As the Obama administration works to shepherd the Egypt uprising toward a democratic government, it is drawing on the experiences of a half-dozen other nations whose revolutions have been the focus of internal White House study in recent weeks.
National security adviser Thomas Donilon, at US President Obama’s behest, has ordered some of his senior directors to review recent popular uprisings that have toppled governments, searching for lessons applicable in Egypt.
The White House focus has been on revolutions against US-backed dictatorships, including the 1986 revolt against Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, the Chilean transition from the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet to democracy in 1990, and the 1998 uprising in Indonesia that drove out President Suharto. Officials have also looked to Serbia and Poland for lessons.
“We are closely studying all of these cases,” said a senior administration official, who is involved in the effort and spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it. “There are no tight analogies for what has happened in Egypt, and there are many paths to successful democracies.”
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