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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Editors should not be blaming terrorist attack on Egypt, Reda tells WaPo

The Washington Post blaming the Rawda terrorist attack in Sinai on Egypt’s government instead of the terrorists does not help, Egypt’s Ambassador to the US Yasser Reda writes to the editorial board. “The Post used this tragedy to condemn a vital ally of the United States in the war on terror. The contrast between its approach to this extremist attack and those committed elsewhere is troubling. Instead of allowing extremists to divide us, we must reaffirm and reinforce our unity to defeat terrorism in all its forms. Egypt and the United States are working together to do just that,” Reda writes. He adds: “Casting blame in the wrong places doesn’t help. To succeed, we must collaborate on all fronts and not let the acts of extremists distract or divide us.”

Egypt’s needs a “better approach” to combat terrorism in Sinai, experts told Voice of America. National Defense University Professor David Des Roches says setting a time limit for defeating insurgencies is not helpful and it “might play well politically back in the home office, but it almost never works. It usually emboldens the rebels … What it basically says to the insurgents is all you have to do is lay low for three months, then you can come back with strong force.” The deadline also drives security forces to use brute force, potentially driving them “to push aside the judgment and discretion needed to tackle insurgents, as well as alienating local populations, which could intensify the insurgency,” a view also shared by Brookings Institution defense expert Michael O’Hanlon.

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