US Delivering Attack Helicopters to Egypt for Counterterrorism

Sometimes there are not just good guys and bad guys—there are bad guys and worse guys as well. That’s apparently the perspective the US is taking after they decided to send Egypt 10 Apache attack helicopters to help the Egyptian counterterrorism effort in the Sinai region that borders Israel.

US military aid to Egypt has been reduced ever since a military coup took power in Egypt and harshly cracked down on its Islamist opponents. However, despite American concerns about Egyptian democracy, the serious terrorism threats facing Egypt are an even greater concern—especially considering their threat to Israel.

A statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Egyptian Defense Minister that “we believe these new helicopters will help the Egyptian government counter extremists who threaten U.S., Egyptian, and Israeli security.

Hagel went on to characterize the counterterrorism effort is in “the United States’ national security interest.”

Egypt has been caught in a long-term terror campaign in the Sinai, with those terrorists also firing rockets at Israel from time to time. Even the region of Egypt’s capital hasn’t been safe—earlier this month a bomb exploded not far from the capital during a visit from US officials.

Kirby, in the statement posted on the US Defense Department’s website, noted that US Secretary of State John Kerry is also prepared to tell Congress that Egypt is meeting its obligations under the 1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Upholding the treaty with Israel is a requirement for Egypt to receive government financial assistance from the US.

So while the US is still not happy about the way Egypt is handling human rights and democracy, they also have realized that some things are even more important at this point—at least when it comes to apache helicopters.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 23, 2014)

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