Next moves in Egypt

The military calls the shots, and the U.S. funds the military. That means we have leverage.

I don’t have any more idea than anyone else does what Mubarak meant by his speech; perhaps it was just a bargaining ploy, where the stakes are where he lives in exile and how much of the swag he and his family get to keep.

But as far as I understand the situation, the two key facts are that:

1. Whatever the Egyptian constitution says on paper, as a practical matter the President of Egypt serves at the pleasure of the military.

2. Under the Egypt-Israel peace deal, the Egyptian military is heavily funded by the U.S. Treasury. The generals really need to keep that money flowing.

So the U.S. is not at all helpless. The Administration seems to have chosen to side with (apparently overwhelmingly popular) uprising. So I’m still short Mubarak futures.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

4 thoughts on “Next moves in Egypt”

  1. So I’m still short Mubarak futures.

    Mark, you are out a short way on a heavy oak limb here…
    If there ever was such a thing as a lame duck dictator, this is it…

  2. And of course there was the tremendous celebration at CPAC 2011 in DC where all the big potential GOP presidential candidates for 2012 were falling all over themselves talking nonstop about the excitement of seeing the Egyptian people rising up and demanding their freedom. The teabaggers jumping up and down chattering about how we need to stand in solidarity with the people in Tahrir Square, with whom they feel such an affinity and kinship. All that champaigne flowing, people embracing and dancing, overjoyed at the sight of freedom taking root in a land so long under the thumb of a tyrant.

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