Taking on Tunisia

By Brandon Scott

Written circa 2009

US policy towards Africa is controversial and varied. North Africa has its own focus for US interests which are significantly different than sub-Saharan Africa. Tunisia being in the dead center of the North African coast puts it right in the middle of US foreign policy. “Virtually all discussions of U.S. interests in North Africa start with the region’s strategic location. Perhaps the only time that U.S.-North African relations were near the top of U.S. foreign-policy concerns goes back to the early 1800s and the so-called ‘Barbary Wars.’” Later in the 20th century US policy changed course a bit. As colonial Africa fell apart into bloody independence movements the global super powers began to reach their hands in to pick up and salvage what it could for the sake of security and economic incentives. “Throughout the Cold War, U.S. relations with North Africa were defined by America’s broader struggle with the Soviet Union” (Hemmer).

US foreign policy goals in Tunisia are diverse. The State Department’s Strategic Mission Plan lists the goals of US interests. I have selected the top four goals to discuss as the other five are more general such as “Mutual Understanding” or more specific such as setting up a language school. The top four goals are stated as the following: 1) Democratic Reform and Respect for Universal Human Rights Standards 2) Stronger Counterterrorism Coordination and Cooperation 3) Regional Stability and Support for U.S. Middle East Policy 4) Open and Growing Economy (Plan).

The first goal for Democratic reform and human rights is handled primarily by the State Department. Utilizing dialogue and diplomacy the State Department is attempting to mitigate human rights abuses and coordinate democratic institutionalization. The second goal is for counterterrorism coordination and is initiated by State Department however implemented by Department of Defense and the US Intelligence community. The third goal for regional stability and support is a collaborate effort of US agencies. The fourth goal for an open and growing economy is employed via economic free trade agreements and aid packages.

“While some have argued that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 “fundamentally altered U.S. attitudes and policy toward the region,” there is a good case to be made for arguing that there has been continuity in U.S. policy toward North Africa, with the war on terror simply replacing the Cold War, a transition that was underway well before the attacks on New York and Washington. For example, even as early as 1994, the United States was worried about the rise of politicized Islam in North Africa, insisting that Islam “is not our enemy” but that “U.S. policy is firmly opposed to fanaticism and extremism.” During a Congressional delegation visit to Tunisia in 2005, Senator Russ Feingold remarked that, though his last visit to Tunis was over a decade before, the issues in U.S.-Tunisian relations had not changed: “We talked about three things 11 years ago, and we talked about those same three things again: terrorism, human rights and democracy” (Hemmer).

In 1987 President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali came to power and since then changes have been occurring at a steady pace giving way to quality of life increases and an increased yearning for education and modernity in the country. The national push for Democratic reforms and structure is seen easily in the elections that occur regularly. There were Democratic Municipal elections in 2000 and again in 2005. There is a push for observers to be employed to oversee the electoral process in hopes to bring a transparent practice. Though the evolution from colonial subjugate to a democratic free state has been long and often tedious it is actualizing and as one local national stated “it will take time” (Lancaster). A useful benchmark for Democratic reform in a country, particularly a developing Islamic state is that of the condition of liberties and equality afforded to its female population.

Unlike other male dominated nation states in the middle-east and African regions Tunisia has afforded women with many more liberties. One female city voter in the 2005 municipal elections expressing her desire to vote stated “this is our opportunity to participate in the democratic process of our country. We must be involved, it is our right but also our duty”. Women play a prominent role, not only in politics but “women play an active role in all sectors of Tunisian society as they constitute 27% of judges, 31% of lawyers, 40% of higher education teachers and 34% of journalists (Lancaster). Often in developing nations education is the key component in bridging the gender gap and Tunisia is no exception to this paradigm.

Since independence literacy has risen from 20% to almost 100% in the under 12 age group. Free press has increased however the largest obstacle seems to be self censorship, perhaps a national conscious fear of speaking out exists. The government is working to afford personal computers with internet access to citizen and there is seemingly no overarching censorship in any official capacity. One journalist was quoted as saying “Self censorship is the real enemy of a free press in Tunisia. But is important to remind ourselves that, in time, this will change. Tunisia has changed drastically over the last 18 years and the coming decade will be even more telling” (Lancaster).

