by Patrick Appel
Eli Lake has penned a guest post over at Goldblog's place. A key insight:
If Mubarak was really going down, Obama has started what could be a long process of trying to build a relationship with the government that comes next. But this approach, which looks haphazard following Biden's interview on Jim Lehrer, also has its consequences. General Kayani in Pakistan and King Abdullah in Jordan, not to mention America's friends throughout the Gulf, will be studying that press conference, if freedom fever spreads to their streets. The GWOT since 9-11 relies more and more on these clients. So how Obama handles a crisis in Cairo will also effect the counter-terrorism partnerships in the regimes that survive the current wave.
I don't think a new Egyptian government would withdraw from the peace treaty with Israel. It's hard to govern Egypt, provoking a war with Israel would be suicidal. The Muslim Brotherhood leadership would always talk about the peace treaty in terms of a referendum for the Palestinian people. But I don't think it would want the Egyptian security services enmeshed with Hamas' enemies in the West Bank. What's more I doubt the next Egyptian government would enforce a blockade of Gaza.