Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy

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Egypt's Bid for Arab Leadership: Implications for U.S. Policy

By Gregory L. Aftandilian
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1993
99 pp. $10.95
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The remarkable growth of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship from the mid-1970s to the present is, by most standards, a success story. The building blocks were the peace process, strategic cooperation in the Cold War and, most recently, Desert Storm. Now that the Cold War is over, the peace process is no longer Cairo-centric, and the Persian Gulf Arabs are looking to the United States, not Egypt, for protection. What are the consequences for U.S.-Egypt relations? The author of this thoughtful essay is right to raise questions about the ties between Cairo and Washington, and correctly notes that there will be divergences over policy, especially as Egypt seeks to restore its leadership role in the Arab world. One may question whether the Arab dimension of Egypt's foreign policy will count for quite so much, and the author's pessimistic tone does not always seem warranted. Still, this book should be welcomed, as a warning against complacency in the conduct of the U.S.-Egyptian relationship.