tv Discussion on Terrorism CSPAN March 30, 2016 9:30am-11:01am EDT
website, c-span.org. we are going to head to the press club in washington for remarks from the retired general tip ward. in the wake of the recent terror attacks in brussels. this is hosted by the potomac institute center for terrorism studies. it should get underway in just a moment. [inaudible conversations]
again we are live this morning from the national press club expecting to hear from the retired general kip ward as he talks about strategies for combating multiple threats, multiple terrorist attacks as this is the result of the terror attacks that recently took place in brussels. hosted by the potomac institute center for international studies we expect this to start in just a moment.
ladies and gentlemen, i'm the ceo of the potomac institute for policy studies, and it's my honor and privilege to welcome you today to a seminar on terrorism in the middle east. i'm sure many of you or most of you are aware of the center for international terrorism studies headed by alexander that for many decades has been looking into all aspects of terrorism, its causes and how we can deal with it. for the last almost 20 years, the center has been a potomac institute and it's been our great privilege to host these seminars, the international center has produced at least one academic volume if not three or four per.
we have many examples including this one today that has just been released and another one was released yesterday on russia and asia and it's been the senators focus for a couple of decades to look at how terrorism has been used as a tool to disrupt governance and society all around the world to look how different governments and cultures have dealt with it and look at what has worked and has not to document that in an academic setting such that the lessons learned from dealing with terrorism around the world can be studied, looked at and hopefully improve our capability for dealing with it. in keeping with that tradition and trend as i said, the professor alexander has brought together today once again as always one of the most distinguished and experienced panel of individuals who've dealt with terrorism in the
middle east, africa and europe. we will have an opportunity to hear some of the best lessons learned and interact with those that have dealt with it on the ground and strategically at the governments and communities and hopefully increase our knowledge and ability to deal with terrorism. i would like to think think professor alexander for the two decades that he's allowed me to work with him on these issues. in my mind he's one of the greatest academics in the world and we are privileged to have him not just here today but in the world for as long as he will stay with us. with that, let me introduce the person who needs no introduction, professor yoda alexander. [applause]
>> thank you, mike, for your generous introduction. the main point is we cannot deal with the challenges without international cooperation and work with the diplomats from the countries and the academic standards so on. let me first introduce the panel briefly and then i would like to make a few quick notes and move on to the discussion. next to mike is general gray as the commandant of the marine
corps and he will also introduce our keynote speaker, general ward sitting next to him and then we are going to have a presentation from the embassy of libya. next is the deputy chief of missions and finally, we have also another distinguished diplomat who is the political counselor at the embassy of the egyptian embassy. obviously we cannot conduct any discussion without academics so we are divided to have today
professor mohammed, the president of the moroccan center for strategic studies and general gray as always we'll will have the last word. a couple of footnotes in terms of our academic work that mike mentioned. this year alone, we at the discussions right here at the national press club on international cooperation in combating terrorism we also dealt with the sunni shia divide beginning with the challenge in the middle east and beyond into dealing with nato and so forth.
now, we have to remind ourselves that terrorism is only one out of many challenges we have to consider talking about security challenges and the natural disasters and academics is also a grave concern as we have seen with the crisis in africa and beyond and so on. but we are going to focus on man-made disasters that we see daily, and i think we have to keep in mind that no community and no country and no region is affected by terrorism.
yesterday, we had the plane hijacking in egypt. although it's not a terrorist incident as we know, but the modus operandi reminds us of the challenges that we are facing. and someday obviously we sold with grave concern what happened in pakistan and exposed again the ugly face of terror and there is no end to the imagination of the terrorists and the list goes on and on all the way from paris to brussels to california and elsewhere.
we have to keep in mind the trends that we see particularly with regards to the expansion of the islamic states. according to the record we could follow from the united nations into the terrorism community of close to 40,000 volunteers and fighters throughout the world in the islamic state this is actually much larger, seven times larger and of those volunteer fighters to join the mujahedin in afghanistan to fight the soviet union.
