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Egypt Snapshot: Why Did US Restore Military Aid? Jobs. (Gaouette/Capaccio)

The Obama administration’s decision to begin releasing $1.3 billion in annual military aid for Egypt will avert a disruption in arms sales that might have cost thousands of U.S. jobs and as much as $2 billion in contracting penalties for the U.S. government.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, invoking U.S. national security interests,...used her authority to waive congressional conditions on the aid that require Egypt to demonstrate democratic progress. Her decision, assailed by human rights advocates, also took account of domestic factors that are important in an election year.

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