Created: 11/7/1962

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible


HIENovember 7,2

Sourcei CIA According

ote on tha cover "Tha following intelligence participated In tha preparation of thia aatUatei "The Central Intelligence Agency and the Intelligence organisations of the Departments of Btata, Defense, the Any, the Savy, and tha Air Force." All member* of. Intelligence Board oonourred In thla estimate onxcept the Atonic Energy Couiaalon Representative and the Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who abstained on the grounds, that the aubjeot waa outside their jurisdiction.



A Seven years of rebellion and terror have left the Algerians weary, uncertain, and divided. Moreover, the established bases of tha aoclety and tha economy have been altered; two-thirds of the Europeans hava left the country, and SO percent or more of the labor force Is Jobless.reat extent the modern sector of the economy latate of collapse. Many enterprises hare been abandoned by their European owners, and the arteries of commerce and communication have broken down at manypoints (Parat.)

current period is one of relative political calm.has seized control, and for the moment at least hasof the largest and best disciplined military force InHe Is trying, during the present respite Into consolidate his political position, to improveImage, to Impose hla authority over the Armedto revive the economy ,

Bella, who calls himself both an "Arab Socialist"Marxist, appeara at the present time to be much closerIn policy and doctrine than to the Communists.however, Is based upon his words and actions toboth national end international matters; there is as yetbard evidence on the new regime to permit us toany degree of finality Ben Bella's basic philosophicha may indeed prove to be far more radical than heAt the present time Ben Bella does not appear totoward France, and he does not now plan majorchanges likely to affront major French interests.Kheddists, who oppose him, and Colonel Boumedienne,supports him, appear to be more radical than


approved for release

anTE. apr ?ioi


Little has yet been accomplished in economic revival, and the chances are poor that much will be accomplished In the next few months. Thus, the population in tha cities, now dependent upon foreign charity, may become increasingly frustrated, and living standards In the rural areas, already barely sufficient to sustain Ufa, may be further driven down. [Paras,

Ben Bella's immediate prospecta for holdingfairly good, we believe thatear he will bewith severe political challenges. Tha intractlbleAlgerla'a economic problems, tha somewhat chaoticwill persist, and latent hostility to his rule inof the society, all will tend to undermine Ban Bella'sAny oneumber of oppositionist leaders mightexploit the dissatisfactions of the Jobless, and there laof unrest in tha countryside. Ben Bella must alsoestablish his authority over tha radical DefenseBournedlonne,howdown between the twoto occur sooner or later. If Bouniedlenna becamepolitical infighting, if thero were growing Insecurity inand subversion in the countryside, or If there wereand confusion In the government, Boumedlennestep In andilitary dictatorship. (Paras.

do not believe Algeria's annrninced policy ofwill be followed with purity and consistency. Alreadyhave aided with Cuba against tha US. But at thethey are bound to Francoost of cultural andTha present leaders will probably not deliberatelythe Soviet Bloc, but they probably will, mora oftenUS or Franca would like, support Communist initiativesvariety of International Issues They will almostmilitary and economic assistance from tha Bloc.cannot rule out tha posilblllty that Ben Bella himselfa more radical international stance in response toor external blandishments,ora radicalasBan Bella, Communistand Ideology In both domestic and foreign policysignificantly increase. )

t J



following intelligence organ izoriom participated in the preparation .

y Th* Central Intelligence Agency and tfie intelligence organciatiors ol theol State, Defeme,y, the Navy, and the Air Force.


Director of Intelligence and Research. Deportment of State


I . . I .1 .



national intelligence estimate

The Short-Term Outlook in Algeria

approved fob release1




years of rebellion and terror have leit theuncertain, and divided. Moreover, the establishedthe society and the economy have been altered; two-thirdsEuropeans have left the country, andercent or morelabor force is Jobless.reat extent the modernthe economy istate of collapse. Many enterprisesabandoned by their European owners, and the arteriesand communication have broken down at manypoints. {Paras.)

current period is one of relative political calm.has seized control, and for the moment at least hasof the largest and best disciplined military force inHe is trying, during the present respite into consolidate his political position, to improveImage, to impose his authority over the Armedto revive the economy )

