Jeffrey Goldberg writes that there is “no good reason to continue funding the Egyptian armed forces”:
The aid obviously hasn’t provided the White House with sufficient leverage, and it makes the U.S. complicit in what just happened and what will undoubtedly continue to happen. One argument for continued aid is that it encourages the military to maintain Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. But the military will do so whether or not the U.S. provides money and weapons, because it has decided that Islamist extremism, and not Israel, is Egypt’s main enemy. And it will be too busy persecuting Egyptians.
Earlier this year, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that cutting off aid could send Egypt’s already-struggling economy into a tailspin. “A hold up of aid might contribute to the chaos that may ensue because of their collapsing economy,” he said. If it seems odd that military aid has become so crucial to Egypt’s economy, consider this: The Egyptian military is utterly gigantic, one of the largest in the world, “controlling between 10 and 30 percent of the economy and employing hundreds of thousands of Egyptians.”
Lynch remains in favor of cutting aid to Egypt:
[I]t’s really symbolic more than anything. But it’s a powerful symbol. And you can see that the administration is still waffling. I’m not a believer in the idea that we absolutely have to take clear stands all the time, but this is one of those times when we have to. It’s not even just the 500 dead. The Egyptian military did what we explicitly told them not to do. How can we still pretend that this aid is giving us influence?