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Algerian Terrorism Against France, 1954-1962 PO 483: The Politics of Terrorism.

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Presentation on theme: "Algerian Terrorism Against France, 1954-1962 PO 483: The Politics of Terrorism."— Presentation transcript:

1 Algerian Terrorism Against France, PO 483: The Politics of Terrorism

2 Historical Background Historical Background: Historical Background: 1830: France conquers Algeria (Empire, Raw Materials) 1830: France conquers Algeria (Empire, Raw Materials) : Colonization : Colonization French Populate Algeria French Populate Algeria French Political Control over Algerian Majority (Mélange) French Political Control over Algerian Majority (Mélange) : Slow But Minimal Assimilation : Slow But Minimal Assimilation Many Muslims Receive French Education/Citizenship Many Muslims Receive French Education/Citizenship Many Serve France in WWI (Exposed to Pan-Arab Movement) Many Serve France in WWI (Exposed to Pan-Arab Movement) Demand Changes, But Ignored Demand Changes, But Ignored

3 Historical Background World War II World War II France Conquered; Free France Fights Under De Gaulle France Conquered; Free France Fights Under De Gaulle Algerians Offer Assistance, But Demand Full Citizenship Following War Algerians Offer Assistance, But Demand Full Citizenship Following War Impossible for French to Comply – Would Make them A Minority in Their Own Territory (Israeli/Palestinian Parallel) Impossible for French to Comply – Would Make them A Minority in Their Own Territory (Israeli/Palestinian Parallel) Post War Post War French Seek to Reclaim Prestige by Reasserting Colonial Control French Seek to Reclaim Prestige by Reasserting Colonial Control Indochina Resists ( ) Indochina Resists ( ) Algerian Nationalists, Including FLN, Take Note of Vietnam and Press for Independence Algerian Nationalists, Including FLN, Take Note of Vietnam and Press for Independence

4 The FLN Campaign Strategy: Crenshaw’s “Revolutionary” Terrorism (S/I in Our Typology) Strategy: Crenshaw’s “Revolutionary” Terrorism (S/I in Our Typology) Largely Follows Irgun Template in Final Form Largely Follows Irgun Template in Final Form Target Groups Target Groups Attacks: French Government & Algerian Elite Attacks: French Government & Algerian Elite Other Crucial Audiences: Indigenous Algerians, Metropolitan France, Arab States Other Crucial Audiences: Indigenous Algerians, Metropolitan France, Arab States Intended Responses: Shock and Fear on Part of French Government and Algerian Elite (Acquiesce to Independence); Sympathy and Assistance From Other Audiences Intended Responses: Shock and Fear on Part of French Government and Algerian Elite (Acquiesce to Independence); Sympathy and Assistance From Other Audiences

5 Strategy (Continued) Did Not Want to Alienate Algerian Moderates (Elites and General Population), But Convince Them of Righteousness Did Not Want to Alienate Algerian Moderates (Elites and General Population), But Convince Them of Righteousness Wanted to Frighten and Impress French Government & European Population in Algeria, But Not Elicit Crushing Backlash Wanted to Frighten and Impress French Government & European Population in Algeria, But Not Elicit Crushing Backlash Wanted to Impress Arab States, But Not Be So Violent and Random As to Make Aid Politically Infeasible Due to International Costs Wanted to Impress Arab States, But Not Be So Violent and Random As to Make Aid Politically Infeasible Due to International Costs In the End, The Tactical Operations of The Terrorist Campaign Eventually Satisfied the Most Important of These Strategic Objectives, But Not Without a Great Deal of Trial and Error and Numerous Nuanced Changes in Strategic Approach In the End, The Tactical Operations of The Terrorist Campaign Eventually Satisfied the Most Important of These Strategic Objectives, But Not Without a Great Deal of Trial and Error and Numerous Nuanced Changes in Strategic Approach

6 Strategic/Tactical Phases of FLN Campaign Phase 1: Initial Attacks (November 1954)– Phase 1: Initial Attacks (November 1954)– About 70 Low-Intensity Attacks; Deaths Limited About 70 Low-Intensity Attacks; Deaths Limited However, Nearly Destructive Failure However, Nearly Destructive Failure Primitive Primitive Key Administrative Targets in Algeria Largely Untouched – French Were Not Impressed, Decided to Respond With “Efficient Repression” Key Administrative Targets in Algeria Largely Untouched – French Were Not Impressed, Decided to Respond With “Efficient Repression” Some Deaths Were Accidental – Algerian Moderates Were Horrified By Them Some Deaths Were Accidental – Algerian Moderates Were Horrified By Them No Response By Metropolitan French, Arabs No Response By Metropolitan French, Arabs Government Immediately Took Steps to Eliminate; Utter Failure; Elimination Close at Hand Government Immediately Took Steps to Eliminate; Utter Failure; Elimination Close at Hand