US Foreign Policy spearheaded by the US State Department shows us the key foci for US policy concerns. The State Department’s general interest is to mitigate human rights abuses in Tunisia. As an ally of the United States it never looks good when the world’s leading human rights proponent is in bed with human rights abusers. Often Tunisia does not want to delve into this issue and avoids it. Despite economic advances and security assurances this is handled by an often oppressive government that partakes in such abuses. The State Department is often forced into subtle requests for human rights advances via economic and free trade discourse (State).

This is done in a way that one could consider it a slight of hand approach; however it is the only way it can be done when dealing with a nation that often is accused of being a dictatorship. Realistically that is what diplomacy is. The US wants stability and Tunisia wants money. The State Department has had to “broaden dialogue to incorporate economic issues” to assist with human rights. Other topics of discourse are weaved into the discourse of human rights. Business transparency is part of a democratic free market state and has relevance to human rights transparency. The State Department also is able to “connect technical topics to human rights and transparency” (State).

Tunisia, “a country that is far ahead in education, literacy, women’s rights and economic development, while remaining a decided laggard in democratic reform and human rights” (Plan). A view from inside the country perhaps supports a more grim perspective. One former citizen expressed disdain for the political system. He said that President Ben Ali has been in power for 17 years and his “dictatorship” is littered with “corruption” and finally remarked “and they call it a Democracy?!” Despite other sources that state there is a free press where personal censorship is the only censorship the former resident asserted that the Ben Ali government will detain individuals that speak out (Taher).

The former citizen did however give accolades to Women’s rights in Tunisia. Apparently women can dress as they see fit, which is in contrast to many other states with predominant Islamic majorities. Women live freely; have the right to divorce and the right to vote. One must presume the liberties afforded to women come from the European trends. It is important to note that Tunisia is Sunni dominated with very little Shia presence and those who are Shia do not vocalize or make it known of their particular religious affiliation. The liberties afforded in Tunisia under a Sunni dominated society sets an interesting example as most Sunni run states are much more conservative (Taher).

The political spectrum in North Africa has fluctuated greatly in specifics yet not in scope. North African nations have always been trying to seek independence yet assistance from larger nations. The evolution of Tunisia and the rest of North Africa most dramatically changed three times in the last 100 years. The first serious change was the move for independence following the breakdown of European colonial subjugation. “The collapse of over half a century of European hegemony on the continent occurred just as the Soviet Union under Nikita Khrushchev’s energetic leadership was searching for opportunities to expand its influence in the Third World” (Clough). During the Cold War the Soviets were trying to get their red hands into the African cookie jar, US policy was mainly to keep states from going ‘Commie’ as we feared the infamous Domino Effect. The Soviets however managed to a great degree to ascertain significant influence on the continent.

The second major change in politics in Africa and Tunisia specifically was when the Soviet Empire fell in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. This of course left a power/influence vacuum in the region. Immediately the US was focusing the first couple years of the decade on the Middle East in regards to the Gulf War. Later the US attempted to engage the Dark Continent in the 1990’s yet was dissuaded following the ‘Black Hawk Down’ incident in Somalia in 1994. After that was projected all around the world via global media the US was left feeling scarred and scared of Africa.

The United States in the 1990’s was withdrawing its focus abroad following 50 plus years of near insanity. The decade would remind America that they are not alone in this world. First in 1993 there was the World Trade Center bombing then in 1996 the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, then bringing Africa into focus there were the attacks in 1998 on US Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. These attacks put Africa back on the map (Wikipedia).

The third significant shift in African relations occurred come the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen and September 11th 2001 attacks, the US had now realized on a macro level that it was involved in a low intensity conflict with extremist elements of Islamic faith. This shifted US focus to Africa and the Middle East. Once Afghanistan and Iraq came into the picture North Africa became very much in the limelight of US foreign policy.

A lot can be said for how far Tunisia has come since its independence 50 years ago and also how far US policies towards Tunisia have come. “As the states of North Africa were seeking independence, moderation meant accepting that the decolonization process was going to be slow and that, in the meantime, violence, especially violence that risked creating a rift between the United States and France with regard to the developing North Atlantic Treaty Organization, had to be avoided. Thus, while the United States was nominally in favor of self-determination, it offered little tangible assistance to North African independence movements” (Hemmer).

“As the Cold War worsened, moderation meant taking America’s side against the Soviets. Tunisia, like Morocco, has had close political ties with the United States, but its small size and its republican, but still authoritarian, political system presented distinctive political challenges. In essence, the United States is attempting to slide Algeria and Libya into the policy framework already in existence with regard to American relations with Tunisia” leaving Tunisia as a forerunner in North African-US relations. “By maintaining close relations with Tunisia and [and other North African states], the United States has moved beyond dividing the states of North Africa into those that are with us or against us” (Hemmer).

