Over the past few days, I have been monitoring reactions to the first television interview of presidential hopeful Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Away from exaggerated denials by his supporters of any negative aspects, and even constructive criticism by his opponents, I would like to focus on an issue absent from the debate. I feel this issue is worth mentioning by itself, separate from personality traits that many are focusing on, or legitimate concerns about the absence of any talk about the parameters of democracy under Sisi’s possible tenure.
What I want to focus on is El-Sisi's lack of an overall strategic vision with a clear timeline for his four-year presidential tenure, and another plan that would have a timeline of at least ten years.
First, forming an overall outlook and a clear strategy for the next four years, then translating them into projects that are quantifiable using key performance indicators, is the only scientific method to understand the components, such as energy-saving light bulbs or trucks selling food at Al-Ubur Market.
To mention these tactics while discussing the overall picture does more harm than good because their place is on strategy maps that cannot be understood in the context of a television interview.
It is obvious that during his long professional career, El-Sisi become accustomed to relying on self-momentum, a philosophy he stressed several times. It basically means regular accumulative hard work similar to the parts of a giant engine that is capable, thanks to these parts, of generating tremendous energy.
However, the result of neglecting to direct this great energy in the right direction varies from (worst scenario) the explosion of the engine itself while achieving minimal progress. A good example of this is the Great Leap Forward at the end of the 1950s in China led by Mao Tse Tung, and before that Stalin’s experiment with co-operative farming in the 1930s.
Alternatively, this immense energy is (at best) directed in a direction that causes society to miss out on greater economic returns, or in economic terms opportunity cost.