An army ultimatum to Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi to find a solution with the opposition within 48 hours means that a military intervention, or a coup, is likely since the opposition now has little motivation to negotiate with the regime.
An aide to Morsi was quoted as stating that a coup would only go forward with American approval, thus signaling that it was counting on American support to restrain the military.
The conviction within the presidency is that [the coup] won’t be able to move forward without American approval,” according to a report by the Guardian.
If Defense Minister Abel-Fattah el-Sisi decides to take full power, it would not be the first time that Egypt experienced a coup. In 1952, Gamal Abdel Nasser, a strong nationalist leader of the Free Officers Movement overthrew King Farouk and then moved to abolish the constitutional monarchy, leading to a series of dictators that came from the army including Sadat and Mubarak.
A military coup would split the nationalists from both sides off from the Islamic radicals.
Prof. Barry Rubin, the director of the GLORIA Center and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post said “the army does not want to take power, but are only doing this because they think it is a necessity,” said Rubin. He said that the army now has two basic options: first to hold talks for a certain amount of time, leaving Morsi in power temporarily to avoid taking power or to overthrow the government.
The most likely scenario is that the military takes power again, said Rubin.
Regarding the repercussions of a coup, Rubin believes that the new military regime would give less support to Hamas, the army has reportedly shut own activity in around 95% of the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, according to a report in the Saudi Gazette.
The Army is frustrated with the government’s lack of enthusiasm to secure the Sinai and destroy Salafi militarism in Sinai in Gaza; and is likely to crack down on all forms of Islamic extremism in Egypt.
US president Barack Obama’s administration will have to green light the military coup, and a US statement will probably call for a return to democracy and elections as soon as possible.
According to US interests, America will quickly move to give aid to the new military regime, as it destroys Islamic extremism; as the new military regime will be much closer to Western powers than the current government.