Mohsen Abdelmoumen: What is your reading of the trial of strength which is currently confronting Saudi Arabia and its allies with Qatar? Some sources even mention the risk of war in the region. What do you think?
Dr. Tewfik Hamel: Many points overlap and deserve to be highlighted, notably the period of change in the Arab world which will not be short, but a constant struggle between the forces that are trying to define the future of the region. Internal conflicts are partly associated with these changes. Then there is the intellectual confusion surrounding the nature of this hostility. Added to this, are the rise of Iran and a sense of insecurity of Saudis that can not be appeased. Finally, the role of the United States:
The Middle East is one of the most militarized regions in the world. The region is affected by regional rivalries, resource wars, economic difficulties, identity tensions, etc. However, what is the leading antagonism? Iran has become a key player in most Arab issues including Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Yemen. The regional war is not inevitable, nor peace. Neither peace nor war seems to be desired by the majority of Arab leaders. They continue to prefer the return to status quo which would guarantee, in their eyes, security at the least cost. But the Saudis are on a completely different and dangerously slippery line. Several readings exist on the conflict situation in the region. Each has its angle of analysis. The mini-clash of civilization (Sunni/Shiite, Arab/Persian) is the most popular. The identity factor is not the most decisive in this conflict because the role of identity is often exaggerated. Political divisions based on ideology are often more important than ethnic or racial differences (the confrontation between Fatah and Hamas in Palestine, for example). Sectarianism in the region is a product of intellectual confusion. The causes of human divisions are multiple and entangled, including conflicts of interest, rival power structures and competition for resources. State institutions play a key role – they define the rules of political affiliation, representation and allocation of resources. The belonging to these institutions, representation and allocation of resources are structured according to pre-established cultural criteria, but « political identity » dominates the political game.
In several countries in the region, populations are divided not only by ethnic and religious allegiances, but also by rival claims over the oil reserves and resources. The question of resources is important in the appearance of conflicts and the intensity they take. Most social conflicts are based on the unequal distribution of rare resources. Identity, religious or ideological feelings are deliberately provoked and fueled by players who hope to build political capital through the manipulation of such feelings. However, neither the manipulation of primordial loyalties nor the survival of negative images and outdated beliefs about the « Other » would cause much inter-group tensions or conflicts unless identity conflicts coincide with differential access to « resources » in the Weberian sense . Max Weber (who identifies resources as class, status, and power), like Georg Simmel, emphasized the importance of cross-cutting influences that stem from the different structures of inequality. Thus, what becomes an important source of social conflict is the intersection of these three systems of stratification. If the public perceives that the same group controls access to all three resources, it is likely that the legitimacy of the system is called into question because people perceive that their social mobility is hampered. This factor is decisive in the ongoing conflicts in the region. For years, the Houthis in Yemen and Shiites in the [Persian] Gulf countries have been marginalized. It is easier for the [p]GCC ( [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council) regimes to ethnicise the Shiite claims while their revolts are mainly based on access to resources. The rise of Iran serves as a justification for stifling democratic demands.
In general, so-called ethnic, sectarian and religious conflicts are not caused by ethnicity or religion. What is called ethnic conflict (Arab versus Persia) and sectarian (Sunni versus Shiite) is neither ethnic nor sectarian per se. Rather, they are struggles for the power levers and wealth in society but in which ethnicity and religion provide cultural and historical resources to mobilize popular support for the regimes in place. This tendency to ethnicize conflicts of interest, power struggles and regional geopolitical rivalries may make conflicts in the region insoluble. Rather than being rooted in old ethnic-religious hatreds, the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia depends on the relative position of the State and the identity of the dominant States in the region. Taken as a whole, cultural violence erupts more vehemently where economic decline, neo-liberal economic reforms and institutional transformation have broken the old social contracts: that is, where they broke the old rules and norms allowing access to political and economic resources. In a sense, the breakdown of old social contracts leads to changes in political power. When these power shifts are experienced as discriminatory and favor a particular ethnicity and religion, resentment provides a fertile ground for policies to mobilize support around ethnic and sectarian identities. This is clearly visible in the Middle East where each camp seeks to mobilize around it on a religious basis. Iran and Saudi Arabia use the same language. The internal struggles in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Egypt, etc. are exacerbated by the game of regional powers – particularly the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran where identity and religious factors are used as levers and instruments for access to power, and the mobilization of populations (at the domestic level) and the quest for an alliance (at the external level).
The tension climate maintained and unceasingly revived between Riyadh and Tehran is not only cyclical. The lines of identity fractures (Arabs versus Persians) and religious (Sunni vs. Shiites) overlap with geopolitical ambitions. In order to resolve the « security dilemma », the Saudis reappropriate and revitalize the « Brezhnev doctrine », which advocated the « limited sovereignty » of the socialist states. During the « Spring of Prague » in 1968, Brezhnev explained that Czechoslovakia should be authorized to determine its own destiny, but ultimately its detachment from the socialist community was unacceptable; it is in « conflicts with its own vital interests and would have been prejudicial to the other socialist States ». The Saudis message seems similar: any change deemed excessive by the Saudis would be at odds with their own vital interests and those of other monarchical States, and therefore they would not accept structural changes in power structures. The diplomatic rupture with Qatar is only the last manifestation of the Brezhnevian state of mind. The intervention in Yemen, financial assistance to Egypt and the overthrow of the Muslim brothers, the 2011 intervention of the GCC forces in Bahrain are also part of it. The other example is the indirect war against Syria. In the eyes of Riyadh, Damascus is too far from it and this is intolerable. In Yemen, too, the structure of power has been upset by the arrival of the Houthis and this may have profound national and regional implications.
But given the psychological basis of the perception of internal vulnerabilities in Riyadh, its sense of insecurity can not really be appeased. No arms deal or confidence-building measure will end the paranoia of Saudi leaders. Indeed, when the security dilemma is the product of the external environment, states can defuse tensions through establishment and / or confidence-building measures reinforcement. Such measures are important to overcome (at least temporarily) the anarchic nature of the international system, especially between Iran and its Gulf neighbors. Conversely, the psychological bases of internal vulnerabilities are much more difficult to appease. Internal sources of States insecurity present a particular challenge for decision-makers. Fears of interference are not generated by the policies of other States, but [Persian] by the internal vulnerabilities of the States themselves. Thus, States with internal vulnerabilities can not be easily appeased by confidence-building measures. From this perspective, any change will be considered as instability and a threat by the Saudis. No arms deal can alleviate Riyadh’s feeling of insecurity.
Iranian-American hostility has its roots in their opposing visions of the Middle East future. After completing its encircling, the United States is working on its political and diplomatic isolation and is trying to stem the influence of Iran outside its borders. This determination is partly explained by the strategic position of Iran, which thanks to its human and economic potentialities, its independence and its cooperation with Beijing and Moscow, strengthens its status as an average regional power and appears to be the last bulwark against a sustainable US dominance over the whole region. Tehran is pursuing a major geopolitical goal: to break its isolation and become the opposition engine to the US military presence in the Middle East. Iran has learned pragmatism and its leaders have a policy of diplomatic openness on all sides. Already allied to Russia and cooperating with China, Iran does not hesitate to use the map of the Islamic fraternity and to mobilize the capital of third-world solidarity. Iranian foreign policy can not have the image of a great delinquent. The Iranian strategy thus appears as a mixture of regional aims and deterrence against certain threats: all of this associated with an attempt to create an alliances cooperative system. Iran wants to set up an alternative order to the American hegemony in the Middle East.
