Essay Sample on Foreign Policy Analysis, Egypt's Grand Strategy

Published: 2023-03-21
Essay Sample on Foreign Policy Analysis, Egypt's Grand Strategy
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Politics Strategy World Foreign policy
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1759 words
15 min read

Based on the removal from power of president Hosni Mubarak that happened in 2011, an analysis that focused on alterations in politics in Egypt has aimed mainly on interior procedures and has offered less attention to how the changes have influenced the country's foreign policy. The most recent Egyptian transformations have enabled the observation of some strategic shifts and assessment of the scope of changes in foreign policy (Pinfari, 2018). Between 2011 and 2016, Egypt made some adaptive and evolution moves to pay maximum attention to the associations between Saudi Arabia and post-Mubarak Egypt. Historicaly speaking, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have maintained a mutual interest in a bilateral association where they have overcome disagreements through the dependence of Egypt and shared security concerns, through the containing of Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and the stability of the Middle East and Gulf countries (Smith, Hadfield and Dunne, 2016). In the time that followed the coup of Hosni Mubarak and authority of the Islamic president, Mohamed Morsi, some riots evolved between the requirements that were connected to the economic dependence of the country and the most preferable regional alliances of the new political personnel. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's accession to authority ensured a unique accumulation of objectives That regarded the economy of Egypt, its regional and regime security explains the upsurge and consolidation of Egypt in its associations with Saudi Arabia, regardless of occasional essential differences (Smith et al., 2016). By focusing and keeping up with the foreign policy analysis framework which offers distinctions on behavior, decision making and foreign policy determinants, this essay will look into the domestic and political transformations that have been witnessed in Egypt since 2011, and how they have affected the Country's foreign policy. Also, the essay will provide an in-depth case study whose aim will be analysed at the sub-regional level and an explanation of the strengthening of associations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

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Domestic and Political Transformations since 2011

At the global level, the political adjustment procedures that started in Egypt since 2011 and in most Arab countries happened due to the global crisis which had started in 2007. Egypt has always existed as a semi-rentier economy despite its natural resources which include oil and gas (Sten, 2015). The country depends on foreign energy export of manufactured food and agriculture and foreign investments, majorly from the Arab Gulf countries and the United States, hence, the global financial and economic crisis hugely affected Egypt's economic situation. Late 2006 saw some sectoral strikes that demanded a salary increase and a right to independent unions (Sten, 2015). The levels of economic growth in 2008 clashed by high unemployment rates and levels of poverty (Sten, 2015). Egypt experienced an unequal economic and social system, where there were cases of police brutality. Due to the grooming of Gamal, Hosni Mubarak's son to be his successor, a revolution broke out in January 2011where the president lost his post (Piazza, 2019). A situation of political instability developed with a system of economic dependence that placed the country in a tough position.

The most important key factor for Egypt's foreign policy between 2011 and 2016 Became maintaining and balancing stability in its political and economic interests (Piazza, 2019). A lot has been written regarding Egypt's revolution of 2011, especially given the fact that a military took over power only two years after in June 2013 and the view of the widespread revolution failed. The protests that happened in 2011; however, left a legacy that has been adopted by most activists have taken (Piazza, 2019). Previously, the Egyptian international and national outlooks were shaped by the Arab-Israeli wars, the 1952 coup, and the fall of World Trade. Still, recently, they are shaped by the 2011 revolution (Piazza, 2019). The years that followed the fall of president Hosni Mubarak have seen the openness and opportunity of Egypt as a country. Egypt has had opportunities in all of its societal quarters, including arts and culture, entrepreneurship civil society and politics.

The diversity of choices for post-protest pathways should have been an advantage to activists, who could pursue their roles and paths in the community, however, the Tahrir movement in Egypt had a detrimental effect that meant that activists failed to develop a united political roadmap that would lead to a durable direction. While Egypt was preparing for elections and as its citizens went back home, most of its activists stayed at their comfort zones. A few activists moved to the political parties that had been formed after 2011 (Piazza, 2019).

Many domestic and international non-governmental organizations had been accredited to observe the elections of 2011 and 2012, while civic activists only took part in the programs that aided their engagement to political parties (Piazza, 2019). Through their lack of involvement in political parties, most activists lost population support, and the revolutionary political actors were swept aside by the Muslim brothers. The country of Egypt continued to view various thinking in terms of the social landscape and binary political, in terms of a strongman versus the Islamists. In the town of Cairo, violence between the state and the protestors became a regular part of daily life;

At the sub-regional point, Egyptian foreign policy continues to major on its priority and questions regarding its security. It has observed the securitization technique that bases its emphasis on the rhetoric of the existential threats that emerge from the country's nearby areas and borders. The security focus of Egypt reveals a conventional way of rasping security as a priority in its foreign and domestic policy, which also enhances the top-down military strategy, that prioritizes on the army to be the only institution capable of safeguarding against security. This case suggests that Hosni Mubarak has designed Egypt's regional leadership in a way that it would guarantee regional stability against the threats of the Islam and the al-Sisi, and had exploited it in a way that it would make the foreign policy of Egypt firm (Piazza, 2019).

