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The Future of Egypt

9:14 AM, Feb 7, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Bob Kagan on Egypt in the Washington Post:

One wonders whether Egypt's current rulers and military leaders have asked themselves, after they finish bloodying the opposition, what's next? What circumstances will they find themselves in? In control of Egypt, yes. But it will be a very different Egypt - a pariah state.

For this much is certain: If Hosni Mubarak and his gang follow through with what is shaping up to be the 2011 Middle Eastern version of Tiananmen Square, not just the United States but most of the world will cut off and isolate them for as long as they remain in power.

Egypt is not China. It does not have a burgeoning economy with a billion people and a market that the world's business executives are desperate to exploit. It does not have enough oil, like Iran, to be sure of finding friends. Indeed, Egypt does not have enough of anything to make it vital to the world's economy. Perhaps Egypt's rulers delude themselves that the nation is strategically vital to the United States and the West and therefore can't be cut off for long. That could be a bad calculation. Will the United States and the West still regard Egypt as a strategic ally after the government's assault on its people foments ever greater radicalism within and beyond its borders? It could be that, by the time the Egyptian government finishes killing off its opponents, Egypt's strategic value will be greatly diminished.

Whole thing here.  

Jen Rubin writes about "Democracy in Egypt" here.

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