Lost in Transition: The World According to Egypt’s SCAF

"As this report goes to press, the political situation is experiencing dizzying developments – from the collapse of the process designed to draft a new constitution, to the apparent disquali-fication of three of the most significant presidential candidates, to mass demonstrations against remnants of the old regime, to the possibility that presidential elections could be postponed. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), perhaps mindful of the risks of loss of control, has begun discussions with political parties – though their outcome is still uncertain. Regardless of how those events unfold, the question of Egypt’s military will remain central. Understanding the SCAF’s mindset is difficult, and requires modesty in reaching conclusions. Egypt’s military is famously hierarchical in its structure and opaque in its dealings -meaning the top echelon engage in key deliberations and those deliberations are hidden from public view. The individuals who were interviewed for this report– some of them acting generals, most retired – know a great deal. But what they say cannot be taken at face value and the report should be read with those limitations in mind."