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July 08, 2013

White House Moves to 'Hands-On' Approach on Egypt

First Read: "As the news out of Egypt gets worse -- 42 were killed and 322 were injured after the Egyptian military fired on Muslim Brotherhood supporters -- one thing is certain: Expect the Obama administration will take a more hands-on approach to dealing with the political unrest there. This includes creating incentives for Egypt to get this right this time, getting Morsi released from his house arrest, having a more inclusive government, and propping up governing institutions. The White House realizes that if you can't get a country like Egypt right, then it seems impossible to get stability in more problematic Middle East countries such as Syria."

"If there was a regret from the last round of Egyptian unrest, it was the decision to stay more hands off during the transition to democracy. As involved as the president was in helping escort Mubarak out of office, there was a hesitancy -- understandable to many -- of being very involved with the new government. After all, American involvement is a double-edged sword in these countries; no one can be successful in Egypt if they are seen as an American puppet. But at the same time, the Obama administration now realizes it needs to use its influence more than it did the last time. And make no mistake, the U.S. does have influence here; it's just not clear how to use it. But it all starts with getting Morsi released."


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