The Obama administration’s first reaction to Sunday’s news that Egypt’s military chiefs had been forced from office was deep alarm,
The Washington Post
reported Monday, August 13. The surprise announcement from Cairo seemed to signal that Washington’s worst fears about the direction of the Egyptian revolution were coming true and
increased concerns about how much leverage Washington would retain as Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi consolidated power. By early Monday, the administration had exhaled a collective, if perhaps temporary, sigh of relief. The newly named defense minister and armed forces commander, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, is well-known to U.S. officials. He had “espoused cooperation with the United States and the need for peace with neighbors,” an administration official said. Still, the level of U.S. influence with the new Egyptian government remains uncertain and hard to predict.