The new global power distribution, combined with financial constraints, has led the United States to favor a selective commitment to extend its control by achieving « pragmatic domination » in dominating Europe, Northeast Asia and the Persian Gulf; the three regions most important where the United States maintained a permanent military presence to prevent the emergence of new poles of power and to maintain the kind of regional peace and stability considered essential and favorable towards supporting an international order dominated by United States. From the early 1940s, the United States sought to achieve an extra regional hegemony. If they do not always succeed in having everything they want, they get the essentials most of the time. Dominate these three regions – which have never been addressed separately by defense strategists and planners – means dominating the oil trade and about 70 % of global GDP. The goal of the Americans is to shape regional security structures based on the creation, then institutionalization, of strong regional power balances in which America plays a central role. While this process is already well advanced in Europe, the same objective is being pursued in the [Persian] Gulf and East Asia. Iran has become the biggest obstacle.
The United States aims to achieve a new security architecture able of securing energy flows in a context marked by rebalancing towards Asia-Pacific and the return of Russia to the Middle East, in a climate of tension growing. At the same time, the sale of weapons is likely to reinforce the level of regional deterrence and contribute to reduce the size of American forces that the US needs to deploy in the region to redeploy them in Asia. Financial austerity has led to declining the defense spending and in this way Washington is involving the [Persian] Gulf countries in their defense in accordance with the promise of candidate Trump. In their best-selling Strategy and Arms Control(1961), Thomas C. Schelling and Morton H. Halperin argued that arms control and military policy should be tied to the same fundamental security goals: prevent war, minimize the costs and risks of the arms race, and restrict the scope and violence of war in the event that it should occur.
We have less and less information, even none, about the situation of the operations on the ground against Daesh whether it is in Syria or in Iraq. How do you explain this blackout?
The security landscape in this part of the world is extremely volatile – everyone has the finger on the trigger. The strategy pursued by the players involved in this conflict (including Europeans, Americans, and in particular Turks, Saudis, etc.) – considering terrorism as, to paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz, « the continuation of politics by other means » – has shown its limits. In the same way that it is strongly discouraged to urge a military to disobey to a civil/political, whatever the context and urgency, for fear of creating a precedent, it is strongly advisable to banish terrorism as a strategy. For it is impossible to manipulate terrorism without suffering the consequences. As each of the players involved sees a zero-sum game, chaos is inevitable. Syria is an explosive mixture of regional geopolitical rivalries; struggles for resources, game of the great powers, instrumentation of religion and manipulation of identity, economic and social difficulties, structural changes and democratic aspirations of the populations. What distinguishes Syria from other places where terrorism is used as strategy is that in Syria masks have fallen. In Syria, the strategic narrative of war has lost its coherence, becoming unable of assuming and rationalizing the inherent contradictions. The narrative of a conflict is indeed an important aspect of legitimization and creation of a consensus on the use of force. The task is more complicated with the increasing global connectivity.
On the military level, the dynamics of the war are in favor of the Syrian State with its allies. The fight against terrorism has never been a priority for the United States, neither for France nor for Great Britain. The fight against terrorism has been subordinated to the main objective, which is the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad. From the point of view of international law, only the Russian intervention is legal. The intervention of Russia in the Syrian war has changed the situation. The rising tensions between Russia and the West, the enormous investment and involvement of the Russians in this proxy conflict, the importance of the challenge for the future security environment, it is unlikely that the Russian will drop Syria. If a vertical escalation will most probably be avoided, we must expect in contrast to a horizontal escalation (creation of disturbances and outbreaks of low-intensity tensions in other regions of interest). This will to avoid a vertical escalation and the loss of control over terrorism that is likely to become unmanageable has led Western countries to readjust their strategy in Syria. The departure of Bashar al-Assad is rarely evoked. Discourse developed for political or military reasons may have opposite effects to those sought. The discourse of war is the framework for the organization of politics and the foundation of any strategy.
A misjudgment and/or bad formulation could lead to catastrophic operational choices. The importance given by political and military systems to the creation and control of language in war is a key element of the conflict. In Syria, the contradictions are such that they can not be rationalized. How convince people that the Al-Nusra Front is doing a good job? Or that Saudi Arabia is fighting terrorism? It’s a joke! Who could believe that the issue is the defense of democracy in Syria? The gap between reality (hidden objectives) and discourse (declared aims of the coalition of US, Turkey, Persian Gulf and some European capitals) is so great that no adjustment is possible without calling into question the strategy in progress. The speech aims at translating media representations of the war, rather than to try to represent directly the war, a work of art that seeks to find a communicable language of sensations and effects with which it is possible to record something from the experience of war. In other words, changes in military strategies, ideologies and political practices, etc. always involve an important linguistic dimension. Proxy war in Syria is both a series of institutional practices and a set of political narratives accompanying it. The « blackout » reflects a change of strategy in Syria whose outlines are not yet clear.
In reference to the Second World War, Allan R. Millett and Williamson Murray write: “No amount of operational [or tactical] virtuosity […] redeemed fundamental flaws in political judgment. Whether policy shaped strategy or strategic imperatives drove policy was irrelevant. Miscalculations in both led to defeat, and any combination of politico-strategic errors had disastrous results, even for some nations that ended the war as members of the victorious coalition. Even the effective mobilization of national will, manpower, industrial might, national wealth, and technological know-how did not save the belligerents from reaping the bitter fruit of severe mistakes [at this level]. This is because it is more important to make correct decisions at the political and strategic level than it is at the operational or tactical level. Mistakes in operations and tactics can be corrected [admittedly at a cost]. But political and strategic mistakes live forever”. As such, the US intervention in Iraq in 2003 was a « politico-strategic error » likely to be the cause of America’s « Suez moment » in the region. A commitment in Syria could constitute another « strategic error », at best an operational or tactical virtuosity, that is to say, useless.
You are working on the concept of hybrid terrorism. Are we facing a major transformation of terrorism and terrorist groups? And what will be the consequences of this hybridity of terrorism?
« Hybrid » refers to the osmosis relationship between terrorism and crime. Terrorism is used in pursuing ethno-national, religious or revolutionary objectives. Organized crime, on the other hand, seeks material gain through the smuggling of weapons, drugs, consumer goods, trafficking in human beings, illegal transfers of funds, etc. A terrorist group does not need to rely on an extensive network like organized crime. By definition terrorism is mainly motivated by political objectives. The financial aspect of terrorist activities is a means of reaching an end, so that the terrorist group engages in much more daring and risky acts of violence than an organized crime group does. What is important about a terrorist act is that it is used to draw attention to the political goals. Essentially terrorism is a theater. It is therefore a priori difficult to imagine how these two plagues would make common cause and according to what modalities the terrorists with a political ideal would cooperate with the international criminals cartels and networks motivated, them, by profit, and vice versa.
