Mass protests, street battles and terror attacks: the situation in Egypt has gotten significantly worse since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted. DW looks at the major questions about the power struggle in Egypt.
Which two sides are fighting each other in Egypt?
The fronts are clear on the streets. On the one side are the Islamist supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. On the other side are for the large part secular minded Morsi opponents.
The pro-Morsi demonstrators recruit their followers mainly from the Muslim Brotherhood. The party's candidate - Morsi - in 2012 won the first free presidential elections in the history of Egypt.
The Morsi opponents present a significantly more multifaceted front. Supporters include liberals, socialists, democracy activists, supporters of the former regime under Hosni Mubarak - as well as the military. Not all Morsi opponents are secular. The ultra-conservative Salafists of the party Al-Nour, for example, also support Morsi's ouster. It was the armed forces which ousted Morsi on July 3 after days of mass protests, referring to the will of the people.
The opponents are mainly joined by their rejection of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Politically, there are only few similarities.
What does the Muslim Brotherhood want?
The party wants to reinstate the elected president, Mohammed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood describes Morsi's ouster as a "military coup." It refuses to work together with the interim government under President Adly Mansour installed by the military, and snubbed its participation in a reconciliation conference on July 24 called by Mansour. "We refuse to recognize the current government," said Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Ahmed Arif. The party's spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie, stressed the peaceful nature of the opposition to Morsi's ouster. "The respectable Egyptian masses will peacefully defend their rights."
resident Obama on Thursday cancelled the U.S. military’s participation in next month’s Operation Bright Star in Egypt – a biennial training exercise with the Egyptian military – following Cairo’s brutal crackdown on opponents that left more than 500 dead the day before.
“While we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” Obama said in a statement from Martha’s Vineyard, where he is vacationing. “As a result, this morning we notified the Egyptian government that we are canceling our biannual joint military exercise, which was scheduled for next month.”
Following the slaughter of hundreds of supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi this week in cities across Egypt — by the same Egyptian military led by Army General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi that overthrew him in a coup – the President had little choice.
“We don’t discuss any of the specifics of the strategies and the exercises that we have ongoing,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said July 31, when asked about the status of the next Bright Star exercise, which had been slated for mid-September. “We’re planning on going ahead with it.”
But that was before this week’s bloodshed.
Continuing the charade – that the U.S. needs to continue to cooperate with Egypt to improve things there – would have been bizarre.
“This exercise is an important part of U. S. Central Command’s theater engagement strategy,” the Pentagon routine says when discussing Bright Star’s importance. It “is designed to improve readiness and interoperability and strengthen the military and professional relationships among U.S., Egyptian and participating forces.”
Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/15/u-s-may-pull-out-of-egypts-bright-star-war-game/#ixzz2cTDWvRcq