Uganda purchasing SU27 advanced long range fighter bombers and Egypt recently placing increased emphasis and resources on training military units(including western training efforts) responsible for upstream Nile force projection is not a coincidence.
Nile resource sharing is a massive flash point.
I recall glancing at an engineering report that indicated clearing/dredging swamps in Sudan could significantly reduce mile water evaporation and increase downstream flow.
But at massive environmental and financial cost.
Perhaps it’s time to stock up on Egyptian cotton sheets now, since the future of Egyptian cotton may seriously be in doubt.
Tough choices to be made amplified by the need for them to be across sovereign borders.
Great yt channel in general.
Turkey-Greece, Azerbaijan-Armenia, China-Taiwan, Ethiopia, Egypt-Uganda, Saudi-Iran-Yemen, Congo, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Russia-Ukraine, Morocco-Western Sahara-Algeria, India-China, India-Pakistan, Syria
Maybe I've just been watching too much Caspian Report lately, and a lot of these issues are a century in the making, but damn if it doesn't feel like early WW2 issues arising along with the geopolitical implications of climate change.
Most of the world is at peace, it's a remarkable accomplishment.
But perhaps we can also thank global communications for making it that little bit harder (though still by no means impossible) to sufficiently otherise far away populations.
That was the thesis of a book called The Great Illusion
The book argued a European war was very unlikely.
the economic interdependence between industrial countries would be "the real guarantor of the good behavior of one state to another", as it meant that war would be economically harmful to all the countries involved.
The book was published, to great acclaim, in... 1909.
We are seeing the US sanction other countries when they do things we don't like - and we are getting sanctioned in turn.
Usually much more so.
Take India-China. Those borderguards were literally fighting eachother with rocks and sticks because they don't issue guns to them PRECISELY to avoid war.
A negative feedback loop is the opposite, a feedback mechanism that self-corrects or dampens the signal.
Re. the state of war, I suggest reading "Enlightenment Now" by Stephen Pinker. We are living through the most peaceful period in history.
All of the conflicts that you listed are just run of the mill civil wars/border skirmishes/empires with rather limited pan-ethnic ambitions.
They probably can. But then what? History is not over yet.
Egypt thinks of Ethiopia as enemy state. A lot of Ethiopians believe Egypt supports every rebel group in Ethiopia. But Ethiopians still don't view Egypt as an enemy, more like a thorn on the side. For thousands of years the Nile has been flowing toward Egypt without much objection. Bombing the dam will change that. It is the equivalent to creating a monster at your water source. Ethiopia will not try to block the water or anything like that. But it can and probably will start small irrigation projects everywhere. And it will stop consulting with Egypt. In the end, this will be much more devastating to Egypt than a hydro-electric dam which isn't even used for irrigation.
What baffles me about the Egyptian stance is, climate change is coming. Projections for fresh water in Africa in the coming decades don't look rosy. Mitigation for this is, fresh water sources should be developed and protected from environmental degradation. And you need the cooperation of upstream countries to do that. Being source of 85% of the Nile, Ethiopia's support is needed to do that.
Even if Ethiopia stops constructing the dam right now, in 50 years, at a time Egypt is sporting 200 million souls, there is potential that water levels on the Nile are probably going to decrease purely from climate change.
The talk of war is stupid. Playing zero sum game of "Only Egypt" is a bad idea.
Egyptian here .. i dont think most of Egyptian believe in the military solution and even our government Led by a military Experienced person doesn't believe in that
we have been in negotiations for multiple years and eventually will involve European Union or the US to make sure agreement is fair to both parties
For the Ethiopian side(and the rest of the Nile basin countries), this is outrageously unfair. Most people here recognize the water is a lifeline for Egypt and are against reducing Egypt's share by a consequential amount. But Egyptian intent of holding onto the 85/
For those that are interested, here is some more context on official cooperation between countries that surround (and are dependent on) the Nile:
The southwest of the US addressed this via an interstate compact that lays out shared allocation of river flows: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_River_Compact
Egypt just needs to use desalinization and water saving methods like other ME states.
The Black African countries have as much right to benefit from the river as Egypt and the idea that they must submit to some agreement created by the British who ignored the needs of Nile countries is simply absurd.
