How Egypt’s protesters will change US ties

Egypt’s popular uprising toppled the leader of the nation that is a
cornerstone of US policy in the Middle East, raising concerns that
America could lose its leverage with a key ally. The strength of
protests in Tahrir Square today, nearly six weeks after the revolution
began, demonstrates that popular pressure is likely to play a key role
in shaping the post-Mubarak era.

But while the new Egypt is likely to emerge as more independent and
willing to diverge from US wishes in certain areas, it will
simultaneously seek to maintain good ties with its American ally, say
analysts. Charting a more independent course could help Egypt
regain some of the regional clout it has lost over the past decades as
it stagnated, partly as a result of its support for US policies.

nature of the relationship is going to change, but we’re not talking
about a fundamental realignment in bilateral US-Egypt relations,” says
Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center. “The
focus is going to be on rebuilding Egypt, and US support and assistance
is going to be essential in that process. But it will take on a
different flavor.… It’s not going to be a patron-client relationship


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