Egypt: End-Game

Apparently possible foreign medical treatment may be involved in the end-game in Egypt, “What to do with Mubarak?”. The protestors want him out ASAP and medical treatment may be a good cover for exile. It is much less likely that a dictator can tweak the strings of power remotely. The end-game may morph into “What to do with the vice-president?”

Apparently, much of the leadership of the current regime are filthy-rich and have domiciles around the world. They may all leave one night and Egypt could wake up to an Animal Farm situation. In spite of the protestors’ apparent lack of a leader/point-man, the regime could implode if the current leadership leaves. Most opinions are that the military can ensure stability while Egypt reorganizes itself.

The current facade of stability is in reality an unstable equilibrium with lots of mass above the pivot. There are several outcomes possible:

  • the army could assume power,
  • the army could hold things together while politicians and elections patch things up, or
  • anarchy/uncivil war could happen.

Judging by performance during the protests, the last outcome seems unlikely although some insurgency might emerge. I think the most likely outcome is that the army will step up long enough to rebuild the constitution and form a proper government, a year or so. I think the army recognizes that it is ill-prepared to run the country. The army would disintegrate if the struggle was between the army and the protestors. The only way to end the protest is to have the Mubarak regime evaporate and the army maintain some kind of neutrality. The army clearly has sympathizers for Mubarak but when Mubarak leaves they should become without a cause. The army could be split or redefined into a police force and a normal military neither involved in politics.

It could take years for the dust to settle but it looks to me as though there is an end-game that will be acceptable to all. The rich folks could take their ill-gotten gains and go home. The common folk will have a say in government and the army could evolve to civilian control. I doubt any of the military leadership is foolish enough to believe they could hold things together by force.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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