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How Algeria Mocks the United States and the West

How Algeria Mocks the United States and the West

Why did Algeria deny holding military maneuvers and exercises with troops from the Russian Federation inside its borders in November 2022, while these military exercises did take place in real? Why did the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirm the occurrence of these maneuvers during a TV interview he conducted with Russia Today TV in February 2023, despite the fact that the official Algerian position on the conduct of these maneuvers remains one of denial? Why were these joint Russian-Algerian military maneuvers exercised near the Algerian-Moroccan borders? These important strategic questions can be exhaustively discussed, but at the first moment of thinking they prove that the Government of Algeria is not saying the truth about the intentions, the purposes, the scope, and the extent of its military cooperation with Russia. Undoubtedly, Foreign Minister Lavrov statements affirming the conduct of these military maneuvers involving his nation and military units from Algeria inside the premises of the borders of Algeria was a big embarrassment for the Algerian regime. Circumstances could be plausibly invoked as the rationale for having these military maneuvers take place. However, the contradictory stance between Russia and Algeria indicate serious strategic flaws and critical political miscalculations on the part of the Algerian leadership. The national security establishment and its media component in Algeria is in a state of disarray. The news bulletin for the evening news on November 28, 2022 for the Algerian public television station (ENTV) announced an official statement from the Algerian Ministry of Defense proclaiming falsely that theses maneuvers had been cancelled. But the Algerian Ministry of National Defense did not publish any press release in its official platforms testifying to the cancellation of these maneuvers with Russia. Other strategic factors accounting for Algeria’s political dishonesty could be cited, such as

the always Algerian diplomatic approach that is consisting of denying the holding of these military exercises. This makes these untruthful statements an act of lying. And this in turn raises several crucial questions as what the real motivations of these explicit military denials are. For sure, they aim at misleading the international public opinion.

In addition, these shameful denying actions provide once again irrefutable proof of Algeria’s hypocrisy and fickle character. Can any nation consider Algeria any thing but untrustworthy country after confronting these facts about its military relations with Russia? Moreover, this political attitude on the part of Algeria could be explained by the pressure exerted by the Western powers on her. These Algerian lies send a wrong message that Algeria is distancing itself from Moscow. Nevertheless, this is falsehood.

Despite the Western warnings addressed to Algeria, the decision makers of this country remain determined to serve Russia’s military interests, by offering it strategic access to the western Mediterranean. It seems to any political observer that Algeria has been adopting an opportunist posture. Denying the convening of these military exercises was for the purpose of not to hurt its relations with the West, its main energy customer, by falsely advancing the cancellation of the Algerian-Russian maneuvers. 

Furthermore, the statement by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which took place a few days after the visit of the Chief of Staff of the Algerian Army, General Saïd CHENGRIHA to Paris, was presented as a response to the West, aimed at sending a message about the unchangeable nature of the relationship and the significant degree of cooperation that characterize the two countries of Algeria and Russia.

All these developments vouch once again to the political dilemma facing Algeria in trying to meet Western expectations while keeping its strategic and historical relations with Russia intact. In this regard, 

this paradoxical strategic orientation of Algeria is a series of situations confirmed in particular by the visits that the Algerian President  Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE will make next May, to Paris and Moscow, during which Algeria will be misleadingly presented as being a non-aligned country and positioning itself at an equidistance between the international powers. Apparently, Algeria violates the tenants of the Non-Alignment Movement by drawing herself closely to the Russia orbit of influence.

This mishap over Algeria’s military maneuvers with Russia emphasize wider strategic ramifications harmful to the national security of the United States. Algeria is not bound by the international sanctions against Russia. Algeria is openly supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine. Algeria is preparing the ground for the notorious mercenaries of the Wagner Group to dominate North Africa. This can be a national security threat to all the countries located in that part of Africa. One can think that Algeria is following the rule of giving Russia a strategy of “implicit obligation,” to extend its hegemony in the southern tier of the Mediterranean Basin. Algeria is making national security decisions for Moscow to have a military presence in the African geographical part of the Arab World. Algeria is granting Russia a green light to follow an aggressive foreign policy in Africa and the Middle East. Algeria’s military exercises with Russia is plugging North Africa into the Russian sphere of influence. Through Algeria, Russia wants to impress the Arabs and the Africans with its massive military capabilities. Russia and Algeria labelled these exercises as anti-terrorism planning. Yet, in reality they appear as a redemption of Moscow’s failure to fight terrorism along with the West. Finally, the maneuvers help to determine that Algeria is presenting the world with a new strategic initiative which is to bring Russia’s military power deep into North Africa and the Middle East as a new strategic doctrine that could pose a threat to the countries in that part of the world stretching from Egypt to Morocco. At the end, this growing Algerian-Russian strategic bond must be contained, neutralized, and defeated.

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