We'll soon see how interested the Egyptian military is in dismantling the police state and supporting a fast track toward free elections. I don't think things will go as well for the people if Egyptian protesters are pitted directly against the military without Mubarak as a buffer. Again, Egypt's fundamental problem was not Mubarak and a lack of democracy. Mubarak did a better job than the U.S. has ever done in ensuring a relatively equitable distribution of national wealth. I want to see an equitable distribution of power along with wealth in Egypt as much as anyone, but in terms of improving the basic quality of life for Egyptians, I don't see much of an opportunity here. -This year Egypt joins Britain and Indonesia among the ranks of former oil exporters that have now become oil importers over the last decade. One important source of national revenue is gone, and indeed Egyptians will have to find a way to import more and more of their petroleum over the next five years in a likely atmosphere of increasing oil prices. Given Egypt's faltering ability to supply its own energy needs, the prospects for putting all those disaffected, unemployed young Egyptians to work are slim. -It was wheat prices and food price inflation that launched political protests across North Africa. In Egypt, a population of 80 million in a country that once struggled to feed 30 million means that Egypt will continue to import half or more of its food in perpetuity. This is a major national security threat for all Egyptians. Grain prices are likely to remain high for another 6 months to a year at least, and with the Chinese drought, wheat prices could potentially double again this year. More governments will face protests before this is all over. -Egypt/Israeli relations could fall apart quickly in the aftermath of Mubarak's departure. Mubarak's fall may well spark another change of government in Israel before long. The more Israel feels threatened by potential instability of its neighbors, the more likely it is to double down on repression of Palestinians.