Some critics are suggesting that America should cut its foreign aid programme to Egypt, which, so it is argued, is only given in order to encourage her to maintain her peace agreement with Israel. Reports show that Egypt was allocated some $1.55b under the United States Foreign Aid programme in 2010.
While it is popular in some quarters to lay the blame at Israel’s door for American tax dollars being sent to Egypt, documents released by WikiLeaks tell a different story.
In March 2009, United States Ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, is reported to have written to General Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force:
“General Schwartz, welcome to Egypt. Since our Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program began almost 30 years ago, our strong military relationship has supported peace between Egypt and Israel and ensured critical Suez Canal and overflight access for U.S. military operations.
“Egypt could play a more active and influential role in regional security issues, including supporting and training the Iraqi military, deploying more peacekeeping troops to Sudan, joining neighbors in combating piracy, and stemming the flow of illegal migration.”
America’s desire to bring stability to Egypt is not only motivated by a wish to ensure that the peace treaty with Israel is maintained, but also, and no less importantly, by its own strategic interests in the region.