Too Close for Comfort: How Algeria Faces the Libyan Conflict

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In March 2011, Algeria opposed the Arab League’s request for a Western military intervention against the Qaddafi regime in Libya. The anarchy and arms proliferation that resulted from the ensuing war were a shock to Algeria’s own national security.

This Briefing Paper explores the underpinnings of Algeria’s foreign policy, and how it has evolved with respect to the ongoing crises in Libya, and offers insight into future prospects. The Paper notes that Algerian foreign policy has engaged with a wide variety of Libyan actors from 2011 to the present, playing a key role in international efforts to form an effective government. At the same time, Algeria has moved beyond its strict policy of ‘no boots on the ground’ to a more flexible stance on direct intervention. At its core, however, Algeria remains committed to compromise and dialogue with all parties, a stance that sometimes puts it at odds with the West.

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