Since the Egyptian Revolution of January 2011, the U.S.-Egyptian military relationship has undergone many changes, perhaps most notably that the U.S. has been replaced by France and Russia as the principle external suppliers of Egyptian arms, although Egypt remains the second largest recipient of U.S. Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grants and is surpassed only by Israel. However, one of the most under looked aspects of the many changes in the relationship is that Egypt signed a Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) with the U.S. in early 2018. This agreement, in theory, enables the U.S. to provide Egypt advanced weapons and systems such as encrypted communications equipment and precision Global Positioning System (GPS) guided air to air and air to land missiles for the first time. Egypt had long rejected a CISMO, so the underlaying questions are why the change, what does it mean for the type of arms the U.S. will provide Egypt and for Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME), which is geared to prevent other countries in the region from obtaining advanced U.S. military technology? In the past, the U.S. avoided discussing QME with Egypt and side stepped the issue by citing that advanced weapons were not releasable due to a lack of a CISMOA. The article will open with a discussion of QME, and then shift to Egypt’s CISMOA, what it might mean for Israel, and conclude with an analysis of what is likely to change in the U.S.-Egyptian military relationship…
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