Seems the Obama Administration had their hand on the pulse of the Egypt uprising since last August. According to reporting from The New York Times, President Obama ordered a secret report detailing areas of unrest in the Arab world, and ways to assist the people of this region to peacefully absolve the political conflict. The report, called The Presidential Study Directive, focused on Egypt and other places, including Yemen and Bahrain.
The Times report states;
In Yemen, too, officials said Mr. Obama worried that the administration’s intense focus on counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda was ignoring a budding political crisis, as angry young people rebelled against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an autocratic leader of the same vintage as Mr. Mubarak.
“Whether it was Yemen or other countries in the region, you saw a set of trends” — a big youth population, threadbare education systems, stagnant economies and new social network technologies like Facebook and Twitter — that was a “real prescription for trouble,” another official said.
The White House held weekly meetings with experts from the State Department, the C.I.A. and other agencies. The process was led by Dennis B. Ross, the president’s senior adviser on the Middle East; Samantha Power, a senior director at the National Security Council who handles human rights issues; and Gayle Smith, a senior director responsible for global development.
The administration kept the project secret, officials said, because it worried that if word leaked out, Arab allies would pressure the White House, something that happened in the days after protests convulsed Cairo.
Read the Times Report here.