Egypt's armed forces are among the largest in Africa and the Middle East. 2014, the Egyptian military was ranked the 13th most powerful military globally. Established in 1922, the Egyptian military comprises the army, air force, navy, and air defense forces.
As per the constitution of Egypt, the country's armed forces are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court led by the President, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Underneath the President are 21 senior-ranking officers in charge of the different departments and armies of the military. The Egyptian army has repeatedly proven itself and stood firm in protecting the well-being of the people. In 2013, the military stood up to Mohamed Morsi's autocratic rule after 33 million Egyptians flooded onto the streets during the first anniversary of Morsi's regime, demanding that he and his Muslim Brotherhood party resign.
Egyptian demonstrators marched in the streets, waving national flags and chanting, "Get out, Morsi!" Many demonstrators bellowed their anger at the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi, whom they accused of hijacking Egypt's revolution and using electoral victories to monopolize power and impose Islamic law. The Egyptian army ultimately stood on the side of the protesters, protecting as many as possible and ushering in a new government to replace Morsi.
In terms of capability, Egypt is among the few countries that have made use of chemical weapons in warfare, and it's thus expected that the country has a reserve of chemical warfare and moderately advanced missiles as well. Cairo is a central leader in promoting WMDFZ, a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone. Cairo is also the strongest critic of its nuclear weapon programs in Israel, which are in violation of international rules of war and even refuse to sign the CWC or Chemical Weapon Convention. They also will not participate in the NPT, aka Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Here are a few statistics about Egypt's military:
- The Air Force has around 900 combat aircraft, which has helped the same get ranked 3rd out of 11
- In 2000, there were 448,000 armed forces personnel in Egypt, ranking it 10th out of 166
- There are around 4,200 battle tanks, ranking it 3rd out of 11
- Military expenditure portion of GDP was 3.4% in 2005, placing Egypt's military 30th out of 153
- Egypt measured at 2.26 on the Global Peace Index in 2013, ranking it 49th out of 162
Under the guidance of the Food Security Division of NSPO, the military has set a goal of complete food self-sufficiency in Egypt. In 1980, NSPO started developing a network of milk-processing facilities, dairy farms, poultry farms, cattle field lots, and fish farms. The military also helps produce 18% of the total food in Egypt and 60% of the consumables needed by the army. The unused surplus produce is sold on the commercial market, and the profit goes to the military's coffers.
The military in Egypt has been involved in the completion of many national infrastructure projects like the construction of sewers, power lines, overpasses, bridges, schools, roads, telephone exchanges, and more. There have been many reviews about the military's intervention in such infrastructural developments, but most agree that the development was affordable only to the government due to its effective use of its resources. Meanwhile, some officers criticized this role, saying that this detracted from the military's primary focus, national security. In contrast, others said that this helped improve the Egyptian military's image among the Egyptian people.
Different branches of the Armed forces in Egypt are involved in military exercises on an annual basis, including:
- The American and Egyptian armed forces led Operation Bright Star, one of Earth's most extensive joint training exercises.
- Sea of Friendship Maneuvers organized in the Mediterranean Sea are held between the navy forces of Turkey and Egypt.
- In Saudi Arabia, Tabuk Maneuvers are held in conjunction with the Saudi Armed Forces.
- Faisal Maneuvers in Saudi Arabia are held between the air forces of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
- Morgan Maneuvers in Saudi Arabia, between the navy forces of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
- Zaid Maneuvers is held in UAE with the Union Defense Force.
- Ra'd Maneuvers are held between different army branches in the Western command.
- Third Army Command holds Badr Maneuvers between different army branches.
- Ein Jalut Maneuvers in Jordan is held with the Jordanian Armed Forces.
- The Second Army command organizes Nasr Maneuvers between different army branches.
- Sea's Victory Maneuvers, by the navy command, is held between different army branches.
Industries that the military owns have always been an influential contributor to the country's economy, even when profits have not been made public.
For anyone interested in joining the Egyptian military, there are many military academies where they can get the needed training and qualifications to serve the nation.