what is of grave concern we don't always realize the threat that is generated in the north african region as well as the style throughout africa. in fact, out of the 40 identified groups around the world that our partners in other words and terms of declaring religions providing support we find that 20 of them are located in africa and i would like to mention the publications mike already referred to that is being released today that deals with a threat throughout the
region. i'm not going to go into details because we don't have with us general ward who's going to deal with some of these issues. but this map tells everything that one has to recognize in terms of the analysis of the nature and impact. in other words we are very concerned about al qaeda especially after 9/11 when an increasing number of attacks took place in north africa somehow the world did not recognize and it was the first country victimized in the 1990s after the mujahedin came
back. but anyway, today basically every country in the continent had some form of sympathizers so in other words, we are talking about the so-called caliphate without borders, and if you have an opportunity, try to read that report into the general will go into some details. the threat is growing and this week as we know right here in
washington there is a summit on nuclear security and the representatives from all over the world in africa, europe, asia and so on to deal with the issue of nuclear terrorism so it is only a matter of time. not if but when we would have to face the incident. we have to be concerned because even according to the last reports about europe, we know that daesh have some targets for the nuclear facilities and so on. so with this introduction i would like to introduce the american general gray. [applause]
good morning. it is my distinct privilege to have an opportunity on behalf of the potomac institute to introduce a great warrior, great american and a someone i just know you're going to be really delighted to listen to and no matter how smart you are, i predict you are going to learn something. general ward has been a distinguished officer for over 40 years. more importantly, i encourage you to read his bio because you need to understand what he developed and where his ideas came from and how he applied them. he started out as a commander and that's where you really learn about people and find out quick that everything you get it
done as a young lieutenant you get get it done through people and so it just makes common sense to take care the very best way you know how and to try to bring them home alive if the conflict is there. he went up to a distinguished career in the light and the light and have been to all the schools and held all of the commands from the lieutenant all the way up through the division commander and then of course he was the first commander of the africa command, which he will talk to us about today. now he's the president and ceo of a company in the corporate world and we were chatting a little bit earlier before this thing started and i said some of the leadership things that you've picked up in the military are apropos in the commercial world as well because still,
it's all done by people and we need to take care of them and he agreed with that. we were also chatting before. he was born before i graduated from high school in 1945 and 17. my best -- my best friend was from briel across the river they were my rivals. he and i had grown up knowing each other for a long time and later he went to the same school at morgan state only he was a freshman in 1946 and that's back when he had good athletes. when you got there they kind of dwindled off. so anyway we had to chat about that. i'm pleased to introduce general kip ward. [applause]
>> but we follow by saying good morning and extending gratitude of thanks to professor alexander for the invitation for me to be here this morning to address this group. but the general needs no introduction because general gray is one of the iconic heroes. thank you for your service and all that you've done not just for the marines but all in the nation. thanks very much. [applause] when the professor alexander contacted me about coming this morning i said i'm not an academician. i don't publish great volumes for those to read and in fact knowing what you do, why is why contributes to this austere
occasion. that's why we want you there. the general talked about my career and i will briefly highlight a couple of things that might be instructive as i go through the remainder of my comments. over 40 years as an infantryman, my first 20 years as a soldier, i spent ensuring our nation that show the greatest nemesis of the cold war impact our security we were going to defeat it. i did not, assigned to units. in europe, korea the mechanized units, armored units. i did that assigned to the contingency force units, 82nd airborne division here in the united states. the last 20 years presented a
different paradigm and i will talk about that. since 9/11, the security challenges that we face have grave implications and they've emerged globally. the middle east, africa, europe, asia all regions of terrorist networks, particularly al qaeda and daesh but including the most treacherous of the organizations killing hundreds of people a week that go unreported. al shabaab expanding operations across this and stability that exists without borders. combating terrorism, lessons
learned. lessons learned. middle east, north africa and beyond. this enemy that possesses states like features is not a state. how do we recognize it? not long ago, you had a great presentation by a youngster. you call me youngster. i call ben stewart a youngster. he presented a detailed and accurate synopsis to lay down with an enemy is. so i will expand upon what he said about daesh and this force, but that is an enemy that has permeated our global commerce. we live in a complex security environment.
