Thursday, 23 November 2017
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Although locked in a long competition for regional primacy with its traditional rival, Algeria, Morocco has benefited from Algeria's large and well secured territory which buffers the country from jihadists in the region and in the Sahel, writes Garcia Munoz.


But economic and social unrest and growing conservative forces of Islam together with rising political militancy are threats to Morocco's long time stability. Contemporary religious political movements espouse a postmodern Islamist model to attract youth who, out of frustration due to unemployment that reaches more than 36 percent, are searching for an alternative to the current system

The countries that make up the Maghreb region of North Africa — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya — are defined as much by the broad desert expanses of the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains as they are by the waters of the Mediterranean. Wedged between the coastline of the southern Mediterranean and an ocean of sand, the populations of the Mahgreb have a long history of interaction with Southern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the broader Middle East. Current challenges to political stability, regional militancy, changes in energy production and in the economy — given their proximity to Europe and to former European colonial holdings in Africa, and the continued economic and security relationships between these regions, makes events in the Maghred resonate in regional and Western capitals, says Ambassador García Muñoz.

PART 1 - TUNISIA

Six years after the “Liberty and Dignity Revolution” in Tunisia, the threats to the country are: first, to improve the economy to meet the expectations of the population regarding development, jobs, healthcare, transportation, education and so on, because the government has still not improved the welfare and the standard of living of a great mass of its citizens. And second, corruption that is corroding Tunisia’s democratic achievements. Of the claims of the population during the revolution, one -liberty- was achieved through the political transition and the constitution. Yet the other –dignity- is the biggest challenge it is encountering because in many ways the Government is acting as if nothing has happened after 2011. This situation makes that the fraught economic and political environment is in danger. At the root of all this is the corruption that is pervading the whole Tunisian system of governance.

We mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

As the European Union struggles under the reality and threat of countries or regions leaving it (as discussed in "Humpty Dumpty in slow motion"), it might be thought that the United States of America represents a haven of stability. But the Southern Confederacy was not the first or last word on secession, which history shows is as American as apple pie, writes Joseph E Fallon..

What manner of man is the new UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson? On the next page is an edited version of a profile by Andrew Gimson, published in Conservative Home just over a year ago when Williamson was appointed Conservative Chief Whip, a few days after his fortieth birthday, and after only six years as an MP.

The Catalan Referendum, regional pressures, the EU, and the “Ghosts” of Eastern Europe

By Joseph E. Fallon

What is happening in Catalonia is being repeated elsewhere in the EU in less bloody manner. Bavaria and Venice are examples of two of the larger regions/nations in Western Europe seeking greater autonomy from their State on the road to independence. While the EU is negotiating the secession of one of its members under Article 50, other pressure are building which may amount to an existential threat to the EU itself. How should it react to potential unilateral declarations of independence which, if unaccepted, may amount to unsettled borders for existing members and for new applicants – breaking a fundamental condition of EU membership? There has been little exploration of this topic, especially in the context of previous international commitments.

 

We mark the passing of those who have served this country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome.

This is an edited version of a presentation made by John Everard, UK Ambassador to North Korea (DPRK) 2006-2008, to a EURODEFENSE conference in London.

1. Conventional capabilities include supplies of gas such as Sarin (used to assassinate Kim Jong Nam in Singapore). The often-quoted artillery facing Seoul may be degraded, and troops are reportedly under-trained and under-armed as nuclear and missile programmes have drained cash from other areas of armed forces. Defectors report low morale in what is mostly a conscript army.

With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S became the world's only "hyper power". A state defined as possessing such overwhelming economic, technological, political, and military powers and resources, it has no rivals. No individual state, nor any alliance of states are capable of challenging its global primacy. Washington can project its power anywhere across the globe at any time. Power so intimidating, it should fulfill the maxim of Sun Tzu, China's great military strategist: "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." Power that has, however, experienced unanticipated limitations, writes Joseph E Fallon.

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