US Policy makers realize Tunisia’s importance in the world. Tunisia is in a “strategic” location. Situated inside the Mediterranean Basin and falling between Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Maintaining “a stable, prosperous, and democratic” state which “respects human rights can be an important force for peace and development” throughout North Africa and the Middle East which is a US goal at large. Tunisia supports many US initiatives in the region either by taking part in them, such as counter terror efforts in the Sahel, or by vocalizing support. One interesting item that Tunisia has defended despite its Arab neighbor’s opposition is the United States operations in Iraq (Plan).

“Tunisia has been supportive of the democratic process in Iraq and of the new government”. Tunisia has also admitted to the presence of Tunisians who have participated in the insurgency in Iraq and has addressed the issue “seriously”. The very sensitive issue of the Israeli-Palestine situation is also addressed by Tunisia. Tunisia promotes “non-violence and moderation”. The US continues to “encourage” Tunisia to take a lead stance with handling Israel with normal relations. The State Department also is in hopes that having the former Tunisian foreign minister positioned in the Arab Maghreb Union as the Secretary General “will raise [the country’s] profile as a potential facilitator of regional integration” (Plan).

It is the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) which is the “central program” in America’s efforts to promote bilateral democracy in North Africa. The MEPI’s goals are defined as “supporting democracy promotion, economic reform, quality education and women’s empowerment in the Middle East.” For instance, MEPI provided money for the training of political-party staff and bankers in Morocco, parliamentarians in Morocco and Algeria, and journalists in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia” (Hemmer). Though Tunisia remains an autocratic regime under Democratic cover, it is one where “starvation, homelessness, and disease, problems” visible in most other developing countries in Africa and Asia is seldom (Wikipedia 1).

Stimulating the economies and bringing greater market value to the Tunisia economy is of great importance to US policy. Its tactic for this is to ensure “the Tunisian economy is open and integrated into the world economy” (Plan). “Beyond the fact that Tunisia [has a] small economy in relation to the United States, [Tunisia does] the bulk of [its] trading with the states of the European Union rather than the United States”.  This is the same situation in most of the North African states especially Morocco. “The situation with Tunisia is almost identical, with Europe being the destination of over 80 percent of Tunisia’s exports and the source of 75 percent of its imports” (Hemmer). France is the number one trading partner with Tunisia. This is of no surprise considering Frances colonial role in the region in the past (Taher).

It is in America’s interest to develop better economic ties with Tunisia. Through the US Trade Representative Authority in order “to increase trade with its longstanding allies in North Africa, the United States signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement [TIFA] with Tunisia in October 2002 […] while such agreements may increase U.S. trade with both, they are unlikely to substantially alter either’s overall trade patterns, especially as [Tunisia already has a] longstanding association agreement with the European Union” (Hemmer). However this is a start. There have been some setbacks though. After the TIFA agreement in 2002 “talks were stalled since 2005 until March 2008” due to difficulties convincing Tunisia of the need to better their human rights record (State).

Foreign investment and economic influence is highly European despite US efforts to attract interest to the American economic powerhouse. There is a large presence of European or European emulated shops, resorts and cafes. The Persian Gulf states have a lot of influence also. Once stability and economic prosperity reaches Tunisia there will (as there is now) be money to be made by foreign investment. The US wants a piece of the pie too and is willing to compete with European and Middle Eastern states for influence (Taher). The United States has courses of action to counter the non-US influence in the region for economic reasons.

Increasing American investment in Tunisia is of significant importance to US policy makers. The American Government has set particular objectives in order to attain their goal, and this has provided significant positive results to date. For example, the “total dollar value of American companies’ direct investment increases 5 percent over annual average of 2004-2006.” And in order to be sure there is equal bilateral trade the US was successful in that the total dollar value “increase[d] 10 percent over [the] annual average of 2004-2006.”

Piracy of intellectual property is often a big problem in developing nations with grey and black market economies. The US has pushed for “improved enforcement of intellectual property rights in the retail sector.” Though the TIFA has been signed for years, there are still specifics to be worked out. It is for this reason that “high-level economic and commercial delegation” has driven the “TIFA process toward the clear goal of a Free Trade Agreement” (Plan).