i went to help guarantee humanitarian relief in an impoverished and devastated land. it in 1992, i discovered what i trying to do for 20 years as an infantryman, just wasn't working quite well in this environment. my young sergeant who were out doing what they did in villages, hamlets, working with tribal elders and leaders would come back in and say, colonel, it's not about fire maneuver here.
this is about other things to help guarantee stability. and we talked about that and we got to the bit, but we knew then that the enemy presented a different face, operated with different tactics, gain its authority through different means. mostly intimidation and terror. lesson learned, did we pay attention to it? maybe, maybe not. some years later i was fortunate enough to be asked to go to egypt to be the u.s. security coordinator with the egyptian armed forces. and assignment that i absolutely -- think it was one the best assignment idabel because it exposed me to understanding the
importance of understanding those with whom you work that may not be just like you. important tour as the general indicated, help create this mosaic to inform things that are there came to in as i move along. had the great opportunity to command the 25th infantry division, a part of the u.s. pacific command area of responsibility, traveling all over south asia region, again being exposed to folks who are not like me, not like my focus, but learning. lessons learned. lessons learned. i told the journal he probably gave my talk in his summation because it's so true.
-- the general. it's about how you understand people and how you build relationships. that theme will come forth again as i talk to your. that asymmetrical threat we faced in 1980 to come it was there. things went on in the balkans and on september 11, 2001, as i sat in the pentagon as the vice director of operations on the joint staff's, the threat became real in no uncertain terms. and as i spent four days in the pentagon without leaving doing things that help determine what our response would be to that devastating attack that would change all of us, to be sure we were in a new era. lessons learned. we all got a crash course in it
that day, and we continue to receive it. that enemy that we are trained to defeat as a military no longer existed. and maintain security and protecting our national interests needed to occur more than at the end of a rifle, by delivering a main gun round out of an abrams tank, by dropping a bomb from a b-1 or by firing a missile from a frigate. to be sure, that needed to be there. but more was required. more is required. i go to the balkans as a native command of the stabilization force in austin herzegovina in 2003 -- bosnia.
trying to establish stability and put things together so that that was what i called them a horizon of hope for peace. that wasn't happening because i was a combat veteran. is happening because i had better been paying attention to othethings in that apartment that would make a difference. i went in 2005 to be the united states security coordinator to israel and the palestinian authority. these lessons continued to reinforce themselves. what is it that we are doing to help bring stability to an environment? this notion of security that i had been taught as a lieutenant,
captain, colonel, as a young infantryman my first 20 years, was exposing to me it's limited with respect to the total to mention of how we approach addressing this arc of instability. i was very fortunate to have been selected to be the inaugural commander of the united states africom. i served in four of our nation's geographic commands at that point, in varying assignments. so how was this one to be different if it is to address challenges we faced, and to be sure in 2006 and 2007 as we were discussing it, terrorism was well known to evolve. we have talked about those incidents that had led to was
having it smacked right in our faces. because of what the young sergeant said to be on one of my trips into somalia in 1990, early part of 1993 visiting him, i knew stability was more than just what we brought to this dynamic. what we brought was absolute critical come and to be sure, but it needed more. what was the more? what was the lesson? we talk about it today like it's been around forever. in 2007 we were not talking about the importance of development. we were not talking about the importance of understanding the society in which we were operating, knowing what was important to the people who lived there where they were, and doing things in a sustained way to address that such that they
had a stake in their own stability because they had horizon of hope. we were not talking about this. you say why are you as a soldier talk about it? because when it doesn't happen, my soldiers, marines, sailors get caught in harm's way to help bring security and stability, and i would much rather not do that. to be sure, prepared to do. that's what my nation asked me to do. that's what i took an oath to do as i wore across the nation. in my minds eye, that ought to be our last resort to achieve the stability that we all desire on these global commons. as these conditions have continued to move forward, it is even more imperative that those things that are associated with
stability, defense to be sure, but as was pointed out by professor alexander, it's more than that. this economic horizon, this horizon that will create something for communities that exist in this vast area, that we've been talking about even i before al-qaeda and islamic maghreb, and as was pointed out we were not paying attention. but conditions that spawned the creation of those sorts of activities still exists. so how are we to address it? what are the lessons learned? we have built great systems to deal with the security aspects, intelligence and fusion centers and sells, sustained engagemen engagements, combined and joint
