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16 Ibid., p. 137-138.17 Ibid., p.138.18 Ibid.8
city and key government centres around the country from insurgents and rebels. This is not thesituation in Algeria, where military expenditures accounted for 3.3% of GDP in 2010 19, a figurewhich has since risen to a massive 6.55% by 2015, making Algeria, in terms of its percentage ofGDP, the 5thhighest worldwide in military spending. 20It has signed numerous arms agreementswith nations the world over, especially the former USSR and now the Russian Federation, andalso maintains a domestic arms industry intent on keeping the Algerian military well-equipped.Furthermore, the army also controls the nation’s police force, which is a huge coercive measureagainst potential protesters, who know that they will be shown no quarter. During the 1990s, andeven today, the military has had to expend considerable effort in quelling various Islamistinsurgencies, and thus necessitating continuous resupply in arms, equipment and the like.Perhaps more importantly, the military sided with the government during the Arab Spring, whichfurther deterred any attempt at a serious popular uprising. Now we turn to Libya, where the situation could not be more different. As mentionedbefore, many neo-patrimonial regimes in the developing world deliberately weaken their armedforces to remain immune from potential coups, while keeping them strong enough to counter anyinsurgent threat against the capital and other key centres of control. Colonel Qadhafi, himself anex-army officer who was part of the cabal that overthrew King Idris, was only too aware of thethreat the army posed, and thus took measures to ensure that it could never challenge his rule.Libya nonetheless spent considerably on its armed forces, and the quality of arms available to itwas never in doubt. What Qadhafi instead did was destroy the cohesion and professionality ofthe armed forces, because it was the only real societal force that could extend beyond triballoyalties.21The traditional bonds that usually develop between soldiers were never fostered by19 Ibid., p. 137.20 CIA Factbook, “Algeria”21 Gaub, “The Libyan Armed Forces between Coup-proofing and Repression,": p.226; 2309
the military leadership, which was itself routinely shuffled up in order to prevent any unity fromarising. All promotions and appointments to high grades were subject to Qadhafi’s approval andwas based on tribal affiliation and not ability or merit, severely affecting the professionalism ofthe military leadership. 22These decisions would eventually come to haunt Qadhafi when the firststirrings of revolution began in 2011. Still psychologically reeling from the nine fruitless years ofintervention in Chad, many soldiers of the fragile Libyan army deserted at the outset of rebellion,but mostly electing not to join the rebel forces. Rather, the decision to join the rebel forces wasmore affected by tribal affiliation and geographic location, with soldiers stationed in Cyrenaicaor originating from there more likely to join in the fight against the Qadhafi regime.