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2013-01-19 Africa North
Algerian reaction to raid rooted in history
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Posted by tipper 2013-01-19 02:53|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6459 views ]  Top

#1 Basically, they attacked the kidnappers before Western governments could pay the ransoms demanded, on the understandable assumption any ransoms paid would strengthen the rebels. I don't blame them. At the same time, I suspect they'll have issues getting foreign experts to man their oil installations until security around these places is tightened up.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2013-01-19 07:34||   2013-01-19 07:34|| Front Page Top

#2 The WaPo is complaining today in a front page story that the Algerians ruined Obama's careful strategy for north Africa.

Posted by lotp 2013-01-19 08:48||   2013-01-19 08:48|| Front Page Top

#3 Was this part of his strategy for North Africa ?
Posted by Besoeker 2013-01-19 08:55||   2013-01-19 08:55|| Front Page Top

#4 The WaPo is complaining today in a front page story that the Algerians ruined Obama's careful strategy for north Africa.

Washington isn't offering the Algerians enough to make them want to help:

Algiers has agreed at times, but it only approves flights on a case-by-case basis and often requires extensive advance notice, U.S. officials said. It withheld blanket permission unless Washington promises to share intelligence from the flights, including what they observe while over Algerian territory. U.S. officials said they are legally barred from doing so because of concerns that Algeria might misuse the intelligence to target people who are political opponents, not terrorists.

The Algerian military and security services have a history of brutality and extrajudicial killings. During the civil war in the 1990s, one faction of Algerian generals earned the nickname “the eradicators” for their insistence on eliminating enemies instead of negotiating.

I understand where they're coming from. A globe-straddling superpower like the US can fight for years with prodigious amounts of resources without making even a tiny dent in its economy. An economic pygmy like Algeria can't attack the problem with anywhere our resources, which means they need to resort to coercion, which will, in some cases, involve the physical extermination of tribes or factions that are attacking them.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2013-01-19 09:03||   2013-01-19 09:03|| Front Page Top

#5 There might also be a racial factor. Algerians may not want to help blacks to fight Arabs. The history of Algeria has been the history of slave raids into black-ruled territory. How much of that lingers is an interesting question.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2013-01-19 09:13||   2013-01-19 09:13|| Front Page Top

#6 The Algerians weren't too happy about Libya:

Feelings also remain raw in Algeria over the NATO-led military intervention in Libya. Although the campaign successfully toppled longtime ruler Moammar Gaddafi, the United States and its NATO allies did little to contain the aftershocks.

The region was destabilized by a flood of weaponry and armed Tuareg nomads who had fought for Gaddafi but escaped across Libya’s borders. Many of those mercenaries have since teamed with AQIM to take control of the northern half of Mali.

“This has just been an utter disaster. It was eminently foreseeable,” the senior U.S. diplomat said of the ripple effects from Libya. “It was the infusion of that additional manpower and weapons . . . that enabled this to happen.”

I can imagine them being more worried about a Western attack on them in response to a local rebellion than a few rebels in Mali. A prudent leadership would be stockpiling weaponry in preparation for Western attack instead of frittering away its resources on a situation in Mali the West cannot ignore.
Posted by Zhang Fei 2013-01-19 09:18||   2013-01-19 09:18|| Front Page Top

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