Tunisia: Drones Over North Africa

By Scott Morgan

There is a situation in North Africa that has been briefly mentioned by the Mainstream Media in Late October: it appears that the US has been flying UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) out of a Secret Location in Tunisia. The focus is reportedly to gather intelligence on the currently chaotic state unfolding in Libya.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the US would ramp up Operations in Libya. There have been several factors that led to this decision: first of all, Benghazi has been a major embarkation point for Migrants flowing into Europe from points further South in Africa, and it has also been a point of transit used in the past by the Sudanese Government to supply arms to Syria. However, although it has not been affirmed, it can be assumed that these actions can be an admission of a US Mistake in the removal of Qaddafi.

However the revelation of this fact has raised some concerns in the region; chief of which is Algeria. There are a couple of very valid concerns here:

  1. The common border between these states is a known power base for the Jihadists in North Africa
  2. The designation of Tunisia as a Major Non-NATO ally will allow for some of the best equipped Troops and High-Tech Gadgets to be based there. Could Algiers feel a tad slighted here?

Lets digress back to the concerns of Algeria. They are not immune to the Jihadist Culture. In fact, the era of Military Rule, back in the 1990's, can be seen as the incubator for the movement in Northern Africa, which has been able to use traditional trade routes to move fighters, cash and information across poorly defined and defended borders. 

Recent concerns about Mali and efforts by Ansar Dine can also be on the radar of the planners at AFRICOM. Could we soon see US Strikes against elements in both Southern Algeria and Northern Mali as well to support a struggling UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali? 

There is at least a hidden benefit to their use. If properly employed, these vehicles can be used to monitor the flow of Human Beings, Narcotics and possibly illicit weapons from Africa and the Middle East into Southern Europe. They could also be used to monitor the movement of Jihadists across the vast open areas of the Sahara as well before they attack Military Installations and Other Infrastructure Projects that could benefit the citizens of the countries they are currently operating in.

The US is going to have a change in leadership on Jan. 20, 2017 and, whether or not Tunisia maintains its current status as a Major Non-NATO ally should not really change. In fact, this is a country that a successful Africa Policy can be hinged upon. Just like Senegal and even Niger as agendas and priorities change.

(Image: Drone - HamptonRoads.com)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. Tunisia is not trustworthy either. Are we sure we want to put our high tech in a place that can be overtaken by jihadists?


Post a Comment

Dissecting Society welcomes all sorts of comments, as we are strong advocates of freedom of speech; however, we reserve the right to delete Troll Activity; libellous and offensive comments (e.g. racist and anti-Semitic) plus those with excessive foul language. This blog does not view vulgarity as being protected by the right to free speech. Cheers