“Full liberalization of the economy will not only increase U.S. trade and investment, but will stimulate the development of a robust private sector and promote continued economic growth and stability.” This is to be done by working “with private organizations, such as the Tunisian-American Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. corporations to promote US exports and US business interests.” Another method of engagement is to “provide technical assistance programs to facilitate implementation of market-based economic reforms” in order to attain “Economic Growth and Prosperity” (Plan). Despite the complex and often difficult approach to reforming Tunisia’s economy there are signs of success for example “Tunisia is ranked most competitive economy of Africa, first in the Arab World and 29th globally” (Wikipedia 2). Globalization lends itself to globalized issues and problems. Tunisia has seen its fair share of these previously and continues to do so currently.

The US goal of promoting economic reform in Tunisia “aims to encourage the development of laws and policies that foster private sector-driven economic growth, increase U.S. exports to and investment in Tunisia, and favor sustainable development.” The Government of Tunisia has implemented in recent years a number of reforms for their economy. However, “significant barriers to U.S. trade and investment remain” (Plan).

The United States intends to “work with private organizations, such as the Tunisian-American Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. corporations to promote US exports and US business interests.” Some US Government agencies that participate in the process are the United States Department of Agriculture, the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of Transportation and the US Treasury (Plan). With such joint ventures and diverse approaches to economic reform in Tunisia the US Government is hoping the multi-faceted approach will generate a successful outcome quicker and more comprehensively.

With the events of September 11th 2001, US foreign policy to North Africa had become refocused on counterterrorism efforts. “Today, the prism through which the United States looks at North Africa is the war on terror. One example of this increased emphasis on counterterrorism initiatives is NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor. Created soon after 9/11, this ongoing maritime surveillance regime in the Mediterranean involves increased naval cooperation between NATO and Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian forces” (Hemmer).

Tunisia is centrally located between two hot spots for Islamic extremist terrorism. With Algeria to the east still facing insurgent and terrorist violence and conservative Islamic states to the west deep in the heart of the Middle East, Tunisia is a small nation that faces significant challenges in the wake of the global war on terror. US and Europe find it critical to forge alliances with the Islamic states for the purpose of managing the extremist elements in the region.

“Africa, though more imminently Northern Africa from coast to coast is going to be the next front for the current war on terror. Al Qaeda is looking for pathways into Europe geographically and demographically. Light skinned North Africans who can speak European languages fluently and with European accents coupled with much European cultural experiences and contacts is vital to the Al Qaeda threat in Europe. The only place this can be found en mass is Northern Africa. This was apparent as far back as at least 2003; around the time of the Iraq invasion” (Operator).

Originally the focus on extremist elements with potential ties to Al Qaeda was centered in Algeria where there has been an active Islamic insurgency fighting the Algerian government and attacking foreigners. However, as the Algerian government with the assistance of US-Euro assets began to crack down upon the insurgents, things began to change. US-Euro support increased greatly once the Algerian militant group ‘The Salafist Group for Call and Combat’ (GSPC) declared its allegiance to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda and renamed itself to AQIM or Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (ADL).

Initially AQIM was just an Algerian threat. However as they switched to an Al Qaeda affiliate and began being forced out of Algeria they crossed borders into neighboring countries. “AQIM is [now] active in Tunisia often using it as a command center for operations in other parts of North Africa such as Algeria and to a lesser extent Morocco and Mauritania” (Pentagon). On February 22nd “two Austrian tourists disappeared in southern Tunisia. The group claimed responsibility and demanded the release of one of its leaders, Abdel Rezak Al-Para, who has been jailed for life in Algeria” (Bloomberg).

In the message released by AQIM claiming responsibility they “warned of further operations against Western tourists. The statement released by AQIM [also] linked the kidnapping to Israeli military operations in Gaza” (Pentagon). AQIM is a concerning issue for US foreign policy and local authorities such as the “Tunisian police [who] believe that Al Qaeda has moved its headquarters from Algeria to Tunisia. There have been more arrests of Islamic terrorists in Tunisia lately, and the Tunisian population is not as alert to, and hostile towards, Islamic terrorists as most Algerians are” which is leaving Tunisia ripe for the fomenting of terror cells (Page).

To combat AQIM in Northern Africa the United States began implementing various joint operations and assistance to local authorities. “Progress has been slow, but steady. In late 2002, the Pan-Sahel Initiative (PSI), a modest effort to provide border security and other counterterrorism assistance to Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger using personnel from U.S. Army Special Forces attached to the Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR), was launched.” Later the US decided to ramp up efforts following the increased terrorist activity in North Africa. The “Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Initiative (TSCTI). Inaugurated in 2005 with support from the Department of Defense’s Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara (OEF-TS), TSCTI added Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia to the original four PSI countries” with the intent “for a rapid reaction unit for each partner country” (Pham).

