That’s how much the U.S. provides Egypt’s armed forces in annual aid.
A 51 percent majority of Americans say it’s better to cut off military aid to put pressure on the Egyptian government, compared with 26 percent who back continued military aid, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Aug. 15-18.
“We’re reviewing all aspects of our relationship,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Aug. 19, Bloomberg’s Terry Atlas and Tony Capaccio reported.
“The Obama administration put deliveries of five major procurement programs, including F-16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. and M1A1 battle tanks from General Dynamics Corp., ‘under review,’ according to a July 16 State Department document sent to Congress and obtained by Bloomberg News,” Atlas and Capaccio reported.
Egypt’s military on July 3 toppled the elected Islamist government of Mohamed Mursi.
President Barack Obama last week canceled a scheduled joint military exercise with Egypt.
“Obama may find it politically difficult to sustain the funding if the military-controlled government continues its crackdown,” Atlas reported Aug. 16. “Yet there are incentives to keep it flowing: it provides some leverage over Egypt’s military leaders, it cements Egypt’s peace accord with Israel and it would be costly to cancel contracts with U.S. defense companies.”
Egypt “has not attracted much in the way of interest among the U.S. public,” with just 22 percent say they’re following the news about violence there very closely, the Pew survey said.
That’s about half the 39 percent who said in February 2011 that they were following events closely in Egypt amid the so-called Arab Spring wave of protests that ousted Hosni Mubarak, the survey said.