Tahrir Square has once again become a tent city, recalling the beginning of the Arab Spring when Egyptians tested their might to dethrone a powerful Hosni Mubarak in Cairo. The army at that time was active in ensuring the interests of Mubarak remained intact until the time situation went out of control.
Right now, with Morsi assuming power across-the-board and the protesters back in action at the historic Tahrir square, the military has decided to stay silent and keep away from the turbulence.
Apparently, the military leadership in Egypt has been keeping a low profile since the time Mohamed Morsi sacked top generals in August, including Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. Tantawi was in charge of the 16-month transition after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
With Morsi assuming extra powers and Egypt plunging into another political crisis, the army has failed to counter Morsi’s audacious move, and there seems to be no sign that the Military council’s stance would change amid bloody protests that have rocked Tahrir Square and other parts of Egypt.
A military general who did not wished to be named mentioned to Reuters that the military council and the armed forces have left the political scene after handing power to the elected president and the army would only step in "if called upon to protect the people" in a crisis.
The Military Council’s stance of protecting the nation and the intent to intervene if requested manifests a sense of loyalty to Mohamed Morsi. After top officers were sidelined by Morsi, it seems the second-tier generals do not want to displease Morsi and fall out of favor.
The present scenario clearly shows that the military is out of the picture. Matters took a different turn when Tantawi and chief of staff Sami Enan were pushed out by Morsi. Tantawi reigned as defense minister for almost two decades under the Mubarak regime.
In the recent crisis, it would be worth the wait to see if the army would actually step out of silence and inaction if Egypt faced unrest on the scale of the revolt that toppled Mubarak.