“Egypt is the most populous nation in the North Africa-Middle East region and, for the last 30 years, has been an ally of the United States and a peace partner with Israel. Egypt is also a pillar of U.S. regional security policy and the second largest recipient of U.S. aid. The political awakening that brought Egyptians to the streets during early 2011 was a striking show of solidarity and nonviolence. Today, the revolution is marred by instability and divided by disagreements about how the political transition should proceed. The outcome of this as yet unfinished revolution will have long-lasting repercussions for U.S.-Egypt relations, for security in the Middle East and for U.S. interests in the region.
“For policymakers concerned about Egypt’s future, it will be useful to understand how it began. Did the United States support political freedoms there? Did the United States tell Egyptians about our support for their democracy? Did it have the tools to do so? Are those same capabilities available to us now? Fundamentally, these are all questions about the use of U.S. public diplomacy in Egypt.”