Why has Egypt’s army not confronted the protests?


Nancy A. Youssef
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — As unprecedented protests have led to national chaos in Egypt, the Egyptian army has taken no decisive action to end the conflict, leaving experts to wonder which of four possibilities are governing the army’s actions.


Photo: Ramy Raoof

Does the military sympathize with the protesters or is it just waiting for the right moment to intervene? Is it divided internally about the proper response or does it see itself not as the protector of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime but of the Egyptian state?

“There doesn’t seem to be a signal clear line that the military is taking,” said Joel Beinin, a professor of Middle East history at Stanford University. “They haven’t been ordered to do anything one way or the other. We are still in a freeze moment. Everyone understands the Mubarak regime has lost credibility. My guess is the army is deciding what it will do next.”

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