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Numidio
03/12/2010, 12h53
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All the King's Men
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¶2. (C) As Commander-in-Chief of the Moroccan Royal Armed
Forces and Minister of Defense, King Mohammed VI maintains a
highly centralized role over the military. No troop
movements, exercises, or even travel of officers domestically
or abroad happens without the King,s approval. As a result
of the 1971 and 1972 coup attempts by the Moroccan Army and
Air Force respectively, the Palace increased control over the
military, marginalized it from policy making, and restricted
its interaction with foreign military interlocutors and the
press. The Alaouite dynasty depends upon, among other
things, a strong military, the leadership of which, however,
must remain sufficiently docile so as not to arouse
suspicions of disloyalty. The only civilian structure
responsible for the FAR is not a Defense Ministry but rather
an entity under the Prime Minister responsible for the
Administration of the National Defense. It is headed by
Minister-delegate Abderrahmane Sbai, whose role is
essentially restricted to that of comptroller. As far as we
can tell, political-military policy on issues such as
peacekeeping appears centered in the Foreign Ministry. All
other major defense matters are decided in the Palace.

¶3. (C) Over the past decade, Morocco has transitioned from a
conscript to an all-volunteer military force of approximately
218,000 soldiers. Of the three services, the Army is
dominant with approximately 175,000 personnel. There are
approximately 13,000 personnel in the Air Force and 7,800 in
the Navy. Though nominally subordinate within the military
structure but answering directly to the King, the
Gendarmerie, which consists of approximately 22,000
personnel, conducts paramilitary, royal guard, and internal
and border policing missions. Though a few legacy conscripts
remain in the military, professional reforms have made
voluntary military service an attractive career option for
Moroccans with opportunities for a steady income and some
upward mobility. The average military salary for enlisted
soldiers is approximately 2,000 dirhams (USD 270) per month.
An officer's starting salary is approximately 6,000 dirhams
(USD 850) per month. With benefits, such as free housing,
these are reasonably competitive in the Moroccan context.

¶4. (C) The top military commanders include Military
Inspector General and Army Commander, Lieutenant General (Lt
Gen) Abdelaziz Benanni; Operations Chief Lt Gen Boughaid
Arroub; and Gendarmerie Commander Lt Gen Housni Benslimane.
Benanni, who has become mired in suspicion of corruption,
will reportedly be retired soon. Arroub, who came out of
recent retirement, is tipped by some to succeed Benanni.
Arroub, historically pro-French, appears to have become
increasingly pro-U.S. in the last 5 years. Another rising
star in the FAR is General Mohamed Larbi Tamdi, who is
responsible for army logistics and force sustainment. There
is some military staff in the Palace, likely influent, about
which little is known.


¶5. (C) King Hassan II and his son, King Mohammed VI, have
maintained the Gendarmerie as a force relatively independent
from the FAR since 1972, in part as a check against a
military coup. While it most visibly serves as a State
Police/Highway Patrol, it has a wide range of units. Its
commander, Lt Gen Benslimane, likely reports in some way
directly to the King. He also leads the Moroccan National
Soccer League, making him a popular figure inside and out of
military circles. While there is no direct proof of
Benslimane being involved in corrupt activity, low ranking
Gendarmerie assigned to highway patrols are expected to pay
approximately 4,000 dirhams (USD 540) to their immediate
supervisors with extralegal earnings from motorists above
which they can keep for themselves, according to one credible
anecdote.

--------------------------------------------- --
Military Operations Dominated by Western Sahara
--------------------------------------------- --

