"Algeria’s unilateral decision to attack kidnappers at a natural gas plant — while shunning outside help, imposing a virtual information blackout and disregarding international pleas for caution — has dampened hopes that it might cooperate militarily in Mali, U.S. officials said. The crisis has strained ties between Algiers and Washington and increased doubts about whether Algeria can be relied upon to work regionally to dismantle al-Qaeda’s franchise in North Africa. “The result is that the U.S. will have squandered six to eight months of diplomacy for how it wants to deal with Mali,” said Geoff D. Porter, an independent North African security analyst. “At least it will have been squandered in the sense that the Algerians will likely double down on their recalcitrance to get involved. They’ve already put themselves in a fortress-like state.” " Washpost
The continuing phenomenon of US inability to deal with MENA countries on their own terms rather than on the basis of our imagined images of these places is just awful.
I wrote an article in FP on-line years ago in which I argued that US illusions about Iraq were the source of of our major difficulties there.
I see that we have learned nothing since then. pl