NARCO ANALYSIS: Haftar's Retreat


After more than 14 months, Field Marshall General Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) has finally abandoned his offensive to capture Tripoli from forces allied with the Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Fayez Serraj.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: What You Can & Can't Do in Algeria


Doing Algeria analysis is always meta. It’s analysis about analysis. Algeria analysis is rarely about a thing itself because it is so tricky to figure out what that thing might actually be. Algerian affairs are boggy and it’s hard to find your footing.

NARCO RoundUp (APR20)


First, a big Ramadan Karim to everyone who is observing the Holy Month in these difficult times. Second, the NARCO RoundUp is a little late this month due to having to catch up on 7th grade math and 4th grade vocabulary. The RoundUp returns to its standard three-country format this month.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Tell Me Something We Don't Already Know About Algeria


Everyone already knows a lot about Algeria. Everyone knows that Algeria has had a challenging 12 months, having undergone a contested political transition.Everyone knows that Algeria is facing an economic crisis, now exacerbated by an unprecedented collapse in crude prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

NARCO RoundUp (MAR20)


The March NARCO RoundUp departs from the standard format and is dedicated entirely to looking at how the novel coronavirus pandemic impacts Maghreb countries. Spoiler alert: badly (but to varying degrees of bad.)

NARCO RoundUp (FEB20)


Of all the years to have an extra day it had to be 2020. Algeria’s Hirak marked its first anniversary. It’s still going strong, but it’s not clear where it’s going. Libya is war, war, and more war. And Mauritania is moving definitively into a new(er) political era.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Time to Pay the Piper in Mauritania


Pressure is mounting on former Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz and his network of associates in the commercial sector. After nearly a decade getting richer and richer, time’s drawing nigh to pay the piper.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Yet Again in Algeria


Yet again Algeria’s state-owned energy mastodon has a new CEO. The 11th in 10 years for everyone keeping count. On 5 February, Kamel Eddine Chikhi, in the chair since November 2019, was replaced by Toufik Hakkar.

NARCO RoundUp (JAN20)


Algeria is out of the woods, at least politically. Economically, not so much. Libya is worse in all categories. And Mauritania is settling into a new post-Aziz rhythm.

NARCO ANALYSIS: Solving for X, Y, and DZ


The stultifying miasma of political risk that enshrouded Algeria for most of 2019 is gone. The pre-Hirak political system has seemingly crossed the Rubicon.



NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

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