The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Egypt's Military Industrial complex

Profile: The Arab Organization for Industrialization

A nice overview of the core of Egypt's military-industrial complex by Omar Halawa in Egypt Independent:

It has its own bylaws and a supreme committee headed by the president, who is joined by the AOI chief executive, and the members of the board who are the factory heads and legal advisers.

According to official data released by officials in March, the AOI makes an annual net profit that ranges between LE470 million to LE475 million from a yearly total sales volume of LE3.4 billion.

Officials from the AOI say the profits are not pocketed by the state, but are reinvested in the company.

Michael Collins Dunn has more remarks on the AOI here.

The article largely covers the lack of accountability of the AOI. I think it's also worth thinking about its future mission in post-Mubarak Egypt. Soon enough, political forces will articulate (perhaps with the younger generation of officers now in charge) the need for a different military doctrine, and different procurement methods. Consider that in the 1980s Egypt abandoned its ballistic missile system (and, allegedly, a covert nuclear weapons program very much in its infancy), and in the 1990s was said to have allowed its chemical weapons program to lapse. Will these things be reconsidered in the future? I think when it comes to developing certain technologies where Egypt has lagged — it's almost a certain thing.