Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Pivotal State

Algeria does occupy an important geostrategic space, and that, taken together with its resources, probably does place it in contention for being considered a pivotal state. Its proximity to Europe, as well as its position as a major Arab state, mean that what happens in Algeria will have repercussions beyond its borders. Although Algeria may no longer serve as a model to others, events in Algeria could still have regional consequences, both negative and positive.
In North Africa and the Middle East, events in Algeria are followed closely.
...Events in Algeria can influence, for better or worse, a wide range of countries in the Middle East and Europe, both regions of importance to the United States; and Algeria is likely to be a major source of energy for Europe in the future, with all that implies for investment opportunities in Algeria for Western companies. On balance, the United States and Europe have every reason to hope that Algeria will follow a stable, positive course in the future and should be prepared to help it where possible.
...If Algeria is as important as we have maintained, it certainly makes sense to try to raise the level of political dialogue (between Algiers and Washington).

By William B. Quandt
in "The Pivotal States: A New Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World"
Robert Chase, Emily Hill, Paul Kennedy, Editors
W.W. Norton & Company , New York, 1999.

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