U.S. plans to curb military aid to Egypt

The Washington Post reports: The Obama administration will announce curbs on a significant part of nonessential military aid to Egypt within a few days, U.S. officials said Tuesday, marking a shift in America’s relations with one of its key Arab allies.

Officials would not provide figures about how much of the annual $1.2 billion in military aid would be withheld, but they said the primary focus will be a hold on the shipment of a dozen AH-64D Apache helicopters from an order placed four years ago.

Provision of crucial spare parts for the extensive U.S. military equipment that Egypt already has and training for the country’s armed forces will continue, officials said. They said aid that supports counterterrorism initiatives and Egypt’s relations with Israel, including security efforts in the Sinai Peninsula and monitoring along the border with the Gaza Strip, would also continue.

U.S. officials described the decision — which comes three months after a military coup toppled Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president — on the condition of anonymity. Neither Congress nor Egyptian officials have been notified of the decision, and the announcement could be postponed. [Continue reading…]

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