Out of the Drawer…

We do not need the US Department of State and foreign affairs report on efforts worldwide to counter terrorism to tell us that the strategy outlined by Dr Abdullah Nsoor’s resigned government, two years ago, was stashed in some drawer somewhere, ever since. We also were not waiting on them to inform us that the official plan has not been effectively implemented, more so; that considerable parts of it are more or less filed paper! Results of this shortcoming and negligence are obvious.

According to a report prepared by colleague Taghrid Rishq, published in Al Ghad’s issue earlier this week, about the US State report; the latter seems to entail no important discovery of added value to what we already know. it explicitly states that the implementation of the Jordanian Strategy lacked resources, both human and capital.

What happened is; a supervisor was chosen, a retired General Security Brig General; to oversee the implementation of the strategy, with an assigned task force, stationed back then at the Crisis Management Centre, which lacked the appropriate encapsulating environment. Typically, the already understaffed crew relocated to the Ministry of Interior, pending commence of their real agendas, as efforts remain dispersed in regards to the perils entailed by the current situation.

Now honestly, I have no answer as to why the execution of the “Strategy” was officially neglected. But can we afford such negligence? How many more Jordanians and youths must fall victim before emergency is declared and the plans are executed to counter extremist thought and ideology? And what are the contents of the plan yet undisclosed and approached as if it were a national security matter?! Even though uncovering it would be beneficial, even to those in charge of executing it, while the risks of nondisclosure, and therefore the lack monitored execution, build furthermore, given data indicating the extremist and terrorist doctrine is spreading where solutions and domestic alternatives are not present.

A recent poll shows that 4 per cent of Jordanians over 18 years of age identify with the ISIS indoctrination. Even if the rate was a bit lower or higher, the threat of it still stands; and it means that among us are hundreds of thousands of youths with the ISIS conviction, or a fertile mind set to foster these conviction. This may be because our youth was not approached with an enlightened religious discourse, or any other intellectual discourse for that matter.

Still, the fact that there is a Jordanian strategy, is good to begin with. It paves the way for demands to disclose it, allowing each of us to do their part.

Above all, the most important pointed highlighted in the American report, confirms our convictions that Jordanian officials live in denial to the spread of extremism. The report sees that they are “reserved” in regards to recognising domestic extremism, with the subjective extremism this entails”.

Once again, the criticism directed in the US report about the lack of counter terrorism strategy implementation is nothing new. And while even harsher criticism has been directed by domestic media, still to no end, we were all unable to obtain a copy of the strategy over the past two years. Maybe now with the aid of the Americans, it would be possible!

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