Military Expert Ali Hefzy on ISIL, U.S. Policy in the Region
After the barbaric slaughter of 21 Egyptians in Libya by ISIS, we were all appeased by our retaliatory air strike, which was obviously planned ahead and definitely coordinated with the Libyan authorities, as evidenced by the quick response. However, the decision of going to war outside your territory should be well-calculated so as to achieve a political aim; otherwise it would be a losing battle. The measures that are implemented and the action taken must consider all the circumstances and consequences, in the short and long term”.
This is how Major General Ali Hefzy began the interview conducted with him by Al Bawaba Egypt, to get his opinion on the situation in Libya and the security measures in place to protect Egyptian borders, after the rise of terror groups in Libya and in light of the conflict with Hamas – allies of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The rise of terror in the Arab countries and now in Europe has been significant, how do you explain this growth? And how do you evaluate the politics of the United States of America (USA), with regard to the region and its support of terrorists?
We have to understand that the United States of America doesn’t have a government, they have an administrative team, applying strategies they receive from a group of specialized committees, which include the CIA and the Departments of Defense and Economics, for example. These departments study each region carefully and plan the strategies that safeguard their own interests.They plan a minimum of 10 years ahead.
With regard to the current developments in the Middle East, I remember what former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said 10 years ago about “Creative Chaos”. In the end, politics achieves its targets through the “Art of the Possible”.
What we see now is the result of years of planning, and is no surprise. I myself found a very important document about invading Iraq before anything happened.
The plan also covered reforming the political map that would be linked to the “Creative Chaos” plan.
Egypt has been and will always be targeted. It was ruled by non-Egyptians for 2500 consecutive years, from 500 BC till the July 1952 Revolution. Everybody knows that the Middle East will not thrive without Egypt; therefore the planners don’t want Egypt to be strong so they can implement their agendas in the Middle East, for the benefit of America and its spoiled baby Israel, to the detriment of Egypt.
Henry Kissinger once said that they wanted Egypt to be up to its neck in trouble all the time, so it wouldn’t be able to achieve any development internally or externally. It would then be easy to give Sinai to the Palestinians and solve Israel’s problems with the Palestinians forever.
The other thing I want to confirm, especially to the younger generation, is that Egypt is strong because it has a strong Army; the reason they target the Egyptian Army is because they know if they destroy it, Egypt will fall.
It’s very important to know that we are caught between two wills that are in conflict: Egypt’s will to make progress and the will of other countries to do the same; if one country’s interests clash with another, each might want to get ahead, at the expense of the other.
Now that almost all the tunnels in Sinai have been destroyed, do you still consider that our eastern border is threatened, with Hamas in charge on the other side? How do you evaluate the military operation against terrorism in Sinai?
The tunnels on the border were first established when Egypt was supporting the Palestinians at a time when Israel was putting pressure on them. Then Hamas took over the tunnels, turning them into a conduit for every kind of illegal trade, and made millions out of them.
We were surprised when the Israelis left the border with Egypt to the Palestinians, and later divided the Palestinians by establishing two ruling parties instead of one and giving Hamas the area on our border.
The eastern border is Egypt’s treasury. Sinai has all the assets that are needed for comprehensive development, not to mention the new Suez Canal that will take Egypt’s economy up to another level.
This explains the constant bomb explosions and terror attacks in Sinai in the past 10 years. They want to block its development.
All this is being done to make Sinai appear to be unstable in the eyes of the international community in order for them to have a pretext to interfere and to give parts of Sinai to the Palestinians.
I can say that we have been 85 per cent successful in destroying the tunnels. However, new ones are built and that is why I think the best scenario is to initiate talks with Hamas, to put an end to tunnel building.
The success we had in Sinai meant failure for their plan of invading Sinai, so they had to open a new front, on the Libyan border, in order to distract us from purging Sinai of the terrorists and developing it.
The war used to be between two state armies, now it’s between militias and state armies, how can the Army deal with an enemy like this?
This strategy is aimed at degrading armies. The new form of warfare is different from the old. They call it 4th generation warfare, in which militias fight state armies in a “Proxy War”. The plan is to bring terrorists from all over the world to the region, in order to destroy its countries from within.
What are the security measures being enforced to protect all of our borders?
All our borders are at risk, to the East we have Hamas, to the West we have the Libyan militias, and to the South there is Sudan, which does not really monitor its border. For a border between two countries to be secure, both sides have to monitor it, which is not the case with our neighbors. That’s why I salute our border guards for their great efforts in protecting Egypt.
I also salute Field Marshal Hussein Tantawy for maintaining the Army for the past 20 years, in addition to preventing the spilling of blood during the 25January Revolution.
How do you explain the sudden rise of ISIS in the region?
When the Muslim Brotherhood was in the picture, there was no ISIS, now that they are gone, there had to be a new enemy, whether it be ISIS, ISIL, the Nusra front or anything else. They all have one mission which is: Destabilizing the Region.
What our 30 June Revolution did was to kick the United States out of Egypt; and hatred for America has been growing by the day. So in order to be able to interfere in the region once again, they created ISIS as a new enemy, who is extremely aggressive and powerful.
The flagrant aggression in the latest video was done on purpose, to provoke us.
ISIS is supported by the USA, Turkey, Qatar, and maybe Israel, as a tool to be used to support their strategy and to make alliances with those who also want to benefit from the chaos.
Egypt is surrounded by terror on all sides; do you think the Suez Canal will be threatened if the Houthis take over in Yemen?
The Americans have three strategies to penetrate Egypt: the first is Psychological Warfare, which involves spreading rumors to frighten people; the second is stirring up the country through continuous bombing,burning, and destructive acts everywhere; and the third is creating crises in order to distract people from making progress and to force them instead to focus on solving each crisis.
The main problem is the Psychological War. The Suez Canal is an international trade route, used by major countries. Do you think they would allow the canal to be threatened? I don’t think so.
How are we going to solve the conflict with Ethiopia with regard to the dam that is being built as we speak? Could it lead to war?
This issue is not going to be solved in one day and it won’t end soon, it can take years to be settled. Nonetheless, Ethiopia has the support of Turkey Qatar, Israel and the USA They are all pushing the project and financing it. I don’t think this dam is a problem, because experts say water will flood over it in 20 years. The real issue is that they want to build several dams to stop this happening.
War is not a random action; it is a tool that can be used by a country to enforce a political opinion. If war cannot achieve its goal, it is better not to wage it. War is accompanied by great losses and therefore it has to be studied from every angle. You have to be sure of winning the war that you wage. Imagine if we hadn’t won the October War and if we’d failed to win back Sinai.