Egypt looking towards Russia for Defense and Weapons purchase

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by rock127, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    DFI Folks...

    Egypt seems to be turning towards Russia for Defense procurement and Saudis+UAE interested in financing the deals between Russia and Egypt. :hmm:

    Let's discuss this since Egypt had bulk of stuff from US till now.Egypt has about 82 Million population and 500,000 troops and 10th in the world on troop strength, thus a strong player in Middle-East.

    I would be posting more news regarding this and below is a cartoon on this situation to start with.

    Feel free to comment on the topic and post related news.

    [​IMG]

    @Abhijat @A chauhan @Alien @alphacentury @Ancient Indian @anupamsurey @blueblood @brational @Bangalorean @Blackwater @bose @cobra commando @DingDong @DFI_COAS @ersakthivel @gpawar @hit&run @jackprince @Kharavela @Illusive @I_PLAY_BAD @LETHALFORCE @Lions Of Punjab @maomao @Mad Indian @OneGrimPilgrim @Peter @pmaitra @Razor @raja696 @Rowdy @Sakal Gharelu Ustad @sydsnyper @Srinivas_K @Screambowl @sorcerer @Simple_Guy @Sylex21 @wickedone @tarunraju @TrueSpirit2 @thethinker @VIP @Vishwarupa @VIP @Varahamihira @roma

    @Cadian @Akim
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
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  3. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Egypt's Arms Deal with Russia: Potential Strategic Costs


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    Cairo's possible purchase of advanced weapons systems from Russia could become another irritant in U.S.-Egyptian relations.As the crisis in Ukraine enters its second week, Egyptians are contrasting Washington's support for the popular revolt that toppled President Viktor Yanukovych with U.S. criticism of last year's coup in Cairo. The prevailing sentiment -- reflected in the op-eds of Egypt's leading dailies -- is that America is inconsistent and unreliable.

    Last month, this same mistrust of Washington prompted Egyptian military leader Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to choose Russia as the destination of his first visit to a non-Arab country since the July removal of Islamist president Muhammad Morsi. In the wake of that coup, the United States suspended the transfer of some weapons systems to Egypt, spurring Sisi to seek Moscow's help in diversifying the country's sources of military procurement.According to various reports, he inked deals to purchase $2 billion worth of weapons from Russia during the February 12-13 visit. Going forward, those arms sales could erode Israel's qualitative military edge and become yet another irritant in the U.S.-Egyptian relationship.

    BACKGROUND
    Since 1979, the United States has provided Egypt with nearly $70 billion in funding, more than half of which has gone to purchase American-made military equipment. At $1.3 billion per year, U.S. security-assistance grants account for 80 percent of the Egyptian military's annual procurement budget.In addition to standardizing Cairo's arsenal and enhancing interoperability with U.S. forces, the arms sales give Washington a small degree of policy leverage with -- and insight into -- Egypt's most important and notoriously opaque institution.


    At first glance, Cairo's purchase of Russian weapons would seem unnecessary and perhaps risky given America's ongoing financial commitments to Egypt, which have endured since the 1978 Camp David Accords. Yet Washington's post-coup limitations on several key military systems raised the need to seek a supplemental vendor. Among other systems, the Obama administration has put an indefinite hold on the handover of four F-16s, five Harpoon ship-to-ship missile systems, dozens of M1A1 tank kits slated to be assembled in Egypt, and -- most significantly -- ten Apache attack helicopters.


    FOCUS ON HELICOPTERS
    For Egypt, which is facing a burgeoning Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula, obtaining additional Apaches is critical. The American helicopters appear to be Cairo's platform of choice in its Sinai counterterrorism campaign, but availability may be a problem. Routine maintenance schedules typically ground more than a third of its existing force of thirty-five Apaches. Complicating matters, Egyptian defense sources note that State Department travel warnings and the sporadic and temporary evacuations of "nonessential" U.S. personnel from Egypt over the past three years have interrupted the crucial ongoing maintenance provided by American contractors.

