Washington’s mightiest leverage, should it care to demonstrate its alleged impatience, is the annual US aid package to Egypt. According to the Congressional Research Service, total aid to Egypt has averaged $2 billion annually since 1979, the year of the Camp David peace agreement with Israel. Though overall US assistance has declined over the last decade, military aid has held steady since 1983 at approximately $1.3 billion. This assistance is Foreign Military Financing, a program whose terms dictate that the recipient nation (unless it happens to be Israel) must spend the package’s full dollar value on American-manufactured weaponry. (Israel can spend a portion in its own armories.) An additional $1.558 billion, most of it military aid, has been requested for Egypt in the 2011 appropriations. On January 28, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs raised the hopes of Egyptian democracy advocates by hinting that the package could be trimmed, but there has been no reiteration since then.
Excerpt from http://www.merip.org/mero/mero020111.html
$1.558 billion. What we could do with that, for our schools, for green jobs, for the poor.
The FY2011 appropriations, amazingly, have still not been voted on, so there is hope this could be cut off.
The best quote I've ever heard about Egypt applies to the US as well:
"Egypt is not poor. Egypt is robbed."
Solidarity action for Egypt's struggle to be free will be held in Portland, Maine this Saturday at noon. Gather at Post Office Plaza in the Old Port Neighborhood. More info here.