Book Review by Daniel Moran of The Battle of Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria written by Robert L. Miller
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In 1957, French soldiers tortured approximately 40 percent of the male population of the Muslim quarter of Algiers to try to root out the terrorist network of the Algerian National Liberation Front (known to history as the FLN). This campaign, although shadowy and shrouded in euphemism, was not, strictly speaking, secret. Systematic torture in Algeria was the subject of widespread public comment at the time—one French general was relieved of his command after condemning it in the press—and it has attracted a good deal of scholarly investigation since. Several major participants, including the commanding ofªcer in Algiers, General Jacques Massu, have written about it, for the most part unapologetically. Their frankness has been facilitated by the blanket amnesty issued by the French government in 1968, absolving all those who served in Algeria of whatever crimes they may have committed there.
Paul Aussaresses, The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955–1957, trans. by Robert L. Miller. New York: Enigma Books, 2002. 185 pp. $25.00. Reviewed by Daniel Moran, Naval Postgraduate School
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