U.S. Mulls the Future of Military Aid to Egypt

Photo Credit: Reuters

Photo Credit: Reuters

The U.S. government faces billions of dollars in potential costs if it decides to cancel foreign military aid to Egypt, a senior Pentagon official told Reuters on Wednesday.

Richard Genaille, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said he hoped the Obama administration reached a decision soon on whether to continue $1.23 billion in U.S. military assistance to Egypt, given the large number of weapons shipments in the pipeline.

“We’re kind of antsy about that,” Genaille said after a speech at the ComDef industry conference in Washington. “There’s a whole bunch of contracts out there. The bills keep coming in and we’ve got to be able to pay them somehow otherwise we go in default.”

Washington is reviewing the U.S. military aid to Egypt and an additional $241 million in economic aid after the country’s military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood-backed government on July 3 and then cracked down on protesters last month.

Washington has already halted deliveries of four F-16 fighters built by Lockheed Martin Corp, and must decide soon on several other large weapons shipments, according to U.S. government officials. Some smaller items covered by the foreign military assistance have been allowed to proceed.

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