Enter into violence for power (terrorism) or for material gain (criminal enterprise) contain different objectives. Yet convergences are possible. The distinctions made between the two – often focused on motivations – are no longer relevant – first, because terrorists increasingly provide for their needs through criminal activities. AQMI and Daesh illustrate this « trend ». Indeed, in part due to the drying-up of traditional sources of funding, terrorists and insurgents are increasingly turning to crime to generate funds and gain logistical support from criminals. In some cases, the terrorists and the insurgents prefer leading themselves criminal activities; when they can not do it, they turn to individuals and outside facilitators. US intelligence has reported that more than 40 foreign terrorist organizations have links to drug trafficking. Some criminal organizations have adopted extreme and widespread violence in an overt attempt to intimidate governments at various levels. The intersection of criminal networks and terrorist organizations can be broadly grouped into three categories: the coexistence (occupy and operate in the same geographical area at the same time); the cooperation (decide that their mutual interests are served by working temporarily together or are seriously threatened if they do not make it); and the convergence (each begins to adopt the behaviors that are most often associated with the other). The most worrying is the worldwide proliferation of crosses at the same time of these three trends.
In many aspects, transnational crime has become a tool of terrorist groups and networks. There is not only the drug trafficking, but also medicine, cigarettes, human traffic, etc. The two entities, terrorist and criminal, use unlawful violence in their pursuit of power for one or profit for the other. Theoretically, the « fighters » of these two types of entities can be classified as international criminals because they commit acts prohibited by national laws, international criminal law and international agreements. Indeed, yesterday’s clear distinctions between terrorism and organized crime have become obscure, especially as regards the motivation, size and mode of organization of these various dangerous entities. Henceforth, criminals and terrorists operate rather in decentralized cellular structures, tend to target civilians, use similar tactics such as kidnapping and drug trafficking.
In the conduct of their illegal activities, the motivations and behavior are different, but they share many common characteristics. They often use the same ways: launder their money by using the same schemes, and carry out multiple and parallel activities. In addition, humanitarian crises and disasters, ethnic cleansing, wars and insurrections have also become opportunities for organized crime and terrorism. « The desperate people who run away from their States are an easy target ». Hence the interest of having eyes centered on the way in which the conflicts are financed. Politically and legally, conflict financing refers to activities or relationships that generate income for armed groups or parties involved in a conflict. In irregular war economies, the coincidence of armed violence and informal economies offers the players involved unique access to economic limits of economic opportunity are defined primarily by the relative strength of the belligerent factions. External options are always present, including donations (e.g. from a Diaspora), misappropriation of aid flows or the State sponsorship (arms supplies and military assistance).
Despite their divergent strategic objectives, terrorists, criminals and insurgents seem to be collaborating more and more. Many observers estimate that terrorist groups and transnational criminal networks share several characteristics, methods and tactics. There are many examples that show that this is not a coincidence, but are indicative of a trend reflecting a growing threat to the security interests of many countries including Algeria. The deep links between terrorism, drug production and insurgency in Afghanistan and Colombia are well known. In Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have made millions of dollars through cybercrime, and for years have used military power to exercise de facto control over a vast territory. In Sahel, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is funded in part by protecting trafficking routes and kidnapping campaigns. In southern Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) combines oil thefts, kidnapping and ethnic rebellion, and recently added terrorism to its repertoire. In Somalia, there is concern that Islamist activists may tax, control or even invest in the piracy industry.
According to The Financial Action Task Force, « kidnappings for ransom as a method of financing terrorism has been identified worldwide by law enforcement agencies as an important source of revenue for terrorist groups which often operate in politically unstable countries where the central authority is often weak, and the endemic corruption in both the public and private sectors, and where the social fabric has torn to a considerable degree. Millions dollars from the payment of ransoms have fallen into the hands of terrorist organizations which use networks of facilitators to carry this money through informal funds transfer systems, but also, which is more worrying, through legitimate financial institutions, banks and exchange houses for example. » AQIM alone received at least $ 65 million in ransom payments from 2005 to 2011, which represents a significant part of its annual budget, which amounts to approximately 15 million Euros per year.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between terrorists and transnational international criminals. They both share operational and organizational commonalities and their actions seem to be increasingly blurred. Henceforth, few real military battles, but skirmishes and a tendency of the militias to target civilians: even though they sometimes receive external aid, the new war economies clearly depend on pillaging, the black market and the continued use of violence. Research lead by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime shows that over the last decade there has been a significant increase in criminal and terrorist activity in Africa. The current crisis in security in Sahel is explained by the links between criminality, organized crime and terrorism. The narcotics trade, for example, has the potential to provide terrorist groups with an additional bonus: recruits and sympathizers among impoverished, neglected and isolated farmers who not only can cultivate drug crops but also popularize and strengthen the anti-government movements.
Political motives to spread terror played a limited role in AQIM’s hostage-taking. Although the political demands were sometimes expressed by AQIM in the messages posted on the Internet, the available data suggest that all releases of Western nationals were obtained through ransom payments, in some cases, associated with the release of prisoners linked to AQIM or MUJAO by Mali or Mauritania. In a number of cases, the attempt of rescue or the refusal to pay ransoms led to the death of the hostages. The hostage trade is a lucrative business. The kidnappings have made at least $ 125 million to terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda since 2008. France paid almost half, according to a New York Times survey. As from February 2013, the Italian authorities had inspected twenty boats with a total of 280 tons of cannabis onboard, apparently transiting through Libyan areas controlled by Daesh, which would have levied a « tax » to allow this illegal merchandise to pass. These trafficking profoundly influence the fight against terrorism. There are indeed proven facts that the Islamists subcontract for the traffickers. They provide security and logistics for Latin American cocaine convoys. A service delivery that may evolve to the worst if a terrorist group (al-Qaeda, Daesh, or others) reaches to have control or direction of the drug trafficking process. « There are indications that this evolution is happening on the ground to make the Islamist narcoterrorists appear on the scene », Said the Director of the INESG, Dr. Lyes Boukra, who was among the first to draw attention to phenomenon.
Recent investigations show that the Al-Qaeda central command, based in Pakistan, oversaw the negotiations of ransoms of the hostages captured in Africa. AQIM, Shebabs in Somalia and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQPA) have developed a common protocol for kidnappings and the negotiation process. They go so far as to subcontract the hostages taking to criminal groups that will receive a 10 % commission on the ransom. These ransom payments now account for half of AQPA’s operational revenues. This criminal practice is often perceived as having low risks, low costs and huge rewards. A single ransom payment could cover several months of operational expenses. In a letter to AQIM in 2012, AQPA founder Nasser al-Wahishi wrote that « most of the costs of the battle, if not all, were paid through the spoils. Nearly half of the spoils are from hostage-taking », an easy and almost risk-free source of finance « which I would describe as a lucrative business and a precious treasure » he said.
Because of these practices and the lack of cooperation (or even complicity in some cases) of certain Western States, the current situation in Africa is characterized by the proliferation of kidnappings and hostage-taking in order to obtain funds and concessions. The concessions obtained constitute high-value political gains and the ransoms paid are used to finance other terrorist activities, which increases the activity of these groups, multiplies the number of victims and perpetuates the problem. We are witnessing growth and evolutions at different levels in ransom and hostage-taking practices:
1. Increase in the number of kidnapping groups for ransoms (AQIM, Al Mourabitoun, Boko Haram, Ansaru, Al Shabaab, etc.)
2. Increase in the number of cases and wide variety of targets (humanitarian workers, economic operators and their families, tourists, religious, diplomatic agents, students, vulnerable populations, community dignitaries and their families)
3. Increase in the amounts required by terrorist groups and complication of other claims to obtain the release of the hostages. The booty of hostage-taking is flourishing: in 2003, the first ransom ever paid was 200,000 dollars per hostage. Today, they can reach $ 10 million.
