The New York Times reports: Brazen attempts by Egypt’s interim military rulers to hold on to power long after elections have elicited a sharp reaction domestically and for the first time have prompted Washington to warn about the potential for new unrest.
After months of mixing gentle pressure with broad support for the ruling military council, the Obama administration has sharpened its tone, senior administration officials say, expressing concern that the failure to move to civilian control could undermine the defining revolt of the Arab Spring.
The shift in tone is part of a difficult balancing act for Washington, which is keen to preserve its ties to the military and its interests in the region, chiefly Egypt’s role in maintaining peace with Israel. But Washington also hopes to win favor with Egypt’s newly empowered political opposition while avoiding the appearance of endorsing the military’s stalled transition to democracy. All things considered, some here have suggested, the change in tone may be intended to placate Egyptian public opinion rather than actually press the military to give up power.