Bella, who calls himself both an "Arab Socialist"Marxist, appears al the present time to be much closerin policy and doctrine than to the Communists.however, is based upon his words and actions toboth national and international matters; there is as yethard evidence on the new regime to permit us toany degree of finality Ben Bella's basic philosophiche may indeed prove to be far more radical than heAt the present time Ben Bella does not appear totoward France, and he does not now plan majorchanges likely to affront major French interests.Kheddists, who oppose him, and Colonel Boumedlenne.supports him, appear to be more radical than Ben Bella.

mi api

has yet been accomplished in economic revival,chances are poor that much will be accomplished in themonths. Thus, the population in the cities, nowforeign charity, may become increasingly frustrated,standards in the rural areas, already barely sufficientlife, may bo further driven down. )

Ben Bella's immediate prospects for holdingfairly good, we believe thatear he will bewith severe political challenges. The intractibleAlgeria's economic problems, the somewhat chaoticwill persist, and latent hostility to his rule inof the society, all will tend to undermine Ben Bella'sAny oneumber of oppositionist leaders mightexploit the dissatisfactions of the Jobless, and there isof unrest in the countryside. Ben Bella must alsoestablish his authority over the radical DefenseBoumedlenne.howdown between the twoto occur sooner or later. If Boumedienne becamepolitical infighting, if there were growing insecurity inand subversion in the countryside, or if there wereand confusion in the government, Boumediennestep in andilitary dictatorship.

do not believe Algeria's announced policy ofwill be followed with purity and consistency. Alreadyhave sided with Cuba against the US. But at thethey are bound to Franceost of cultural andThe present leaders will probably not deliberatelythe Soviet Bloc, but they probably will, more oftenUS or France would like, support Communist initiativesvariety of international issues. They will almostmilitary and economic assistance from the Bloc.cannot rule out the possibility that Ben Bella himselfa more radical international stance in response toor external blandishments.ore radicalasBen Bella, Communistand ideology in both domestic and foreignful^ase )



new Algerian Republic was born inauspiciously andmarksong and painful labor Seven years of rebellion andaftermath have radically altered the established bases ofand the structure of the economy. Premier Ben Bella,the first weeks of Independence was preoccupied with winningpower struggle, faces the arduous tasks of consolidatingandungry and impatient nation. Severelie ahead and the opportunities for Bloc exploitation of theappear abundant


war against France never fully united the Algerian peopleaTingle set of leadersommonly accepted politicalAlgeria has alwayseographical area withoutof national unity. There are sharp ethnic divisions, notEuropeans and Moslems, but within the MoslemThe exigencies of the rebellion accentuated these divisionsparochialism. Algeria was divided into militaryin which guerrilla commanders operated almostthe borders in Tunisia and Morocco fairly sizable militaryexternal army) were established, which by and largeand well disciplined throughout the latter years of theeventually developed political identities of their own.

like manner the leaders of the rebellion were separatedanother during most of the war. Not only were local Wilayain Algeria proper isolated from their political chiefs andto carve out semlautonomous territories for themselves, butthe principal civilian leaders were variously located inCairo, and in French prisons. These leaders tended to view theof the rebellion according to the circumstances In whichthemselves Thus, the relatively well equipped and trainedarmy disagreed with the weary internal guerrilla forces overof coming to terms with the French; the operatinglocated in Tunis and headed by Ben Kheddafor the European population of Algeria as practicalwhile the Imprisoned Ben Bella and his associates, removedrealities of Algerian economic life, feared that these/tftsfWror "neocolonlalism."


he period between the signing of. the Evian agreements and the election o( the first constituent assembly had been intendedime of transition, during which nationalist leaders would assume increasing governmental responsibility. European fears would be assuaged, and some of Algeria's more pressing problems tackled. It did not work

in Jun

plunged Into in the Secret departed the ihysical ruin,

particularly of educational facilities and community installations. Far more important for Algeria's future, however, was the impact of the OAS reign of terror on the dwindling European population. The exodus was accelerated and still continues; today more than two-thirds of the European population of one million appears to have abandoned the country.

At the same time divisions within the rebel movement erupted into public quarrels. Differences arose over the concessions made by the Provisional Government's negotiators at Evlan. over the role of the external army, and over reports that some members of the Provisional Government had been Involved in truce deals with the OAS. Byplit had developed between the Provisional Government and its parent body, the National Committee of the Algeriantruggle for power between Ihe factions of Ben Khedda and Ben Bella ensued. With the help of the external army Ben Bellaold on the principal cities and confined the followers of Ben Kliedda's Berber ally. Belkacem Krim. to the Kabylie area.

