Coverage of Egypt’s political affairs since 2011 is littered with references to the increasing role played by the military establishment. While a correct observation, a more thorough examination of examples is needed to demonstrate the exact scope and nature of military influence.

Specifically, this analysis considers how the Egyptian Armed Forces (EAF) is performing duties typically carried out by the state. The government has long been party to a social contract with the wider population, and there are indications that the military is increasingly upholding the state’s end of the contract. Long term, the effect of over reliance upon the EAF could run to Egypt’s detriment in two ways. It will (1) hamper institutional interaction, as the separation of powers between executive and security becomes less defined, and (2) jeopardise political stability, which may end up more dependent on the EAF’s opaque and nepotistic practices than under any previous government.