Indeed, organized crime groups may engage in terrorist tactics, and terrorist groups may engage in organized criminal activity. These both players have very different goals and these objectives may impose very different constraints. Criminal entities threaten the national economy, the quality of life and the security of citizens. They pose serious threats to national and international security and are extremely resistant to efforts to contain, disrupt or destroy them. These organizations threaten the stability of a country or region, the structure and the legitimate political authority. Criminal organizations and elements benefit from information and communication technologies and the proliferation of weapons to develop sophisticated capabilities. The destructive social, economic and political impact of crime will increase both in its seriousness and sophistication. Yet they seemed to be easy to neglect because they are so varied in their nature and scope. Moreover, their effects are masked by the fact that many are a little more progressive and insidious with long-term rather than immediate consequences. Indeed, with the exception of terrorism, transnational threats weigh less in global security considerations than geopolitical rivalries and other regional wars.
Often terrorists and criminals operate from the same routes and networks. Before becoming a famous terrorist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar was a smuggler – he was even nicknamed « Mister Marlboro ». The al-Qaeda cell that committed the March 2004 bombings in Madrid provides another example of terrorist cells whose members have used vast criminal efforts to finance their operations. One of the leaders and several accomplices were traffickers before they became radical and joined the Madrid cell. These terrorists have sold narcotics to pay for cars, telephones and other logistical supports and weapons. One of the brains of the Madrid bomb attacks was Jamal Ahmidan, a major drug trafficker who sold hashish and other related products throughout Western Europe in the 1990s. Ahmidan seems to have first been interested in Islamist ideology by serving a prison sentence in Spain in 1998, and then was totally radicalized in a Moroccan prison from 2000 to 2003.
All this has profound and lasting implications. Criminal and terrorist entities know how to resist anything that aims to contain, disrupt or destroy them. They threaten the stability of a country or region, structures and political authority. Together, this combination can eventually cause a ‘chaos’, that is, undermine society like termites gnaw a wooden house. These « organized crime-corruption networks can be understood as the HIV virus of the modern State, bypassing and breaking its natural defenses, » warns Phil Williams. They undermine the authority and legitimacy of the State and also corrupt the social fabric. More worrying is the growing ability of criminal and terrorist organizations to exploit the global diffusion of sophisticated information and financial networks. Thus, organizations and networks based in North America, Europe, America, Middle East, Asia, etc. extend the scale and scope of their activities. They will form loose alliances with each other, with petty criminals, and with insurgents for specific operations. They will corrupt leaders of unstable economically fragile or failed States, insinuate themselves into banks and companies in difficulty, and cooperate with insurgent political movements to control important geographical areas.
It is not excluded that these entities can develop a real political consciousness. As an established practice, crime is not part of the peace building agenda. Instead, it was treated as a separate issue from the law enforcement strategy. This division is based on the misconception that organized crime does not deal with political power. However, we now know that an important characteristic of organized crime is its intimate relationship with complicit political players. Criminal organizations pursue political strategies to take control and power. The difference between political and criminal protagonists may, in some cases, lie in their strategies rather than in their objectives. It is part of the strategic logic of illegal networks to have an influence on resources and branches of government in a hidden way rather than to compete publicly for political power. In the long term, these influences and veiled methods of exercising power have adverse consequences on the institutional quality of governance and on the legitimacy of the authorities, as well as in States or regions not directly affected by armed conflicts.
The collection of information on the link between criminality and terrorism seems insufficient. This suggests an incomplete understanding of the scope and nature of the relationship between terrorists and criminals. The improvement of the collection and analysis of intelligence on transnational organized crime as a first step seems necessary. The link between terrorism and criminal activity must be one of the priorities of the intelligence community. Estimates of inter-state threats and conflicts are inadequate and inappropriate to address asymmetric threats. These gaps are theoretical and organizational, affecting both the culture through which agents and intelligence analysts see their work, as well as the bureaucratic structures that dictate competence and authority. The previous organization of services limited the effective management of the terrorist threat. The threats and challenges faced by European countries in the 1990s differ significantly from those in which they are facing today.
What about cooperation between the various Western intelligence agencies themselves and between the Western services and those of countries like Syria, Algeria, Russia, etc.?
The intelligence community credibility and integrity depends on its ability to offer assessments without political pressure. Therefore, for reasons of efficiency, intelligence services must be protected from political manipulation. When intelligence is politicized or perceived as such, it loses its relevance as a planning tool. Each controversy over the politicization of intelligence harms its effectiveness and image and could marginalize its role in policy formulation and implementation while the role of intelligence is central facing asymmetric threats. If it is necessary to avoid the politicization of the intelligence services, it is also vital to avoid the « depoliticization » of the fight against terrorism, which is not simply a technical matter. The fight against terrorism is not simply a matter of coordination of services, but a political issue, inseparable from the broader political project.
The predominance of geopolitical interests, the « depoliticization » of counter-terrorism and the « technicization » of terrorism (that is, the dissociation of terrorism from the political project) have led to much confusion. Political decision-makers were informed by their intelligence services that the intervention in Iraq would lead to the rise of terrorism. The continuation is known. Also, NATO countries have been discouraged by regional partners from the consequences of the Libyan regime overthrow. Nothing has stopped NATO’s war machine which has ignored the consequences on the region or the national security interests of partners in the fight against terrorism. What is the value of exchanging information under these conditions for a State whose national security interests are not taken into account? Algeria pays the price today. In addition, European and American leaders dare to insinuate that it is lax in the fight against terrorism.
The United States and the European Union often use the term « responsibility » for developing countries to refer to « the responsibility of a father in the education of his children ». The « logic of generosity » often evoked reflected a kind of « paternalistic interference ». This gives rise to statements on the part of Western leaders such as « what Africans (Chinese or Indians, Indonesians, or others) must understand is that …”. Indeed, this tendency to treat non-European cultures and societies with scorn and lightness is deeply rooted in the Western psyche. While the Americans convey their intrusion through their « spreading freedom, » « stemming tyranny, » and so on, the Europeans formulate them under the guise of « governance », « modernization », « and societal adjustment ». « In Western culture, » says Cavallaro, « dominant ideologies are defined in a subordinate relationship to an Other… [and therefore] the Me and the Other are inextricably linked ». Throughout American history, various marginal groups such as women, African-Americans and Amerindians have been « cyclically seen to derogate from the norms of patriarchal, heterosexual and white society ».
Each State has its own list of terrorist organizations. In order for international cooperation in this field to work and potentially succeed, the practices of war should not only be accepted, regularized and institutionalized, but also appearing as to be the only option for peace in the the American approach in this matter is disputed. The authorities claiming to be in charge of determining the parameters of anti-terrorist policies must present themselves with authoritative knowledge about the nature of terrorism. The need for a coherent and consensual definition of terrorism is an essential basis for better understanding. So designing concepts clearly and precisely remains a prerequisite for effective policy. Without a consensus on « what terrorism is », it is difficult to attribute responsibility to states that support terrorism, to formulate appropriate international measures on terrorism, and to effectively combat terrorists. Historically, it is the great powers that define the rules of the game and the average powers are more or less forced to follow. That is once again confirmed by the Syrian crisis. When tensions characterize relationships as is the case today, replicas can be expected around the world. Contacts and exchanges are reduced.
