By Anthony H. Cordesman
The Maghreb--Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia--is a sector overburdened via pointless army bills. regardless of chronic civil conflicts and militarized regimes in a couple of international locations within the zone, there are literally few real exterior threats, and the military at the moment are mostly used to take care of inner security.
A targeted country-by-country overview of the effectiveness of army forces, and their influence on neighborhood economics, indicates that the zone continues to be a mosaic of conflicting nationwide targets, yet strategic objectives were supplanted by means of inner conflicts, tensions, and politics. Declining army budgets are resulting in declining army power and power, yet they belie the Maghreb's power for armed clash and human ache. even supposing the Maghreb is a provider of oil and typical gasoline, which typically guarantees the eye of the West, this tragedy of hands will get little recognition from the surface global. which means the customers for the area are persisted wasteful army spending, and the consequent damage to nationwide fiscal and political health.
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Extra resources for A Tragedy of Arms: Military and Security Developments in the Maghreb
The oil wealth of Algeria and Libya has declined sharply in relative terms, and the entire Maghreb has had serious problems in economic development. The end of the Cold War deprived Algeria and Libya of Soviet bloc support, and Libya was placed under UN sanctions for its role in supporting the terrorists who destroyed a civilian airliner. Civil war shifted the focus of Algeria’s military development to internal security, and all of the Maghreb states have had growing problems with internal stability and Islamic extremism.
MILITARY EXPENDITURES Given this background, it is not surprising that real military expenditures in the Maghreb peaked in the early 1980s, and began a downward decline into the early 1990s as regional tensions declined and economic problems increased. 7 have shown, there was a slight rise in military expenditures following the Gulf War, but this was driven largely by internal security concerns. 11 show there was a general decline in the early and mid1990s, followed by a rise in the late 1990s.
Algeria and Libya have taken some steps to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and Libya has chemical weapons. This proliferation, however, is now severely limited by funding problems and access to technology. SIZE, MILITARY FORCES, AND DEMOGRAPHICS OF THE MAGHREB STATES There are important differences in the size and nature of each Maghreb country’s military efforts. Morocco, Algeria, and Libya are spending roughly comparable amounts on defense. Libya, however, has a much smaller population than the other two nations, and has far less skilled human capital to devote to the military.