… After her meeting with President Morsi, Clinton, who had just issued a waiver for U.S. military aid to the Egyptian military from the congressional certification of a genuine democratic transfer of power to civilian rule, met with the head of SCAF, Tantawi. During her meeting with the military chief, she promised to maintain the $1.3 billion annual military subsidy and offered another $1 billion aid package that Obama promised last year. But apparently Clinton’s open prodding of the military to hand over power to civilians fell on deaf ears. After his meeting with Clinton, Tantawi addressed an all-military audience in a transfer of power ceremony for Egypt’s second army. He defiantly stated that Egypt’s military would not allow one group to rule over Egypt, in a direct reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The following day, Clinton left for Israel to brief its nervous leaders on her Cairo talks.
Danny Ayalon, the Israeli deputy foreign minister, told Israel Radio, “She is bringing a very calming message. By their (the U.S.) reckoning as well, Egypt’s agenda, and certainly President Morsi’s agenda, will be a domestic agenda.” He continued, “There is no change (on Egypt’s commitment to the peace treaty) and I surmise there will not be in the foreseeable future.”
But the real test of Morsi’s policy with regard to American and Israeli dictates might be in fulfilling his campaign promise to lift the siege on Gaza. According to Israeli sources Clinton extracted a promise from him during her recent visit to maintain the blockade, while Hamas leaders assured the people of Gaza that their suffering would soon come to an end.
In this high stakes of international power play the U.S. strategy in the region is to prefer a managed transition to civilian rule and democratic governance as long as the American major strategic objectives are not challenged. In short, the strategy is to give the Islamic rising powers a chance to govern as long as they agree to: keep the Americans in, the Chinese and Russians out, the Iranians down, and the Israelis safe.
Time will only tell if the Islamic group would fulfill such expectations or chart a more independent course in line with the objectives of the revolution that brought them to power.