Given the centrality of the United States in the international system, it is necessary to dwell a little on American power. Their rise has been spectacular. However, there is a gap in the literature surrounding the relationship between core values and US foreign policy. Although some historians have cited the importance of core values, there has been little effort to develop what these values really are and how they have influenced foreign policy at the same time that these values themselves have been affected by the continual quest for security. Neither regional histories nor the United States’ own imperial past are visible in the current dominant narratives. Historians do a thorough job of using the available archives, but leave diplomacy disconnected from the national culture from which it comes. Paul Gurland, for example, identified five « geopolitical imperatives » that « determined the US external behavior ». More importantly, « these five strategic imperatives are nowhere to be found in the United States Constitution. But each of the 44 presidents of the country, regardless of intention, has complied with them […]The same geopolitical imperatives that led to these actions will shape American efforts in the future – as they have done since 1776, « he concludes in an article published in 2009 on the STRATFOR website.
The central theme of US foreign policy is expansionism enveloped in an idealistic discourse. « Despite our anti-imperialist traditions, and despite the fact that imperialism is delegitimized in public discourse, an imperial reality already dominates our foreign policy, » concludes Robert D. Kaplan. American leaders do not invoke the value of Primacy Empire or hegemony, but it is likely that many of them think the national security goals in these terms. The value of primacy is covered, unconsciously, in their public statements by euphemisms such as « shaping the international environment ». « No euphemism is overloaded any more than the » leadership « that allows the denial and simultaneous affirmation of the dominant position, » explains Richard K. Betts. American elites, including the Liberals, draw on « American exceptionalism » and claim « moral superiority » – complementing the official discourse on world leadership – defending without complex the promotion of hegemony or even of the American empire – which in official speeches and documents is expressed by the concept of leadership. And as Henry Kissinger said: « the convictions that leaders have formed before they reach high office are the intellectual capital they consume as long as they remain in office. »
In many institutionalized democratic political systems, the electoral power of the elector and open public debate on foreign policy tends in the long term to thwart excessively costly expansionist ideas and policies. Of course, there have always been dissidents to empire in the American history – opposed to war and expansion, and devoted to priorities and domestic ideals. Yet over time, their voices have been marginalized in public debate and political life. As a result, a strange alliance has successfully reduced the constraints on the use of force. In his explanation of « over-expansion, » Jack Snyder believes that the more a State is cartelized, the more the « attributes of power – including material means, organizational strengths and information – are concentrated in the hands of parochial groups « . Over-expansion, he said, is « a product of the political and propagandist activities of imperialist groups » that form coalitions and use their power to influence government and the media in order to inculcate the myth of security through expansion. The reasons why elites may demand over-expansion are varied. Snyder mentions two possible motives: the bureaucratic policy and the economic interests of powerful industrial groups. Indeed, « because imperial and military interests are generally more concentrated than anti-imperial and anti-militarist interests, a cartelized political system has a chair at the negotiating table for imperial interests while diffuse groups with diffuse interests, such as taxpayers and consumers, are excluded « . This explains why, historically, the proponents of a great restraint strategy have not much influenced the American policy, suggesting that their vision of the scale and scope of American power puts them on the margins of national political debate.
Great Britain is plagued by regular attacks. How do you explain that Great Britain has become a major target? Does this country pay for being a sanctuary for terrorists with “Londonistan”, or are there other reasons?
Terrorism is essentially political. One way or another, it is a result of flaws in the political European countries have not taken the threat of Islamist terrorism seriously.Islamists wanted in Algeria for example in the 1990s found refuge in Great Britain. The most important mistake is to give up the popular neighborhoods to themselves. This allows the Islamists to fit into the local landscape and the social fabric. When the state disengages, society disconnects and people seek refuge in other alternative structures, whether tribal, cultural, search for personal meaning and order in traditional settings is spreading. With the withdrawal of the State, the populations act rationally by seeking solutions and organizing themselves in conformity with the allegiances competing with the State; they are looking for alternative channels of symbolic support and order. Society is thus increasingly turning to informal social relations tools (family, clan, tribe, religion, etc.) which are spreading when official institutions lose all sense of symbolic or political order. Where the state does not assume its responsibilities, there will always be players who will take over. In numerous European States, the Islamists knew how to take advantage of this situation to spread their ideology. And when the European states sought to deal with them, their responses were often of a coercive security type,and in some cases have nothing to do with the fight against terrorism. The alarmist diagnoses of smuggling and other illicit activities serve to weaken the State’s capabilities without improving those needed in the fight against terrorism.
« Londonistan », for example, is indicative of the folkloric side of how the fight against terrorism is carried out. Since a while a number of popular writers have warned that Europe is heading towards a described future as « Eurabia », in which a Muslim tide sets out to conquer (or recover) Europe. This concern has arisen in America (Bernard Lewis, Mark Steyn) and in Europe (Frits Bolkestein, Jean-Claude Chesnais). The widely circulated general idea describes Great Britain as « North Pakistan« , France as the « Islamic Republic of New Algeria« , Belgium as « Belgistan« , Spain as « the Moorish Emirate of Iberia« , and Germany as « New Turkey« . What is the part of truth? In any case, this is not trivial and it anticipates a particular policy. Helmut Kohl’s Germany, for example, deliberately sought to reduce the number of Turks in the country. This was the subject of a discussion about a secret plan with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in October 1982. The British notes from these meetings reveal that « Chancellor Kohl said […] that it would be necessary to reduce the Turks number by 50 % over the next four years – but he could not say it publicly ». « Germany has no problem with Portuguese, Italians and even South Asians because these communities fit in well, » he said, according to British notes. « But the Turks were of a very different kind of culture […] Germany (West) had integrated 11 million Germans from the countries of Eastern Europe. But they were Europeans and do not represent a problem ». A perception that is still current and widely answered in the rest of Europe.
Indeed, naming or characterizing a space in this way is never neutral. The concepts of « Londonistan », « Balkanization », « Iraqiization », « Afghanization », etc. are meaningful and misleading when used in contexts other than their own. Such a serious subject – because when people die it is serious – must be addressed by politicians and security practitioners with more discernment in avoiding these marketing formulas and slogans. The use of these metaphors and historical and geographical analogies is not insignificant but anticipates a certain policy and participates in shaping of a certain image-vision. « Londonistan » is part of a process that John Agnew calls « domesticating the exotic, » a process that describes how political leaders, scholars, and media recycle geographical terms or names in order to familiarize unusual situations with vocabulary drawn from previous experiences. These analogies (which evoke the image of a place of a « known » past of intestinal wars and historical trauma that can be projected elsewhere) have the effect of putatively designating and explaining situations far beyond the historical and geographical context original, but they carry with them charged meanings that expose the specificity of their origins in political terms based on stereotypes. In this way, they project the nature of a given place on a location and, implicitly, identify the parts of the origin location as analogous to the parts of the application place. Clearly, the accounts of « what happened » in a specific place are projected as putative explanations on another place. This ultimately allows us to understand a place in familiar terms, but not necessarily empirically and precisely.