operations to address threats, the use of our special operation forces, the use of our conventional forces. i offer that same engagement is important across this arc of instability and other areas as well. what is our sustained developmental engagement? what is our sustained diplomatic engagement? you hear other members of the panel talk about the role about the various countries that north africa played in helping build security, what they are doing. i offer some of it will be done by having better trained intelligence, integrated intelligence, better sharing of intelligence. some of it will come by having better trained and efficiency duty forces, be they national
armed forces, be they police forces. much of it will come because the economic requirement, the development of issues associate with it, the living conditions of folks in an area take a turn that will cause those who live there to see for themselves a horizon of hope where they are. where they are. whose responsibility is that? i offered that it is our collective responsibility, just as we took a collective action to address it in a military perspective, that same collective action ought to be taken to address it from a developmental perspective. in this, that third we talk about today i'm some call it diplomacy, some call it democracy, it's about good governance. it's about good governance. to that end, what is our
sustained level of engagement? just as we have to have sustained security engagements, we must have sustained developmental and diplomatic engagements. we must devote some portion of our national treasure to that effort. we don't bear that burden alone in the united states of america are the global community bears it as a global community because the threat is a global threat. but what have we built to address the work that is being done by al-shabaab, by boko haram, by daesh, who has now, boko haram cause that affiliation to be seen in ways never before realized? as we move forward, as we look
at programs, as a look at processes, this notion of sustained engagement for me comes home in this regard. i love our men and women who wear the uniform of our nation. i am who i am and where i am because of them, and i know that. they as we are engaged globally, not just because we are side-by-side fighting with them, and to be sure we're prepared to do that, but we are side-by-side engaging with them, causing a dynamic to occur whereby there's mutual learning going on, us understanding better, they seeing a different way and taking advantage of that to bring that stability to where they are.
we can't be everywhere, but we must be somewhere. in this modern age of social media, et cetera, et cetera, this notion of virtual reality, out there and we can do things virtually. you don't build relationships virtually. you build relationships because you are there. one of the best tools that we had at our disposal is how we build relationships with our friends, because our common objective to be realized as the inaugural commander of u.s. africom, one of our main focuses, priorities, was to cause a level of sustained security engagement with our partners and friends across north africa, the sahel, and sub-saharan africa. so that they knew they could depend on us to be there.
i offer that it is no truth in europe come in asia, the middle east, other places where us being a part of the dynamic that creates stability across a range of activities will make a difference. doesn't take a lot. doesn't take a lot, but it takes something. and where we dedicate resources, and our greatest resource in my minds eye are americans sons and daughters who willingly donned the uniform of our nation to go forward and serve. we are to take advantage of that. what are the lessons learned? there are many, they are varied, but they are at hand, and as we work with partners around the
globe, our ability to make a difference to address the arc of instability in ways beyond force of arms off be a priority. to never back away from that, but it ought not be a first resort of action. and as we support it in a way that will make a difference, we will be able to establish horizon of hope, such that neighborhoods, communities, nations, regions are doing more for themselves because of the support, the cooperation, the collaboration that's been received by the community of nations and their environments. let me close by saying this. we must present and cause our
friends and allies, and all those whose interests are threatened i terrorism, to present across the range of activity, defense, development, diplomacy, a scenario that causes those who are impacted in these regions to see a horizon of hope so that they take a stake and take action to address this threat here and while that's going on we will continue to take those off those scenes who are just bad actors. but that's not all that's required. these other pieces of it are also important. and as we saw in the creation of africom, that a large measures has been adopted by other combatants in regional command, our engagement, our relationship
building, our understanding of what's important for people in those regions commented addressing it and addressing it in real ways, ways that are important to them where they are, that's going to make a difference. and i've seen that around the world. from europe to middle east, asia and africa. those are lessons of a soldier over a 40 year career, and he did know a whole lot about much, other than getting to know people, understand what was important to them, addressing it in some ways, however modest, so they then took steps to help create stability in their regions. because that's in our national interest.
indeed, very much. [applause] >> -- thank you very much. >> thank you very much, general, or your very profound insight and experiences, particularly what works, what doesn't work. we, i'm sure, we will have many questions for you, but if we make we would like to proceed with our colleagues to make brief statements about their own perspectives, and then we will have a q&a discussion. next, would you kindly go over there?
