As expected for a long time; a smaller US footprint in the Mideast could quickly lead to bigger problems and more pressure on Israel.. and if Egypt moves politically closer to Russia this fear will increase further.. and Putins dreams of an Euraisan Union and influence beyond might be fed by these developments..
Washington is torn between the support for the Muslim Brotherhood (as supported by Qatar) and for the Egyptian military (read Saudi Arabia). Since this thread runs through Syria as well the Russians are trying to pull on it. If they pull hard enough the whole fabric may unravel. Foreign Policy’s Zachary Keck writes:
On Thursday afternoon President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. would be cancelling a joint military exercise with the Egyptian Army over its violent crackdown on supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Shortly afterwards, Egypt Independent reported that Putin had called an extraordinary session in the Kremlin to put “all Russian military facilities ‘at the Egyptian military’s disposal.’” The report, which cited several sources without providing any further details about them, also said that “Putin will discuss Russian arrangements for joint-military exercises with the Egyptian army.”