These divisions draw from, and express, particular geopolitical imaginaries. These are ways of describing the political space reorganization, but also of the political time. The notion of « Londonistan » indicates a wish for distance in the globalization era. At the heart of this process is the idea of distinguishing « Me/We » from « Other/Them », one of the main subjects of Western philosophy. Traditionally, all that is despicable is « the Other » that is « outside » and vice versa (« Other » and « outside » are used interchangeably). The representations of « Others » have changed over time and have produced different responses over time to the fear of the Other. The « Other » is fundamental to the construction of « Me. » In Western culture, dominant ideologies are defined in relation to a subordinate Other. And therefore the Me and the Other are inextricably linked. Representation profoundly affects the construction of the social reality, especially if it is associated with political and imperial conquests. The type of representation is directly linked to the historical and theoretical relations between the economic and political domination of the West and its intellectual production. « The Other » is negatively represented and such a representation usually involves unequal power relations.
Numerous works show that the notion of the « Other » can even serve as the general organizing principle of societies. The construction of a « We » necessarily implies the construction of a « Them », notes Chantal Mouffe in The democratic paradox. The relationship between the two is absolutely contingent and dialectical at both symbolic and material levels. In the West, « It is the very identity of democracy that is at stake, insofar as it has depended to a large extent on the existence of the Other communist who has constituted its negation. » With the disappearance of the Other communist, « the sense of democracy itself has been erased and must be redefined by the creation of a new frontier ». The borders are now moving within the nation. « It is much more difficult for the moderate right and the left than for the radical right. For it has already found her enemy. It is provided by the « internal enemy », immigrants, who are presented by the various movements of the extreme right as a threat to the cultural identity and national sovereignty of the « real » Europeans. The growth of the extreme right in several Western countries can only be understood in the context of the profound crisis of political identity facing liberal democracy after the loss of traditional landmarks. It is linked to the need to redraw the political frontier between friend and enemy. »
The process of radicalization is too complex. But the current dominant discourse emphasizes culture, especially Islam. In order to favor understanding of the psychological processes leading to terrorism, Fathali Moghaddam conceives the terrorist act as the last step on a narrowing staircase: if the vast majority of people (even when they feel bullied and unfairly treated) remain on the ground floor, some people go up and are finally recruited into terrorist organizations. These people think they do not have the voice in society and are encouraged by leaders to displace aggression on other groups and to socialize themselves within the terrorist organization as members of legitimate groups, those outside the group representing evil. The counter-terrorism strategy focuses heavily on the manifestation of terrorism in its tactical form, without tackling the risk factors; it focuses on people who are already at the top of the stairs and only brings short-term gains. The best long-term policy against terrorism is prevention, made possible by nourishing contextualized democracy on the ground floor. Instead, Western societies suffer unfortunately the « boomerang effect » in Foucault’s sense, where « colonial periphery » becomes a field of experimentation. Lessons learned on the battlefield in the Middle East now shape security policies in the metropolis.
From this point of view, Western imperialism is not content merely to exercise colonial strength and practices on imperial subjects. Once tested abroad, the same practices are applied at home. This is not new in American history. These are the same intelligence techniques developed by the US military in the Philippine War that were used against US unions. The same tactics, methods and materials used in the « global war on terrorism » ended up being used against the American public at home. « Air surveillance drones to protect the country’s borders and fight terrorists abroad turn their eyes to the Americans here at home, » says the Washington Times. In Pakistan, where thousands of Pakistanis were killed by US drones, Pakistani children have trouble going to school and studying (giving up school for fear of being bombed) and some adults are afraid to gather publicly or attend weddings and funerals. The same newspaper finds that « this surveillance makes sense when the use is limited to keeping an eye on our enemies in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The use of this battlefield technology on American soil is a recent phenomenon, and there are few restrictions on implementation. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) already has a fleet of drones with a technology « able to identify a man standing at night and see if he is armed or not », and should be equipped with programs of « interception » able to read and follow the cell phone signals. The technology of drones is new, but not the practice by itself.
It is « the boomerang effect of imperialism on the fatherland » against which Michel Foucault warned in the mid-1970s and which Hannah Arendt denounced in 1968 in Origins of Totalitarianism. This « boomerang effect » has seen a dramatic resurgence over the last decade; the neocolonial practices of the borders in Baghdad, Kabul, etc. are currently being implemented in New York, Washington and London, etc. Of course, the effects observed in the Western urban setting differ considerably from those observed in the war zone. But whatever the environment, these hi tech acts of violence are based on a set of shared ideas. Governance technologies change and are re-conceptualized; at the same time the art of governing implies the development of new ranges of institutions, practices, knowledge and tactics to introduce control in the name of security. The endless cycles of violence (war on terror, war on drugs, etc.) have become a fundamental component of the economic system. Instead of being seen as an anomaly, they have become a fundamental aspect of liberal Western democracy itself, and war as an integrated tool in the development of the world. Thus, mass surveillance, secret tribunals, police militarization, COIN strategy, detention without trial, buffer zones, checkpoints, new non-lethal weapons and drones, etc. have all become key characteristics of urban centers and Western political and financial powers.
Originating in the military campaigns pursued by western military forces (including security subcontractors) abroad, these elements have largely integrated the police fabric. This evolution integrates the militarization of a large number of political debates, urban landscapes and circuits of urban infrastructure, as well as the realms of popular and urban culture. It leads to the rampant and insidious spread of militarized debates on ‘security’ in all areas of life. It is evident in the widespread use of war as the dominant metaphor describing the perpetual and borderless state of urban societies – war against drugs, against crime, against terrorism, and against insecurity itself. The construction of « security zones » around the strategic financial hubs of London and New York reminds the techniques used in the Green Zone of Baghdad. This is a broader, deeper, and growing phenomenon that Stephen Graham calls « The New Military Urbanism. » Fundamental to this latter is the paradigm shift that makes the common and private spaces of cities and their infrastructure (with their civilian populations) a target and a source of threats. In Brazil, for example, military sources confirmed that the techniques employed in the occupation of the favela Morro da Providencia are those used by the Brazilian soldiers during the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Changes in the coercive powers of the state related to law enforcement or security measures are not primarily a response to particular events. These broad powers can be exercised in the pursuit of a series of hidden agendas unrelated to crime and terrorism that they are supposed to fight. These hidden agendas are linked to foreign and domestic policy, and to private and organizational interests.
In the age of globalization and the coming of the world system, the geographical distinction between the inside and the outside is no longer relevant. Max Weber said: “Among a plurality of co-existing polities, some, the Great Powers usually ascribe to themselves and usurp an interest in political and economic processes over a wide orbit. Today such orbits encompass the whole surface of the planet”. Thus new forms of exclusion, imperialism and radicalization accompany the flows (to varying degrees) of information, ideas, people and capital. The expansion of global capitalism has produced new frontiers, fences, laws, police actions, and militarization to control human movements and ensure capitalist power. As the boundaries between interior and exterior are blurred by globalization, it is difficult to define the « Other ». In “Identity, Immigration, and Liberal Democracy”, Francis Fukuyama claims that “Globalization, driven by the Internet and tremendous mobility, has blurred the boundaries between the developed world and traditional Muslim societies. It is not an accident that so many of the perpetrators of recent terrorist plots and incidents either were European Muslims radicalized in Europe or came from privileged sectors of Muslim societies with opportunities for contact with the West.” However, one of the most striking qualities of globalization is the persistence of difference and the continuing centrality of the notions of « We and Them » in the construction of identities, values, interests, norms and therefore appropriate measures. This is where the importance of zoning. Labeling a particular place as dangerous and / or threatening can invite military aggressions and muscled responses.
