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Geoff D. Porter

From conflict in Mali to Libya's dangerous morass, Algeria has never faced such serious threats directly on its own borders. For the moment, the country appears determined to follow its usual strategy of pushing for political solutions to the external crises while beefing up its internal security as a safeguard if these solutions fail. The problem with this strategy is that asks too much from ordinary Algerians, who can only hope that it’s the best way to protect the normalcy that they hold so dear.

Jonathan Laurence

Although the absolutism of French republican ideals has inspired democracies worldwide for centuries, it has only been France's gradual adjustment of those ideals to social and demographic realities—first to its Jewish population and in the future, perhaps, to the Muslim community or to the right—that afforded the country lasting political stability.

Yahia H. Zoubir

The Libyan leader's ouster dispersed masses of guns and refugees across the region. Already, Algeria has seen attacks by AQIM militants armed with Libyan weapons, Mali has been rocked by a coup led by armed nomads returning from Libya, Niger is struggling to cope with waves of refugees from Libya and Mali, and Tunisia's economy has been shattered by the loss of its most important trading partner.

Comment, May/June 2011
Michael Scott Doran

Not since the Suez crisis and the Nasser-fueled uprisings of the 1950s has the Middle East seen so much unrest. Understanding those earlier events can help the United States navigate the crisis today -- for just like Nasser, Iran and Syria will try to manipulate various local grievances into a unified anti-Western campaign.

This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Azzedine Layachi

North Africa is where the Arab world's recent political upheaval began and where it has reached its most violent climax. Beyond Tunisia and Libya, how nervous should the ruling regimes in Algeria and Morocco be about their political futures?

This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Michele Penner Angrist

Last week's mass protests in Tunisia were less a symptom of economic malaise than of a society fed up with its broken dictatorship. Should the other autocratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa be afraid?

This article appears in the Foreign Affairs/CFR eBook, The New Arab Revolt.

Essay, Jul/Aug 1998
Lahouari Addi

The key player in Algeria's crisis is not the Islamist rebels of the FIS but the army, the real power in a terrorized land. Increasingly, Algeria is run by a military caste that is above civil law. The generals will not let an international inquest try to uncover the truth about the recent spree of village massacres -- perhaps by Islamists, perhaps by a regime out to discredit them. Algeria's democrats sully themselves by failing to denounce human rights violations suffered by the Islamists. The army must get out of politics and let Algeria's parties, including the FIS, agree on a national pact that enshrines elections and civil liberties.

Essay, Nov/Dec 1997
Milton Viorst

One of the world's most underreported conflicts rages in Algeria, where 60,000 have died in six years of civil war. The military-backed regime, which has recently been accused of involvement in recurring massacres, has erected a facade of democracy and won the approval of France and the United States. Locked out is the Islamist movement, which scored an overwhelming victory in 1991 elections but was never allowed to take power. Other Arabs watch Algeria fearfully for omens of their countries' fates, caught between bad governments and political Islam.

Review Essay, May/Jun 1996
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Judith Miller knocked in the Middle East, and many doors opened. But her focus on Islamic militancy blinded her to enlightened currents of Islam. Separation of religion and state is not a real option in a region where the faith is central to life, but Muslims can choose what kind of Islam will hold sway.

Essay, Jan/Feb 1996
Robert Chase, Emily Hill, Paul Kennedy

The United States is spreading its aid and efforts too thin in the developing world. It should focus on a small number of "pivotal states": countries whose fate determines the survival and success of the surrounding region and ultimately the stability of the international system. The list should include Mexico, Brazil, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. A discriminating strategy for shoring up the developing world is a wise way to address traditional security threats and new transnational issues; it might be thought of as the new, improved domino theory. If effective, it could forestall the move in Congress to wipe out nearly all foreign aid.

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