Egypt’s revolution, far from decided
Gates has said that Egypt's military had "made a contribution to the evolution of democracy.".
Tantawi has served in the 1956 Suez Crisis and in both the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars.
USA provides about $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt each year.
Six-month timetable has been set in which to draft constitutional amendments, submit them to a referendum and elect a new government, generating debate about the Egyptian military’s long-term intentions.
Egypt's four presidents since the revolution of 1952 came from the military. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952 also known as the July 23 Revolution, began on July 23, 1952, with a military coup d'état by a group of young army officers. The revolution was initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk I. However, the movement had more political ambitions and soon moved to abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic. During the winter of 1951–1952 nationalist police officers backed by the United States and the Soviet Union began protecting and promoting fedayeen terrorist attacks on British authorities in Cairo, Alexandria, and the Suez Canal.
British support network now neutralized, King Farouk sought the intervention of the United States, which unsurprisingly would not respond. Departure of King into exile finally came on July 26, 1952 when he set sail for Italy with protection from the Egyptian army. On July 28, 1953, Muhammad Naguib became the first President of Egypt.
Those sympathizing with the Soviet Union were isolated. Communist Party cadres led workers did riots in Kafr Dawar on August 12, 1952.
On 16 January 1953 the officers of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) dissolved and banned all political parties, declaring a three-year transitional period during which the RCC would rule. A provisional Constitutional Charter, written by the close circle of usurpers, was written with the intention of giving a veneer of legitimacy to the RCC. This new Constitution was proclaimed on 10 February, and the Liberation Rally—the first of 3 political organisations linked to the July regime—was launched soon afterwards with the aim of mobilising popular support. The Rally was headed by Gamal Abdel-Nasser and included other Free Officers as secretaries-general. On 18 June, the RCC declared Egypt a republic, abolishing the monarchy (the infant son of Farouk had been reigning as King Fuad II) and appointing General Naguib, aged 52, as first president and prime minister. Gamal Abdel-Nasser, 35, was appointed deputy premier and minister of the interior. A Revolutionary Tribunal consisting of RCC members Abdel Latif Boghdadi, Anwar el-Sadat and Hassan Ibrahim, was set up to try politicians of the ancien régime.
On 18 June 1956, Nasser raised the Egyptian flag over the Suez Canal Zone, announcing the complete evacuation of British troops.
On 18 May 1967, Nasser asks UN Secretary General U Thant to withdraw the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) stationed on Egypt's side of the border with Israel in Sinai. Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping in retaliation for Israel's diversion of the River Jordan.
Egypt's defeat in the 1967 War by Israeli army forces compelled Nasser to resign on 9 June, naming Vice-President Zakaria Mohieddin as his successor. However, he relented following massive popular demonstrations of support.