US-Egyptian Relations since the Arab Spring: Balancing Interests and Values

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The United States (U.S.) has had an important strategic relationship with Egypt since the Camp David Accords of 1978. As a bulwark against Soviet expansionism during the Cold War, the guarantor of safe passage through the Suez Canal, and signatory to Arab-Israeli peace on Israel’s western front, Egypt brought many advantages as a friendly power to the U.S.

That friendship had its price, of course. From 1979 until the Iraq War, Egypt was the number two recipient of annual American military and economic aid, behind Israel. Egypt receives $1-2 billion annually, part of the price of sealing peace after the Camp David Accords (the same reason Israel is the #1 recipient since 1979). Naturally, Security Cooperation (SC) relations between the U.S. and Egypt have become among the most important in the region over the past 30 years.