approved by his  Islamist allies. So far, seven people have resigned from his advisory panel.

A referendum on the constitution is scheduled for Dec. 15, and the Muslim  Brotherhood is strongly advocating its ratification.

Meanwhile, Frank Gaffney, a senior  defense policymaker in the Reagan  administration, has been warning about the rise of the Brotherhood  as it relates to the U.S.

“My principal concern with the Obama  administration’s approach to Egypt is they seem  oblivious to the fact it is now in the hands of a regime that is deeply hostile  to the United States and certainly poses an immediate threat, I believe, to our  friends in Israel,” said Mr.  Gaffney, who runs the Center  for Security Policy. “Under those circumstances, it is alarming that they  are continuing to arm Egypt in a way that can only  exacerbate the threat.”

Mr. Morsi, a  Brotherhood leader before his election, relies on the global fraternity as a  power base.

“There are two things that are troubling,” Mr.  Gaffney said. “One is the sheer quantity of the weapons that these enemies  of the United States have inherited, let alone those they will be getting if we  continue to make arms sales with them. The second is the quality of these  weapons.”

A Pentagon spokesman told The Times that he  could provide no information about future arms shipments to the Morsi  administration. He provided a Pentagon  statement that said, in part:

Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East  and a longtime partner of the United States. Its well-being is important for the  region as a whole.  We have continued to rely on Egypt for more than 30 years to support and advance  U.S. interests in the region, including peace with Israel, confronting Iranian ambitions, and supporting  Iraq. Preserving peace in the Middle East is a top regional priority as we look  to support Egypt through its transition.”

Read more at Washington Times

One thought on “Muslim Brotherhood inherits U.S. war gear

  1. As the Obama regime dismantles the Defenses of the U.S. he builds the offensive capabilities of the Muslim Brotherhood, our enemies. This is like FDR dismantling WWII weapons and giving them to Hitler and Tojo. That makes a lot of sense to me…NOT!
    The President of the U.S. is a Muslim Brotherhood operative. Prove me wrong! Anybody! Prove me wrong!

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