As Egypt approaches its upcoming presidential election this month, its allies and critics have largely reconciled themselves to the inevitable re-election of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. The regime has aggressively culled the field of potential competitors through intimidation, harassment, prosecution and detention.
The real struggle for Egypt’s fate will come after the election, when the regime will seek to amend the constitution to extend presidential terms and abolish term limits.
This could present an important opportunity for Egyptian political actors and civil society to focus attention, build alliances and begin the longer-term process of laying the groundwork to restore civilian-led politics.… Seguir leyendo »
Egypt is now set to enter arguably its first period of Islamist rule. How long that period lasts and what form it takes is far from determined, a situation highlighted by the protests and violence in Cairo last week. If all goes according to plan — a big “if” in Egypt — Egyptians who believe in a democratic, civil state theoretically have the remainder of President Mohamed Morsi’s term of office to get their collective act together.
But practically speaking, the short-term political calendar will not allow them such a lengthy reprieve, with the likelihood of new parliamentary elections in the coming months and the current debate over a new constitution.… Seguir leyendo »
The fate of one man can sometimes clarify the deepest flaws of a government and of the society it rules. Today in Egypt, on the anniversary of its uprising against Hosni Mubarak, that man is Maikel Nabil Sanad.
Mr. Nabil spent much of the last year in a tiny, fetid cell in El Marg Prison in Cairo, where he went on a hunger strike. He was removed, under guard, to a hospital on New Year’s Day to recuperate. Last week he was pardoned and yesterday he was released. But his fight — and his troubles — are probably not over.
What he has endured already illustrates not just the repressive practices of Egypt’s interim military rulers.… Seguir leyendo »
As President Obama’s July deadline to begin drawing down troops from Afghanistan approaches, the debate in Washington is focused almost exclusively on how rapidly the U.S. military presence should be reduced. But the emphasis on troop levels ignores the more important question of what the administration’s political strategy should be for ending the war.
There is no question that the U.S. must leave Afghanistan eventually. But withdrawal must be done in a way that prevents chaos and ensures that America’s interests in the region are protected. Current U.S. military tactics, however, are often operating at cross-purposes to the establishment of an effective political strategy for ending the war — a political strategy that to date has been poorly constructed.… Seguir leyendo »