SUMMARY: This post is several posts originally written in January and February merged together. These posts were put off from being posted for reasons of time, attention deficits, satisfaction. They were all originally experiments in ways of thinking about recent events to do with Algeria’s defensive posture (which has been the subject of some much writing lately). It is concerned with some of the public writing and analysis on Algerian foreign policy, especially with respect to Mali immediately before and during France’s intervention there. The main gist is related to Algeria’s strong attachment to national sovereignty in its foreign policy, its defensive (also called ‘paranoid’) posture overall, and the country’s self-image. It is not concerned with evaluating or making a case for how Algeria or other ought to do one or the other such thing in foreign affairs. It is however interested in considering adjusting some assumptions about Algerian foreign policy in general.
It also includes some thoughts on issues such as the assumptions and expectations seen in some public writing about Algeria’s military capabilities, its ‘success’ in fighting terrorism, the extent and scope of its ambition as a regional ‘hegemon’ mainly in the post-Qadhafi period, opacity in Algerian decision-making and its origins; it also includes some remarks related to the complications of Algeria’s ongoing generational transformation. It is not meant to be definitive or authoritative, just one grain of sand on a long beach. Continue reading