The General's Statements...

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 2 January / Jan 2017. 12:00 AM - آخر تعديل في Mon 2 January / Jan 2017. 01:37 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

In a step that was considered as an exceptional initiative by politicians and commentators, the Chief of Military Staff, Lt Gen Mahmoud Freihat, the Jordanian military vision for the regional circumstance, and its military and its security challenges; in an exclusive with the BBC last Friday.

Gen Freihat lit up the scene for Jordanians, on what is happening around them, especially since he himself was in charge of the northern Army operations by the borders with Syria.

The interview was intensely followed by the Jordanian public opinion, as well as the elite. However, the questions raised as to “Why Now?” and what does it mean —politically— remained answered, as well as the very concept of the interview!

The concept of the debate, itself, is vitally important as it highlights several points in favour of the military institution and the State alike. It is important that Jordanians understand what is going on around them, and the challenges that surround them; which have begun to reflect on the movement of the ‘Daeshi’ current in Jordan, security-wise and militarily, and that this understanding is conveyed and communicated via the respective institutions, as they are the most capable of setting things straight and putting events into perspective.

Therefore, as vitally informative as the interview was, it is equally important that it does not remain as ‘unusual’ as it was described to be; whenever necessity calls or the need for it arises, these interviews should be more the usual and common happening than the rare sighting it is.

The military and security agencies need to establish a media presence that would enrich official and public communications, both domestically and globally, conveying a strong and momentous official message, as it is in other states like the USA, Iran, and others, where the military command is not so rarely found addressing the public opinion, conveying clear and specific political messages.

It is not required of the State Minister for Media Affairs to speak officially on behalf of all the State’s institutions on every single occasions. Not only will that require a whole crew to craft a consistent message, it will not be as effective as it would coming from the respective institution or the specialised body.

The Minister’s role in this regard is limited to a certain sphere, running the public media image and message.

As for the content of the interview of with chief Freihat, and its timing, they are clearly related directly, militarily at least, to the intensity of changes around us: from the ungoings in Iraq and Syria, through the undergoing campaign to finish off ISIS, aka Daesh, and their state in Mosul and later on in Raqqa, in light of the new Turkish-Russian-Iranian accord, all the way to the soon to begin era of US President-Elect Donald Trump, who’s expected to reinforce the accords with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

All of the above reflect thoroughly on Jordan’s national security and strategic interests, as well as the approach to the surrounding regional affair.

The General spoke of a land route connecting Iran to Lebanon (the Iranian influence), and of the sectarian practices of the Popular Mobilisation militia, failing not to address the danger of an ISIS faction (Jaish Khaled Ibn al Wali) just one kilometre away from our borders, as well as channels still open for communication between Jordan and the regime in Syria, and the training facilitated for the Syrian tribal army (New Syria Army) to face ISIS on the ground, as well as all other possible changes for the upcoming phase.

Another quick note, on the number of Jordanians involved in ISIS and Nusra factions; Freihat stated that they are around 300 individuals, which falls short from known figures ten folds the number. It is vital that an accurate estimation is established, to identify the real scale of the phenom, address its outcomes, current, imminent, and expected.

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