Regarding Tunisia


One of the most interesting intersections in US Foreign Policy currently is the conflicts that are presented when US National Security Interests are in conflict with Human Rights Concerns.

Currently most focus has been on the relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia. There is an effort currently by the Biden Adminstration to have the Kingdom increase its Energy output while criticism over the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and the role of the Kingdom in the Yemeni conflict appear to be clarion calls for Human Rights Activists.

At this time Saudi Arabia is not the only country that falls under this criteria.

We could add Tunisia to this list. There are severals why this is taking place and why some Human Rights Concerns appear to be trampled.

A major military exercise Phoenix Express 2022 just concluded on June 3rd. This is an North African naval exercise that took part in Tunisia and throughout the Mediterranean Sea. This years exercise was organized by AFRICOM and United States Naval Forces for Europe and Africa.

How important is this relationship? Admiral Robert Burke the Commander of US Naval Forces Europe-Africa and Allied Joint Forces Naples describe Tunisia? “Tunisia regularly demonstrates their commitment and willingness to partner with the US in our shared vision of peace and maritime stability in North Africa and the surrounding Mediterranean waters,” Tunisia also has the status of a Major Non-NATO ally as well.

However in recent days the Biden Administration has raised concern over the actions of President Kais Saled and his decsions to fire 57 judges this week for charges such as corruption. This action also targeted 2 judges who were involved with the investigation into the death of two left wing activists

Activists have been concerned since President Saled froze Parliament last year over influence by Islamist Parties and consolidated power into his own office instead of independent institutions. such as a Independent Judicial Review commitee These acts have not garnered the criticism that the Khashoggi murder created.

One thing should be remembered. Nations do not have allies. They have interests. It appears that it is a National Security Interest of the United States that there there is “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa. Does it place Washington into interesting and potentially compromising positions? Yes it does. The different reactions regarding events in both the Kingdom and in Tunisia present a glaring example of hypocrisy.

However it is interesting to see one Country such as Saudi Arabia scrutinized for its actions while Tunisia gets very little criticism.


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Specialist in US Policy (Security, Assymetrical Operations and Business Development) towards Africa and Arab World (Washington DC – USA)

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