>> it's on. ladies and gentlemen, first of all i would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers of this important event, and thank you for hosting me to speak on this important subject to all of us, that terrorism that has affected all of our lives, and combating terrorism is also a personal matter to me as i lost members of my family and my friends who were brutally killed by terrorists in my own city of benghazi and libya. i cannot agree more with the remarks of general william. it's true that stabilizing and secure nations is the only way to have a sustainable defeat to
terrorism. and i think the world has to, the international community has to support weak nations to lead security, to reach stability, and that's the only way to have a sustainable defeat to terrorism. i will start by saying also that terrorism is mainly a tactic, and targeting terrorism on this note is not effective. we can for sure say that it's a phenomena that is undermining our common humanity and is inherently global. and targeting it today is a vast and major work to do. the latest brutal terrorist attacks in belgium, lahore,
remind us again and again with the urgent need for more efficient concert at aunt international strategy to combat it. we need to broaden the way we think about this threat and take measures to prevent it from proliferating. terrorism, no doubt, is the cancer of our age. and no one and no country is immune from it. what is most alarming in the present context is the rapid expansion of violent extremism, extremist ideologies in different parts of the world, especially in the sub-saharan countries. and there's no country about it. we need to cooperate on many levels to combat it come and we need to learn to our past the stakes, what worked and what didn't work.
counterterrorism centers around the world and the need for an increasing number of specialists to deal with this problem, testify to the seriousness of this issue. and i am sure we have among us here today excellent experts on the subject, such as professor yonah alexander who devotes a lot of his time as the director of the international center for terrorism studies to this issue and to this cause. i thank them for the valuable reports that have been prepared to date either center. according to a recent u.n. report published in december 2015, a violent extremists have been able to recruit over 30,000 foreign terrorist fighters, as i heard from him today, and also from
this report, from over 100 member states. they were to travel to syria, iraq, afghanistan, yemen and libya. the same mentioned a report suggests some counterterrorism measures that require a more comprehensive approach, which in comparison not only ongoing essential security based counterterrorism, but also systematic preventive measures which directly address the drivers of violent extremism that have given rise to the emergence of these new groups. i agree with the conclusions of the report. it makes a lot of sense, because in my humble opinion, we need to pay enough attention to what individuals are attracted to violate extremist groups. i'm also convinced that the
creation of open, inclusive, and pluralist societies based on the full respect of human rights, and with economic opportunities for all represent the most tangible and most meaningful alternative to violent extremism, and the most promising strategy for rendering it an attractive. we will not be successful unless we can harness the idealism, creativity and energy of young people and others who feel disenfranchised. young people in our societies, in particular, constitute the majority of the population of an increasing and also in an increasing number of countries in the region. and these young people must be viewed as an asset, and must be empowered to make constructive
contributions to the political and economical development of our societies and nations. they represent an untapped resource, and we must offer them a positive vision of the future, together with a genuine chance to realize their aspirations and potential. recent history has shown in our region, and especially in libya, that while custody situations and conflict tend to be further exasperated by civic conflict and proxy wars that deepen the crisis and increase the suffering. it's also critical that in responding to this threat we recognize that violent extremism aims at provoking states into
over reacting, and then exploit ill-conceived government action for their own propaganda. indicates that libya would receive medical and military fragmentation, daesh -- political and military -- and is called isil or isis in other parts, and other terrorist and criminal groups came into being and took advantage of this security vacuum, to occupy a whole strategic coastal city, a demonic what's left of libya state, it succeeded in recruiting a large number of foreign fighters who came in big waves across our uncontrolled borders. we do not know the exact numbers of those fighters, but intelligent assessments state that they are between 5000-7000 fighters.
