The Pentagon’s decision last week to continue generous military aid to Egypt – including plans for another four F-16 fighter jets – raised more than a few eyebrows in Washington. Today, President Obama reversed course by putting a hold on the shipment, citing the political turmoil destabilizing the country following the July 3 ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
As NBC News reminds us, the United States doesn’t give aid to countries that have recently experienced military coups. The government, however, has held back from calling this month’s events a coup, stating instead that the situation on the ground is “fluid.” Regardless, the U.S. has already sent eight F-16s to Egypt this year alone, which adds to that country’s stockpile of more than 200. Egypt, for the record, receives nearly $1.5 billion in U.S. aid annually, making it the number-two recipient of federal dollars behind Israel.