Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou stands behind a long table displaying high-tech military gear at the El Aouina military base in Tunis. It is all part of a ceremony intended to mark a turning point in the country’s battle against terrorism.

At Ben Jeddou’s side for the August 14th event is US Ambassador to Tunisia Jacob Walles, who says the equipment on the table is only a small portion of “more than ten tonnes of bulletproof vests, helmets, shields and other personnel protective gear that the US government is providing today to the National Police and the National Guard”.

A fortnight ago, Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa sent a letter to US President Barack Obama that was delivered by Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington. The letter included requests for military equipment. […]