Low Efficiency
Scores on a scale of 15
Social Perceptions & Cultural Attitudes
The armed forces are regarded as contributing actively to nation building, and enjoy high levels of trust among the general public. In contrast, military personnel tend to adopt a paternalistic attitude towards society as a whole and to view government agencies and the private sector as lacking in competence, honesty, and patriotism. The military reinforces public trust through extensive public infrastructure and housing projects, supporting the supply of basic commodities, and public relations campaigns. The armed forces are not seen as exercising significant social discrimination, but are regarded as partisan in a highly polarized political environment despite striving to project an image of republican values.
Low Efficiency
Q1. How is the military perceived by civilian actors?

The armed forces enjoy high public esteem compared to other state institutions, enhancing military morale and motivation and ensuring a constant supply of willing manpower. Compulsory national service makes the armed forces representative of society, by and large, contributing to nation building, but entrenched class stratification within the rank and file limits the military’s contribution to social integration.

A significant part of the population views the armed forces as a bulwark against the Muslim Brotherhood, but their continued political prominence also perpetuates polarization and negative perceptions among other social sectors of what is seen as undesirable military intervention in the public domain. The armed forces are nonetheless successful generally in projecting a positive image of past achievements and masking failures.

Military careers are seen to offer prestige and social mobility, and are sought after among middle and lower middle classes, though not among the affluent. Public discussion of defense affairs or dissemination of information relating to the military is prohibited, unless issued by official military agencies or spokespersons.

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Intermediate Efficiency
Q2. How does the military perceive civilians and its role in relation to them?

The military tend to view civilian politicians, government officials, and businessmen as incompetent, self-seeking, or corrupt, and the general public as in perpetual need of assistance and guidance. This contrasts with the self-image of the armed forces as the saviors of the nation, thanks to their superior skills, discipline, and patriotism. Civilian authorities do not deserve automatic obedience, therefore, especially in anything relating to national security. The armed forces contrast what they portray as their attachment to republican values and nonalignment with any social class or group, with what they regard as self-serving or sectarian agendas of Islamist parties or other sectoral interests.

The military does not actively impede wide social representation in its lower ranks, but the officer corps is closed to applicants from low-income families and anyone with Islamist sympathies, and Copts are under-represented in the armed forces generally, especially in senior ranks. The armed forces have a deep sense of entitlement based on their readiness to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the nation and on the contribution they claim to make to social and economic development. There appears to be no systematic method of surveying public opinion to assess the military’s public image or improve it if needed, but select government research centers are occasionally asked to provide general assessments.

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Low Efficiency
Q3. Are appropriate policies and capabilities in place for civil-military cooperation?

The military undertakes a significant volume of public works and supply activities, many of which overlap with the normal scope of civil-military cooperation. This includes construction of highways and other public infrastructure, water and sanitation projects, and classrooms and clinics in rural areas, as well as youth training in technical and language skills and delivery of free or subsidized food packages, basic commodities, and health services to low income population groups. However, the military frames these activities as support for the state and a contribution to national development, and lacks a formal civil-military cooperation doctrine.

Similarly, the armed forces have several departments and civilian construction brigades that undertake public works, but have not established dedicated civil-military cooperation units or staffs. Management and technical training for civilian activities pertains to running military businesses. Consultation and coordination with civilians appear to relate exclusively to implementation of public works and involve government officials, without participatory assessment of needs and impacts by beneficiary communities.

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Low Efficiency
Social Perceptions & Cultural Attitudes
Efficiency Levels
Q1 - Civilian Perceptions
Q2 - Military Perceptions
Q3 - Civil-Military Cooperation