Among the more memorable speeches given by the late President John F. Kennedy was one in which he attempted to give clarity to newly emerging independent states in Africa yearning for freedom. On 2 July 1957 then-Senator Kennedy challenged the continued French domination of Algeria in a speech given in the Senate. Kennedy said, "There are many cases of the clash between independence and imperialism in the Western world that demand our attention. But again one above all the rest, is critically outstanding today-Algeria." Kennedy went on to explain how the war in Algeria had engaged 400,000 French soldiers and had stripped the continental forces of NATO to the bone. It impacted hopes for a European Common Market and compromised liberal French reforms. The tenacity with which the French clung to their former colony was a drain on the NATO alliance and the United States.
JFK's Algeria Warning Still Applies
By Youssef Aboul-Enein