Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Will the US Involve its Military in Egypt?

Egyptian daily 'Al Masry al Youm' is reporting on a subtle hint from US Central Command Chief, General James Mattis:

The United States would respond "diplomatically, economically, militarily" to any closure of the Suez Canal, although such an event seems inconceivable, the head of US Central Command said on Tuesday. 
General James Mattis, who oversees US military operations in an area stretching from Egypt to Pakistan, also said the US had no plans to order its military forces into the region because of instability in North Africa.
"When you look at the fiscal impact of that [closing the Suez canal] on whoever is in a position of authority in Egypt, I just can't imagine the motive to shut that down," Mattis said at a London event hosted by the Policy Exchange think tank.
He had been asked if the US would be prepared to act if there were any disruptions to the key shipping channel because of mass protests in Egypt against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.
"Were it to happen, obviously we would have to deal with it diplomatically, economically, militarily, whatever, but that to me is hypothetical and I would defer to the political leaders," he said.
I wonder whether this a subtle warning to Mubarak to not rock the boat at this time. It could also be a subtle hint to whomever is going to end up in charge.


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