On the whole, the best we can say for the Obama team is that it didn't screw up too badly. Until it became obvious to all that Mubarak was going down, the United States looked as if it was still trying to thread the needle, balancing its strategic ties to the regime with its genuine desire to see the Egyptian people's aspirations fulfilled. In the end, those positions proved impossible to reconcile.
But that's how foreign policy works. There is no template; there is just prudence and timing. I think the real test is now: how can the US quietly help the Egyptian military and civil society organize successful elections? And I mean: quietly.
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