    Details of the February deals with Moscow have not yet been confirmed, but Egyptian press reports indicate that Russian Rostvertol Mi-35 attack helicopters and/or Mi-17 multipurpose helicopters are part of the package. Egypt already has nearly 100 of these aircraft and the older Soviet-era Mi-8 helicopters, which have troop-transport, cargo, signals-intelligence, and attack variants, the latter equipped with 23 mm guns and the capacity to carry 500 kg bombs and antitank guided missiles. Some of these systems are operating in Sinai; in late January, for example, Islamist militants used a man-portable air-defense missile (MANPAD) to shoot down an Mi-17 reportedly on a reconnaissance mission over the peninsula, killing five Egyptian soldiers.

    MORE CONTROVERSIAL PROCUREMENTS
    Neither Washington nor Israel would likely take issue with the transfer of additional Russian helicopters, since there is broad consensus that Egypt's Sinai counterterror effort might benefit from more such equipment. Yet other items on Egypt's apparent shopping list are more controversial.For example, Cairo is reportedly seeking air-defense systems from Moscow -- potentially including advanced S-300 missiles-- as well as MiG fighter jets and Kornet antitank weapons.


    For years, Washington and Israel have successfully pressured Russia not to transfer the S-300 to Iran, fearing its advanced capabilities might preclude a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear weapons facilities. And in the 2006 Lebanon war, Hezbollah employed Syrian-donated Kornets to great effect against Israeli armor. Clearly, Egypt does not constitute the type of threat represented by Iran and Hezbollah -- Cairo has honored its commitment to peace with Israel for more than three decades. Still, if these platforms are transferred to Egypt, they would degrade Israel's qualitative military edge. And given Egypt's ignominious record of violating the U.S. Arms Control Export Act, the idea that Russian MiG technicians might be co-located at bases with U.S.-made F16s does not inspire confidence.

    Another concern is Saudi Arabia's increasing willingness to use its largesse to signal displeasure with Washington. Along with the United Arab Emirates, Riyadh is underwriting Egypt's purchase of Russian munitions. This contribution follows the kingdom's December announcement that it would provide the Lebanese Armed Forces -- most of whose procurement budget was previously underwritten by Washington -- with $3 billion to acquire French weapons. Riyadh's decision to fund $5 billion in Russian and French weapons for traditional U.S. clients is an unmistakable sign of Saudi discontent with U.S. policy on sensitive regional issues, particularly Iran, Syria, and Egypt. Continued U.S.-Saudi discord may enable Cairo to procure unprecedented, highly advanced, and controversial weapons systems despite objections from Washington and Israel.


    THE VIEW FROM EGYPT
    Egyptian political and military leaders insist that they have no interest in downgrading relations with Washington, and they acknowledge that Egypt cannot immediately replace its reliance on U.S. weapons even if they were so inclined. But the Egyptian media reaction to Sisi's Moscow trip suggests that Cairo has strong support for diversifying its weapons suppliers.Washington's rather limited criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood during its year in power, as well as the intensifying swirl of conspiracy theories about the U.S. role in Egypt, have fostered a severely anti-American political atmosphere that may welcome a shift away from Washington. Moreover, Russian president Vladimir Putin's apparent endorsement of a prospective Sisi presidency has fueled popular enthusiasm for stronger relations with Moscow, particularly among the critical mass of Egyptians who supported the July coup. In some quarters, Sisi's outreach to Russia has been favorably compared to former president Gamal Abdul Nasser's pivot toward the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Indeed, the Egyptian news portal al-Youm al-Sabaa characterized the Russian arms sale as a "rebalancing" of international relations and a "revolution against Washington's policies."


