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Morocco: Foreign Policy and Military Strategy

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Austin Thompson

on 13 September 2012

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Transcript of Morocco: Foreign Policy and Military Strategy

GDP: Egypt $188 billion
Algeria $140
Morocco $90 Geo-strategic Considerations Oil: Libya is largest holder of oil reserves, at an estimated 44.3 billion barrels.

Algeria is the third, with 12.2 billion barrels.

Both countries enjoy a positive trade balance. Military "Morocco's continuing low-level tensions with Algeria and Mauritania, and its nearly two decade long war with the Polisario over the control of the Western Sahara are the key factors shaping its force recapitalization efforts."

Under funded troops. Too great a variety of ground weapons leading to high maintenance costs.

Expanding Air Force and Navy, with modern weapon systems. Timeline of Western Sahara and key players Western Sahara Conflict The Spanish, who had laid claim to the Western Sahara for nearly a century, began to lose control over their territories in 1973.

Polisario Front begins insurgency against the Spanish 1973-75.

Morocco gains independence from France and claims part of Western Sahara, which Polisario disagrees with

The UN sides with the Polisario front and grants them independence from Spain, Morocco and Mauritania

Morocco, unhappy with the decision, launches the Green March offensive and places troops and 350,000 unarmed Moroccans on the border to assure international recognition

Madrid Treaty - Spain hold bilateral negotiations and splits the territory between Morocco and Mauritania Key Players:
-Spanish - colonists of Western Africa

-Polisario Front - a politico-military group made up of native inhabitants of the Sahara, known as the Saharawis

-Morocco, Mauritania - countries who partitioned Western Africa

-Algeria - provided the Polisario with bases and military aid Western Sahara From Decolonization to Occupation When Spain attempted to transition the colonized land to the native Saharawi population, they were met with opposition from Morocco. The U.S. became involved and was concerned about the prospects of an independent Western Sahara under the Polisario Front, the left-leaning independence movement. The US also wished to boost the political fortunes of Morocco’s pro-Western monarch, King Hassan II. In direct violation of the UN Security Council Resolution, Morocco invades the Western Sahara and, over the next 12 years, succeeds in occupying the territory.

In 1979, Mauritania withdraws from Western Sahara and by 1987, largely in part to US foreign aid, Morocco takes full control of the Western Sahara.

A cease fire has been in effect since 1991, but negotiations continue through bilateral agreements with the US Moroccan build up of military due to perceived threats from Algeria and the Western Sahara.

Militarily weaker than Libya and Algeria, although with much larger forces than the Polisario. Balance of Power: Morocco, North Africa
and the World Morocco has a complicated relationship with Spain due to maritime border dispute.

One of the leading source of illegal immigration into Spain, and drugs into Western Europe. Not a member of the African Union due to issues surrounding Western Sahara. Coupes in 1971 & 1972 led the king to exert much stricter control over the armed forces.

50-70% of Army deployed in Western Sahara, despite low levels of violence.

Algerian border closed but not violent. No troops stationed on border. international relations Morocco and the World Morocco claims control over Western Sahara, causing its de facto southern border to be with Mauritania. This relationship is no longer commented on by the US government. One of the only Islamic countries to have open relations with Israel.

After competition for the Western Sahara, relations with Spain are no longer hostile. Increasing anti-terrorism operations domestically as well as support of international anti-terrorism operations. Baker and Annan Plan Solutions for Peace Baker Plan - (In Conjunction with Kofi Annan) :
Baker I: "Framework Plan" : offers people of the Western Sahara autonomy within the Moroccan state
much like Sarawak within Malaysia
All matters except foreign policy would be left up to local government within the Western Sahara
Morocco accepted, but Polisario and Algeria rejected it, wanting a 2 state solution
Baker II: Western Sahara would be self-governed and gain Independence in 5 years
all peoples of Western Sahara would participate in government (including Moroccan settlers that had been there since 1975)
Algeria and Polisario accept as a basis for negotiation but Morocco refuses to agree to any proposal that includes Western Sahara independence as an option. SO WHAT? Morocco is one of the most active North African countries in stability and international aid operations. In addition, it has been one of the strongest supporters of anti-terrorism activities in the area. Additionally it shares a strong alliance with the United States, which in the 70's supported Morocco's quest for Western Sahara control, and since then has remained neutral in the issue. THESIS Terrorism, Nationalism, and Liberation Morocco maintains a strong stance against terrorism and is active internationally in the effort.

Moroccan intelligence services, the D.S.T. are active and proficient, they are said to have infiltrated Osama bin Laden's inner circle before 9-11.

al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM): Originated in Algeria, but has expanded it's global mission to include operations in Iraq, Western Europe, and North Africa. It is unlikely that there will be any dramatic regime changes in the country. The military is closely watched and controlled by the monarch. Although radicalization is a possible problem, domestic corruption is by far the bigger factor. All out war with the Western Sahara or Algeria is unlikely. Morocco already enjoys de facto governance of 2/3 of Western Sahara and supports a much larger military force then the Polisario. It is unlike the Algeria would engage in full out war on behalf of Western Sahara. Morocco is a stabilizing force for the US in North Africa Morocco has generally sided with the West in foreign affairs
Cold War
Opened dialogue for Camp David Accords That being said, Morocco's foreign policy has been a source of tension for the region Decolonization of Western Sahara
Western Sahara Conflict Questions?
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