Ben Wedeman reported on CNN a short time ago that “a source familiar with the thinking of Egypt’s ruling party” (interestingly vague bit of sourcing, that) tells him Suleiman's appointment ensures that a credible (from the military's perspective) successor is in place should Mubarak need to go. That makes sense to me. 

This ties into the bigger point I've tried to make over the last two days: Egypt’s military is an independent, free-standing organization and it holds ultimate authority in the country. Mubarak, in effect, heads that organization. His peers (the generals) are loyal to him, but have a deeper loyalty to the institution. They won't abandon him lightly, but will not hesitate to do so if they believe they must. 



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