but it's notable that the number is also increased from especially after what isis has suffered in syria and in iraq. libya, in general, and libyan society is not hospitable to daesh. libyan culture and -- despises extremism. throughout our history, the libyan people are moderate in nature, and that applies to the islamic institutions as well. however, the deteriorating economic situation in my country makes an increasing number of desperate libya can you vulnerable to recruitment, to these radical groups. the lack of social economical opportunities and the marginalization in addition to the failed state and poor government that we had during the past couple of years since
our revolution pose a real challenge for any future, good governance in libya. again, it's critical to recognize that violent extremism tends to strive in environment characterized by violent, democracy deficit and corruption. and, unfortunately, we have all of these diseases in libya today. in addition to that, the prologue and political conflict in the country makes it difficult to counter isis and come up with an effective strategy. i must also mention that it's not only isis that we have in libya. there are other terrorist groups come and we see that there is a competition between them. ..
i would like to mention that many of these radical elements came from out that libya itself. recent developments in different cities and libya demonstrate that these groups cannot be rooted in the country. but it is important that iss and other terrorist groups have a different take up in different parts of the bss just mentioned.
a nature of the ticket managed of the social press enter there. nonetheless should recognize all of them are symptoms other disease and this is important to remember. a lot of people think what is happening in libya is the result is a till this day is good to actually commit terrorism is just a symptom of the disease that has happened to libya. again, terrorism i must mention a merely a tactic. targeting terrorism on its own is an exact date and when he did go beyond that he had there are credible reports with basis and libya as well and the implications of this could be devastating to the whole region. but could also reach and have
reached as it sells as one distinguished american journalists and i fully agree within our strategy should create a firewall between the two groups to prevent the spread of breast cancer earlier and beyond the plot is based in libya is no longer a matter of issue that is good it is increasingly organized entity and trends in a country with large government spaces in this contest -- in this context i would like to emphasize that libya is a unique place, geographically and strategically and should be seen in that way. if we contain and defeat libya, we can defeat north africa in
the sub-saharan region and i'm sure we will. thank you so much. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible] >> good morning, everybody. thinking professor yonah alexander and the potomac institute for this opportunity to talk to you about this topic, which has -- everybody agrees is a global issue that is a fact in
all the world and every single day proof of that, that no country is safe in this thread. i chose not to overload this presentation, which will be brief with facts and figures and stuff like that because all this is available to everybody on the internet. i chose just to have an over cry at the tunisian experience in that regard and where we are now and we would like to go along obviously in our context in the global context of the world in general along with their partners, france and the like. just a few words on the tunisian
background. tunisia is a country with more than 3000 years of history. tunisia has been out three centuries brought about a day from people from diverse origins who have been coming -- actually occupiers, but who ended up settling on the land and in so doing they integrated the local population and bringing their own cultural background. just to mention a few of the so-called invaders, romans, vandals, spanish, french, so on and so forth, all of those came to settle in tunisia.
verify left their imprint and when i spoke of civilizations, this is what i meant. religion wise, jewish, christian and muslims have coexisted for centuries in tunisia as well. culturally very close to each other, to the point that they make up the mixture of a new culture or new identity. hence the diversity, the openness, the tolerance a very very heritage. now, what on earth -- much of that went on there literally such a country like tunisia to be one of the leading providers of terrorists in this context?
we both say three, four, five, six dozen of the so-called jihadist are tunisians. it amounts to a very obvious concept and good government. actually, if you want to sum up the origin of all of that, it is that government or the lack of good governance. tunisia has gone through a spell of the regime. lack of political freedoms, do various types, which were not accessible to the population. a growing social divide in and even regional development scheme and social economic growth come
a series of governance mistakes, all of these with the appearance of extremism. the totalitarian trip and all the collateral damages have inevitably led to unrest and eventually obviously religion offers seeking refuge in young people talking especially about the young people -- these young people were the more prone to sink into extremism out of despair, out of frustration out
of lack of employment and social economic albums in general. so hence the appearance of those islamist movement, which spread actually in the arab world in general and the same context in the whole region and in the middle east and north africa. in turn later into political trends, coming to represent a credible alternative to the authoritarian oppressive regimes that were in place created by the totalitarian regimes was naturally to be filled by religion with a tendency of radicalization and it is they are when they stop radicalizing, weekend into the process of extremism to buy not been terraced deck today.
