US getting tough on Egypt's army? Don't bet on it
Tough spot for Obama
Even beyond a desire to placate Israel, the Obama administration faces other domestic political issues that make taking a hard line against Egypt difficult.
Though the Muslim Brotherhood denies responsibility, it is believed to have had a hand in the burning of as many as 50 Coptic churches in Egypt in recent weeks. Furthermore, its Islamist doctrine runs counter to the beliefs of many of Obama's important domestic constituencies, such as women and gay voters.
Disrupting aid now could put the White House in the difficult position of being asked to explain why it maintained aid to a government with Islamist roots but cut aid to a military that shows no interest in furthering an Islamic agenda. That's especially true for a president whose most radical political opponents falsely, but regularly, accuse him of being a Muslim.
"It's not right to go out and kill people," Adelman said. "But the Egyptian military has only one interest: their own interest."
—Yousef Gamal El-Din in Cairo and John Torrisi contributed to this article.