¶6. (C) The FAR is composed of over 200,000 soldiers and
outclasses most militaries in Africa but has significant room
for improvement. Along with concerns regarding aging
equipment and an overtaxed force, the FAR is plagued by
institutional corruption, leadership that will not step
aside, and low morale among mid-level officers. The FAR is
preoccupied with operations in the Western Sahara region with
between 50 and 70 percent of its total strength deployed
there at any one time. The force in Western Sahara -- a
landmass roughly two thirds the size of California -- is
considered to be stretched thin with a reported estimated
operational readiness rate of just 40 percent. Morocco does
not consider the POLISARIO -- the ethnically Sahrawi
resistance based in Tindouf, Algeria, seeking to make the
Western Sahara an independent state -- to be a conventional
military threat. However, the FAR remains vigilant in
guarding against a renewed POLISARIO insurgency effort.
Morocco built a berm or sand wall along the eastern and
southern borders of the Sahara in the 1980s, which
effectively eliminated the POLISARIO's ability to launch hit
and run raids, leading to the 1981 cease-fire, which has been
fully respected. The POLISARIO continues to maintain a
small, lightly armed presence at a few desert crossroads in
the small remaining part of Western Sahara outside the berm.
Despite occasional expressions of concern, the GOM almost
certainly is fully conscious that the POLISARIO poses no
current threat that could not be effectively countered. The
POLISARIO has generally refrained from classic terrorist
bombings, etc. Although the specter is sometimes raised,
there is no indication of any Salafist/Al Qaeda activity
among the indigenous Sahrawi population.

¶7. (C) While the border between Morocco and Algeria is
closed, and relations remain cool, we do not believe that
Algeria poses an imminent conventional military threat to
Morocco. Nonetheless, the FAR has contingency plans and
"wargames" in training exercises for a possible Algerian
attack, but the FAR does not have troops deployed along the
border. Instead, the FAR remains stationed in garrisons,
hundreds of kilometers away from the border, from which they
could deploy in the unlikely event of an Algerian incursion
into Morocco. Any confrontation between the two countries
would likely take place through the proxy of the POLISARIO,
which Algeria has supported materially in the past and could
do so again if hostilities between Morocco and the POLISARIO
recommenced.

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Peacekeeping
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¶8. (C) Motivated to win over other countries to its claims
to Western Sahara, Morocco is active in United Nations (UN),
engages in peacekeeping activities, and occasionally sends
troops to assist friendly countries. Morocco is an
experienced contributor to UN peacekeeping efforts, deploying
to countries like Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia, Haiti and
Somalia. It currently has over 1,500 peacekeepers deployed
to Cote d,Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC). Morocco also supports a military hospital in Kosovo
under NATO command. Morocco has sent medical personnel to
Niger to assist with famine relief and recently re-deployed
military forces to Senegal for an annual five-month &cloud
seeding8 operation for drought relief. Peacekeeping
contributions in recent years have been tarnished by
allegations of sexual wrongdoing in the DRC and Cote
d,Ivoire.

--------------------------------------------- ---
Corruption Remains the Single Greatest Challenge
--------------------------------------------- ---

¶9. (C) Corruption is prevalent at all levels of Moroccan
society and the military is also plagued by it, particularly
at the highest levels. This may partly reflect a grand
bargain struck by King Hassan II following at least two
nearly successful coups in the 1970's: remain loyal, and you
can profit. (Those whose loyalty was in question were
subject to sometimes decades of harsh imprisonment.)
Credible reports indicate that Lt Gen Benanni is using his
position as the Commander of the Southern Sector to skim
money from military contracts and influence business
decisions. A widely believed rumor has it that he owns large
parts of the fisheries in Western Sahara. Benanni, like many
senior military officers, has a lavish family home that was
likely built with money gleaned from bribes. Leadership
positions in regional sectors are a significant source of
extralegal income for military leaders. There are even
reports of students at Morocco's military academy paying
money to increase their class standings in order to obtain
positions in lucrative military postings. Command in the
southern sector, i.e., Western Sahara, given the predominance
of military activity there, is considered to be the most
lucrative of the sectors in this regard. Because command in
the southern sector is also considered critical to high level
advancement in the FAR, positions there are highly sought
after. Consequently, positions in this sector are often
jealously "guarded" by a number of influential families in
the military. The GOM seems to be looking for ways to stop
corruption, especially among the formative military ranks of
Colonel and below, but not much is being done to stop the
corruption in the general officer ranks.

