Despite the ongoing leadership strife in Egypt, the U.S. has moved ahead with the delivery of four fast missile craft (FMC), Pentagon officials told USNI News on Wednesday. Read More
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a Thursday statement implying it would look to countries other than the U.S. for military hardware. Read More
An Islamist terror group has taken responsibility for a Saturday rocket propelled grenade (RPG) attack on a merchant ship transiting the Suez Canal, USNI News has learned.
A video posted on YouTube Wednesday — alleged to have been issued by the group Al-Furqan along with a letter of responsibility — show two men with rocket propelled grenades fire at least one RPG round into the side of a cargo ship bearing the markings of the Chinese merchant shipper Cosco. Read More
From the Aug. 19, 2013 Congressional Research Service Report:
This report provides a brief overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt. U.S. policy makers are now grappling with complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations, particularly in light of the growing unrest and violence currently unfolding. These debates are shaping consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation and congressional oversight options in the 113th Congress. Read More
If Egypt’s Suez Canal is closed to commerce, an Arctic trade route to move goods between the Pacific to the Atlantic could become a popular option, according to a Wednesday report from the international shipping magazine Fairplay. Read More
Almost half a billion dollars in 2013 military aid to Egypt has been quietly suspended pending the outcome of the current unrest in the country, staff with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee responsible for foreign aid, told The Daily Beast news service on Monday. Read More
The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations made the case for forward presence in an era of declining defense spending at a Washington to a national security forum think tank last week as events in Egypt threaten to spiral out of control.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert explained how the Navy and the Marine Corps can react quickly to situations citing the movement of USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) and USS San Antonio (LPD-17) into the Red Sea following the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Morsi from office as an immediate example of forward presence’s value and tailored forces. The ships were sent closer to the conflict, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen” in Egypt. “We can’t garrison and respond. It will be too late,” to handle a possible evacuation of Americans from the country, Greenert said. Read More
Marines on two amphibious warships in the Red Sea have not been given tasking to respond to the growing unrest in Egypt, Navy and Marine Corps officials told USNI News on Friday.
“There hasn’t been an official tasking,” Marine Capt. Eric Flanagan at the Pentagon told USNI News.
“They’re not getting ready to go into Egypt.” Read More
In the wake of the public uprising that deposed former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — senior members on the Senate Armed Services Committee — have called on the Obama administration to suspend $1.5 billion in military aid to Egypt.
“We ought to suspend aid until the new government shows that it is willing to — and in fact does — schedule elections and put in place a process to come up with a new constitution,” Levin said Monday. Read More
Proceedings, September 2012
Savvy adversaries are more capable than ever of using high-tech gadgets and social media against the United States.
From Tunisia to Cairo, Sanaa, Bahrain, Benghazi, Damascus, London, Wall Street, Berkeley, and the University of California, Davis, 2011 was the year of the social-media revolution. Smartphones and social media have enabled groups of like-minded individuals to share information, spread their messages, and upend traditional relationships between the public and authorities. These developments are part of a continuing trend in the democratization of information: the empowerment of groups and individuals by information technology. Combined with the democratization of destruction, or the expansion of access to destructive technology and tactics, small groups and individuals will have greater ability to counter traditional security forces in hybrid and irregular conflicts, where force-on-force military engagements may be blended with other operations aimed at influencing key populations.1
The future operating environment will be one of contested domains—air, land, sea, space, cyber, the electromagnetic spectrum, and increasingly, the influence domain, where individuals and groups compete to spread their messages. U.S. military forces must be prepared for future challenges within these domains from nation-states as well as non-state groups or individuals. While the Department of Defense (DOD) is generally good at estimating and preparing for challenges from organized military forces, threats from non-state groups tend to be more diffuse and decentralized, more organic, and less predictable in nature.2 The continued diffusion of power to non-state groups will increase the challenges associated with irregular and hybrid warfare, with significant implications for U.S. forces.3
The Democratization of Information
The widespread availability of social media and Internet-capable smartphones has transformed relationships between the public and traditional authority. In the past few years, these technologies have helped non-state groups record and broadcast abuses of power, organize to form ad hoc collectives, and counter messages from authorities. In many cases, authorities have been slow to realize the implications of these changes. Even U.S. domestic agencies have repeatedly been embarrassed by incidents in which officials have been recorded using heavy-handed tactics. Images and video of peaceful protesters being pepper-sprayed, abused, or intimidated by law-enforcement officials in New York, Berkeley, UC Davis, the University of Maryland, and Washington, D.C., have led to outrage, suspension of offending officials, and in at least one case felony criminal charges.4