Who Lost Tunisia?

962 Words Aug 4th, 2015 4 Pages
“Who lost Tunisia?” This question may well haunt future European leaders. As Hervé Morin, a former French defense minister, recently warned, Europe — and France in particular — cannot afford to wait until the black flag of the Islamic State is hoisted above the presidential palace in Tunis.

Sadly, this bleak scenario can no longer be dismissed as an alarmist exaggeration. Only weeks after the Bardo National Museum massacre in March, a jihadist struck again in June, this time at Sousse, a popular beach resort, killing dozens of European vacationers. The attack’s clear objective was to destroy Tunisia’s tourism industry, destabilizing the economy and undermining the new democratic state.

The carnage at Sousse exposed the Tunisian authorities’ inability to tackle on their own the country’s growing security challenges. Tunisia’s successful transition to democracy, the legitimacy of its government and the bravery of its armed forces are not enough to save it. Nor should anyone in Europe and the West comfort themselves with the idea that the jihadist movement will eventually self-destruct.

From their new theater of operations in Tunisia, the terrorists aim at extending their caliphate to Europe and beyond — a stated ambition of the Islamic State. In a video released in February of the brutal execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya, an Islamic State leader gazes out across the Mediterranean horizon and, in flowery classical Arabic, compares the coming…
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