With Friends like Egypt

The United States is going ahead with plans to deliver 20 advanced-model F-16s to Egypt despite concerns in some circles that the Middle East country is slipping toward Islamist dictatorship, reported UPI. The first four of these F-16s—made possible through US foreign aid—are slated to arrive in Egypt next month, noted the Dec. 11 report. “The Obama Administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the President cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.). The United States agreed to the F-16 sale prior to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster by revolutionaries in February 2011. Since assuming office, Egypt’s newly elected President Mohammed Morsi has made a series of declarations seizing increasing power, despite the protest of Egypt’s legislative and judicial branches. By continuing military aid, the Obama Administration is attempting to retain influence with the Egyptians, according to UPI. Egypt already operates a large force of F-16s.