U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., issued the following statement today concerning military aid to Egypt and the amendment Sen. Paul offered to the debt ceiling bill.
"Many folks from Wyoming have contacted my office over the past week and expressed their concerns about sending military equipment to Egypt and the amendment Sen. Paul offered to the debt ceiling increase bill. While I did not support the amendment, I do share many of Sen. Paul's concerns. Let's be clear- no one supports sending weapons to any country that would use them against their people, use them for terrorism, or use them against the United States or our allies. The Middle East is an incredibly volatile region and I believe a "no sudden movements" policy is better than well-meaning and possibly impulsive action. With most policy changes, there needs to be a transition period, not an immediate change. I've found that this transition can help prevent unintended consequences since no bill or policy can ever be perfect.
"An immediate cut-off to Egypt could have enormous negative ramifications, especially for our aircraft carriers and vessels to securely and effectively navigate the Suez Canal. In fact, Pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have also expressed concern with the Paul amendment because it could diminish U.S. influence in Egypt. A better approach would be to reduce/suspend military sales to Egypt until the Administration certifies to Congress that Egypt agrees to uphold its commitments under the Camp David Peace Accords. We need to act in a manner that most assures a cooperative, stable government that provides proper security at the U.S. embassy and consulate facilities.
"The planes we sell are not equipped the same as the planes we use, even in that vintage. Because the Egyptian government did not sign an agreement that protects some of our most sensitive technologies, the aircraft were modified for the Egypt sale. They are a couple of generations behind the current F-16 models and lack the technology of the ones we use."