Egypt country overview

Egypt Government

Egypt information index

Egypt Armed forces and security

Egypt possesses one of the most formidable and extensive military forces in the region, maintaining a strong army that accounts for approximately three-fourths of its overall military strength. The remaining forces are divided between the air force, which includes the air defense command, and the navy. The army is equipped with state-of-the-art main battle tanks, field artillery, and other armored equipment. The air force boasts a significant number of high-performance combat aircraft, while the navy possesses a small fleet primarily composed of coastal patrol craft, but also including frigates, destroyers, and submarines. Notably, Egypt stands out in the region for having its own military industrial complex. Government-affiliated Egyptian firms manufacture light armored vehicles and missiles (both short and medium range), and also engage in the assembly of heavy armored vehicles through contracts with foreign firms. The officer corps has traditionally played a prominent role in politics, and as part of the peace process with Israel, the United States has provided substantial military aid to Egypt.

In addition to the military, Egypt relies on various paramilitary units for internal security. The largest of these units, the Central Security Forces (CSF), falls under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior and maintains a troop strength nearly equivalent to that of the army. The National Guard, Border Guard Forces, and Coast Guard are smaller in comparison. Like many countries in the region, Egypt heavily relies on its intelligence services, which play a crucial role in maintaining internal security.

Both the military and paramilitary services rely on conscription to fill their ranks, with males obligated to serve starting at the age of 18. After discharge, individuals are generally required to serve an additional period in the military reserve. Living conditions, particularly for members of the CSF, are subpar and pay is low. In the mid-1980s, a brief rebellion by CSF members resulted in several hundred fatalities.

The Ministry of the Interior holds direct control and supervision over all police and security functions at the governorate, district, and village levels. At the central level, the deputy minister for public security oversees general security, emigration, passports, port security, criminal investigation, ministerial guards, and emergency services. The deputy minister for special police is responsible for civil defense, traffic, prison administration, tourist police, and police transport and communications.

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