A "Slow-Motion Coup"?
Ellis Goldberg believes Egypt's military will impede democracy. He admits that it's possible that a "more open political system and a responsive government that ensures its own safety by trimming back the power and privileges of the military could still emerge." But he thinks the most likely outcome is "the return of the somewhat austere military authoritarianism of decades past":
Today, the army presents itself as a force of order and a neutral arbiter between contending opponents, but it has significant interests of its own to defend, and it is not, in fact, neutral. The basic structure of the Egyptian state as it now exists has benefited the military. The practical demands of the protesters seem fairly simple: end the state of emergency, hold new elections, and grant the freedom to form parties without state interference. But these demands would amount to opening up the political space to everyone across Egypt's social and political structure. That would involve constitutional and statutory changes, such as reforming Egypt as a parliamentary rather than a presidential system, in which a freely elected majority selects the prime minister (who is now appointed by the president). These changes would wipe away the power structure the army created in 1952 and has backed since.