with the 2011 up evil and that ousting of the regime, the tunisian people opened their way to democracy and freedoms of all souls at all levels are nevertheless in so doing, and not process we suffered a real blow to in fact to deny stress -- the mistrust philip climate left over by the regime. this mistrust generated an acute weakness of the state of an aggressive public opinion, so fond of their newly acquired freedoms and liberties and the strong belief in their ability to establish the rule of the
people by the people. that was the ambition and that was a main object does. so tunisia had moved to crisis of authority and political parties, hundreds of them -- hundreds, not to say thousands of ngos, media -- filled up the place all of a sudden. there were four or five media over at dave with dancing and maybe hundreds of them. all of them against the ruler, whoever this may be actually. and this was the background that there is a risk of the totalitarian relapse again to go back to square one. it isn't democratic turmoil that
extremist groups found their ways to penetrate not only in the tunisian territory, but also to infiltrate layers of society, all sorts of back to these late arms smuggling, recruiting who did not see solutions to their frustration. we are not seen all of the sudden that we were hoping that this change of regime that they would be offered job straight away and they would improve their social situation in that one. this is very slow to have been or may be not happening at all soundstage. and then at that stage, so as we
said arms smuggling, recruiting, establishing and running training camps on tunisian territory were evolving without the state been able to prevent them because they were simply overwhelmed by so many other problems, but social unrest, by pressure from the union, by political strife, by all sorts of issues that definitely were overwhelming and could not allow the state to be ready to face certain frats. just a reminder of the facts over 2015, for a major terrorist attack, isis claimed responsibility for three of
them, an attack against the museum with 22 big guns, a tourist resort in a hotel actually with 38 the dems. the presidential bypass was told that guns in the latest of its kind attack against the city south of tunisia from a very adjacent to the libyan border in which 13 security forces were killed and seven civilians, y 49 among the terrorists were killed in the same operation. i said no and kind, meaning that for the first time in the succession of events, the isolated acts or specific or
targeted terrorist attack, this one was meant to establish a stronghold for what we call the islamic state in tunisia. they're attacking the small city to establish and to start off what they did in iraq and syria so on. commenting on that, when you see the over all situation, it is actually a mathematical war that we are confronted with. the security forces and army are fighting a nonconventional enemy with conventional means. said this is why also apart from the overwhelming social economic situation in problems, it is also a problem never trained to
be facing such an enemy. so in a doctrine had to be instated to frame the strategy in this war against terrorism. the strategy is based on four pillars. prevention, protection, follow-up in response to a whole set of reforms is currently underway to optimize and implement the counterterrorism strategy but a number of challenges on the ground like interagency coordination which was very complicated and the u.s. have gone through that after 9/11. we had to overhaul the whole system, establishing the legal framework which in making legislation, to combat terrorism
you have to take special care less one would compromise some liberties, which in the case of tunisia, very recently and dearly acquired. everyone is very careful and very sensitive as far as the sword of laws combating terrorism. they would definitely overlap with other laws on the freedom of opinion. the main goal in all of this is to reinstate the authority of the state, improving security governance, establish a sound strategy in all the national and international actors and establishing an articulate
social economic development strategy to bridge the gaps and restore the economy. now insert his concluding remarks on all of this general context, terrorism is definitely a global threat to peace and security. so terrorism has to be global, has been made for a globally well coordinated a two dimensional strategy. such a strategy would never be successful if it is not based on a mutual understanding as for the name and specific mess of each and every partner in the struggle. and if you lack at tunisia, decisions considered to be a beacon of hope for the success of the democratization process in the region, an experience
that our partners like to consider as a model, even though we firmly believe there's no recipes and that democracy itself is a very relative concept that to be implemented is taken into consideration as particular specificities like historical background, culture and so on. now this model is under serious threat to vacate. it is in the global interest that we come to terms with these that and continue on the path to success. if the proof is necessary that extremism in terrorism are alien
