"America has no permanent friends or enemies," Henry Kissinger famously remarked, "only interests."
Super-K was paraphrasing Lord Palmerston who long before Nixon's foreign policy guru spoke had proclaimed that "Britain had no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies, only interest that were eternal and perpetual."
Bismarck must have said something similar. And Disraeli. And Napoleon. And Caesar. And probably Alexander and everyone else remotely successful at building and maintaining world power if only for a period of time.
Which brings us to Egypt and General Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi, for the time being --and probably for the next many decades-- the number one guy in Egypt. He is the 58-year old Defense Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.
[Sisi] graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977. He attended the following courses:
•Mohammed Ragab Command and Staff Course, Egyptian Command and Staff College, 1987
•General Command and Staff Course, Joint Command and Staff College, United Kingdom, 1992
•War Course, Fellowship of the Higher War College, Nasser's Military Sciences Academy, Egypt, 2003
•War Course, US Army War College, United States, 2006
•Egyptian Military Attaché in Riyadh, KSA
•Infantry Course, USA.
Smarter than your average bear, then, and well acquainted with numerous military men and women in the west generally and the U.S. specifically.
Now ousted former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was also educated in the U.S.. obtaining a PhD even from the University of Southern California. Morsi was even a professor at Cal State Northridge, and returned top a quarter-century academic career in Egypt before his plunge into politics.
Morsi, though, is a member of the Muslim brotherhood, the radical nature of which is detailed in Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize winning The Looming Tower, and Sisi is a military man. Both are Muslims, but both have very different world views.
Most Americans look at Egypt and see a partner in the Camp David accords, the protector of the Suez Canal, and one of the three keys to regional stability along with Saudi Arabia and Israel.
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