If any people "own" it is the Ethiopians, the Kenyans and the Ugandans in whose countries the Nile originates not Egypt, and they have as much right to it as anyone else. Instead of having proper negotiations on how the Nile should be shared they bringing up colonial agreements which none of the African countries were parties to. This is simply absurd and as racist as anything else.
Gadaffi created huge pipelines to draw water from aquifers, a resource which is way more valuable than oil, and offered to supply a substantial portion of Egypt's water needs and these fools supported his overthrow and turned the whole country into a scene of chaos, and now they are making silly noises about war with Ethiopia and other crap.
I've heard this before, but it doesn't sound right, unless you get a weird bias because of weather patterns and lots of landmass that would drain into the arctic ocean.
If I lived in Siberia I would probably think that most rivers flow north to the Arctic Ocean.
The Islamic caliphate conquered the lower Nile from the Byzantines in their initial expansion, but failed to make progress on the upper Nile, leading the region to remain Christian. The Ottomans eventually displaced the rump states of the caliphate as the rulers of Egypt, but made essentially no progress again pushing south into Sudan. However, the governor of Egypt eventually went on a campaign and actually managed to conquer Sudan and it held for a couple of decades later. But then Sudan had a successful rebellion against Egyptian rule, so the Egyptian governor asked the British (who had by that time invaded and colonized Egypt, even though it was still legally part of the Ottoman Empire) to help him reconquering Sudan. This was successful, leading to Sudan becoming effectively a British colony under nominal Egyptian (but not nominally Ottoman, unlike actual Egypt) sovereignty .
That's how Britain acquired Egypt and Sudan. By the time of the first treaty, of course, the Ottoman Empire was carved up for good and Egypt became a clear British protectorate and Sudan a clear joint-British/English condominium. That's why Britain was involved. One of Britain's goals in ruling Sudan was to prevent it from becoming an extension of the Egyptian state, and the first treaty was an instrument to that end (by requiring Sudan to provide Egypt with a reliable supply of water, it's less necessary for Egypt to actually physically control Sudan).
 Yes, trying to figure out the actual boundaries of the Ottoman Empire were in its last century of existence is an exercise in frustration.
If the dam's an existential threat to Egypt, why don't the Egyptians simply launch a military strike to blow it up?
(No offence to any Americans reading this - there's simply no other country that's as insulated from the consequences of its military complex by sheer geography.)
Egypt can just occupy them, install a puppet regime and then move on. They definitely have that capability.
Most of the inventory is filled with short range equipment. The only jets able to reach Ethiopia are the Rafales and the SU-35 which make up a minority. They're not enough. More importantly, wars are not won by equipment (though they help immensely).
I don't get why such reductive opinions are so common when this issue is discussed.
The only variable here that could stop Egypt and Sudan from taking "drastic measures" is the international response.
>wars are not won by equipment
Are you implying that Egyptians lack something in the morale or skill department compared to Ethopia?
Well, wars happen, and for lesser reasons.
>idiotic response that lacks common sense
Please be more civil.
I have talked with a few Egyptians on the subject. Unfortunately most think a military solution would be simple and straightforward. "Egypt has hundreds of fighter jets. Ethiopia has 20, We can turn the dam into dust".
They probably can. But then what? History is not over yet.
I called your opinion reductive because, it does not consider potential consequences and is oblivious to the various factors behind Sudanese change of position. I called your opinion idiotic because it contained this statement "Egypt can just occupy them, install a puppet regime and then move on. They definitely have that capability" which is an idiotic statement and because it will create more problems than it solves. I am sorry it sounds rude but some things need to be made clear.
Fyi, Egypt invaded Ethiopia twice already and were repulsed.
And it's mostly unrelated to what I said.
>The talk of war is stupid. Playing zero sum game of "Only Egypt" is a bad idea.
Well you have a strong pro-peace opinion, doesn't mean that people who don't have strong opinions either way and are just observing should be silenced.
>it does not consider potential consequences
I shouldn't express opinions on the possible Egyptian actions and their capabilities because Egyptian actions would cause consequences? Are you ok?
>opinion idiotic because it will create more problems than it solves.
