The Obama Administration and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

One of the major issues of contention regarding US Foreign Policy over the last decade has to be the relationship between the Obama Administration and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

By Scott Morgan

One key focus of this has to be in the period following the ouster of President Mubarak after a series of protests during the Arab Spring. After a yearlong transitional period a civilian Government was elected under Mohammed Morsi. After a year in power this Government was removed by a Military Coup led by the current President Al-Sisi.


One of the areas of contention happens to be a White House Document known as PSD-11 ( Presidential Study Directive). According to media reports the document was a plan to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for the reason that the Obama Administration felt that the group was a more moderate group than other options that could have been linked to Al-Qaeda or other more radical groups that were rising in several countries such as Tunisia and Libya. The order for the preparation of this document was given back in 2010.


Several Media outlets in the United States filed to get access to this document back in 2015 under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. A spokesperson for the Obama era White House reportedly told some journalists that “We have nothing for you” in reply to these requests. It is clear that there are some people that either drafted the document or worked to implement it don’t want these details released to the American public.


One of the most interesting details regarding this document has to be the statements issued by both the recently departed former President Morsi and his wife during his treason trial. During the trial both individuals did state that they had documentation that would indicate some form of support from the Obama Administration regarding his actions while as President of Egypt. These documents were never provided to the court for his defense. One can assume that PSD-11 may have been presented by the defense when the timing was correct.


The Government of Egypt along with the UAE has designated two branches ( The Council of American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim American Society) of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States as terrorist organizations. One question that needs to be asked is whether or not these groups assisted in the drafting of and the implementation of the document in question. This document and subsequent strategy caused considerable damage not only to relations between Washington and Cairo. But is also place a strain on the relationship with other key allies in the region including Israel.


Several think tanks that have a conservative leaning have called upon the Trump Administration to declassify this document. It may have been easier if this had been presented as evidence by the Morsi defense during his trial. This will add to the clarion call by some to declassify more documents that originated during the Obama Administration. This document does not detail the efforts to prevent a person from becoming the President of the United States. This document may reveal to what level the Obama Administration played in the removal of some moderate Pro-Western Arab leaders in the Middle East and North Africa.

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