Archive | July 4, 2013

The text of the Egyptian Armed Forces Statement

The text of the Egyptian military statement

“Egypt and the whole world witnessed yesterday demonstrations by the great people of Egypt expressing their opinion in an unprecedented, peaceful and civilized way. Everyone saw the movement of the Egyptian people and heard their voices with the greatest respect and concern. It is necessary that the people receive a reply to their movement and the call from every party with any responsibility in the dangerous circumstances surrounding the nation.

As a main party in the considerations of the future and based on their patriotic and historic responsibilities to protect security and stability, the Armed Forces state the following:

— The Armed Forces will not be a party in the circles of politics or governance and are not willing to step out of the role defined for them by the basic ideals of democracy based on the will of the people.

— The national security of the state is exposed to extreme danger by the developments the nation is witnessing, and this places a responsibility on us, each according to his position, to act as is proper to avert these dangers. The armed forces sensed early on the dangers of the current situation and the demands the great people have at this time. Therefore, it previously set a deadline of a week for all political forces in the country to come to a consensus and get out of this crisis. However, the week has passed without any sign of an initiative. This is what led to the people coming out with determination and resolve, in their full freedom, in this glorious way, which inspired surprise, respect and attention at the domestic, regional and international levels.

— Wasting more time will only bring more division and conflict, which we have warned about and continue to warn about. The noble people have suffered and have found no one to treat them with kindness or sympathize with them. That puts a moral and psychological burden on the armed forces, which find it obligatory that everyone drop everything and embrace these proud people, which have shown they are ready to do the impossible if only they feels there is loyalty and dedication to them.

— The Armed Forces repeat their call for the people’s demands to be met and give everyone 48 hours as a last chance to shoulder the burden of the historic moment that is happening in the nation, which will not forgive or tolerate any party that is lax in shouldering its responsibility.

— The Armed Forces put everyone on notice that if the demands of the people are not realized in the given time period, it will be obliged by its patriotic and historic responsibilities and by its respect for the demands of the great Egyptian people to announce a road map for the future and the steps for overseeing its implementation, with participation of all patriotic and sincere parties and movements — including the youth, who set off the glorious revolution and continue to do so — without excluding anyone.

A salute of appreciation and pride to the sincere and loyal men of the Armed Forces, who have always borne and will continue to bear their patriotic responsibilities toward the great people of Egypt with determination, decisiveness and pride.

God save Egypt and its proud, great people.” – Source

Egypt’s army chief El-Sissi trained at US Army War College

CARLISLE — With unrest in Egypt, U.S. military officials looking for insight might test the ties they formed with the Egyptian defense minister, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, when he was a student at the Army War College.

“In this little historical Pennsylvania town, the most important school in the world operates under the radar,” said retired Col. Stephen Gerras, a professor of behavioral science at the Carlisle Barracks.

Al-Sisi was Gerras’ student. In 2006, he watched the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in the Super Bowl in Gerras’ home. Gerras remembers him as a warm man, quiet and devout.

“My mother was at our little party, too, and al-Sisi took her around my home and explained to her the meaning behind the Turkish artifacts that my wife and I had picked up when we lived in Turkey,” he said. “At the time he was here, he was only a one-star general. We never dreamed at the time he would go on to lead the Egyptian army.”

Political unrest and a troubled economy marked the first year in office for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, until a military coup ousted him on Wednesday. Al-Sisi, who deployed troops to cities when clashes broke out between supporters and opponents of the government, said the chief justice of the constitutional court replaced Morsi, the first elected president.

Recruiting al-Sisi and military leaders from other U.S. allies to build professional and personal relationships at the Army War College is an investment in the future, said Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, commandant at the college. Its international fellows program began in the 1970s.

“It is so critical to know that the voice on the other end of the line is someone you trust because you have spent a year together studying, talking about everything from Thucydides (a Greek historian and Athenian general) to ethics to favorite sports teams,” said Cucolo. Social events help their families to form bonds.

That can pay off when a crisis erupts in a country.

“You now have a friend, or at the very least a colleague, you can call to receive situational updates outside of known information from the media,” Cucolo said. “They also have the ability to call you for advice and guidance.”

Cultivating leaders

Situated about 120 miles from Washington, off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Army War College is considered the country’s top military training program.

Armed guards at the entrance gate show visitors this is not a typical campus, though its mature hemlock and oak trees and 19th-century buildings give the feel of Ivy League grounds. A fly-fishing stream, LeTort Spring Run, a tributary of scenic Conodoguinet Creek, runs through the property.

The average student comes with 22 years of experience, which these days includes Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. A board of military officials in Washington invites candidates to attend.

Despite its name, the college welcomes more than Army students for its yearlong course. The class of 2013, graduated on June 8, included 225 Army, 15 Navy, 32 Air Force, 17 Marine Corps and one Coast Guard officer; 24 civilian intelligence officers from agencies such as the CIA and the National Security Agency; and 71 international officers.

Classes begin on Aug. 1 to teach military men and women leadership skills, the theory of war and strategy, national security policy, campaigning and regional security. Elective subjects include cyber strategy, the industrial base, stewardship, board security and exploring the legitimacy of and alternatives to targeted killing.