A harmful opinion on HN? I promise you Al-Sisi or his entourage don't read HN. And yet you didn't provide any arguments on why Egypt wouldn't or couldn't do it, only that it shouldn't.
The Track record of the Egyptians against Ethiopia is also not very good https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethiopian%E2%80%93Egyptian_War
Egypt more than one occasion came close to doing something like that. Long story short. Who ever has better military capabilities will own the Nile.
Egypt can use Suez as another piece to get Europe to accept its bombing campaign.
Would they? GERD destruction = tsunami on the nile, possibly setting a chain reaction through downstream dams.
Sisi has now managed to beat even Murbarak on getting the lowest rating on record from any semblance of legit polls done nowadays.
Turkey is all over Ethiopia, and Sudan on top of that. And Sisi has a paranoid fear of Turkish involvement, either back home as a subversion, or a direct attack from Turkish African bases.
Turkey staring Sisi down from all sides is by far a much bigger concern to him than Ethiopians waving their MiG 21s at him.
If he has a gram of gray matter, he will not push Ethiopians further towards decision on Turkish military base.
Egypt can not use Suez, because the US, Europe and Israel will intervene for sure on that particular case against Egypt and Egypt will lose for sure.
If anything they will just dig a canal or create some route from Eilat port to Ashdod port and make some profit out of the whole situation.
IMHO, most likely result of an attack (for Egypt) is that Egypt loses a part of its airforce in return for temporarily harming Ethiopia's ability to generate electricity at the site. At which point Ethiopia fills the dam anyway and works on repairing the damage, while Egypt wouldn't be able to repeat this.
But yes, the planes would be expendable. That said, Egypt could very well breach the dam itself. It would needs some creative use of munitions but modern munitions are precise enough to allow for breaching of dams.
The real question is what Sudan would do (probably lie down for the Egyptians).
The reason is the topography. Ethiopia has lots of mountains, like Switzerland and it is painful to attack.
Any foreign nation helping Ethiopia could mean disaster for Egypt.
Go block oil extraction in the Arab world and USA will be all over you...national interest.
You mean like they did in the 70ies when the opec cartel cut oil production for political reasons? yeah...
That is irrelevant. Oil is fungible. Block oil exports from the Middle East and the price of oil skyrockets worldwide including in the US.
From 1975 to 2015 the US had a law banning most crude oil exports from the US (aside from Canada and partially Mexico), effectively creating a separate North America-only oil market. It wouldn't take much for the US to reinstate this ban, meaning oil produced in the US stays in the US. And since the US is a net oil exporter, that means North American oil prices will stay low and stable.
Egypt has NO other water resources except the Nile river.
How about Ethiopia? AT LESAT 936.4 BILLION Cubic meters and we don’t count underground water here (16.9 times as the Egyptians).
Simply speaking: what does Ethiopia need?
Ethiopia wants to SELL the water to Egypt.
Ethiopia is being used as a dirty hand to get Egypt down in any debate with major forces especially Israel.
Water MUST NOT be sold.
You CAN NOT trade lives of millions by money.
This problem should be finished once and for ever.
All the Nile river African countries have ZERO problem of water supplies EXCEPT Egypt.
Egypt is already suffering from extreme water deficiency.
Ethiopians always claim that they don’t get any benefit from the Blue Nile. Well, the answer is so simple, it is the civil wars that got your country sunk in bloodsheds of killing, it is your divided ethnic groups, it is your inadequate capability of using the huge water resources that you already have.
I am not sure who supports negotiating about the lives of millions of people by trading their lives with money.
You guys don’t imagine the consequences. It is not about war only, it is about uncontrolled anger which will reach a lot of places in the Ethiopian country.
Last, if you don’t have enough information about this debate, do not place meaningless comment. This is not your daily sh* you post on social media. Numbers talk. That what we all know. Without number, what we say is just garbage.
Grow up and have the info. Do not place your fail as a country or people on another nation
Don't let the large trapezoid shape fool you. Most of that is the result of a line on the ground drawn by colonialists.
If you want see a country like Egypt look at the Gambia, another country drawn along the eponymous river wholly surrounded by Senegal, another product of colonial machinations.
See also: Nevada