Northwest Africa: Possible future security policy focus for European powers

The USA is heavily involved in the Persian Gulf region today - mostly due to its oil addiction.

Europe might have such a focus in the distant future as well (hopefully without such a heavy emphasis on military power).

This focus could be on Northwest Africa*, a region which has natural gas, crude oil and huge barren/desert regions close to Europe and sea ports.
The region has no own great power, is economically weak and could therefore be influenced by Europe for its own and Europe's good.

The crude oil supply from Algeria and Libya is already important for Europe (in part because the U.S. wasn't exactly friendly to Libya), the natural gas production especially of Algeria is interesting as alternative to Russian natural gas - it would be liquefied and shipped by sea to dedicated harbor terminals in Europe.

The region has also a great potential for solar energy production in the barren/desert regions, high voltage power lines to ports, hydrogen production and liquefaction at the ports and finally shipping of hydrogen to Europe. An alternative would be to lay high voltage power lines directly to Europe.

Few European countries have a really high potential for solar energy production - Spain is the only lucky EU member in this regard. Many European countries have so many clouds that scatter the light (and make mirror-based solar power plants inefficient), are so far north (less sun light in general) or have so little available areas (like the Netherlands) that they cannot produce much solar power domestically. Even if they could - it would still be more efficient (technically) in Africa, especially if the solar energy needs to be stored for later use anyway.

We might see European military forces occupied with
A) deterrence of Russia and its allies in the framework of an European alliance
B) securing the energy supply from Northwest Africa
by 2040.

This deserves some thorough analysis - technically and politically.

It would be a good idea to become more involved in Northwest African affairs.
We should promote political stability in the area and friendship/good relations with its people and governments.
The military activity to secure the supply would likely focus on interventions to counter/deter coup d'états (army, air force) and securing ports and shipping lanes (navy).

Close bonds between Europe and Arab/Muslim Northwest Africa might lead to some problems for Israel, though - it's tough to be friend with both sides of a fierce feud.

Sven Ortmann

I consider for the purpose of this text these countries as "Northwest Africa"; Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, (Western Sahara) and Mauretania. Egypt might also be included (not the least because of the Suez Canal), but it's danger close to the Israel conflict. Senegal might also be included, but it's quite far away and would lose agricultural areas to solar power farms. It has a good harbor and might agree to naval and air bases, though.

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