By Barbara Starr
The Obama administration tentatively plans to deliver four F-16 aircraft to Egypt, but is reviewing all U.S. military aid arrangements, according to a Pentagon official.
The planes were scheduled to be shipped by the end of August, but the delivery could be made more complicated if there is no Egyptian military plan to transition to civilian rule and the United States were compelled to formally declare a military coup had taken place, the official said.
If that declaration were made, it most likely would result in aid being halted. The official declined to be identified because of the sensitive nature of the information.
Until Thursday, all indications had been that the deliveries would go through as part of a $1.3 billion 2010 military aid package that called for 20 F-16s and Abrams tank parts to be sent to Egypt. A second Pentagon official had previously said the deliveries "were on track."
But at the behest of the White House, the Pentagon is now sounding a more cautious note.
"Given the events of last week, the president has directed relevant departments and agencies to review our assistance to the government of Egypt," the Defense Department said in a written statement.