U.S. Assistance to the Middle East Is Drying Up When the Region Needs It Most” (Stephen McInerney, Open Society Foundations)

“During this critical time, Obama’s promise of support couldn’t be more vital. And yet, against the backdrop of declining democracy and increasing repression, U.S. support has been inconsistent, half-hearted, and not backed up by meaningful pressure on the authoritarian allies of the United States. On occasion, the administration has taken stands through private messages or public statements condemning specific crackdowns against civil society. But it has largely failed to follow its words with action. Instead, it has gone back to prioritizing overly militarized relationships with repressive regimes in exchange for short-term security. In 2013, President Obama launched his ‘Stand with Civil Society’ initiative, pledging that the U.S. government would back firmly those in civil society facing pressure, harassment, and threats from their government. But his administration has mostly watched silently as the government of Egypt, the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid globally, has been steadily wiping out its vibrant community of independent human rights organizations.” Read all https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/us-assistance-middle-east-drying-when-region-needs-it-most?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2AMideast%20Brief