In this power struggle political rivalries were added to or combined with regional differences and animosities. Ben Kheddists were arrayed against Ben Bellists. Wilayas against Wiiayas. Berbers against Arabs, and units of the external army against units of the guerrilla forces, some powerful local leaders turned their backs on the national struggle and quietly cultivated their own gardens.

From this struggle there hasairly clear picture ofpolitical forces. However in the present fluid situation much can change and probably will. The major elements on the scene today are: (a) the Ben Bella government and its political apparatus; (b) Colonel Boumedienne and the military forces responsive to him;eterogeneous assortment of oppositionists: and <d> the weary and disturbed Algerian masses.

The Ben Bella government and its political apparatus. Premier Ben Bella probably retains the supportajority of the old National Liberation Front (FLN) cadres. His greatest public following is in the western cities of Algeria, but he has recently strengthened his position in theBulla lias excluded from his cabinet

uilapi /iii

some ot the best educated Algerians, he nevertheless appears toumber of competent but inexperienced ministers. There are no figures in the generally youthful cabinet or elsewhere in Ben Bella's faction of the FLN who currently have the stature to rivalthe possible exception of Dclcnse Minister Colonel Houari Boumedienne.

Bella has described his political philosophy as "Arabhe also callsarxist Moreover, he has stated thatpeople will neveraterialistic philosophy. Attime he appears to be much closer to Nasser in policythan to the Communists. This judgment, however, ishis words and actions to date on both national andthere is as yet not enough hard evidence on the newpermit us to assess with any degree of finality Ben Bella'sleanings, he may indeed prove to be far more radicalnow appears. At the present time Ben Bella does not appear toagainst the French and, in fact, regards working outwith Franceriority matter for his government

fUe Sational Popular Army> The Algerian military forces consist of0 troops The moat important element ot these forces is the relatively well equipped and disciplined external army of0 under the command of Colonel Boumedienne. It was Boumedlenne's troops which enabled Ben Bella to evict Ben Khedda from control of the government machinery In Algiers and later to rid the city of the troops of the independent local warlord. Si Hassan. Although Boumedienne has won th: loyalty of some Wtlaya leaders and their troops, it is not yet clear whether their loyalty will withstand the elimination of the Wilayus as separate commands, as Intended by Ben Bella.

Boumedienne is currently Defense Minister, but he has displayed little patience with politicians in the past, and his presence In the cabinet symbolizes the fact that Ben Bella owes his own position In large part to Boumedlenne's bayonets. The Coloneloctrinaire and an ascetic, and he is probably more dogmatic than Ben Bella on such issues as land reform and redistribution of wealth. He greatly admires the Cuban revolution and has declared himself attracted to Castro's Internal policies Of all leaders of the rebellion he hasthe strongest disapproval of concessions to France and the deepest resentment of the West's assistance to France during the rebellion. We know little of his background.

The opposition. The Ben Bella regime's oppositioneterogeneous group of disgruntled followers of Ben Khedda, deposed WUaya II officers, the Kabylie chiefs and almost all prominent leaders of Wtlaya III, and the leadership of the as yet skeletal student and labortFOriitt^ a" thc ldentifietl dissidents, save those


from the Kabylie area, were barred from election to the Nationaland hence can only criticize the regime from the outside. The small and ineffectual Algerian Communist Party was similarly excluded from the Assembly, but is permitted to publish its own newspaper in Algiers.

The deep differences that now separate the followersn Khedda and Ben Bella more often originated over personal rivalries and tactical disputes than over doctrinal matters. If thereolitical difference, it is that Ben Khedda and most of his lieutenants appear toore radical approach than Ben Bella and his colleagues. Sharp criticism of Ben Bella exists in both the labor and student organizations for his rejection of the FLN's traditional "collegial" approach toand for his adopting "the cult of personality."

