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U.S-Algerian Security Cooperation and Regional Counterterrorism

Alexis Arieff , Alexis Arieff , Alexis Arieff , Alexis Arieff | July 01, 2011

This paper explores the recent evolution of security cooperation between the United States and Algeria, which have forged a strong partnership on counterterrorism despite lingering mutual distrust. The United States has strengthened its defense outreach to Algeria over the past decade, largely based on concerns over transnational terrorism, and Algeria has sought to benefit from this outreach as it positions itself as a vital player on regional issues following years of civil conflict and isolation. This paper also examines the implications of U.S.-Algerian cooperation for regional coordination on counterter-rorism. Both countries espouse such coordination as the correct approach to confronting Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algerian-origin terrorist/criminal network that has metastasized across the western Sahara/Sahel region, but a regional approach must also confront significant obstacles to implementation.