Businessmen in Arms: How the Military and Other Armed Groups by Elke Grawert and Zeinab Abul-Magd

By Elke Grawert and Zeinab Abul-Magd

The Arab Uprisings have introduced renewed consciousness to the position of the army within the MENA zone, the place they're both the spine of regime strength or an important a part of patronage networks in political structures. This selection of essays from foreign specialists examines the commercial pursuits of armed actors starting from army companies in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Sudan, and Yemen to retired army officials’ fiscal endeavors and the internet of investment of non-state armed teams in Syria and Libya. a result of mixed strength of industrial and hands, the army usually manages to include or quell competing teams and therefore, to revert achievements of progressive events.

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82–83. 48. Brömmelhörster and Paes, The Military as an Economic Actor. 49. , 4. 50. Paes, “Towards a Political Economy of Soldiers in Business,” 75–90; Brömmelhörster and Paes, The Military as an Economic Actor. 51. For Central Asia see Heinemann-Grüder, “Patron-Client Relations,” 58–69. 52. Paes, “Towards a Political Economy of Soldiers in Business,” 89. 53. Brömmelhörster and Paes, The Military as an Economic Actor, 188. 54. , 188. Ibid. 56. , 190. Kaldor, New and Old Wars. Ibid. 59. Brömmelhörster and Paes, The Military as an Economic Actor, 194.

They are competing with rudimentary state forces over control over Libya’s economic resources—oil, gas, airports, ports—and this struggle shapes the (re)construction of state institutions in a way to preserve the militias’ privileges. Militias established local rule and a “moral economy” derived from previous patterns of partially autonomous orders in many parts of the country. Droz-Vincent thoroughly traces the multitude of militia funding sources. Since 2014, in the context of a political stalemate that brought state building to a halt, rival militias have been fighting each other in an escalating civil war.

Evidently, the officers have successfully survived the last sweeping wave of change and have come out of it fully retaining their dominance by winning back the presidency after briefly losing it to an Islamist group. Nevertheless, this chapter poses questions about the ability of al-Sisi’s new regime to adapt to simmering discontent in such difficult postrevolutionary times, while applying ambiguous economic policies unfavorable to the very socioeconomic groups that elected him. Focusing on their economic activities, this chapter investigates the recent history and contemporary realities of Egypt’s “adaptable officers”2 as they adjusted to moments of fundamental transition.

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