The masses- In general the Algerian masses have been deeply disturbed by the possibility that their leaders would plunge themivil war for reasons of personal ambition; on certain occasions civilians actually imposed themselves between opposing military units to prevent the outbreak of open violence. By and large the Algerian populace is now primarily interested ineans of livelihood as quickly as possible. They are weary of political maneuvering and have no particular political ideology or fixed concept of Algeria's future social and economic structure. Should Ben Bella, or for that matter any other leader, succeed in getting the economy moving again, the public will not question his methods. It will not, for example, object either to heavy French assistance or to an influx of Bloc aid and technicians. Any signs of an economic revival would probably fortify Ben Bella's position throughout the country.


A moratorium on political warfare now appears to be in effect, and at least for the moment Ben Bella has the support of the ANP, the largest organized and disciplined force in Algeria. The Premier is using this respite toovernment, to Improve his own popular image, and to begin the job of resuscitating the nationalHe plans to transform the FLN apparatusass party organized to mobilize the Algerian masses in support of his policies. He has recently made official visits to the US, Cuba, and the UN, and has used all his public appearances to pose as the symbol of theand of Algerian nationhood.

Ben Bella is now apparently beginning to recognize that the task of reviving the economy and finding jobs for the approximately twounemployed (someercent or more of the total working force) is at least as important asight political machine. To this end he hasersuade European ex-

^ m

residents to return to Algeria, attempting to improve security conditions, and stating that his government will honor the Evlan agreements. So far, however, few Europeans have been persuaded that security has been improved and few are convinced of Ben Bella's good faith.mall number have returned. Similarly, the generous inducements being offered to French civil servants to take temporary positions in Algeria have not proved particularly fruitful

to the present, then. Ben Bells and his none too solidlyhave produced little concrete .'or the frustrated Algeriangovernment's principal assets at the moment are that It isand that the public is tired of political maneuvering. Thealso enjoys the forebearanee of Defense Ministerhas openly expressed scorn for the machinations of allleaders. Although he accepted his cabinet position withprobably has little faith in Ben Bella's cautious approach toand economic problems. Given the magnitude of theon hand and In prospect, it is quite possible that Benmay soon be undeimlned He may be confrontedtime not onlyorsening economic situation but aof the political calm now prevailing.


present disarray of the Algerian economy has largelyby the war's dislocations and the departure of Europeanexpertise, and capital.reat extent the modernthe economy Istate of collapse; many enterprises areand abandoned by their erstwhile owners. In addition thecommerce and communication between cities and rural areasdown at many critical points. Vast numbers of Algerians,those in the cities, survive only on handouts fromMoroccan, and Yugoslav, as well as US) sources.

hese circumstances, while unique for Algeria, have not as yet lowered living standards significantly below what they were during the height of the rebellion. Algeria has alwaysoor country one of whose most profitable exports for many years was labor; the rural and mountainous areas have for some time been moving closer to the edge of economic disaster. In recent years, however, two important developments gave some prom lie for brighter long-range prospects: the discovery of oil and gas in the Sahara, and the French undertaking to develop modern industry and commercial facilities (the Cons tan line Plan! However, neither of these developments had produced profound effects on the overall pattern of the economy before Independence, and most of the initial financial benefits were drawn Into the economy of the metropola^ssRimBfWiiftHiarjH'an community of Algeria. DATE:1

There arc two fundamental problems. In the first place, urban residents, who had over the years grown accustomed to dependenceather sophisticated but essentially artificial economy, now appreciate that the basis for this economy no longer exists: the French presence has been dramatically reduced. Instead of an expanding investment rate in the country as there had been for the last several years, capital is now in full flight; the continuation of advantageous investment and trade ties with France is at the best open to question Consequently, restoration of the economic life of the principal cities to preindependencc levels of prosperity and business activity is unlikely for many years to come. While Moslem workers may be able to survive on charity, great numbers will be unemployed for extended periods of time.

