Checkpoint Asia

US Praises the Hell Out of Sisi, Cairo Torpedoes the Anti-Iranian “Arab NATO” Anyway

Trump’s flattery gained him nothing

Sisi jumped ship right after his Washington visit

Editor’s note: Sisi runs a mercenary government that has signed up for the war on Yemen and even given up national territory for Saudi oil billions. However, at one point even the Egyptian junta has to draw a line. Wanting to to keep on the good side of Riyadh and Washington which are his foremost financial donors, Sisi went along with the harebrained “Arab NATO” scheme for as long as he could, but when it all started to become too crazy with the US proclaiming a branch of the Iranian armed forces a “terrorist organization” he got out of the crazies assylum. This leaves the GCC Gulf monarchies plus Jordan as the only remaining candidates and they’re all a bit of a joke militarily. 


Trump lavishly praised Egyptian President Sisi as a “great president” during the latter’s visit to Washington, and Secretary Pompeo went so far as to call him a “remarkable beacon” for religious freedom. Pompeo’s claim isn’t true, and Trump’s flattery gained him nothing from the dictator. Reuters reports that Egypt had already decided to withdraw from the administration’s so-called Middle East Strategic Alliance:

Egypt has pulled out of the U.S. effort to forge an “Arab NATO” with key Arab allies, according to four sources familiar with the decision, in a blow to the Trump administration’s strategy to contain Iranian power.

The anti-Iranian alliance was a terribleunworkable, and unnecessary idea from the start, and Egypt’s move confirms that regional clients are souring on the proposal. Trump has cultivated and sucked up to Sisi more than most other foreign leaders, and Pompeo went to Cairo to deliver his ill-considered speech on U.S. policies in the region.

Sisi’s rebuff of one of the administration’s biggest initiatives is another administration failure and the latest proof that most regional states have no appetite for greater hostility towards Iran. The administration’s trademark combativeness and incompetence reportedly caused the Egyptian government to back away:

Cairo did not send a delegation to the meeting, the latest gathering held to advance the U.S.-led effort to bind Sunni Muslim Arab allies into a security, political and economic pact to counter Shi’ite Iran, the source said.

Egypt withdrew because it doubted the seriousness of the initiative, had yet to see a formal blueprint laying it out, and because of the danger that the plan would increase tensions with Iran, said an Arab source who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity.

The plan was intended to increase tensions with Iran, and it was fundamentally unserious all along. Egypt’s reluctance to sign on to such a project shows that the administration has very few partners that it can count on for its reckless and destructive Iran policy, and it is the latest evidence that Trump’s style of personally ingratiating himself with foreign despots doesn’t deliver any results. The U.S. and the region are all better off because of the failure of this so-called alliance.

Source: The American Conservative