Factbox: Most U.S. aid to Egypt goes to military

Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:16am EST

(Reuters) - The United States has given Egypt an average of $2 billion annually since 1979, much of it military aid, according to the Congressional Research Service. The combined total makes Egypt the second largest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel.

The White House said on Friday it would review U.S. aid to Egypt based on events in the coming days amid mass protests aimed at ending President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

Here are some facts about the aid:

-- In 2010, $1.3 billion went to strengthen Egyptian forces versus $250 million in economic aid. Another $1.9 million went for training meant to bolster long-term U.S.-Egyptian military cooperation. Egypt also receives hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of excess military hardware annually from the Pentagon.

-- The Obama administration has asked Congress to approve similar sums for the 2011 fiscal year.

-- U.S.-Egyptian co-production of the M1A1 Abrams Battle tank is one of the cornerstones of U.S. military assistance. Egypt plans to acquire 1,200 of the tanks. General Dynamics Corp is the prime contractor for the program.

-- Lockheed Martin Corp is building 20 new advanced F-16C/D fighter aircraft for Egypt. The final Egyptian F-16 under contract is to be delivered in 2013, joining the 240 Egypt already has purchased, according to Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's biggest supplier by sales.

-- Egypt was the first Arab country to buy F-16s, widely viewed as a symbol of political and security ties with the United States.

-- The United States also has supplied Boeing Co CH-47D CHINOOK transport helicopters, Northrop Grumman Corp E-2C Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning Command & Control aircraft and Patriot air-defense systems built by Lockheed and Raytheon Co.

-- Part of U.S. economic aid is spent on democracy promotion programs in Egypt, a policy that has generated controversy in recent years. "On principle, the Egyptian government rejects U.S. assistance for democracy promotion activities, though it has grudgingly accepted a certain degree of programing," Jeremy Sharp of the Congressional Research Service said in a background report updated on January 28.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Jim Wolf; Editing by Paul Simao)

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Comments (1)
johnzbesko wrote:
So, the US is the biggest benefactor of the Egyptian military. The military is the only force that can maintain Mubarak in power. The US has already announced that its aid program is under review.

Therefore, the US is in a unique position to facilitate a change in regime. Will the US cling to an old ally with no succession plan or “go with the flow” and hope that the situation does not turn into another 1979 Iran?

Jan 28, 2011 9:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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