Examining the widespread powers of the Egyptian military

February 14, 2011

Produced by Worldview

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(Getty Images/John Moore)
An Egyptian soldier pulls down a tent after the army ordered demonstrators to dismantle their encampments in Tahrir Square.

Egypt’s military swiftly assumed control following Friday’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Since then, military leaders have dissolved Parliament, suspended the Constitution, met with young opposition leaders and promised to move forward on a peaceful democratic transition.

The real test of its commitment to civilian rule will come six months from now, when elections are slated to be held.

While the military is widely trusted in Egyptian society, no real checks exist on its vast political and economic power.

Andrew McGregor is the head of global terrorism analysis at the Jamestown Foundation and author of the book A Military History of Modern Egypt. He examines the enormous role Egypt's military has played in society and whether it will make good on its promises.