Evelyn Gordon focuses on the country’s economic problems:
If you think last week’s revolution was primarily a revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood’s undemocratic behavior, then you’ll think the West’s main goal should be “supporting the Egyptian people in their aspirations to democracy and inclusive governance,” as EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton put it last week–for instance, by helping them draft a new and improved constitution. But if you realize that the revolution was primarily about economic distress, then you’ll understand the West’s main goals should be arranging short-term aid and pushing long-term economic reforms needed to stabilize the economy–because without economic improvement, even the best constitution won’t prevent another coup next year. Desperate people can’t afford to wait for the next election to bring about policy changes.
Drezner suspects that Egypt will have to ask the IMF for more money:
Please bear all of this in mind as you read about the alleged decline of U.S. influence in the region. There’s a difference between declining salience and declining influence. Because if I’m reading this correctly, Egypt will have no choice but to go back to the IMF — and the United States still has a wee bit of influence within that international organization.
Recent Dish on the subject here.