Many attendees come with battlefield experience that involves making black-and-white decisions.

“Our intent is take these soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and intelligence officers to go from tactical-level operations and decision-makers to direct leadership roles,” said Bill Waddell, director of the command and control group and the cyberspace operations. “They have gotten promoted for being decisive and getting things done. Now they come here, and they have to get ready for roles where some of them will be general officers, admirals or on the staff of a senior leader.”

That means learning to think like those leaders and giving them a broader perspective, he said. At that level, there is no black-and-white; issues become complex.

“That officer who was being rewarded for being decisive and making things happen right finds decisiveness can be somewhat dangerous in the leadership environment,” Gerras said.

Thinking strategically

This is a college where professors do not lecture. Though military strategy is the mission, attendees swap their military regalia for shirts and ties.

They begin most days by discussing reading material from the prior day — typically topics such as the civil war in Syria, anti-government riots in Turkey and Egypt’s turmoil.

They are taught to think their way through problems, Waddell said, and to consider the perspectives of other stakeholders.

Government agencies and foreign countries “all have different cultures, and they don’t appreciate a military officer saying, ‘Do it because I said so,’ ” he said. “That just doesn’t work in this world.”

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, a four-star Air Force general, was one of four keynote speakers this summer at the college’s National Security Seminar on the implications of social, political and economic problems.

“The transition from tactical thinking to strategic thinking is not as easy as it sounds,” Hayden said.

He likes the international fellows program for its ability to introduce participants to American society.

“These people are living in Carlisle; they bump into normal Americans every day,” he said. “If they have children, they attend school here. They shop and dine here. You don’t get much more ‘Main Street America’ than the Cumberland Valley in Pennsylvania.”

Steeped in history

The land that houses the Carlisle Barracks has been some sort of military facility since the founding of the country.

Dubbed Fort Washingtonburg to honor a young George Washington, a post built here in the 1750s protected settlers during the French and Indian War.

During the Revolutionary War, captured Hessians from the Battle of Trenton became prisoners here. The guardhouse they built still stands.

And it was here that President Washington gathered his troops with Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, marking the only time a sitting president has led a battle.

The property served as an armory and recruiting station and, in 1838, became the Army calvary training center. Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart swept into town and burned the barracks on July 1, 1863, at the start of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School was established on the grounds in 1879. During its 39-year existence, coach Glenn “Pop” Warner fostered distinguished athletic teams. His star athlete, football and track idol Jim Thorpe, is memorialized throughout the campus, including the gym where he honed his skills.

The Army War College was founded by President Theodore Roosevelt’s War Department secretary, Elihu Root, in 1901 in Washington. It moved to Carlisle in 1951.

Root wanted to school elite military leaders not to promote war, but to preserve peace through intelligent preparation to repel aggression.

Looking forward

The mission for Army War College faculty members won’t change as the U.S. military makes one of its largest transitions in decades after 12 years of war.

Cucolo, who commanded the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, said America’s battle-hardened military is tactically effective.

“For the future, I would offer, though, that our concentration on fighting over the last 12 years has caused us to atrophy in our abilities to apply the strategic art,” he said.

Though the military has effective strategists, he said, “we just believe they are too few, and I’m not sure people understand just how hard this sort of activity is and the education and skills required to do it.”

“It is said that at the strategic level, there are rarely any good options or course of action — only the best of nothing but bad options.”

Since 9/11, military leaders have been asked what element of surprise keeps them up at night.

“We just don’t predict very well,” Gerras said about enemy unknowns that nag at him. He worries, too, about diminished resources for the Armed Forces. “Because we don’t predict this stuff very well, are we going to have the resilience and agility and the resources to respond to what might happen?”

The steep drawdown of resources that inevitably follows the end of a conflict worries Waddell, too.

“If the budget cuts are catastrophic,” he said, “we just need to know we have some flexibility and agility with our forces.”

Reports RT: Al Jazeera’s Egyptian broadcast has been taken off the air. Both Reuters and Al Jazeera itself reported that security forces raided Cairo offices and detained at least five staff members.

Morsi pre-custody leaked video

July 09th

18:17 GMT:

The US called Egypt’s plan to hold government elections in six months “a positive sign.” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the White House is “cautiously encouraged” and urges all parties to be included in the electoral process.

16:12 GMT:

Interim president Adly Mansour has issued a constitutional declaration which will be effective until the end of the transitional period and will meet the will of the people, Egyptian armed forces said in a statement,Ahram online reports.

The declaration states that the transitional period is due to last for at least six months, ending with the presidential elections due next year. Parliamentary elections are to take place before the presidential elections. The declaration is to be annulled after an amended version of the suspended constitution is passed.

The declaration consists of 33 articles which state that the interim President holds legislative authorities. He also has the power to approve state policy and budget, and to declare a state of emergency after the approval of the Cabinet. According to the charter, the Cabinet – which has yet to be formed – has a mandatory consultative role during the transitional period.

June 25 2013

Al-Sisi has called on the nation for June 26/16 Ramadhan to publicly show solidarity with the Army after pro-Morsi supporters came out in 100s of thousands.

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Egyptian Military Coup in 48 Hours If No Solution in Found