The Soufan Group has been watching the violence in Egypt with growing concern, as it threatens not only sub-regional security, but also regional security. The whole Fertile Crescent has been volatile for over ten months, and the descent of Egypt from a hope-filled Arab Spring into a bitter Arab Winter is a dangerous development. The growing death toll of the last five days of violence in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez (which led to the reinforcement of the headquarters of the Suez canal administration) and Aswan is now over 22 and in excess of 1,750 injured. Smaller-scale protests took place in Ismailiya and the Nile Delta cities of Mansura and Mahalla, and in the northern town of Qina, where there was an attempt to free prisoners from their cells.
While European economists and politicians have been concentrating on preventing financial meltdown across the Eurozone, military and political strategists in Tel Aviv and Washington have been calculating the impact of military action against Iran...
There is a new tension emerging from the Eastern Mediterranean that has the prospect of complicating international relations, and it appears at first glance to center on hydrocarbon reserves, in this case gas rather than oil...
The TSG view of Egypt is that it has a government without a strategy, and a people without leadership. Following the February revolution, in crude terms SCAF could be characterised as trying to please all the people all the time - by being the independent guarantor of the rights of the Egyptian people in the face of a collapsed dictatorship. However, that has deteriorated over time to where we are now - with SCAF now pleasing only some of the people some of the time.
The effective management of the oil and gas sector is an issue of Iraqi national survival and development, as well as of global economic interest; politics is an issue for the political survival of Prime Minister (PM) al-Maliki who continues to be beset by problems, which are growing.