An Egyptian Civil War?

Some brief thoughts on events in Egypt.

If the Egyptian Army has any sense, then it will recognise that the Muslim Brotherhood aim to establish a totalitarian regime in Egypt. This aim requires that power, once attained, is never ceded and, consequentially, the Brotherhood will have to eliminate its opponents in order to gain this objective.

The Army has made an enemy of the Brotherhood by threating intervention. If the Brotherhood pass this crisis intact and in power, expect to see the Army officer corps undergo a prolonged purge.

The Army should move towards a coup d’etat, in which it arbitrarily arrests the Brotherhood leadership and senior cadres, takes control of the security situation and imposes martial law. The first measure should be accompanied by trumped up charges of treason, sedition and so forth, the trials held in secret and executions imposed. This is a life or death situation for Egypt and the Brotherhood have to be set back by at least a generation.

The second measure will be required to grant legitimacy to any post-Brotherhood government. The third measure will be required because the Brotherhood activists and the salafist groups will go over into immediate armed opposition. Provided that the overt opposition is crushed, then these will go over into terrorist warfare, which can be crushed through robust action and police informers.

If the Brotherhood can be crushed, then Egypt desperately needs to reform its economic situation. Land reform may be required, which will also need to matched by investment in farming, so Egypt can move towards food independence and so reduce the balance of payments deficit. Industry will have to be made competitive as well.

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