Stratfor analytics tell why Mistrals sold to Egypt
France is selling Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt as a result of decisions taken in Washington, according to Stratfor, U.S.-based intelligence and analytical company.
“France has announced that it has agreed to sell two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Egypt. Paris' decision is less a result of French and Egyptian intent than a secondary effect of the United States' actions on the world stage,” Stratfor reported in its article called “The U.S. Role in a French-Egyptian Defense Deal.”
Among the moves that pushed Mistrals into Egyptian hands Stratfor names Washington’s initial pressure on France to cancel the Mistral deal with Russia due to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
“The second U.S. action followed the Egyptian military's reaction to the Arab Spring,” reads the article. “The United States chose to cut off its military patronage to Egypt — about $1 billion annually.”
Therefore, Egypt became more active in the attempts to diversify its arms imports.
The United States' third move, which is the Iranian nuclear deal, has left Cairo with no choice as it has “altered the balance of power in the Middle East and left Saudi Arabia questioning the fundamental security its alliance with the United States provided.”
As Riyadh is becoming more active in countering Tehran’s regional influence, it seeks “to cement regional security coalitions that work toward Saudi interests — including the attempt to forge an Arab Force, in which the Gulf Cooperation Council would combine its considerable resources and specific military components into a single force with some other Arab states.”
Egypt is seen as a “cornerstone” of this Arab Force due to its manpower capabilities. However, the author notes that “putting together security coalitions is a long, arduous process, and all of Riyadh's attempts so far have put nothing solid in place.”
“All this speaks to U.S. power in the world and the consequences thereof. Not every aspect of it is flashy and makes headlines immediately, but it is pervasive, and the repercussions can be unforeseeable and uncontrollable,” reads the article.
Though the future of U.S. power is debatable, the U.S. remains the most powerful actor in the global political arena, while “the rest of the world is constantly maneuvering in order to deal with its shifts and the consequences.”