Jackson Diehl writes: This month, the United States delivered the first batch of 762 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to Egypt free of charge. That’s on top of the $1.3 billion in military aid the Obama administration has allocated to the regime of Abdel Fatah al-Sissi this year. The White House refuses to condition these gifts on an improvement in Egypt’s horrendous human rights record. So herewith a more modest proposal: Obama should ask Sissi to publicly explain how the MRAPs fit into the “fourth-generation war.”
Most people are unfamiliar with that esoteric term — unless they have been following the rhetoric of Egypt’s military leaders since the coup of 2013. Fourth-generation warfare, Sissi once explained to cadets at Egypt’s military academy, occurs when “modern communication channels, psychology and the media are . . . deployed to create divisions and harm Egypt from within,” according to the website Mada Masr.
Who is the enemy in this war? According to the Egyptian military, that would be the United States — the same country providing the army with those free armored vehicles and billions in aid. In March, the Defense Ministry’s Nasser Military Academy briefed the parliament about fourth-generation warfare. According to the outline, reported by Mada Masr, the subjects included “Egypt’s defense strategy and Western plans to divide the Middle East.” [Continue reading…]