Why Egypt is spending Money on Buying Arms??

Mohamad Al-Kinani

During the last five years since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took the leadership in 2014, the Egyptian arms imports have increased by a whopping 215%, During this period Egypt had signed major deals with a diverse array of suppliers, including the (United States, Russia, France and Germany,…etc) The purchases have significantly upgraded the Egyptian arsenal, offering Cairo capabilities it previously lacked, including purchase of two amphibious assault ships From Mistral Class Type, 4x Gowind corvettes, FREEM Frigate, Meko A-200 German-Made frigates, 4x Type-209/Mod-1400 submarines ,24x Rafale Jets, 46x MIG-29M/M2 Jets From Russia, 46/50x Kamov Ka-52 Helicopters & S-300VM Air defense System From Russia


Notice that The Egyptian Army budget is about $4.3 billion, that’s worth to be nothing in compare with the armament budgets of the armies of the Middle East countries, Egypt is considered as the poorest military budget among them, As The budget of arming the Turkish army is $18 billion, the Israeli army $15 billion, the Iranian army $14 billion, & the Saudi Arabia which has the largest arms budget in the Middle East with about $56 billion/year, So that the Egyptian Armed doesn’t depend on it’s military budget only but there are another sources for the Egyptian Armed Forces to get money by, As For example, Armed Forces participation in the Civil and National Projects, This in addition to other activities that help both armed forces personnel & civilians as factories, Companies, Hotels, Clubs owned/operated by the Armed Forces.

Dear Reader you must know that countries do not arm – as you could imagine – not because the war is knocking on the door! But This happen in order to build powerful military & army to prevent wars or armed conflicts from happening in the Future.

– Egypt’s has an important role in geopolitics stems because of its strategic position, as its a transcontinental nation that meditaes between two continents, it possesses one of the most important waterways in the World (Suez Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean through the Red Sea, It is located in the Middle East and North Africa region, which is considered as one of the most hottest regions due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Competition for leadership of the region among the top five forces which are (Egypt – Israel –Turkey – Saudi Arabia – Iran)

– Egypt has a peace agreement with Israel, after 4 wars, As well as it’s considered as the first traditional enemy history, culture and ideology.

– Egypt had suffered from the increase of the terrorist activity after the January 25th, 2011 revolution, which resulted in the collapse of the police force and the infiltration of hundreds of prisoners included highly risk terrorists and outlaws all led to the deployment of the army forces to participate in securing governorates, cities and streets, Since that the Terrorism became the most prominent threat faces Egypt in recent years

– Egypt has the largest natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea “Zohr” Gas Field ,and all forecasts and studies indicate that there are other huge reserves of LNG in the Egyptian waters in both Mediterranean and Red Seas that have not been discovered yet, As well as the conflict between the countries of Eastern Mediterranean region on the gas may be risen in the Near Future to reach an armed conflict which may force Egypt to involve in.

– Egypt is developing it’s economic and commercial interests, under the giant strategic projects within a MEGA development plan launched by president Al-sisi, as the development of Suez Canal Axis – New Capital Project – Sinai Development Projects – New 4G Cities – New Social Projects – New Airports & Maritime ports – Al-Dabaa Nuclear Station – Electric Power Stations – New Roads Network and Railways Development” which will contribute to a larger attraction. Foreign investments and international shipping lines.

– Egypt is carrying out an intensive program of economic reforms to get rid of mistakes accumulated over decades, and it is going through a critical period in which most citizens suffer from the negative effects of this reform and with positive forecasts and indicators of the Egyptian economy growing rapidly to reach better levels in the upcoming years.

– Egypt has the largest armed forces in the Middle East Region and Africa, Also it is considered as the most powerful Arab country, So that this army needs a continuous development, arming, increasing its strength and efficiency, its pace with global technological progress and its pace with developments, challenges and threats in the region.

– The strategic depth in the western direction Libya, the strategic depth in the southern direction – Mainly Sudan and the Red Sea, the strategic depth in the north east direction – Israel & Gaza Strip, increases the burdens placed on the state. To restore the imbalanced strategic balance and fill the vacuum created by the absence of those States and their departure from the equation of power in the Middle East & North Africa region.

– The capabilities of Egypt armed forces were not able to get new arms and equipments until 2013 to be sufficient or commensurate with it at all, Throughout Mubarak era, Egypt relied on US-made weapons as they were sold within the U.S. military aid, That’s why it was in dire need to diversify the armament sources to get new qualitative arms that were most needed but Egypt couldn’t get it as result of the US restrictions on the modern weapons systems due to concerns around the military balance in the Middle East.

Based on the above data, we can find that Egypt has a number of economic & political challenges and multiple threats facing it on along all it’s strategic directions.

Politics, economy and defense are a triangle that can not be completed without the presence of one of it’s sides.

Balanced foreign policy based on strategic partnerships and common interests results in stability in relations with foreign countries and attracts direct investment, grants and loans aimed at financing various projects, establishing strong military relations resulting in joint training, security cooperation and qualitative armament deals.

Stability of political situation of the state means stability of the security situation and the rotation of the wheel of production and the promotion of investment, tourism and the recovery in the movement of the international marketing,…etc”.

Bad political relations with other countries, especially the great ones as USA,Russia, France & China, means the withdrawal of ambassadors and the presence of tension, pressures, economic, political, military/ international isolation that will result in immediate deterioration in the internal situation, as economy and security, the spread of protests, demonstrations, etc.

Unstable internal political situation means chaos, lack of security, capital flight, production disruptions, collapse in institutions, and banning all armaments from abroad, as result of the fear of exporting countries from falling it’s arms into irresponsible hands, such as militias, Jihadists group or organizations.

Comment

A strong economy means increasing investments, employments, and production, achieving balance between supply and demand, increasing export percentage, reducing imports, increasing resources & increasing the strategic reserves from the foreign currency. Consequently, it means the ability to build a strong army equipped with the most modern and superior armament systems/equipments. However, the economy to protect .. The economy is strengthened only with a political stability and strong military capabilities .

Defense means the presence of strong armed forces & military power developed and capable of protecting the country’s land, national security, economic and commercial interests as well as the protection of foreign investments and prevent their escape at the first sign of security instability internally or externally.


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