With protest continuing in Egypt against President Hosni Mubarak despite a curfew, the government has ordered the army to help put down the protest.
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Eqypt’s total military expenditures in 2009 was $3.6 billion. Mubarak’s administration has been one of largest recipients of American military support ever, receiving $1.3 billion in military assistance every year. It is likely that much of the equipment the Egyptian army is using now to help put down the protests likely came from America and was paid for by American tax dollars. From a Congressional Research Service Report from June 15, 2010 (PDF):
The Administration has requested $1.3 billion in FMF for Egypt in FY2011—the same amount it received in FY2010. FMF aid to Egypt is divided into three general components: (1) acquisitions, (2) upgrades to existing equipment, and (3) follow-on support/maintenance contracts. According to U.S. and Egyptian defense officials, approximately 30% of annual FMF aid to Egypt is spent on new weapons systems, as Egypt’s defense modernization plan is designed to gradually replace most of Egypt’s older Soviet weaponry with U.S. equipment. That figure is expected to decline over the long term due to the rising costs associated with follow-on maintenance contracts. Egyptian military officials have repeatedly sought additional FMF funds to offset the escalating costs of follow-on support. Egypt also receives Excess Defense Articles (EDA) worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the Pentagon. Egyptian officers also participate in the IMET program ($1.4 million requested for FY2010) in order to facilitate U.S.-Egyptian military cooperation over the long term.
Today in Egypt you are watching your tax dollars at work.