On Friday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper concluded a fruitful trip to north Africa where he renewed U.S.’s bilateral military cooperation with Morocco and Tunisia.
The renewed arrangements with the two north African countries will run through 2030. The American support will help protect them from the lawlessness in Libya and the Sahel. Libya borders Tunisia to the southeast and the Sahel borders Morocco to the south.
The U.S. and Tunisia have maintained close relations. The American military has provided Tunisian military members with training and helped it in securing its border with Libya. A joint U.S.-German venture in Tunisia has implemented an electronic surveillance program to help secure the border.
Since the beginning of the 2011 Libyan civil war, violence has spilled over into Tunisian territory. In particular, two attacks in November 2015 killed over 60 tourists. Later that year a bomb targeting a bus of presidential security guards killed 12.