The Economist has published a report on the consequences of the collapse of the Egyptian state under the present regime and the repercussions of Egypt’s entry into chaos on the Middle East and the world as a whole.
The Economist said that in 2015 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that if Egypt collapsed, an unprecedented flow of ISIS fighters would “storm the world.” Such statements are part of al-Sisi’s strategy to remain at the helm of the state, which he does by maintaining repression at home and warning foreign leaders of the consequences of not supporting his political system in that Egypt will collapse into chaos.
The Economist pointed out that this strategy achieved al- Sisi’s goal, as the Gulf countries finance his system for fear of the alternative, being led by the Muslim Brotherhood, especially after they won the elections in 2011 and 2012 and ruled Egypt inefficiently until the overthrow of al-Sisi in 2013.
The Economist said that although Egypt does not witness sectarian conflicts like Lebanon or Iraq, and has not succumbed to regional and tribal divisions and civil wars as in Libya or Yemen, Egyptian people live in an unprecedented state of discontent under the rule of a military authority. In addition, there are high unemployment rates among young people.
Egypt is made up of large areas of desert and major communities are located on the banks of the Nile. The report noted that the possibility of conflict over Nile water could worsen with climate change in the region and the continuous growth of the Egyptian population, which is likely to reach 130 million by 2030. Some Egyptian military officers have hinted that Egypt could fight to protect its rights in the Nile.
Consider the jihadist threat based in the Sinai region and conflicts within neighbouring countries, such as Libya to the west and Sudan to the south. With so many potential sources of instability, it would be illogical to ignore the potential consequences of the collapse of Egypt, such as in Syria and Libya.
If the Egyptian government loses control, foreign forces will intervene to keep the Suez Canal open to global shipping, the Economist said. The United States, which uses the canal to move naval forces from the Mediterranean to the Gulf and the Far East, will take over quickly, aided by a coalition of Saudis and Emiratis.
The vast Egyptian territory will provide a safe haven for the rebels coming from Libya and the jihadists will establish a new state of succession in Egypt. As a result, Egypt will turn from Israel’s peace partner into a deadly threat; this will require the Israeli authorities to confront the imminent military threat. Accordingly, the Israeli Air Force will hit state-controlled sites in Egypt with a barrage of bombs.
In conclusion, the magazine reported that the lessons learned from Syria and Libya means it is imperative not to allow the collapse of the Egyptian state in the first place, since the reunification of Egyptian territory and sovereignty would be very difficult and could take decades. In the end it seems clear that al-Sisi is not the right man for the task of preserving Egypt’s security and unity, the magazine said.