Presidential Succession Scenarios in Egypt and Their Impact on U.S.-Egyptian Strategic Relations

  • October 01, 2011
  • Mr Gregory Aftandilian

Although this monograph was written before the pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt in January 2011, it examines the important question as to who might succeed President Hosni Mubarak by analyzing several possible scenarios and what they would mean for U.S. strategic relations with Egypt. The monograph first describes the importance of Egypt in the Middle East region and gives an overview of the U.S.-Egyptian strategic relationship. It then examines the power structure in Egypt to include the presidency, the military, and the ruling party. The monograph next explores various succession scenarios. Although some of the scenarios outlined in this monograph are no longer viable--for example, President Mubarak is now on trial for complicity in the deaths of protestors during the uprising that resulted in his ouster from power--other scenarios remain plausible, particularly given what we see as the more prominent role of the Egyptian military in this fluid political situation. In addition, some of the possible presidential successors that the author mentions have now risen to higher positions in the Egyptian government. The author also discusses the sensitive issue of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most organized opposition group that is opposed to many U.S. policies. He examines a scenario of a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government, but notes that this is unlikely to occur unless both the Brotherhood and the Egyptian military split apart.