To Have and Have Not. A Study on the North African Regional Capability


  • Karl Sörenson
  • Nima Damidez

Publish date: 2010-01-29

Report number: FOI-R--2830--SE

Pages: 50

Written in: English


  • North Africa
  • African Peace and Security Architecture


The North African region has a poor history of cooperation, be it economic, political or military. The establishment of the North African Regional Capability (NARC) as the region´s contribution to the African Standby Forces (ASF) signifies a milestone in the history of military cooperation in the Maghreb. However, in order to make the NARC effective it will take more than to build a formal organisation. The NARC will need to strengthen its efforts in order to ascertain a tangible operational level. NARC could prove to be an organisation which closes the gap between its members and the North African states as a whole. The North African countries already have common goals in their respective security policies; terrorism, smuggling, trafficking and armed conflicts in bordering states. An effective development of the NARC would also mean a significant capacity boost for the ASF as the North African region is the militarily strongest on the African continent. The Moroccan-West-Saharan issue continues however to constrain the region´s potential to political cooperation. An increased cooperation between the Maghreb and organisations such as the EU and the NATO pertaining to defence and security related issues might prove valuable for developing North Africa´s ability to effectively cooperate.