military aid

The U.S. is providing more arms and training to the moderate rebels in Syria, under a growing secret program run by the CIA in Jordan. Sources tell NPR that secret program could be supplemented by a more public effort in the coming months involving American military trainers.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Washington's will consider resuming military aid to Egypt "on the basis of performance" that encourages democracy through elections. The US suspended some of its $1.5bn in annual military aid on Wednesday, but Kerry said on Thursday the deliveries could resume if Cairo moves to restore civilian rule.

The U.S. spent roughly $25 billion last year on what’s loosely known as security assistance—a term that can cover everything from training Afghan security forces to sending Egypt F-16 fighter jets to equipping Mexican port police with radiation scanners. The spending, which has soared in the past decade, can be hard to trace, funneled through dozens of sometimes overlapping programs across multiple agencies.

Naturally, many Egyptians will interpret this as unwelcome interference in their domestic affairs. The U.S., then, would need to explain its position, its "red lines," and the consequences for crossing them through renewed public diplomacy, engaging directly with Egyptian political parties and civil society actors.