Hosni Mubarak: On the Wrong Side of (Military) History

The BBC News reports that “Mubarak ‘fears chaos if he quits‘”:

“Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said he would like to resign immediately but fears the country would descend into chaos if he did so.

In his first interview since anti-government protests across Egypt began 10 days ago, he told ABC News he was “fed up” with power.

But he warned that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party would fill any power vacuum if he stepped down.

He denied his supporters were behind the violence of the last two days.

Speaking to ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, he vowed never to leave, saying: “‘I would never run away from this country. I will die on this soil.'”

He added that it hurt him to him to see “Egyptian fighting Egyptian”.

President Mubarak is gilding the lily when he blames foreign journalists and Western capitalists for the Egyptian revolt. As The Guardian reports:

“The Egyptian regime dug in today, defying international pressure to begin an immediate transfer of power while launching attacks on journalists and human rights observers.”

However, there does appear to be a method in the Pharaoh’s madness with the Egyptian army waiting on the sidelines idly watching the street battles between the anti- and pro-Mubarak protesters (the latter of which have been characterized by some as a “rent-a-mob“).

Perhaps Mubarak is a student of military history. If so, his Amazon Kindle reading list likely includes the likes of Sun Zi, Machiavelli, Clausewitz and Jomini, if not Hannibal or Belisarius. The odds are that Mubarak is too busy to read this post or he may not have internet access. Still, he may want to read  THE EVOLUTION OF A REVOLT, a military analysis of the Arab Revolt of 1916,  by the Late Lieut.Col.-Gen. Staff, T.E. Lawrence who offered the following strategic advice:

“It seemed that rebellion must have an unassailable base, something guarded not merely from attack, but from the fear of it: such a base as we had in the Red Sea Ports, the desert, or in the minds of the men we converted to our creed. It must have a sophisticated alien enemy, in the form of a disciplined army of occupation too small to fulfil the doctrine of acreage: too few to adjust number to space, in order to dominate the whole area effectively from fortified posts. It must have a friendly population, not actively friendly, but sympathetic to the point of not betraying rebel movements to the enemy. Rebellions can be made by 2 per cent. active in a striking force, and 98 per cent. passively sympathetic. The few active rebels must have the qualities of speed and endurance, ubiquity and independence of arteries of supply. They must have the technical equipment to destroy or paralyse the enemy’s organized communications, for irregular war is fairly Willisen’s definition of strategy, “the study of communication” in its extreme degree, of attack where the enemy is not.

In fifty words: Granted mobility, security (in the form of denying targets to the enemy), time, and doctrine (the idea to convert every subject to friendliness), victory will rest with the insurgents, for the algebraical factors are in the end decisive, and against them perfections of means and spirit struggle quite in vain.”

Cairo. Alexandria. Giza. The attempts to threaten foreign journalists and to shut down internet access is in sharp contrast to the stark images of Egyptian police vans running over anti-Mubarak protesters:

Mubarak is not only on the wrong side of history; he’s on the wrong side of military history. Without mobility, security and doctrine, he is both out of time and out of friends.

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One Response to “Hosni Mubarak: On the Wrong Side of (Military) History”

  1. nuclear war 2012 Says:

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