In June of 2005 a TSCTI sponsored exercise named Flintlock ’05, “whose goal was to help participating nations to plan and execute command, control and communications systems in support of future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. According to the then-deputy commander of [Special Operations Command Europe] (SOCEUR), the training was ‘to ensure all nations continue developing their partnerships,’ while further enhancing ‘their capabilities to halt the flow of illicit weapons, goods and human trafficking in the region; and prevent terrorists from establishing sanctuary in remote areas.’ The strategic effect sought by TSCTI directly addresses what the 2003 National Strategy for Combating Terrorism called the ‘4D strategy’: defeat terrorist organizations; deny sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists, diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit; and defend the United States, its citizens, and its interests, not just at home but in all theatres abroad” (Pham).

Last August the exercise Flintlock ‘07, took place as a computer simulated exercise called a CPX or Command Post Exercise. “Participating along with U.S. personnel were officers from the TSCTI partner countries – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia – as well as France, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. The primary objective of the simulations run in the CPX was to strengthen the capacity of the participants to plan and execute collaborative command, control, and communications systems in support of potential future humanitarian relief, peacekeeping, as well as counterterrorism operations” (Pham).

Countering terrorist activities is in everyone’s best interest, except for the terrorists of course. The US has put into action not only the TSCTI but also restructured the African theater into one US Military command called Africa Command or AFRICOM. Tunisia’s regional neighbors “Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are [all] taking part in the U.S.-sponsored military programs. AFRICOM’s mission is to train their forces to roust terrorists and also to control sparsely patrolled borders for arms traffic, drug smuggling and infiltration by violent organizations” (Bloomberg).

Tunisia will no doubt be tied into these counterterrorism efforts. The United States is not the only foreign power however, to engage itself and assist with African nations’ endeavors to put a halt to terror activities. “European Union leaders are increasingly alarmed over the terrorism potential along the nation bloc’s southern flank, just across the Mediterranean from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.” The European Union has taken particular interest as it is believed that terrorist activities in Europe are operating with North Africa as the base or at least conduit for the operations (Bloomberg).

To date, these efforts in North Africa appear successful. “In a February 2006 trip to North Africa, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, commending each for ‘providing moderate leadership’ and being ‘constructive in the problems of the world and the struggle against violent extremism’” (Hemmer). The Tunisian government has cracked down especially hard on extremist activities making it much more difficult to operate freely. In the past extremist Islamic groups would meet inside mosques after the prayers were over. This gave extremists a safe haven to meet in secret without fear of consequences. However, now mosques have begun locking their doors between prayer times so as to force extremist elements out into more public places leaving them vulnerable to observation. Aside from terrorist activities Tunisia is rather safe. Al Qaeda may be present but it is no Iraq. The “Government in Tunisia has no mercy” for extremist elements (Taher).

One Tunisian-American who visits his home country periodically stated that Tunisia is blanketed in security forces making it very safe. He stated that walking down the street “every 200 meters is a [security agent] with a machine gun” (Taher). Besides the Austrian tourists being kidnapped recently only one deadly terror attack has occurred.  On April 11th 2002 “a suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with propane gas outside a historic synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The 16 dead included 11 Germans, one French citizen, and three Tunisians. Twenty-six German tourists were injured. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claimed responsibility” (Chronology). After this attack however tourism dropped for the next three years from 6 million to 1.5 million a year (Taher).

In the past year alone the terrorist threat in North Africa has “grown dramatically”. This is primarily due to the “September 2006 merger of Algeria’s GSPC with Al Qaeda” into AQIM.  The Tunisian Government is taking steps to counter this threat. In January 2007 Tunisian government forces engaged “a terrorist cell that reportedly planned to carry out terrorist acts in Tunisia”. Reportedly  members of the terror cell “had entered Tunisia from neighboring Algeria.”  In response to the growing threat the Government has allotted “significant military resources” to its land borders and coastline to “prevent this regional terrorist threat from spreading into its territory” and in response to requests by the American government “to prevent the flow of Tunisian foreign fighters to Iraq.”  The outcome of Tunisia’s efforts has produced arrests and “subsequent conviction of a number of suspected terrorists”, leaving the nation as a pillar for “stability in a region characterized by volatility and turmoil” (Plan).