The context that has revolved around the motive to form an independent foreign policy and re-establish the role of Egypt in the region has been the one that is utilized by the security forces in Egypt and is supported by the army. The basic sub-regional security challenge since 2011 has been the deterioration of the security circumstance in the Sinai Peninsula. The partial withdrawal of the security forces and the outbreak of the revolution allowed for the intensification of more criminal activities including clashes between tribes, violent confrontations with the police, ad pipeline sabotage. The instability of the Sinai had direct effects on the Israeli-Egypt associations and the peace treaty between the countries, whose climax had a stipulation of the gradual demilitarization of the Peninsula (Tadros, 2012). The desire can see a revision of this point of those who came to power after the removal of Mubarak including the supreme council of the armed forces, the Kamal Ganzouri, and the successive authorities of Essam Sharaf. The armed forces have announced an upholding by Egypt of all of its international agreements, inclusive of the bilateral Egypt-Israeli Peace treaty, and the Camp David Agreement, and reassured the United States and Israeli that it would ensure the annual assistance of North America 1. 3 dollars that were liked to these agreements. I would say that the years of Obama's rule after the fall of Mubarak, reflected the conventional transformation of the unwavering strategic cooperation and public tension since it entailed controlling of the Sinai Peninsula and safeguarding of security.

The atmosphere of insecurity in Egypt which was also characterized by a change period and priorities are given to the pressing domestic affairs meant that strategic views of the military made the country to continue to have the old practices as those of its predecessors.

Recently, Washington seems to be paying close attention to Egypt, which has been consumed by domestic politics, complacent about the stability of Arab Allies and exhausted by the Middle East. President Abdel Fattah a-Sisi seems to be moving the country closer to the totalitarianism more than Hosni Mubarak ever did, laying a groundwork for more instability in the region in the process.

Foreign policy Decision-making Process

The foreign policy of Egypt has always focused on the president and his close collaborators, from Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and to Mubarak. These leaders made central and personal the procedure of formulating a foreign policy (Pinfari, 2018). The consultations made by the president regarding foreign policy with the country's professionals and elites were a matter of individual choice, with the influence of these consultations depending on their association with the president. While the Egyptian foreign policy bureaucracy might lack legislators, the diplomatic service owned by the country enjoys a good reputation among the Arabs and has a long tradition of excellence. In recent decades, foreign affairs ministers have been obtained from the diplomatic corps rather than the political elites, that has the professionalism in international services, and responsibility in global institutions, like the Arab League. For instance, the secretary-general for the UN from 1992 to 1996 was Boutros Boutros-Ghali, while the secretary-general of the Arab League from 2001 to 2011 was Amr Moussa. (Taspinar, 2012) The appointed secretary for the Arab League from 2011 to 2016 was the first foreign affairs minister from the post-Mubarak period, the diplomat, Nabil Elaraby, who was followed by Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who was the last minister of foreign affairs that had been proposed by Mubarak (Pinfari, 2018).

There is an undeniable connection between the army and Egyptian foreign policy, whereby the military has been seen throughout history to be privileged as the only institution that is capable of ensuring the country has maximum security (Zohry and Debnath, 2010). For many years, officials in Egypt have attempted to take part in designing both defenses a d foreign policy, through the utilization of the nationalist argument, which cites Egypt's military support in its wars against Israeli. Relations that existed between the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing experienced deterioration, while the minister of foreign affairs, Mohamed Kamel Amr continued holding his position; the diplomat, Rifaa al Tahtawi was appointed as the presidential chief of staff by Morsi. One of the aspects of the Islamic presidency can be seen in the appointment of Al-Tahtawi in Tehran and Tripoli and maintaining of the Muslim brotherhood. The Tehran and the Muslim brother set up the foreign policy agenda like the international cooperation, the president's senior advisor for foreign relations and the Essam el-Haddad.

There came to a point when the influence of the president's senior advisor for foreign relations and the international corporation was overshadowed by the foreign minister and ensured an extended overlap between organizational activities and state institutions. Morsi remained to be a less Islamic, beyond some symbolic gestures, despite the unquestionable influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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