Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia.
One year after mass protests toppled Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is heading in an illiberal, anti-Western direction. The ruling military council has employed deadly force against protestors, subjected thousands of civilians to military trials, raided pro-democracy NGOs, encouraged xenophobia through state-run media, and placed travel bans on American democracy workers. The sweeping Islamist victory in the recent parliamentary elections will likely exacerbate this disturbing trend, given the Muslim Brotherhood's theocratic domestic agenda and hostile foreign policy outlook.
Lacking reliable partners in the new Egypt, Washington will need to adjust its approach accordingly, emphasizing clear red lines, focusing on a narrowing set of common interests, and using fiscal and diplomatic leverage when necessary.
Eric Trager, The Washington Institute's Ira Weiner fellow, is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is writing his dissertation on Egyptian opposition parties.