Egyptian military’s uncertain role could decide Mubarak’s fate

(By Deutsche Welle) President Hosni Mubarak deployed the military to intimidate protestors. But it remains unclear whether the military will side with the regime or the uprising. Will Washington use its influence in Cairo to tip the scale?

As the protests in Egypt begin to look increasingly like a revolution, President Hosni Mubarak’s government has deployed the military to Cairo in a bid to intimidate a population now calling for his resignation. Where the military’s loyalty really lies is an open question that could decide the fate of Mubarak’s regime.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has called for calm and asked for the demands of the protestors to be addressed. Yet Egypt is one of the largest recipients of US military aid, second only to Israel. The Egyptian security apparatus is bankrolled by Washington to an annual sum of $1.3 billion (0.9 billion euros).

At least 38 Egyptians have already lost their lives in the violence. In response, the Obama administration has announced that future military aid to Cairo will be subject to how Mubarak’s regime treats the protestors. Will Washington use its influence to push Mubarak toward greater concessions?

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