There are many positive signs of success with combating terrorism in the area. The Tunisian military however, are “increasingly hampered by aging, obsolete or the total lack of equipment.” Reduced foreign aid “has resulted in significant numbers of aircraft, helicopters and vehicles that conduct border surveillance being grounded” due to maintenance and parts costs. The Tunisians have abided by requests from the United States Government to transform “their military from a conventional force into one that is dedicated to border protection and counterterrorism.” The State Department believe that it is “time for the United States to support Tunisia’s efforts and its growing needs by increasing foreign assistance” to the Tunisian Government via Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training (Plan).

Apparently something is working somewhat here. Since the bombing there has been no other significant attack. The kidnapping of the Austrians occurred in the southern portion of the country which is sparse territory and under patrolled. The counterterrorism efforts are taking a multi-faceted approach in Africa and this seems to be a more successful strategy. “TSCTI, in the words of one American official addressing a regional gathering in Algiers, ‘seeks to link all of our CT [counterterrorism] efforts across the region . . . by helping to strengthen regional counterterrorism capabilities, by enhancing and institutionalizing cooperation between your security forces and ours, and . . . by promoting economic development, good governance, education, liberal institutions and democracy’” (Hemmer).

US policy towards Tunisia is often complex in nature to implement due to regional circumstances and issues of cross cultural communication. However, the United States has clearly defined goals and tactics for achieving these goals. So far progress has been the outcome of policy initiatives. “The country has enjoyed steady economic growth, has a large and literate middle class, and a climate of religious tolerance. Tunisia has laws to promote universal education and protect the rights of women, and enforces them. Tunisia is on the cusp of passage into the first world.” The most prominent obstacle is Tunisia’s political system. There needs to be more done to permit increased freedom of expression and to “encourage the development of a vibrant civil society” (Plan).

Tunisia is a unique nation that has a unique positioning in the world. History has thrown a lot of action toward the country over the last century. Most Americans dream of European vacations, which is ironic in a way as Tunisia hosts millions of tourists and expatriates a year mostly from Europe. This behavior exemplifies the wonders and gems that is Tunisia. US policy towards Tunisia has pretty much been the same concepts over the last century, merely changing enemies to be allied against. The current US administration has implemented programs such as AFRICOM, PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge to name a few. These programs will directly take Africa from former colonial slaves to leaders of their future, players on the global stage. As 21st Century globalization continues to spread rapidly across Africa and the Middle East, it will be interesting to see how these changes affect US policy towards the small republic of Tunisia.

 

Works Cited

ADL. AntiDefamation League. http://www.adl.org/terrorism/symbols/al_qaeda_maghreb.asp. Accessed April 29, 2008

Bloomberg http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aA7a8hP8tIbg&refer=us Accessed April 29, 2008

Chronology, Significant Terrorist Incidents, 1961-2003: A Brief. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/pubs/fs/5902.htm Accessed April 29, 2008.

Clough, Michael. “Free at Last?: U.S. Policy Toward Africa and the End of the Cold War”. New York University Press. 1992. Page 6.

Hemmer, Christopher “U.S. Policy Towards North Africa: Three Overarching Themes”. Middle East Policy. Winter 2007. FindArticles.com. 28 Apr. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5400/is_200712/ai_n21301159

Lancaster, Pat. “The Challenge of Change”. ‘The Middle East’, June 2005, IC Publications Ltd.

Operator. Former US Intelligence. Interviewed under conditions of anonymity. Middle East, Europe & Balkans Service 2003 – 2006. April 25, 2008.

Page, Strategy http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/algeria/articles/20070226.aspx) “Al Qaeda Smuggling Operation Busted”, February 26, 2007.

Pentagon, North African Intelligence Officer. Correspondence 28 April 2008.

Pham, Peter J. “Strategic Interests” “Milestone in Partnership to Counter Terrorism in the Sahel”, http://worlddefensereview.com/pham091307.shtml

Plan, State Department Mission Strategic. Fiscal year 2009. Courtesy of Tunisia Country Desk.

State Department Interview. Tunisia Country Desk Employee. April 29, 2008.

Taher. Interview with Tunisian expatriate small business owner. Washington, DC. April 29, 2008. Wikipedia 1. “1998 United States embassy bombings.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 24 Apr 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 30 Apr 2008 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1998_United_States_embassy_bombings&oldid=207773975

Wikipedia 2. “Tunisia.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 26 Apr 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 30 Apr 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tunisia&oldid=208280291&gt;.

 

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