America’s democracy did not emerge immediately or easily from the Revolutionary War. The Declaration of Independence turned colonies into states, but it did not unite them into a single government. The new nation struggled under the Articles of Confederation’s weak central government until it was replaced by the Constitution in 1789. And even as the United States has stood as a symbol of freedom and democracy for two centuries, the Constitution has been amended and reinterpreted all along.
Egypt is now making its own transition to democracy following the Arab Spring and the adoption of a Constitution. Like the American experience, it is bound to be a bumpy road, with false starts and changes in direction. Egypt will learn lessons from America’s past, but what roles—political, economic, military, and other— should the U.S. play in promoting Egyptian democracy? Please comment.