In the second place, the long-range development programs which were designed to raise living standards may not receive the French support which had been projected. Thus, the expected benefits, which at best would hardly have been adequate if France had remained, will come slowly, if at all. While the Algerians will also receive somebenefits from the exploitation of oil and gas resources, the amounts will Initially be very limited and probably largely dissipated in meeting current governmental expenses. Accordingly. Algeria's alreadyrural living standards, which might otherwise have kept pace with the country's galloping population rate, will continue inexorably to be driven down.

or the short run, it appears that the most serious economiccould quickly become political in character as the masses of jobless workers In the cities grow increasingly frustrated with their condition and resentful at the regime. This problem will probably become worse unless the central government gets on with the job of establishing its authority and restoring social services and marketing facilities In the countryside. An influx of disoriented and disgruntled peasants to swell the cities' unemployed could begin at any time. In short, an unstable situation susceptible to exploitation by Ben Bella's numerous critics and enemies could soon develop In any or all of Algeria's major cities.

he regime evidently needs large-scale external assistance, not only for future economic development, but also (or the every dayof its people. This assistance may not be provided soon enough and in sufficient amounts. The French are committed by the Evian agreements to extend generous credits through the endut some of these disbursements have already been held up for extended periods pending resolution of various Algerian political crises.the level of French financial assistance2 is by no means agreed upon and if the French run true to past form, they will use their aid flexibly, rewarding Algerian gestures of cooperation andd.ncome acts or policies Since QBTl:1

Ren Bella lias indicated that he will not nuw expropriate major French property interests or execute major agricultural reforms, there will probably not be any early affronts to French economic interests.

v. prospects for stability

en Bella's prospects for holding on to power at least for the next several month* are (airly good. During the period of relative political calm which lies immediately ahead, we expect Ben Bella to concentrate his efforts upon further cultivating his political image, widening his political base by converting the FLNass party structure, attempting to reduce the size of the Armed Forces and impose his authority over them, and trying to get economic revival started

We think it unlikely, however, that Ben Bella can hold power for very long without meeting some severe political challenges. Indeed, we believe thereood chance thatear he will beby one or more political crises which could topple him from power_The intractible nature of Algeria's economic problems, the somewhat chaotic conditions which will persist, and the latentto his rule which exists in important sectors of the society, all will tend to undermine his position

Opposition forces that are momentarily content toaiting game In the capital are by no means so restrained in their homeCadres for the ranks of the opposition will come from among those purged for their association with or support of Ben Khedda. The Berbers in the Kabylle areorce to be reckoned with. The Kabylle leaders are the main anti-Ben Bella group in the Assembly, and In some important respects they differ from other oppositionists. They are less radical in outlook, and theytrong interest inclose ties with France, where hundreds of thousands of their fellow Kabylle still work and send money home. We believe it unlikely that the Kabylie willubversive opposition movement; rather, they seem likely to remain in sullen Isolation for some time to come. Ben Bella for his part seems to have concluded that It Is prudent to permit them some degree of autonomy, provided they do not attempt either legal separatism or organized subversion in collaboration with other oppositionists.

Certainly one of Ben Bella's most serious vulnerabilities is the desperate economic situation. The citiesritical danger spot and are likely to remain so. Anyoneumber of oppositionist leaders might seek to exploit the dissatisfactions of the Jobless. If, In addition, there were rumblings In the countryside, eitheresult of Kabylle agitation or growing poverty. Ben Bella mighteterioratingsituation. Much will depend upon the continuance orof cBJfraMfHIWMM) feed Algeria's millions and upon positive


signs of economic revival. Moreover, the extent of French confidence in the regime and the extent of French assistance might prove crucial to Ben Bella's survival.

Bella also faces the problem of clarifying the role offorces in the new regime. If he is toirmhe must not onlyass base of political supportmake the military leaders subservient to him. Mostmust somehow establish his unquestioned authority overand the latter couldost formidableBen Bella not move carefully or cautiously, he might findquarry rather than the hunter. Boumedienne himself maywaiting for an opportunity to seize power. In any event, aBen Bella and Boumedienne seems to us likely to occur soonerIf Boumedienne became tired of political infighting, ifa growing insecurity in the cities and subversion In theor If there were irresolution and confusion in themight simply step in and take over. Thearsh military dictatorship


The announced policy of the Ben Bella government is that of nonalignment, and the new regime will certainly insist on demonstrating its independence. But toourse of nonalignment will be an extremely difficult matter. The regime is in some degree bound to France, not only by the Evian agreements, butost of cultural, political, and economic realities. It needs France and Frenchmen to revive the economy, andariety of ways French influence will almost certainly remain strong. At the same time, the new leaders are revolutionaries: they are strongly Imbued with Marxist ideas; they owe some of their success to Soviet Bloc assistance; they are implacable enemies of imperialism and colonialism. Conspirators by force ofif not by persuasion, and successful In revoltreat colonial power, they feel bound by emotional and ideological ties to revolutionists everywhere.