7 Strategic/Tactical Phases of FLN Campaign Phase 2: “Compliance” and “Endorsement” Terrorism ( )– Phase 2: “Compliance” and “Endorsement” Terrorism ( )– French Response Made Collaboration Attractive; FLN Had to Prevent This By Playing Indigenous Population and French Adm. In Algerian Against One Another French Response Made Collaboration Attractive; FLN Had to Prevent This By Playing Indigenous Population and French Adm. In Algerian Against One Another Forbade Behaviors They Felt Were Detrimental to “Islamic Nation” – Punishable By Death (Compliance) Forbade Behaviors They Felt Were Detrimental to “Islamic Nation” – Punishable By Death (Compliance) At Roughly The Same Time, Sought to Strike Against Infrastructure, Prestige, and Population of French Occupiers, and Get Them to Strike Back Indiscriminately Against Algerian Subgroup (Endorsement) At Roughly The Same Time, Sought to Strike Against Infrastructure, Prestige, and Population of French Occupiers, and Get Them to Strike Back Indiscriminately Against Algerian Subgroup (Endorsement)

8 Strategic/Tactical Phases of FLN Campaign Effects of Phase 2 on Target Audiences: Effects of Phase 2 on Target Audiences: Algerian Moderates Began to Lend Support Out of Fear (Growing #s) Algerian Moderates Began to Lend Support Out of Fear (Growing #s) Administration Responds with Growing Frustration and Violence Administration Responds with Growing Frustration and Violence Metropolitan France Still Uninvolved, But Arabs (Egypt) Begin Lending Assistance Metropolitan France Still Uninvolved, But Arabs (Egypt) Begin Lending Assistance Significant Attacks Led to Indiscriminate French Violence Against Algerian Population; Cycle of Violence Served to Help FLN Significant Attacks Led to Indiscriminate French Violence Against Algerian Population; Cycle of Violence Served to Help FLN Additional Numbers Means That Algerians (ALN) Can Develop Uniformed Regiments and Paramilitaries – Higher, More Successful Forms Of Political Violence Additional Numbers Means That Algerians (ALN) Can Develop Uniformed Regiments and Paramilitaries – Higher, More Successful Forms Of Political Violence

9 Strategic/Tactical Phases of FLN Campaign Phase 3: “Isolation” Terrorism ( )– Phase 3: “Isolation” Terrorism ( )– Done in Conjunction With Higher Forms of Violence Done in Conjunction With Higher Forms of Violence Main Purpose: Get Metro French Population to Pressure French to Vacate Main Purpose: Get Metro French Population to Pressure French to Vacate Strategy – Random Attacks on French Civilians in Algeria (Causes Outcry in France) Strategy – Random Attacks on French Civilians in Algeria (Causes Outcry in France) Battle of Algiers (1957) – Harsh French Response – Effective, But Distasteful to Metro France Battle of Algiers (1957) – Harsh French Response – Effective, But Distasteful to Metro France Late 1958 – FLN Begins Attacking France Proper, Careful to Avoid Supporters Late 1958 – FLN Begins Attacking France Proper, Careful to Avoid Supporters This Strategy Frightened and Alienated Metro France and Impressed Subgroup, Increasing Calls/Support for Independence This Strategy Frightened and Alienated Metro France and Impressed Subgroup, Increasing Calls/Support for Independence

10 The French Response To The FLN French Strategy and Goals: French Strategy and Goals: Convince Algerians and Metropolitan French That French Rule in Algeria is Advantageous Convince Algerians and Metropolitan French That French Rule in Algeria is Advantageous Convince French-Algerian Government That Rule From Paris is Advantageous Convince French-Algerian Government That Rule From Paris is Advantageous Convince Algerian Nationalists That French Rule is Advantageous, or Eliminate Them Convince Algerian Nationalists That French Rule is Advantageous, or Eliminate Them Convince International Audiences That French Rule in Algeria is Better for Algeria Than Algerian Rule Convince International Audiences That French Rule in Algeria is Better for Algeria Than Algerian Rule French Algeria – Dualist Society: French Algeria – Dualist Society: Settlers – White, Urban, White-Collar Entrepreneurs Settlers – White, Urban, White-Collar Entrepreneurs Algerians: African/Arab, Rural, Laborers Algerians: African/Arab, Rural, Laborers

11 The French and the FLN Algerian Groups With Whom The French Could Deal: Algerian Groups With Whom The French Could Deal: Liberal Nationalists (Abbas), : Sought “Emancipation” Within French Institutions Liberal Nationalists (Abbas), : Sought “Emancipation” Within French Institutions Islamists (Ben Badis), : Sought to Restore Muslim Purity to Algeria With Legal Means Islamists (Ben Badis), : Sought to Restore Muslim Purity to Algeria With Legal Means Revolutionists (Hadj), : Sought to Gain Independent Algeria, By Violence if Necessary Revolutionists (Hadj), : Sought to Gain Independent Algeria, By Violence if Necessary By 1950, Revolutionists Had Won Over Support From More Liberal Counterparts. Abbas Turned Against Reform Path, and Postwar French Reconsolidation Efforts Increased Algerian Dissatisfaction By 1950, Revolutionists Had Won Over Support From More Liberal Counterparts. Abbas Turned Against Reform Path, and Postwar French Reconsolidation Efforts Increased Algerian Dissatisfaction

12 The French Response Initial Attacks (November 1954): Initial Attacks (November 1954): 20,000 Additional Troops, Police Dispatched 20,000 Additional Troops, Police Dispatched Search and Destroy Mission Successful in Not Alienating Subgroup Population Search and Destroy Mission Successful in Not Alienating Subgroup Population French Position: “Algeria is France” (Mitterand) French Position: “Algeria is France” (Mitterand) France Implements Some Reform Measures to Further Placate Moderate Algerians (Soustelle Plan) France Implements Some Reform Measures to Further Placate Moderate Algerians (Soustelle Plan) Modernize Economy, Housing Modernize Economy, Housing Called For French Investment in Algerian Communities Called For French Investment in Algerian Communities Inclusion of Algerians as French Citizens (Direct Rule) Inclusion of Algerians as French Citizens (Direct Rule) Limited Effect (FLN Engages in Compliance Terrorism) Limited Effect (FLN Engages in Compliance Terrorism) Troop Involvement Angers NATO, Interests Metro France Troop Involvement Angers NATO, Interests Metro France

13 The French Response Culmination of “Endorsement” Terror/Battle of Algiers (1957) Culmination of “Endorsement” Terror/Battle of Algiers (1957) Beginning of “Isolation” Terror; Offensive Against French Population in Algerian Cities Beginning of “Isolation” Terror; Offensive Against French Population in Algerian Cities French Response: 500,000 Police and Troops Active; Paratroop Division Ordered to Algiers French Response: 500,000 Police and Troops Active; Paratroop Division Ordered to Algiers Paratroops, Attempting to Conduct Work Suited to Urban Police, Resort to Torture and Random Violence (Elimination of FLN at All Costs) – Effectively Stop Terrorist Campaign by October Paratroops, Attempting to Conduct Work Suited to Urban Police, Resort to Torture and Random Violence (Elimination of FLN at All Costs) – Effectively Stop Terrorist Campaign by October Support From French in Algeria, But Alienates Met France (Anti-Torture Campaign), Which Forces Gov’t to Back Off – Breeds Tension Support From French in Algeria, But Alienates Met France (Anti-Torture Campaign), Which Forces Gov’t to Back Off – Breeds Tension Turns the Last of the Algerian Moderates Against France Turns the Last of the Algerian Moderates Against France

14 The French Response Tension Between French Gov’t (Paris) and French Settlers in Algiers Culminates in Military Leadership in Algiers in May 1958 (Massu as Gov.-Gen.) – Treasonous Tension Between French Gov’t (Paris) and French Settlers in Algiers Culminates in Military Leadership in Algiers in May 1958 (Massu as Gov.-Gen.) – Treasonous De Gaulle Reassumes Power in Paris (Collapse of 4th Republic): Wants to Reassert Parisian Control Over Algeria, But Proposes Algerian Self-Determination De Gaulle Reassumes Power in Paris (Collapse of 4th Republic): Wants to Reassert Parisian Control Over Algeria, But Proposes Algerian Self-Determination FLN, Almost Defeated, Sees This as Surrender FLN, Almost Defeated, Sees This as Surrender Massu Recalled as Governor-General in 1960; Settlers Forcibly Take Over Government in Algiers Massu Recalled as Governor-General in 1960; Settlers Forcibly Take Over Government in Algiers Bedlam Turns Met France Entirely Against French Algerians (Manifesto of 121) – Material Support for FLN Bedlam Turns Met France Entirely Against French Algerians (Manifesto of 121) – Material Support for FLN

15 The French Response : De Gaulle Intensifies Campaign for Separate Algeria – Army Radicals Turn Against Him in Attempted Coup (April 1961) : De Gaulle Intensifies Campaign for Separate Algeria – Army Radicals Turn Against Him in Attempted Coup (April 1961) Putsch Fails; Army Loses Willingness to Maintain Control Over Algeria – War Essentially Over Putsch Fails; Army Loses Willingness to Maintain Control Over Algeria – War Essentially Over More Radical Algerian Group (OAS) Begins Terrorist Attacks Against French Algerians AND FLN – Does Not Impact FLN, But Forces French Citizens To Leave Algeria Once Conflict Over More Radical Algerian Group (OAS) Begins Terrorist Attacks Against French Algerians AND FLN – Does Not Impact FLN, But Forces French Citizens To Leave Algeria Once Conflict Over Ceasefire in March 1962 Ceasefire in March 1962 Independence in July 1962 Independence in July 1962


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