The military exercise, which answers to the pleasant name “Bouclier du désert or Desert Shield 2022”, should bring together elements of the Russian and Algerian forces next Tuesday, a few kilometers from the Moroccan border (Columbus Bechar area). Moving on to “Desert Storm” is harmless because of the spirit it conveys. But the event above all illustrates the unprecedented military cooperation between Algiers and Moscow.
Since Vladimir Putin’s first visit to Algiers in 2006, the Algerian defense budget has almost tripled and since 2017 80% of imported military equipment has come from Russia. In this context, the rivalry between Morocco, pro-European and Algeria, which is close to the United States and a historical ally of Russia, continues to grow without any vision to guide Algiers and Rabat.
In fact, this Russian-Algerian joint exercise of a dozen days, called “The Fight Against Terrorism”, is supposed to practice the anti-terrorist tactics of both armies in desert and arid environments. This is the first time Algeria has conducted such an exercise on its territory. The Evian Accords between France and Algeria lasted for five years after independence, allowing the French military to continue testing rockets and missiles at the Hammaguir base.
But on the other hand, this is not the first time that the aging regime of the Kabos of Algiers has welcomed Russian “soldiers” into its territory, as “private company” Wagner’s unofficial mercenaries are already on the job. (fechouka). Algeria also funds the group. He is paid about 9.15 million euros a month to look after Mali, and the Algerian desert is entirely devoted to his war against the many armed Islamist groups that rage across vast swathes of the Sahel.
In Morocco, the African Lion’s massive military maneuvers took place last summer, although the kingdom received assurances from Russian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who underlined these joint Russian-Algerian maneuvers, that it is time to be vigilant. “Does not target any third country”. Third countries, there are probably at least three nearby, but the closest is Morocco, whose borders with Algeria are fifty kilometers away.
This unprecedented level of ground-military cooperation between Algiers and Moscow has been absent since this event. Indeed, far from this jihadist-infested region, thousands of kilometers of glittering sands and rocks of the Sahara and dry savannah of the Sahel, a year ago, in October 2021, joint military maneuvers took place in the cold mountains of the Caucasus. . For the first time, almost a hundred men from the Algerian People’s National Army (ANP) and several snipers from the Russian forces, backed by tanks, drones and fighter bombers, trained under the same theme at the Kremlin fortress in North Ossetia. North Caucasus.
The first ground exercise since the Algerian War of Independence is aimed at uniting and preparing to fight terrorist groups attacking Mali and Algeria’s neighboring Sahelian countries. Oddly, there is no question of the Polisario’s most important Tintouf camps in the interior of Algerian territory. region.
From an Algerian politician, there is nothing to expect. Everything is in the hands of ANP. In fact, the default Algerian president, now arriving with an unpronounceable name, has failed to keep the military establishment at bay in the same way his predecessor did during his reign. Algiers’ senility never had a way to put pressure on military leaders, since the “late” General Ahmed Caid Salah defied the Algerian constitution and transferred the intelligence services to the armed forces. Instead, he became a puppet of the commanders in labor in Algiers.
In Algeria, the military will always be the first and foremost power over the politician. Algeria’s independence has always brought income and legitimacy to the armed forces, not the day after tomorrow, to the detriment of Algeria and its people. The power exercised by the Algerian military command is one of the biggest obstacles facing Algeria in moving towards a democratic model and emerging from the whirlwind of social and economic crises.
Military governments have set up a parallel funding system in the border regions, where the elderly presidency has little power, to profit from smuggling and petty crime that normally pays big. From this point of view, which Algerian society ignores, there is no other option than submission.
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