The New Yorker: Egypt Is in Trouble and Not Just from ISIS

A terrorist attack in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing more than 300 people, suggests that Islamic State fighters are finding new targets after being driven from Syria and Iraq. Egypt has had more than 1,700 terrorist attacks since 2013. “The mosque attack is the latest of many challenges facing President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, a former field marshal, as Egypt heads toward elections next year,” notes Robin Wright for the New Yorker. “For all his military acumen, Sisi has been unable to protect his own people.” Similar discontent triggered the Arab Spring uprising, in 2011. Adel Abdel Ghafar of the Brookings Institution notes that Sisa offered the “classic authoritarian bargain” – security and economic prosperity in exchange for total control. Sisi has failed to deliver the promised jobs, economic improvements or stability. Cairo has banned protests, and rising tension helps extremists recruit in areas like the Sinai. Wright concludes, “What started as a local insurgency over autonomy has escalated into a challenge to the Egyptian state and its leader, with implications for neighboring Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to the east; chaotic Libya, to the west; and Europe, to the north.” Hardline policies and brute military force feed rather than end extremist ideologies. – YaleGlobal

The New Yorker: Egypt Is in Trouble and Not Just from ISIS

Egypt’s military ruler offered “classic authoritarian bargain” – security and prosperity in exchange for total control – but fails to deliver
Robin Wright
Thursday, November 30, 2017

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Robin Wright is a contributing writer for, and has written for the magazine since 1988. She is the author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World.

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