phenomenon for tunisians, the recent event which i mentioned earlier in the first of the kind of variance with dead to the so-called islamic state are not being on the substance of the identity. the reaction was huge and you could see not only the security forces without weapons. i mean chasing those terrorists all over the place. so failure to set up a corporation in diverse fields between tunisia and international partners could have opportunity including model of governance based on social
justice, economic opportunity and security. this has to do with what i stated earlier that the threat is utterly global and so must be their response, that being global and needs to be extremely well coordinated so that it's not again that takes into consideration different aspects and different specifics. thank you very much. [applause] >> let me also start by thanking the potomac institute for
organizing this event and a special thanks of course goes to professor yonah alexander who puts a lot of effort and thinking to this issue. i think i should say also that the remarks i'm going to make represent only myself and my country. when i heed the invitation for this event, i like very much the notion of lesson. we the international community have been fighting terrorism for years and years and it is important from time to time to have a pause and think and rethink and reconsider what went wrong, what went well in order to do better. i would like to share with you seven lessons that i think we in africa and the middle east have learned during the last years of
fighting. lesson number one. there is no country that can fight terrorism. international cooperation is a must. i am very glad ward used the lesson we've learned in fighting terrorists. for the goal, it egypt hosted 27 defense ministers from this region in egypt and the topic on the table was how to cooperate -- how to coordinate better, how to share information in order to fight terrorism in their countries. two days ago, saudi arabia hosted a meeting for chief of staff from select that islamic
countries in order to discuss the same issue, how to coordinate better. but in fact, this is not a lesson learned in the middle east or in africa among. think about what happened in brussels last week. following these tragic events, the e.u. coordinator that only five countries out of the e.u. are really, really sharing of permission and classified information that is needed in order to fight terrorism affect deadly. it is a necessity. a globally. by the member states of the antenna as this coalition is growing every single day to reach 66 countries right now. it is because countries are realizing more and more that they cannot cite terrorists on their own.
lesson number two and a native expand its better than than me because i'm a civilian. our army forces are designed, structured and trained to fight conventional wars. but decide against terrorism terrorism is a nonconventional war. what you come in the u.s. has learned after 9/11 is exactly what we are trying to learn right now in the region. and here comes the lesson that we should not start from scratch. we should not reinvent the wheel. we should start from where you have ended and here comes sherry next he says that does require new training methods for our armed forces. of course, yes.
does it require new weapon resistance? yes, of course. new structure? nuke them in control? i think yes yet these are questions that need to be coached. lesson number three has to do with planning. and this is not me speaking actually. when i discussed the matter with the office of fighting terrorism, they tell me that we used to say that military planning meet the lab is the latest generous to plan and for young officers we have learned from fighting terrorists that it should be the other way around. it shouldn't be a knockdown process. it should be a bottom-up process. those young officers are fighting terrorists on a daily basis have to know how the
experience, the terrorist tactics on a daily basis so they can feed the planning process very well. the lesson i have learned if we keep the planning process and the capital condition rules, we will lose that. but the number four, professor alexander mentioned the number of isis fighters come in 35 to 40,000 at like 10, 15,000 in boca her mom, like seven to eight and others in taliban. you reach 70 or 80,000. the question is how these organizations are able to include these huge numbers.
the answer is simple. first, very different legends, narratives. two, they reach out to young people to respect the views of solutions. and this is the lesson. in order to fight terrorism affect play, we need to develop a counter narrative to tie event in boca her mom. here comes the importance of religious institutions like in tunisia and egypt and also the importance of reaching out to those young people. if twitter and facebook will help us reach out to them, we should use them. if local languages will help us, we should use them.
i remember a very good experience that after egypt has a lot of counter narratives too but they are doing, we collect them and it wrote and translated into a local language in nigeria and we went to the very remote villages in schools and mosques to reach out to those people and prove to be very effective. lesson number five, development. ..
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