No Country for Young Men: The Military’s Power-Hold in Algeria

    This policy outlook examines the role of the military in Algeria, how the country’s civil-military relations have developed over the years and what will dictate the military’s strategy post-Bouteflika.

    Since Algeria’s independence in 1962, the question of who truly governs the country has been raised time and time again. However, due to the opacity of the political system, it has been a difficult question to answer with clarity. Nevertheless, one institution that stands above all and which is believed to hold true power in the country is that of the Algerian military; the heir to the National Liberation Army which led the independence struggle against 132 years of French colonial rule. Looking to the military’s current position that a solution to the political impasse lies solely in presidential elections being held as soon as possible, and rejecting other political solutions calling for a transition period in order to ensure the right conditions exist before elections can be held, is one rooted in its principles. The extent of its interference in the political sphere has differed to various degrees over the decades, however, one aspect has remained constant: it is ever-present.

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