GEOPOLITICAL GURU: ‘The Army Risks Turning Egypt Into A Latter-Day Pakistan’

egypt protest

The world learned that Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, had been deposed after an announcement from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday.

Demonstrations continued in Egypt on Friday, as Morsi supporters took to the streets demanding that he be reinstated.

Nomura’s geopolitical analyst Alastair Newton writes that irrespective of how disappointing Morsi’s rule had been, there is no reason to be optimistic about the turn of events.

He warns of the longer-term consequences of the coup in Egypt and adds that the army risks turning Egypt into Pakistan:

“By ousting a democratically-elected – if unpopular and, in our opinion, inept – government, the army risks turning Egypt into a latter-day Pakistan, i.e., a country where the army is prepared to use its position as the ultimate arbiter of power to oust any democratically-elected government which might threaten its own interests – albeit, purportedly at least, in the name of the common good.

“We believe that repeated military intervention in Pakistan since independence in 1947 has damaged the development of democracy there; and that, in so doing, it has also been an overall negative for economic development. So, it is somewhat ironic, we think, that a similar cycle could be starting in Egypt within weeks of a democratically-elected government in Pakistan serving for a full parliamentary term for the first time since independence and being succeeded by another democratically-elected administration. Indeed, we posed the question after the ousting of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 whether Egypt would turn out like Turkey, Pakistan or maybe Iran: we may now have a clearer idea of the probable answer.

“We consider that the lesson the hardliners in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) will take from this is not that they should have governed better, but that via the ballot box they will never be allowed to govern at all.”

There is ample precedent for the Muslim Brotherhood to see that as the key takeaway. In 2006, the international community prevented Hamas, which is closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood according to Newton, from assuming power after it won the election. And they are likely to think the U.S. was behind Morsi’s deposition because of its close ties to the Egyptian military.

Quoting Thomas Friedman, Newton writes, ‘what happens in Egypt doesn’t stay in Egypt.‘ The concern is that this could spread to the rest of the Arab world.