Freihat in Moscow…

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Sun 30 April / Apr 2017. 02:06 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

The Jordanian perspective on this global war on violent extremism, which has recently spread in many societies, seems clearer now, mature and comprehensive.

Notably, this could be because Jordan has been engaged in fighting terrorism for years now, giving our experts a somewhat unique expertise in this field.

The statements by Jordanian Chief of Military Joint Staff, Lt Gen Mahmoud Freihat, on incubator environments for terrorism, says a lot about it.

It reflects a deeper level of understanding.

More so, Freihat warned that terrorism makes no distinction whatsoever, when it comes to targeting civilians; no one is safe from their terror and deviation, not anymore.

His elaboration today was sufficiently comprehensive.

However, this, coming from a top ranking military official in a very sensitive position, gives it a whole different dimension, perhaps, or meaning.

It conveys, clearly, that Jordan has constructed a thorough understanding of the phenomenon which threatens the safety and lives of civilians all around the world.

The General’s statements at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security, along with 70 other states, leads us to a pressing issue which has always been a topic of the King’s meets and interviews.

The war on extremist and terrorist organisations, which are scattered across different parts of the world, waging war indiscriminately, must be a global one.

A consolidated, international, continuous effort must be set in motion, from a comprehensive standpoint, to drain its roots dry and cut off its funding.

Naturally, this needs to be in parallel to the security measures in place and the ongoing military confrontation to bring down its strongholds.

Combined, an integrated approach helps tighten the noose on terrorism, box terror groups in, suffocate their financial lifeline, dry up their pool of recruits, until they finally fade away.

There would be, then, no terror or terrorists; suck the air out of the fire.

Addressing the conference, Freihat went over the variety of factors which have contributed to the spread, cultivation, and rise of the phenomenon.

Prime of these factors are political marginalisation, political extremism, the absence of social justice, deteriorated economic conditions, and uncertainty of the future.

Moreover, he added, frustration among youth, due to poverty and unemployment, on top, creates the perfect social environment for recruitment by terrorist organisations.

In short, the General’s statements, which summarises Jordan’s expertise in fighting extremism and extremists, explain clearly that all previous traditional, military and security, approaches have failed to even contain the problem.

They maintain that only through an integrative approach, based on our understanding of the real reasons which have given rise to terrorism and violent extremism in the first place, can the problem be engaged.

It is clear, for example, that ISIS, aka Daesh, is merely a product of an interconnected collaboration of social and political factors, resulting in a general sense of marginalisation and loss of identity.

Meanwhile, the issue of identity, is only one of the many issue societies around the world suffer from, including some western societies too. Particularly ones which have failed to positively integrate their social components of different backgrounds.

Despite being a military man, Freihat did not suffice with the traditional military approach to terrorism.

Contrarily, the General elaborated in detail on the variety of other, integral aspects to addressing terrorism and extremism, including the socio-cultural and political.

In fact, he may have given more time and attention to that than he did to anything else, especially in regards to empowering moderate Islamism in the face of fanaticism.

All in all, Freihat’s statements are reassuring.

The fact that the military institution sees these precursor factors as integral and vital to addressing the problems of violent extremism is nothing short from promising.

It is a wake call for some serious work to be done to fix the root problems of such calamity, chief of all is the economic situation, which is far more complicated than all these recurrent, inconsiderate and superficial government decision.

In addition to Freihat’s address on the issue of combatting terrorism, on the side-lines of the conference, he met with a number of participating ministers of defence and military chiefs.

Mindfully, this implies Freihat had yet another task to do in Moscow. One which has to do with the military operation on the northern frontier and Russia’s dismissal of the movements of some factions considered a threat to Jordan, including the Popular Mobilisation front.

The main goal and objective in Syria to finish ISIS and rip out extremism from its roots as well as the minds of people.

This, however, does not mean that Jordan will have to tolerate the proximity of possible threat by its northern borderline.

Securing the sovereign Jordanian grounds and the Kingdom’s interests remains another basic priority.

Memorably, this isn’t the first time Jordan has drawn its red lines, in regards to the proximity of threats.

Keeping the borderline secure is an inseparable, invaluable factor in the Kingdom’s endeavour and strategy to fight terrorism.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.