The policy creates its own space for intervention. Global sovereignty defines global zoning processes (Arc of Instability, Zone of Democratic Peace, etc.). What is crucial is that the distinction is made. As Aida Hozic says, « the current global zoning processes are about creating the illusion of differences, but in reality there may be none. » In this regard, the virtual production of differences and antagonisms through narratives appears crucial for the definition of safe areas and areas without faith or law. Zoning is then transformed into a task of recreating the dangers and threats and to channel the displacement of populations and investments into a global scenario in which the territories increasingly resemble its own borders, the social landscape of the borders reappears in metropolitan city centers. Zoning becomes a task to produce differences that are transformed into tools of sovereign power. According to Stephen Graham, « zoning and border constructions represent sovereign attempts to create illusions of difference rather than responding to the difference and its alleged risks. »
With the advent of the system-world, zoning began to develop inward. Nazi Germany and its concentration camps constitute a paradigmatic case of this change. With its concentration camps, says Giorgio Agamben, the space of exception acquires for the first time a permanent place within the « Polis ». The camps are a piece of territory that is placed outside the normal legal order, although it is not an external space forming part of the « Polis ». In this way, the society excludes those who are considered undesirable inside or locates the inside to the outside. Agamben is alarmed: « the declaration of a state of emergency is gradually being replaced by an unprecedented generalization of the security paradigm as a normal technique of government ». »The state of emergency has even reached its largest global deployment today. The normative aspect of the law can thus be abused with impunity and contradicted by governmental violence which, while ignoring international law and outwardly producing a permanent state of exception, still pretends to apply the law « . This notion of security aims to producing and transforming social life at its most general and global level. The security speech is designed to justify and legitimize the refocusing of state missions on the maintenance of order and the control of populations considered to be dangerous. The law in this context becomes a means of repression: « the law was both a sword and a shield: it was a tool used to advance conservative goals, and it was a shield to protect the autonomy of the executive, » says Mary L. Dudziak.
While the concentration camps express the most extreme manifestation of this trend, the formal delimitation of the ghettos in Nazi Germany, the informal definition of ghettos or city centers today, or refugee camps, all illustrate the same grammar. The ghetto combines the four components of racism: prejudice, violence, segregation and discrimination. With the continuing ghettoization and widespread alteration of Mexicans-Muslims-refugees-poor peoples, society begins to accept the denial of rights to these categories, and possibly to run the risk of waiving several of the rights in the name of security. We are witnessing a time when sovereign power artificially reproduces the territorial distinctions between areas of law or « normal » zones and lawless zones or exception. The geopolitical reasoning that involves the recycling of geographical names in new contexts responds to the same concern: how « global politics is ‘spatialized’ or made geographically expressive by political leaders and media representations. » By doing this, “the particular places and the people who live there are devalued » both to commodify them economically and to appease them politically and militarily. And this is what (and in what context it must be understood) corresponds to the « Londonistan ».
In the era of globalization, the borders of a nation are no longer external but operate through its cities. Nations will have to defend themselves not abroad, but within their own dense metropolises. These concerns have been expressed by many experts and Western military strategists, who expect that most conflicts in the future are internal (in the rest of the world and within their territories), hence the urgent need to restructure security and armed services to cope with the « suburban intifada ». They worry that their country will become what the Middle East, the Balkans, Central Asia and East Africa are today: a battlefield. In this perspective, the threat is a civilization aimed at the central values of Western culture by non-state actors. To the extent that the forces of jihad (as many suggest) are active in the West, it can be argued that the important lines of this cultural conflict lie within the borders of the State (of « We »).
Whenever we are faced with situations that are neither predicted nor regulated by existing legal arrangements and arrangements, we are in a state of emergency. Carl Schmitt says that it is the sovereign power that « decides the exception ». Indeed, the designation, if not the distinction, between security and non-security areas is the main activity of sovereign power. Thanks to this distinction, a sovereign decision is made, distinguishing between these territories and populations that belong to the political life and which must therefore be protected, and those that are not and are therefore considered worthless. At least in the tradition developed in the West, lawless areas have always been outside the limits of politics. At the same time, spatial distinctions have always involved moral, legal and aesthetic judgments. Thus, the exterior without faith or law naturally appears as the place of all that is aesthetically ugly, morally evil, absolutely inhuman and ontologically threatening. Let us take the example of the former French President François Hollande who describes « the guys of the estates, without references, without values ». He speaks of these « estates » as if they are not a part of France, as territories outside the Republic. This also implies moral judgments: « They have gone from badly educated kids to rich stars, without preparation. They are not psychologically prepared to know what is good, what is evil. » « The Federation is not so much training that it should organize, it is schooling. It’s brain strength training.” « Morally, this is not an example, Benzema ».
After all the attacks that took place in Europe, in Paris, Brussels, London, Berlin, etc. have Western governments learned the lesson of effectively combat terrorism and to repair their mistakes of the past including a certain laxity towards the terrorists kept under surveillance? Some of our sources frequently raise the alarm about the budgets allocated to intelligence services, defense in general, the lack of manpower, and so on. Do you think that the human and material resources devoted to the intelligence services and the army, are equal to the challenges of definitively neutralizing networks and terrorist groups?
Although few details are publicly available on the role of the intelligence community in combating terrorist threats, Intelligence can play an important role in the development of strategic analysis that prioritize trends in terrorism, as well as in the development of operational and tactical responses to detect, influence and target the specific networks, nodes, plans and players of crime-terrorism. The problem is not necessarily a resource problem. Two factors are important: the prioritization because the armed and security services are judged according to the political project; the adaptation issue of services whose structure depends in part on the nature of the threat. The problem is not exclusively military but is shared by high-level decision-makers. Military officers are constantly asking for clear goals and more resources; politicians ask to do more and better with fewer resources and generally prefer to turn away from clear and definitive statements about anything, including issues of war and peace. But before addressing these two points (adaptation and prioritization) which are not unrelated besides, it should be noted, however, that in many cases military and security organizations have difficulty dealing with their missions for reasons beyond their control. Military and security organizations are state bureaucracies. Officials and government supervisors operate in an area of constraints that affect their ability to formulate and implement policies and changes. Unlike the executives of private companies, they do not have the freedom of action in allocating production factors (resources) and the definition of their objectives. « Control over the agency revenue, productive factors and objectives are all acquired to a significant degree in entities external to the organization – legislators, courts, politicians and interest groups « .
In addition, government officials rarely have clear results, while those of a private business manager are profit, market share and survival. As James Wilson said, there is little or no agreement on performance standards and measures to evaluate a government official, while various performance tests are well established in private affairs – financial performance, market share, and performance measures for executive compensation. While business management focuses on « profitability » (profits), government management focuses on « constraints ». This lack of control can make institutional changes more difficult and highlights a second factor: the importance of political support. One of the key tasks of a national manager is the maintenance of the organization. « In a government agency, maintenance requires obtaining not only capital (credits) and labor force (staff), but also political support ». Political support provides government officials with the autonomy to implement the changes necessary to carry out their missions. « Political support is at its highest level when the agency’s objectives are popular, its tasks simple, rivals non-existent and constraints minimal. » These conditions rarely apply to government agencies. The military always demands clear objectives, but politicians are always ambiguous.
