On June 22, the Egyptian Arabi 21 news website carried the following opinion piece by Firas Abu Hilal: “Why is Egypt threatening with war in Libya, not Ethiopia?
This is the question being raised in the traditional media outlets and on social media following El-Sisi’s recent statements. But it does not require an answer as much as it requires a rebuttal, seeing as how it lacks any logic. Since the end of WWII, war has stopped being an efficient tool to solve the crises – in most cases – knowing that the strongest superpower in the world was unable to achieve its goals through war, be it in Cuba, Vietnam or Afghanistan, and more recently in Iraq… This is why, since the beginning of the 90s, it started focusing on “soft force” to achieve its goals, while resorting to military force in a limited way. So, what would be the case of the other states…? And why should Egypt avoid war, whether in Libya or Ethiopia?
Firstly, as previously mentioned, war cannot solve Egypt’s crises, as there is no scenario based on political and military calculations, expecting Egypt’s waging of war on Libya or Ethiopia to be a “picnic” that would allow it achieve its goals and interests and then simply come to an end, while the other side involved in war remains idle… Secondly, there is the immense economic cost of war, especially in light of the development of the war machine on the global level… Hence, any war waged by Egypt will constitute a heavy burden on the country’s finances, prevent the reform of the already crumbling economy, and put an end to any hope of development in a country that occupies the last places among all the states around the world on the international economic and developmental indexes. Thirdly, there is the human cost.
Indeed, the increase of the weapons’ destructive capabilities, especially the Air Force, will lead to massive human losses for all sides. And no one can guarantee that war will remain limited to Libya or Ethiopia, as the other parties will intentionally move the battles to Egyptian soil, thus threatening with comprehensive war for which everyone will pay the price, particularly the populations. And this might also cause the regime itself to crumble, is the cost of war gets too high. But there is also an important foreign reason [preventing war], which is that the United States will oppose any war between its allies, noting that Egypt, Ethiopia and Turkey are all allied with Washington, regardless of the disputes that emerge between them from time to time. At the end of the day, they remain allied states, and war between them is not in Washington’s interest.
This is why we believe that Egypt will not engage in war outside its soil, and why we believe that the recent threats of the president of the coup in regard to Libya and the allusions made by some figures affiliated with the regime surrounding war against Ethiopia are messages for domestic and foreign consumption. And a quick look at the Egyptian media, which is controlled by the authority, would clearly show that, seeing as how the websites of the official newspapers are almost completely void of any media mobilization for war, at a time when Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri is insisting that his country was seeking to resolve the Nahda Dam [GERD Dam] crisis through the Security Council…