Egypt's Military, Morsi at Increasing Odds

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Tension is rising between Egypt's powerful military and the country's Islamist president.

Since President Mohammed Morsi took office last spring, the military has made it clear it will step in if Egypt descends into another political crisis.

Military leaders have openly defied orders from the president several times.

The latest friction comes after rumors that Morsi plans to replace Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, his defense minister and army chief, who does not want to bring the military under the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government.

El-Sissi has been quoted as saying he would not allow the Brotherhood, or any other group, to dominate the military's national identity.

According to some analysts, the "rumor" about Morsi firing his defense minister was meant to gauge the military's reaction.

Attempts by both sides to quell the tension are falling short.

"The two sides may be publicly dismissing reports of tension, but the army is making it very clear to the presidency that any attempt to dismiss el-Sissi would backfire," Ret. Gen. Mohammed Qadri said. "They claim mutual love and respect, but what is happening is not indicative of this."

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