As I was preparing for my regular radio program last Sunday (preempted by 9 hours of non-stop Tropical Storm Debby coverage!), I had one ear on the news after the announcement that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Muhammad Morsi had won Egypt’s Presidential Election. Then one ear became two when I heard Fox News’ Leyland Vitter announce from among the crowd in Cairo that, "This is NOT an American-friendly crowd; this is NOT an Israeli-friendly crowd." That quickly, and not for the first time since the Arab Spring, gave me plenty of things to think about. Here are my top 3:
1) U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Groups may want to re-learn the Cape of Good Hope route around South Africa and how to eventually navigate the new locks on Super PANAMAX without side rub damage to their hulls. No more Mediterranean and Suez Canal transits. That is unless the Brotherhood can figure out a way within the strictures of Islamic law that permits them to accept copious amounts of money from infidel Navies to make safe passage through the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam). If doing so to make war on (Sunni) Muslim forces, then new Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi will have a very tough time convincing his legal counsel that such passage (aman in Arabic) is justified under the Islamic Law of Nations. Now, if the U.S. Navy is going to knock the snot out of Iran and its heretical Shi’a Muslims, then not only may the Muslim Brotherhood government let our warships transit the Suez, they may even paint them for us on the way through! But, once we see to it that Iran no longer has much of a Navy of its own (among other goodies the Iranians cherish and Sunnis fear), we may just find that our Carrier Groups are not nearly as welcome to a northbound Suez Canal transit as the were to the southbound. After all, once the heretic Shi’a are knocked back in time 15-20 years, courtesy of the United States Navy and Air Force, the shelf life on our aman will likely have expired. Of course, this represents just a fraction of our defense concerns now that the fruit of the Arab Spring has ripened. The remainder is myriad and can serve as topics for a great many dedicated articles, to be sure.
2) Israel, recall your reservists. Syria has problems of its own; Jordan is not sympathetic to the Brotherhood. You've only got Egypt (well, and these days, probably the U.S.) to worry about. You may need to be ready to kick their ass into the middle of next Hanukkah. It will have to be a demoralizing defeat that puts them in their place for the next 50 years. Eygpt's Islamist population alone, not under the control of the state, might just be able to overwhelm your defenses if the first few thousand rows of Egyptian Salafists, a couple thousand abreast are willing to go through the Shahid application program as they march through a newly opened Gaza-Egypt border and over that wall. Not likely I know, but... This is a new enemy, not under the pay of the Egyptian Army, but fighting under the ultimate incentive package: The promise of eternal life in the presence of God Almighty on the top floor of the seven story Islamic permanent housing complex know as heaven, where the benefits package includes every sensual pleasure a jihadist could ever have imagined in this miserable life: Sex, sex, and more sex! Wine for the grown ups (but it doesn’t get you drunk! What?)! Rivers full of milk and honey (do warrior martyrs drink milk and honey?)! Cool shade provided by the swords of the rows of martyrs that the IDF shredded before you got your Shahid eternal benefits card punched! Right there, the Muslim Brotherhood jihadist gets one hell of a lot more than the Egyptian Army pays. All kidding aside, Israel is now dealing with a completely different type of army in Egypt and Tel Aviv’s got plenty to fear and remember, Hamas is the forward guard. This time, you’d better destroy them and be prepared to full occupy Gaza for a long, long time.
3) Look for a new brand of Salafist terror group to emerge, sanctioned for the first time by a state that, while poor, has all the resources a terror group needs to be world class. These resources (or characteristics) include, but are not limited to: Approximately 387,000 square miles of hiding space that includes vast deserts (the preferred miserable climate for developing pissed off and cranky jihadists); overbuilt and impossibly overpopulated cities, such as Alexandria (on the Mediterranean coast for easy escape on a commercial ship or tiny dhow) and Cairo (good luck tracking down Ayman al-Zawahiri there). I’ve been to both places and if you think locating high-profile jihadist targets is difficult in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) is difficult, well those of you in that business will talk about the FATA years as the “good ‘ol days.” Depending on how badly things go between the Muslim Brotherhood and “Mubarak’s” Egyptian Army (and they can yet get very ugly, indeed), al-Qaeda and an as yet unknown Salafist terror group that thinks al-Qaeda has gone all soft and Hollywood may just be given the keys to the former Egyptian Army base of its choice. They can convert the Great Pyramid of Giza into a command bunker, which would be both strong and cool in a movie. Seriously, although I do to allay my own fears of the post-Arab Spring Middle East with jest, but there is little to joke about regarding Islamic terror’s new ultimate safe-haven.
Again, this was just my Top 3. The confluence of bad things happening in the Middle East contains almost too many dark elements to consider, but we’d better start somewhere and soon, because we’re late for the dance. It’s a dance that looks a lot like “Raise the Roof,” only the millions of hands at this dance are raising AK-47s, ammo belts, and RPGs, to the heady beat of Allah u-akhbar!
Frank is a retired Naval Intelligence Officer with 23 years active duty and over 30 total years of service to the national security and intelligence communities, and the defense industry. As an intelligence professional, Frank is grateful to have worked in virtually every area of military and intelligence operations over the past 30 years and dedicates all of his work to those who continue to dedicate themselves honorably to the security and protection of the United States Constitution and the people of the United States. Frank now brings his expertise to the airwaves with the Frank Wuco Radio Show every Sunday from 2-4 PM EST on Tampa Bay's News Radio 970 AM and 105.9 FM WFLA, Florida’s #1 talk radio station.