In Praise of Timidity on Egypt

In a new column for the Financial Times I defend the administration's caution on Egypt.

Advocates of decisive action have accused the US president of dithering: get on the right side of history, they command. Advocates of hard-headed calculation have called him rash: be careful what you wish for, they warn. He has been criticised for ignoring US values he previously affirmed. He has been criticised for neglecting US interests he has pledged to defend.

On two things, though, most critics agree. The right course of action for the US was (and still is) apparent; and Mr Obama's decisions, when he finally makes some, will drive the outcome. The last 10 days of fervid debate among US foreign policy experts have circled around these premises. Both are delusional.


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