Ben Bella's visit to Castro together with his somewhat extravagant praise of Castro's revolution was the result of these sentiments. It was necessary In any case to counterbalance his visit to the US; itemonstration of Independence. It may also haveoncession to those leftists inwhom Boumedienne iswho have longinship between their revolution and Castro's. Ben Bella and his advisers apparently concluded that despite US opposition and whatever might be the truth about Soviet influence in Cuba, thethefought against great odds and won independrncArrmWDrvfliBtttMln. His defense of Cuba during the cur-


rent crisis indicates how deep are the Algerian leadership's sympathies with the Cuban revolution. It also suggests that these sympathies are likely to persist and be reflected in developing ties with Cuba.

e do not believe that Algeria's policy of nonalignment will be followed with purity and consistency While in the interests of safety and neutrality, the governmenl will probably try to avoid taking sides on grave international issues. It may perforce dobecause of its revolutionary proclivities We do not believe the present leadership will consciously and deliberately move toward the Bloc in international politics, but it probably will, more often than the French or the US would like, support pro-Communist or Communist initiatives and will almost certainly develop ties with the Communist countries. Like other new states, however, it will be fiercely independent and resent pressures or intimidation from any direction.

Franco-Algerian relations have so far been surprisingly correct, thanks largely to French indulgence during the frenetic period following independence. Both sides arc strongly motivated to maintain cordial relationships, the French because they have special economic andinterests which they wish to maintain, the Algerians because it is to their advantage to maintain atmall French presence which will be economically fruitful and politically docile Theignificant French presence, including the quartering of troops, maintenance of bases, joint exploitation of oil properties, and access to nuclear and missile test sites in the Sahara. Some of these arrangements can give strength to the new regime, but in someas, for example. If the French should insist upon nuclear weapons tests in the Sahara, they could also develop Into seriouspoints between the two countries.

On balance, we believe that while some Franco-Algerian differences are likely to arise in the short term, the Algerians are unlikely to take actions damaging to those special interests which the French wrote Into the EWan agreements. However, as time goes on and particularly if the political situation in Algeria should become highly unstable or fundamentally altered, serious differences are almost certain to occur.

Ben Bella clearly plans torominent role in the Arab world. The new regime, which enjoys close relations with Nasser, has made no secret of its reservations about the governments of Hassan in Morocco and Bourguiba in Tunisia. Algeria assumes forosition of superiority in the Mahgrcb. Ben Bella resents Moroccan claims to certain border territories and bitterly resents Bourgulba's past support of Ben Khedda. Under these circumstances the regime is likely to maintain correct but cool relationships with both neighbors untilaffairs are sufficiently stable to permit more aggressive external policies h/erian government will almost cer-


tainly press hard, even to the point of military action, to resist Moroccan claims in the Sahara and to impress both Morocco and Tunisia with its ascendancy in the area. We see no prospects for the development of an effective Mahgreblan federation for some time to come. Within the Arab League. Algeria will almost certainly be sympathetic to the nations aligned with Nasser, but will at all times retain its freedom of action.

The Communal Bloc enjoys certain Initial advantages in Its efforts to widen its Influence in Algeria. Many Bloc countries recognized the Provisional Government sometime before independence and therebyrivileged position In the diplomatic community. InBloc assistance to the rebellion was not inconsiderable, particularly in armament deliveries toward the end of hostilities The Algerians generally regard Bloc education of their studentsormal andexperience and will probably make strong efforts toarge outflow of youths to various Bloc universities. The Algerians will almost certainly accept whutever Bloc economic and military assistance la offered soTong as no visible strings are attached.

On balance, wc believe that if Ben Bella remains In office he will be anxious to steer Algeria carefully away from tooependence on the Bloc. However, practical economic necessity may force him into accepting increasingly higher levels of Bloc assistance and influence, particularly if Western aid is made available only intermittently.we cannot rule out the possibility that Ben Bella himself mayore radical International stance in response to internal pressures or externaloumedienne government would, we believe,ar more cooperative attitude toward the Bloc than will Ben Bella and would probably undertake more vigorous harass-ments of European Interests.


Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: