Tectonic Shift in North Africa Puts Washington in Passenger’s Seat

Astute News

A massive shift in the geo-political status quo in North Africa has placed the United States in the passenger’s, not the pilot’s, seat. No longer does Washington, not even as a co-pilot with the French, influence the actions of key actors in North African affairs. The shift in the North African chessboard is the result of three recent major events. They are the resignation of Algeria’s ailing 82-year old president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who was about to begin his fifth term as president when massive protests led to his decision to step down. Bouteflika had served as president since 1999, the overthrow of Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, and the imminent fall of the Libyan government in Tripoli.

The Algerian military had originally seized power in 1992 after it was apparent that an Islamist party, the Islamic Salvation Front, would win a democratic election. Bouteflika assumed control of a “National Reconciliation” government…

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