Civilian Competences

Civilians play almost no role in decisionmaking and strategic planning for defense, and as a rule are not employed in the defense sector, except in military businesses. Civil servants in other branches of government are not equipped with the professional skills or access to information needed to provide support roles, and women play virtually no role in the military outside of clerical and medical services. The defense sector has some policy and scientific research infrastructure, but does not exhibit high capacity to collect, process, and utilize data and makes little or no use of civilian competences in these fields.

Low Efficiency
Q1. Do civilian professionals contribute effectively to policymaking, oversight and management, and support of the defense sector?

Civilians are completely excluded from policy-setting and decisionmaking in the defense sector, and the military does not accept their authority or recognize a role for them. Both the president, who holds a civilian position as head of state, and the minister of defense come from the armed forces. The prime minister and a handful of key cabinet ministers are members of the National Defense Council, which is nominally responsible for defense policy and military deployment, but they have no detailed grasp of or role in strategic defense planning and procurement decisions, which take place elsewhere.

Very few or no civilian officials have expertise in military affairs, while the significant number of retired officers in parliament use their positions to lobby for the armed forces rather than enable the legislature to engage in defense affairs. The military faces significant gaps in financial and human resources management, strategic planning, inspection and evaluation, and defense research and analysis, but does not acknowledge the contribution that civilians can make to its capacity in these and other areas, such as research and development in the defense industry.

The military disparages civilian defense expertise and discourages any systematic effort to develop or acquire professional civilian expertise, except marginally, in accounting and cyber security. Despite needing and occasionally requesting foreign assistance in systemic functions, including planning, oversight, and pensions, the defense sector is highly resistant to providing access, sharing information, or accepting advice.

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Very Low Efficiency
Q2. Is the military effective in expanding the pool of human resources, skills, and specializations it can draw on by integrating women into the armed forces and expanding the scope of tasks they undertake?

There are no formal barriers, whether legal or regulatory, to the enlistment of women in the armed forces, but in practice they are recruited exclusively into clerical, administrative, and medical positions and are not known to have risen above the rank of major. No policy reviews are in place relating to the enrollment of women in other spheres or in the various branches of the armed forces, despite a promise by the prime minister to consider this in 2018.

The armed forces have not adapted or adjusted their rules and regulations, training programs, and facilities to integrate women. Standard terms of engagement apply to men and women, but in practice women enjoy more flexibility in work hours and vacation leave. Regulations prohibiting sexual harassment are in place, although there is no evidence that military personnel are actually punished for violations, and there is no gender discrimination policy. The military has made occasional, nonbinding comments about allowing women to serve, but has no action plan to promote or implement this, despite the publication of a national gender strategy in 2017 (The National Strategy for the Empowerment of Egyptian Women 2030). There is no evidence that foreign providers of military assistance have advised or assisted the Egyptian military to enlist women or to adapt its structures and regulations to enable this.

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Low Efficiency
Q3. Does the military possess the orientation and means to make effective use of civilian competence in the collection, processing, and utilization of data in an information-intensive era?

The armed forces’ reluctance to employ civilian competences to acquire, analyze, and share information about itself slows down ongoing modifications and upgrades in operational capabilities, doctrine, equipment, delivery of core missions, and strategic planning. Military Intelligence and military schools such as the Nasser Higher Military Academy engage in data-based research and analysis, but there is little evidence that this feeds into policy, strategic, and operational planning. Nor is it clear that the armed forces’ strategic planning branch has highly developed capacity.

Reluctance to employ civilian professionals to acquire, analyze, and share information about itself impedes modifications and upgrades in operational capabilities, doctrine, equipment, delivery of core missions, and strategic planning. Relevant departments of the Ministry of Defense and the armed forces compile data on personnel, and Military Intelligence routinely gathers information on the rank and file and on the general population, but there is little evidence of a comprehensive or systematic capacity to identify, acquire, and analyze data to guide recruitment, modify demographic profiles and skills sets, or formulate development strategies.

The armed forces occasionally commission surveys by research centers to gauge public sentiment, but this does not include routine polling or scientific surveys and surveys are not released to the public. The military has commissioned some civilian universities to provide training in data collection and analysis, but this does not reflect a broad effort to develop professional competences. Officers produce research on nondefense affairs as part of courses of study at home or abroad, but these are not published in peer-reviewed venues, and participation in research seminars outside of courses of study is the exception rather than the rule.

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Low Efficiency
Civilian Competences
Efficiency Levels
Q1 - Civilian Contribution
Q2 - Integration of Women
Q3 - Utilization of Competences