This chapter compares and contrasts the colonels’ respective approaches to management of, and performance on, the most critical challenge Mauritania has faced throughout its existence as an independent nation, and singularly since the colonels have been in charge of its destiny. This challenge is what most Mauritanians refer to or know as “the national question,” or the difficult “cohabitation” of the country’s ethno-cultural communities. Arguably the most intractable and daunting challenge for all the successive regimes, it is construed as encompassing the issue of slavery and the attendant question of the Haratines, descendants of slaves. The latter are the embodiment of a mounting challenge to the peculiar sociopolitical and economic order that has been instituted in Mauritania since independence.