By: @mahmouedgamal44 Egyptian Blogger, Geopolitics, Military & Security Observer based on MENA Region
During the last five years since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took the leadership in 2014, the country’s 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 amphibious assault ships From Mistral Class Type, FREEM Frigates, Type-209Mod-1400 submarines ,Rafale Jets, S-300VM Air defense batteries, MIG-29M/M2 Jets From Russia, & F-16Block-52/50 Jets,..etc.
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 Projects & Authorities in addition to the factories, Companies, Hotels, Clubs belonged to the Armed Forces.
Dear Reader you must know that countries do not arm – as you could imagine – because the war not knocking on the door! But in order to build powerful military & army to prevent war from happening in the Future.
– Egypt’s has an important role in geopolitics stems from its strategic position: a transcontinental nation, it possesses a land bridge (the Isthmus of Suez) between Africa and Asia, traversed by a navigable waterway (the Suez Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean by way of the Red See, It is located in the Middle East and North Africa region, which is considered as one of the most world’s hottest regions due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Competition for leadership of the region among the top five forces of (Egypt – Israel –Turkey – Saudi Arabia – Iran)
– Egypt has a peace agreement with Israel, after 4 wars, the first traditional enemy of history, culture and ideology.
– Egypt had suffered from the increase of the terrorist activity after the January 25th, 2011 revolution, After the collapse of the police force and the smuggling of prisoners, highly risk terrorists and outlaws all led to the deployment of the army forces to participate in securing cities and streets, Since that the Terrorism became the most prominent threat faces Egypt & Middle east region in recent years as part of the fourth generation wars classified as Asymmetric Threats.
– 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 gas in both the Mediterranean and Red Seas that have not been discovered yet. As well as a conflict between the countries of the eastern Mediterranean region on the gas may be risen in the Near Future
– Egypt has developing economic and commercial interests, under the giant strategic projects currently undergoing, mainly as the “Suez Canal Axis – Sinai Development Projects – New Cities – New Airports – Al Dabaa Nuclear Station – Electric Power Stations – New Roads Network and Rail Development” which will contribute to a larger attraction. Foreign investments and international shipping lines.
– Egypt is carrying out an intensive program of economic reform 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 and reaching better levels in the upcoming years.
Egypt has the largest army in the Middle East Region and Africa continent ,Also it is considered as the most powerful Arab country, and in the Middle East (after Israel), So that this army needs a continuous development, arming, Its readiness, strength and efficiency, its pace with global technological progress and its pace with developments, challenges and threats in the region.
Based on the above data, we can find that Egypt has a number of economic & political challenges and multiple threats faces it on all its strategic directions.
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.
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 the 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.
The unstable internal political situation means chaos, lack of security, capital flight, production disruptions, collapse in institutions, and a cessation of all armaments from abroad, to the fear of the arms exporting countries – especially the qualitative ones – of falling into irresponsible hands, such as militias and Jihadists group or organizations.
The strategic depth in the western direction – Libya, the strategic depth in the southern direction – Sudan, 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 region.
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 with the most modern and adequate armament systems. However, the economy to protect .. The economy is strengthened only with political stability and strong military capabilities .
Defense means the existence of strong armed forces, 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, There is no capacity to defend and secure only with strong political relations and Stable political situation internal and strong economy capable of financing and enhancing that capacity.