Egyptians have just finished voting for a new president. This is the first time in thousands of years of history that they have done so without knowing in advance who would win.
We still don’t know who won. The ballots haven’t been counted. (I assume, as do most analysts, that ballots really are being counted.) Since Islamists won two-thirds of the parliamentary vote last year, it’s safe to assume that whoever wins this will also be an Islamist, but we’ll see.
Either way, it’s not terribly likely that Egypt’s foreign policy is going to change much more than it already has. The army is master of Egypt right now and will likely retain some of that power regardless.
People familiar with the military’s thinking say the generals are seeking to maintain oversight over Egypt’s “direction”.
“They want a special status – in other words they won’t accept civilian rule over the ministry of defence or the ministry of military productions and they want to be the guardians of certain red lines,” says one official. These red lines include “matters of war and peace” but also preventing any political current (which means Islamist parties) from “changing the face of the country”.
Egypt’s military is a wretched and despotic thing, but its generals aren’t exactly itching for war, so there’s that.