The Maghreb--Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia--is a region overburdened by unnecessary military expenditures. Despite persistent civil conflicts and militarized regimes in a number of countries in the region, there are actually few genuine external threats, and the armed forces are now largely used to maintain internal security. A detailed country-by-country assessment of the effectiveness of military forces, and their impact on regional economics, shows that the region remains a mosaic of conflicting national ambitions, but strategic ambitions have been supplanted by internal conflicts, tensions, and politics. Declining military budgets are leading to declining military strength and capability, but they belie the Maghreb's potential for armed conflict and human suffering. Even though the Maghreb is a supplier of oil and natural gas, which usually ensures the attention of the West, this tragedy of arms gets little attention from the outside world. This means that the prospects for the region are continued wasteful military spending, and the resultant harm to national economic and political health.