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Historian Francis Fukuyama blames chaotic developments in the Middle East on incoherent U.S. foreign policy.Fukuyama writes at The American Interst that “severely Balkanized policy” fails to consider “whether existing aid programs are helping to keep the regime in power or, conversely, are destabilizing it.”
In Egypt, America seemed not to have any strategy beyond sending $2 billion in aid every year:
Egypt itself presents a good case of this particular form of policy incoherence. Despite the fact that Egypt ranks as one of the top American aid recipients, it is hard to say that Washington was pursuing development goals of any sort there. The United States was primarily interested in stability. Despite brave speeches on democracy by both Condeleezza Rice and Barack Obama in Cairo, the United States actually pulled its punches in pushing serious democratic reform on Egypt, particularly after the Hamas electoral victory in Gaza in 2006. Nonetheless, U.S. economic aid programs were still pushing education and economic policy reform programs in the country. Had American aid administrators taken the Huntingtonian view that their assistance was covertly designed to promote an expectations gap and delegitimate Hosni Mubarak, this might have been a clever strategy. But no such cleverness existed. Instead, it was simply an example of compartmentalized aid programs doing their thing in ignorance of the interdependent effects of politics and economics.
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