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.


Presented by

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Global

Just In