Egypt and Terrorism

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Dr. Ian Lustick Professor of Political Science

University of Pennsylvania


  • Co-author of “America and the Regional Powers in a Transforming Middle East,” featured article in the Summer 2012 edition of the journal Middle East Policy.
  • Author of numerous other articles and books including Trapped in the War on Terror and Unsettled States, Disputed Lands: Britain and Ireland, France and Algeria, Israel and the West Bank-Gaza.
  • Former White House consultant on Middle East affairs and national security.


“Ever since Sadat triggered a massively profitable relationship with the U.S. by launching the '73 War, Egypt has survived its economically catastrophic circumstances by living off strategic rents. Just when things are about to come crashing down economically, Egyptian elites, especially the military elites, find a war or fear of war that they can use to gain debt forgiveness, economic aid and military assistance packages sufficient to bail the government out.  This was done with the '73 War, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the War on Terror. 

“Now, I am getting the impression that the military is turning on the Brotherhood, not despite the risk that doing so will generate a hundred more Amin al-Zawahiri's, but because it will. They will drive the non-violent mass of Brothers into hiding by a campaign of persecution conducted in the name of the need to combat terrorism. Then a real wave of terrorism, at home and abroad, will be unleashed by the hardliners, setting the stage for the military dominated government to demand and receive special dispensations and massive aid packages from the West in general and the U.S. in particular. These will be justified as necessary and appropriate in light the central role Egypt will play defeating terrorism and protecting Israel from the greatly increased threat of terrorist attacks from Sinai.”


Media contact: Jacquie Posey, 215-898-6460 or