The Army's Double Game


by Patrick Appel

Reacting to reports of arrest and torture by the Egyptian army, Issandr El Amrani takes a closer look at the uneasy relationship between the protesters and military:

Word of this is going to spread and will begin to counter the dominant narrative in Egyptian media about the people and the army being one. The longer this crisis persists, the more difficult for the army to continue either playing a double game or sitting on the fence. With Omar Suleiman's threats of coups and the protests spreading to work stoppages across the country, decision time will be coming for the protestors to make up their minds about the army (or launch a more pronounced campaign to persuade commanders), for the army's leadership to decide how it will proceed in a context where it is losing control, and for rank-and-file in the military to decide where they stand in all this.

(Photo: An Egyptian army soldier watches as doctors, medical workers and students march through Cairo to join anti-government protests in Tahrir Square on February 10, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of workers from different unions across Egypt, including many medical workers, have gone on strike, adding pressure on the government in the face of more than two weeks of protests calling for the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. By John Moore/Getty Images)