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Egypt

Egypt's New Prime Minister: The Wrong Man At The Wrong Time

Op-Ed: The military's recent decision to appoint Kamal al-Ganzouri as prime minister is the latest bad sign from Egypt's ruling class. Ganzouri, who already served under Mubarak, is the wrong choice at a time when citizens are clamoring

Ganzouri speaks to the press
Ganzouri speaks to the press
Issandr El Amrani

CAIRO - The recent decision by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to appoint Kamal al-Ganzouri as prime minister is a telling move. It is telling in its lack of imagination, in its proof of a state elite that can only accept one of its own at the helm, a man they understand will serve the state. "L'etat, c'est moi," said Louis XIV. "L'etat, c'est nous' seems to be the SCAF's motto.

One could think of no less apt a choice for the post at a time when hundreds of thousands are clamoring for more independent and visionary leadership. Ganzouri was prime minister between 1996 and 1999, and was known for his autocratic style, his tendency to micromanage government and his repression of the press and civil society.

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Geopolitics

Russia's Military Failures Are Really About Its Soldiers

No doubt, strategic errors and corruption at the highest ranks in the Kremlin are partly to blame for the Russian military's stunning difficulties in Ukraine. But the roots run deeper, where the ordinary recruits come from, how they are exploited, how they react.

Army reserve soldiers go to Red Square to attend a Pioneer Induction ceremony

Anna Akage

To the great relief of Ukraine and the great surprise of the rest of the world, the Russian army — considered until February 24, the second strongest in the world — is now eminently beatable on the battlefield against Ukrainian forces operating with vastly inferior firepower.

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After renouncing the original ambitions to take Kyiv and unseat the Ukrainian government, the focus turned to the southeastern region of Donbas, where a would-be great battle on a scale comparable to World War II Soviet victories has turned into a quagmire peppered with laughable updates by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov on TikTok.

The Russians have not managed to occupy a single significant Ukrainian city, except Kherson, which they partially destroyed and now find difficult to hold. Meanwhile, Ukrainian civilians are left to suffer the bombing of cities and villages from Lviv to Odessa, with looting, torture and assorted war crimes.

The reasons for both the poor performance and atrocities are many, and include deep-seated corruption and lack of professionalism up through the highest ranks, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who had never served in the army, and arrived in his position only because of his loyalty to the No. 1 man in the Kremlin.

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