By Robbie Gramer and Jack Detsch, Foreign Policy, 18 August 2022
WASHINGTON - A battle is brewing between the Biden administration and Congress over military aid to a crucial but autocratic ally in the Middle East, a fight that drives at the heart of values in U.S. foreign policy and President Joe Biden’s vows to stand up to dictators and defend human rights abroad, reports the US publication Foreign Policy.
The dispute centers on U.S. military aid to Egypt, an annual allotment that has amounted to tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars over decades.
Nearly every year, for around 35 years, the United States has sent $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt to shore up the geopolitically important U.S.-Egypt relationship and help stabilize uneasy ties between Egypt and Washington’s most important Middle Eastern ally, Israel.
In recent years, Congress laid out a rule that a portion of that funding—around $300 million—should be conditioned on the Egyptian government upholding some basic human rights conditions.
The US administration says it stands for human rights—but may be readying to resist some cuts to Egypt’s $1.3 billion annual military subsidy.