MOROCCO: Shifting Sands

King Hassan's expansionism heats up the Sahara

Morocco's King Hassan II, 50, has long been one of the U.S.'s most valued allies in the Third World. But Washington policymakers worry about the deceptively boyish monarch's ambitious territorial expansion into the former colony of Spanish Sahara. Reason: the more he grabs, the deeper he appears to sink into the sands of economic troubles at home and political isolation abroad.

On the military front, Hassan has been locked for almost four years in a no-win war against the guerrillas of the leftist Polisario Front, which...

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