Sahara Issue: US Think Tank Suggests Ideas for Trump’s Team

The US Think Tank, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, recently published a report suggesting for the Trump administration the policy it should adopt to preserve the United States’ interests in North Africa.

The report highlights the risk of destabilization in the Maghreb region in the case of an armed conflict about the Moroccan Sahara and focuses on Morocco’s diplomatic and economic breakthrough in the black continent in the wake of its return within the African Union (AU).

In this report, titled «Strengthening stability in northwest africa – Ideas for U.S. Policy toward Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia»  the two authors, Robert Satloff and Sarah Feuer, suggest to the new President’s team the diplomatic line to follow in the Sahara issue and the interactions between Morocco’s emergence in Africa and the interests of the USA.

The authors of the report believe that the countries of northwest Africa — Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia — have proven either more resilient or more adaptive than other Middle East states to the political upheavals that have engulfed the region over the last half-dozen years following the Arab Spring. To varying degrees, however, “stability remains a major challenge for all these countries as they face transnational terrorism, spillover from the conflict in Libya, abrupt shifts in domestic political dynamics, potential flare-ups of regional conflicts, and unforeseen events that could ignite deep-seated resentment at a local mix of stagnant economies, endemic corruption, and profound disparities between wealth and poverty.”

In view of this fragility, The Washington Institute warns the Trump administration against the risks of destabilization in the region and advises it to weigh with all its weight to prevent an armed conflict between Morocco and Algeria and its proxy, the Polisario, about the Moroccan Sahara. A war in the Sahara would threaten the stability of Morocco and Algeria and would provide a windfall to jihadist groups in the region, the authors of the report warn.

Touching on Morocco’s return to the African Union and the country’s emergence as a new great African power, the Washington Institute invites the Trump administration to ensure that this Moroccan ‘Neo-Leadership’ in Africa benefits American economic interests and especially US firms.

They argued that the United States should make of the Kingdom an economic, industrial, financial and logistical platform to reach African markets and encourage Moroccan initiatives on the continent in the fields of security cooperation and the fight against terrorism and religious radicalism.

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