2011/01/29

Will Egyptian M1 Abrams tanks roll over demonstrators?

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Germany was 'not amused' when news surfaced in the 90's that the Turkish army was using former East German military equipment (including APCs) against Kurds in its civil war.

The reason was that Germany largely prohibits arms exports into crisis regions (with few cabinet-level waivers). We still manage to export a huge load of arms every year, of course.


The U.S. could 'potentially' become embarrassed by seeing Egyptian M1 Abrams tanks or their predecessors, the M60 Patton tank (both of U.S. origin)  rolling over demonstrators in Cairo very soon.


The M1 and the M60 are the most numerous and afaik also the best-maintained main battle tanks of the Egyptian army, after all.

This could produce a lot of ugly pictures and could raise additional eyebrows over the Western policy towards Arab autocrats.

The good thing about it is that this event is rather unlikely, since many army 4x4 APC crews have already shown solidarity with the demonstrators, yelling "We are all brothers!". The Egyptian army's loyalty to the Mubarak regime seems to be questionable at the junior leadership levels right now.

S O

edit: I saw already a press photo of an abandoned M60 (in the streets of either Suez or Cairo).

edit2: I saw a first photo of a column of M1s in the streets, but apparently again not opposing the crowd as most likely intended by Mubarak.
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3 comments:

  1. Just wait for the next regime to be in jeopardy. American miltech in the hands of autocratic regimes and dictators is plentiful after all.

    Its kind of funny that not a few analysts several years back suggested that the new openness of internet-based media and the generally rapid availability of high-quality imagery would be problematic for secretive regimes that try to keep their distance from their populations. Yet this development will likely backfire much worse for governments, where accountability plays a much larger role and is more or less well maintained.

    This could likely turn into more restricted FMS-rules in the light of new "challenges".

    And it does not end there...in Tunisia more than one western car-producer was rather embarassed when their products were paraded by the public as examples of their regimes thievery of national wealth (good thing though, America is not at risk there, with so little to offer in prestigious and desirable vehicles).

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  2. "Stratfor:

    The Egyptian police are no longer patrolling the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. Hamas armed men are entering into Egypt and are closely collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood. The MB has fully engaged itself in the demonstrations, and they are unsatisfied with the dismissal of the Cabinet. They are insisting on a new Cabinet that does not include members of the ruling National Democratic Party.

    Security forces in plainclothes are engaged in destroying public property in order to give the impression that many protesters represent a public menace. The MB is meanwhile forming people’s committees to protect public property and also to coordinate demonstrators’ activities, including supplying them with food, beverages and first aid".

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  3. lets pray fo a bloodless coup,

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