President Obama cancels U.S. participation in Egypt’s Bright Star Exercise

President Barack Obama has withdrawn U.S. participation in September's Bright Star Exercise with the Egyptian military following his condemnation of Egypt's rising violence.

"As President Obama has announced, the United States military will not conduct the Bright Star training exercise scheduled for later this year," said Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in an Aug. 15 statement, "The Defense Department will continue to maintain a military relationship with Egypt, but I made it clear that the violence and inadequate steps towards reconciliation are putting important elements of our longstanding defense cooperation at risk."

Bright Star is conducted every two years and typically involves thousands of American air and ground forces training in various Egyptian locations. The exercise is viewed by the Pentagon as vital to U.S. Central Command's theater engagement strategy.

The U.S. has already postponed delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt.

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