Cheney criticizes suspension of military aid to Egypt

Former US Vice President Dick Cheney criticized the suspension of US military aid to Egypt during a meeting on Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. In his speech, Cheney also strongly expressed his disapproval of the policies of US President Barack Obama.

Cheney explained that the American government has to show commitment to its allies, framing this commitment in terms of the ‘war on terror’, which was the main theme of his speech. He stated that in order to win, the United States would require allies, adding that the US must “demonstrate through increased intelligence activity and cooperation, military assistance, training, joint exercises, and economic support that we know they [US allies] are the front line of the war on terror.”

Cheney stressed the importance of providing aid to Egyptian forces in Sinai, where he stated that Egypt was facing a “terrorist insurgency.”

Cheney explained that the teachings of Muslim Brotherhood form the ideological core of “radical Islamist terrorists around the globe.” The politician called upon the US to declare the Brotherhood a terrorist group and to provide support to governments that are combating the organization.

In his speech on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in the US, the former official explained that it is very important for the United States to reestablish its damaged relations with its allies by strengthening intelligence and military cooperation, and the resumption of military exercise with countries of the region.

The Obama administration suspended most of the US financial aid to Egypt last October following the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi. However, in April, the US Department of State announced that it is easing the suspension by providing 10 Apache helicopters to Cairo.       

In his speech, Cheney also blamed the rise of the Islamic State on Obama’s “failed policies” in the Middle East. He stated that Obama’s administration had “failed utterly” in his approach in protecting the US, and that Obama’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq led directly to the current crisis. He emphasized that “terrorism” represented an existential threat to American lives and values.

Cheney’s speech comes on the same day as Obama announced his strategy for combatting IS in a national broadcast on Wednesday evening. The President outlined a strategy that includes expanding both American training and support to fighters in Syria and Iraq as well as authorizing airstrikes in Syria. Although the president stated he would be working with a broad coalition of allies, he did not specify whether or not Egypt was included in that number. 

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