Egypt Defence & Security Report Q1 2015

Nov 5, 2014 - Business Monitor International - 75 pages - USD $1,295
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At the end of 2014, security issues for Egypt both at the domestic and regional level continue to be of major concern. The BMI view is that Egypt's violent crack on all forms of political opposition risks pushing more and more young people - a key segment of the population - towards adopting extremist views in the long term. As the military seeks to continue strengthening its grip on power, we are expecting defence spending to increase both in absolute and relative terms in 2015.

Demonstrations amongst Egyptian youths continue in the Nile Delta, which we suspect has the potential to be the Achilles heel of the al-Sisi's regime. The collective punishment of entire communities in the Sinai also places the army at risk of losing the battle of hearts and minds against extremism. Furthermore, the cancellation of the talks with Hamas for a long term ceasefire with Israel does not bode well for lasting stability on Egypt's eastern frontier.

In 2015, we expect the annual increase in defence spending to continue increasing to reach a rate of 11.9% and an approximate total of USD6bn. We think that this increase can be explained by the al-Sisi's regime attempts to ensure his grip on power, expected growth in the wider domestic economy, and a desire to strengthen defence capabilities in view of the widespread instability affecting the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

We think Egypt has an opportunity to renew its defence partnership with the United States amidst claims that Sinai based jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) has links with the Islamic State (IS), which the United States is currently bombing in both Iraq and Syria. We note that the long held up Apache helicopters are currently been delivered, and that these should help Egypt with its campaign in the Sinai.

Recent Developments
  • With the start of the university year, Students Against the Coup have returned to demonstrating on campus.
  • Al-Sisi has imposed a one-month state...

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