This might be of use: a bit of statistical context that suggests just how important Egypt is to US foreign policy.
Since the Israel-Egypt peace accord in 1979, these two countries have been the number one and two recipients of US foreign aid. (Excluding money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.) This amounts to around one-third of total US foreign aid.
The homemade charts below use data from the US State department and the Federation of American Scientists, via this site. A look at the background budget documents confirms the figures for the last three years, give or take some rounding. But please take these as indicative rather than definitive. The 2011 numbers are requested figures — not actual sums.
Note that the x-axis runs stats with 2011 on the left-hand side, and that the scales are different. Figures are in millions of dollars (nominal).
This military-economic imbalance partly explains the attitudes towards the US that eye-witnesses are picking up on the streets of Cairo. A few dollars of aid per person has barely registered, according to the Carnegie Endowment, whereas knowledge of military support is of course ubiquitous.
We’re — as you know — not experts so we’ll leave it there and turn you over to Friday’s further reading special.
Egypt coverage – FT Alphaville