    Beyond such populist sentiment, however, some Egyptian analysts view a tilt toward Russia -- even if gradual -- as a reflection of their country's strategic interests. For example, former Egyptian ambassador to Russia and ubiquitous media figure Raouf Saad has argued that the two governments share a common view of terrorism, and that Moscow's close relationship with Ethiopia will help Cairo address concerns regarding the construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Nile.Egyptian military officials have also noted that Russia's absence of conditions on weapons sales makes it a more reliable partner than Washington, which has withheld weapons pending political reform.Still, these and other officials largely believe that a continued relationship with the United States -- notwithstanding its recent hiccups -- remains in Egypt's strategic interest, and they do not advocate a complete shift away from Washington.


    CONCLUSION
    Despite reassurances from Egyptian officials, the Russian weapons deal -- if concluded -- portends a gradual reduction in Washington's ability to control the quality and quantity of weapons that Cairo receives, and to maintain Israel's qualitative military edge in the region. If Egypt does in fact intend to procure game-changing systems such as the S-300 and the Kornet, Washington should warn Cairo of the risks such an acquisition would pose to U.S. security assistance and the broader bilateral relationship. To be sure, the strategic cooperation and level of trust between Israel and Egypt, particularly on Sinai, has never been better. But changing the status quo could undermine that trust and perhaps even the Camp David peace treaty.

    Moreover, Saudi funding of Egyptian weapons procurements has nullified Washington's policy of tying military aid to political reform. In any event, given that Egypt's current leadership views the conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood and the burgeoning jihadist insurgency in Sinai as existential threats, U.S. efforts to leverage weapons sales for more inclusive governance are unlikely to succeed.While the Obama administration is correct in criticizing Cairo's repressive policies, continuing to withhold military aid will not produce democracy in Egypt, and may carry short-term costs for some of Washington's strategic interests.


    David Schenker is the Aufzien Fellow and director of the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute. Eric Trager is the Institute's Wagner Fellow.
     
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  4. rock127

    rock127 Maulana Rockullah Senior Member

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    Iran, Syria and Egypt Take Their Cues From Russia?

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Egypt's Field Marshal , Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi in Moscow.
    February 13, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Mikhail Metzel)


    One of the ugly consequences of Vladimir Putin’s Crimean land grab and the subsequent reaction in the United States and Western Europe is that the chilled relations across the divide could have a dramatic impact on conflicts and controversies in Iran, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    In the United States, it may seem that Russia’s actions will make Putin and Co. pariahs in the rest of the world, but among the strongmen and tough guys of the Middle East, that might not be the case. A Middle East diplomat told The Nation recently that during a visit last summer to Russia by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi spy chief, told Putin that Saudi Arabia would consider financing arms purchases by Egypt from Russia. Then, in February, Egypt’s ruler and all-but-assured next president, Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the defense chief who seized power in a coup d’etat last July, reportedly secured a $3 billion arms deal with Russia that could be the first step toward easing the United States out of Egypt’s military market.

    In Syria, meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad’s Russian-backed government is no doubt embolded by Russia’s muscle-flexing, and it’s likely that Russia will double down on supporting Assad’s military, which has already been making major gains in the civil war against a rag-tag, mostly Islamist opposition.
     
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  5. I_PLAY_BAD

    I_PLAY_BAD Regular Member

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    From what I see Russia is really using its diplomatic clout and super power status to revive its domestic economy which it did not do for quiet a while after the cold war ended which gave the USA a lot of breathing space to maximize its dominance. That is the actual reason USA was able to rise to No. 1 position in global politics.

    This development reassures we still have chances of a cold war-II. If at all it happens it will be far more different and one-sided than cold war-I with the current international politics being much different than it was 30 years back. Developing powerful countries like China, India, South Africa, Brazil will play major roles in this as bigger powers will try to pull these countries on their side.

    Russia has really started to play into the business of US which is indirectly good for India. Why ?
    If USA loses customers like Egypt India might gain from it as USA will not be interested to lose a potential big customer such as India. Time for some hard bargaining.
     
  6. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

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