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Retiring High Level Officers Also a Problem
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¶10. (C) Senior officers refusing to retire to allow younger
officers to move up the ranks has become a significant
problem for the FAR. Officers nearing the mandatory
retirement age do not want to retire since this would mean
relinquishing bribes, money-skimming, and some related
sources of income. Even for those officers not &on the
take,8 giving up government positions and paychecks is
economically difficult for a sustained retirement. This
"gerontocracy" problem, coupled with the King's notorious
micro-management of the military has had a negative impact on
the morale of mid-level military leaders.

Numidio
03/12/2010, 12h58
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Radicalization: Under Control But Lingering Menace
--------------------------------------------- ------

¶11. (C) Though now viewed as a minor problem, reporting
suggests that small numbers of FAR soldiers remains
susceptible to Islamic radicalization. The GOM first
encountered this problem following the 2003 Casablanca
bombings when investigators identified military members as
co-conspirators. Following the bombings, the FAR undertook
steps to identify extremists and implement preventative
measures, such as closing prayer halls on military bases, to
address the problem. Subsequently, Morocco,s internal
security services have identified and apprehended several
military and gendarmerie personnel in other terrorist cells,
some of whom had stolen weapons from their bases for
terrorism. Acknowledging this threat in a speech to the
armed forces in May 2008, the King stated his desire to
"immunize" the armed forces from the threat of radicalization
and to promote the values of tolerance and moderation in the
ranks. During this same time frame the military forced 30
officers to retire early, allegedly because they were deemed
potentially radical and hostile to the Government.
Subsequently, the FAR removed all mosques from army bases and
deployed military counterintelligence, i.e., 5th Bureau,
undercover officers to monitor local "off-post" mosques for
potentially radical activities. These officers refer cases
to the Gendarmerie if criminal charges can be pursued.

BMW
03/12/2010, 13h00
Oui C'est bien dommage ! mais Qui est cette armée qui est saine dans le monde ?? laquelle ?? a part les pays européens

CaboMoro
03/12/2010, 13h01
ca c'est vrai, on le sais tous, mais juste le probléme, c'est que la corruption touche toutes les rangs de notre société.
et chaque année le classement de l'indice de la corruption nous confirme cette réalité amére et palpable pour n'importe quel simple citoyen qui vive au Maroc..

BMW
03/12/2010, 13h15
While the border between Morocco and Algeria is
closed, and relations remain cool, we do not believe that
Algeria poses an imminent conventional military threat to
Morocco. Nonetheless, the FAR has contingency plans and
"wargames" in training exercises for a possible Algerian
attack,


C'est vrai , mais faut savoir que le maroc est en guerre meme si le cessez feu est intauré en 91


The FAR is composed of over 200,000 soldiers and
outclasses most militaries in Africa


Ah bon ? les FAR est forte que l'armée egyptienne et sud africaine ? :rolleyes:


Senior officers refusing to retire to allow younger
officers to move up the ranks has become a significant
problem for the FAR. Officers nearing the mandatory
retirement age do not want to retire since this would mean
relinquishing bribes, money-skimming, and some related
sources of income



C'est vrai malheureusement ; tres vrai !! faut eradiquer la corruption dans des FAR et avec cela les vieux gradé qui méprisent les p'ti gradés :22:

tenebre
03/12/2010, 13h34
éradiquons d'abord la corruption qui sévit dans notre vie quotidienne où le marocain lamda s'en donne à cette pratique !!
après on pensera aux Far , hauts responsables ..etc etc !!

megamax
03/12/2010, 13h41
je suis d'accord avec toi tenebre

commençons par nous même en ne brulant plus les feux rouges
en respectant les stop, la vitesse autorisée etc...

pour ne plus avoir à payer

c une question d'éducation

Numidio
03/12/2010, 14h12
we are increasingly concerned that Morocco, not used
to the high operating costs of these high end items (and
other budgetary pressures) may make it increasingly difficult
for the Moroccans to make payments on purchases. If payments
become a problem for the GOM, this could sour relations
temporarily. While we believe that there are some signs of
the King's increased confidence in the FAR, we believe that
the monarchy still calculates that the military represents
the biggest potential threat to the crown. FAR officers
will, therefore, continue to be distanced from policy making

input and restricted from engaging in detailed discussions
about Moroccan military strength and intentions with foreign
military officers, including our attaches.

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