Bureaucratic rivalries are common and known. As a result, armed and security services are alarmed by the lack of resources. Organizations are created to accomplish certain missions and its members favor policies that increase the importance of their organization and the capabilities they consider essential to their essence. The problem is not a matter of resources but the lack of prioritization and hierarchization, the absence of clear priorities. And priorities are defined by the politics. At each attack, history repeats itself on an essential point: crisis responses are a boon for politicians and businesses seeking power and financial gains by exploiting fears of the public. The reaction often resembles responses to previous crises: increase the means, restrict freedoms without asking the question about the political project that seems to lead to the « Resurgence of the Warfare State ». In the United States for example, the USA PATRIOT Act was adopted and implemented, NORTHCOM was created, Defense spending increased massively, external interventions became commonplace. The creation of the Department of Homeland Security resulted in the merger of 22 federal government agencies and a Department of Homeland Security with more than 177,000 employees.
Even former intelligence officials fear that the combination of new threats, technological advances and radical interpretations of presidential authority may threaten the privacy of Americans. Thousands of governmental organizations and private companies are working on programs related to the fight against terrorism, intelligence and territorial security. Retired Lieutenant-General John R. Vines (who is familiar with the complex issues and has already commanded 145,000 soldiers in Iraq) is surprised by what he discovered: « the complexity of this system defies any description ». Dana Priest and William M. Arkin are alarmed that this « top secret world … has become so big, so heavy and so obscure that nobody knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs it has, or exactly how many agencies do the same job « . Indeed, this « terrorism-industrial complex » is beyond all control and is growing all over the world, especially in Europe. Each attack involves increasing the scope of internal security, fusion centers, battlefield technologies, and the collection of data and intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens. Is this a lack of means?
Indeed, security and defense agencies are better equipped in terms of resources today. Not only do they have more resources, but they have also been greatly served by the new technologies of surveillance and control. Since and during the 1990s, the IT revolution has reached high speed and has had an enormous impact on communication. Technological advances have significantly improved the ability of services enabling compressed operational cycles, long-range precision keystrokes based on real-time intelligence, and enhanced jointness. Modern technology is perceived as a solution to many problems. Operationally, it achieves the same results with fewer resources. The armed and security forces are increasingly using them to gain an advantage on the battlefield, allowing them a significant increase in situational awareness of operations.
This technological fantasy also has a price. It has led to the marginalization of the human factor in the collection, infiltration, terrain exploitation, the detection of harmful elements and the analysis of the intentions of the enemy. Militarily, a threat is a hostile intent from a « clearly defined entity ». But the terrorists are acting underground. The threat suggests a defined entity (not easily identified in the case of terrorism), a will to harm (the will does not necessarily imply capacity and in a rule of law, the individual is judged on his actions) and ability to harm (ability to harm does not imply the will). Moreover, what is the « target »? The answer to these questions makes the human factor central. Faced with atomization and the empowerment of terrorist groups, the time factor is essential and requires rapid and accurate surgical operations based on reliable information.
Also, there is a dysfunction in political prioritization and in hierarchization of priorities. The policy of the great Western countries towards Syria is a good example: it is contradictory and harms the fight against terrorism. This policy can be judged in two ways: either the fight against terrorism is not a priority, or the policy pursued is irrational and therefore requires a reconfiguration. Because if it is true that terrorism is the priority as stated in the official speech, it is to conclude that this policy is irrational. By rationality, we mean ‘means-objectives calculations’ with two additional conditions: 1) all relevant information should be sought, to taking into account the constraints of time and resources and 2) the logic of means on objectives must be consistent with what is known about the relevant causal relationships. There is an incompatibility between the stated objective and the strategy implemented to achieve it. Clearly, the policy towards Syria is irrational even taking into account the fact that real-world players are subject to a time factor and a resource factor that are different from those faced by scientists.
Then there is the question of the « adaptation » that Theo Farrell, a specialist in military change, defines as a « change to strategy, force generation, and-or military plans and operation that is undertaken in response to operational challenges and campaign pressures« . However, historians identify aversion to adaptation as a cause of organizational inefficiency in carrying out their missions, and the analyzes challenge institutions rather than individuals. The nature of the threat directly affects the organizational culture and bureaucratic structure that dictate the type of intelligence sought and the means used to obtain that intelligence. Adaptation to unexpected circumstances tests the organization by « revealing weaknesses that are partly structural and partially functional ». But do the intelligence services have really experienced a process of adaptation to cope with the new security environment marked by the information age and asymmetrical threats? The use of a « scalpel instead of a hammer » is more suited to the fight against terrorism. This implies the subordination of the military approach – the « hammer » – to the security approach, the « scalpel ». The « scalpel » technique requires reliable information, the optimization and adaptation of services.
In other words, this involves adapting intelligence services to the changed nature of the risks and threats they seek to combat; changes of a threat based on the conventional war which respects the national borders to a constantly evolving patchwork of groups which use all the necessary means to reach their goals and are actively changing their tactics to exploit the weaknesses of the national security and defense systems. The work of the intelligence services becomes more complicated with the increasing number of intelligence consumers, including officials of the State and local authorities and economic operators, while during the Cold War, intelligence was mainly used by a limited circle of high-level decision-makers. There is also the problem of borders facing an enemy who does not respect them. Moreover, it is new that the heads of intelligence agencies are heard and called to speak in front of their parliaments.
During the Cold War, States were the primary objective of intelligence and as such intelligence gathering and analysis was based on such a threat. Nation-States provide a valuable context and history for agents and intelligence analyzes to guide their thinking. States have histories, bureaucracies, and in many cases, similar goals, such as the defense of national territory. Therefore, the primary goal of intelligence is to solve puzzles, that is, « the search for additional material to fill a mosaic of understanding whose broad form is given. » Intelligence is concerned with detecting the military capabilities of a State, or the levels of permanent troops – information that has a definitive answer, and which falls within the context of a given State. From now on, it is a matter of facing enemies who do not respect the geographical or legal boundaries.
However, non-state players, as the main national security problem, do not have the intrinsic background and perspective of a state player. Instead of attempting to fill the gaps of known information (e.g., the number of active troops in a State) intelligence is concerned with understanding the nuances and trends of individual groups and their goals. This understanding is then used to formulate the best hypotheses, essentially what these players are going to do. However, since this type of intelligence is based on human thought and action, the answers are not definitive as long as the actions are not carried out. It is this type of intelligence that Gregory F. Treverton describes as « mysteries », which consists in seeking a « better forecast, perhaps in the form of a probability with key factors identified ». The current security environment has nothing to do with the Cold War or the 1990s. Current threats are more internal than external. The majority of attacks in Europe in recent years are committed by European nationals.
Is there a causal link between Ms Merkel’s migration policy and the resurgence of terrorist attacks in Germany?
It is a simplifying or even erroneous reading. The idea to build a « Wall around the West » made its way long before the 9/11 attacks. Awareness and concerns about asymmetric threats, including global terrorism, have been fueled by tragic events such as the attacks of 9/11, Bali in 2002, Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Jakarta in 2009, the Bataclan in 2015, etc. These events provided a political opportunity to reveal a new stage in the expansion of the coercive capacities of States at the national level. But it is difficult to assume that there are links between Mrs. Merkel’s policy and the upsurge in attacks. Most of the attacks in Europe in recent years have been carried out by European nationals. However, the number of deaths of immigrants in the Mediterranean is neither accidental nor the result of unpredictable causalities. These deaths should be considered « border-related », tragic consequences of increasingly drastic immigration control policies in rich countries. These policies have contributed to creating conditions leading to death. Traditional border issues such as trade and migration are now assessed through the lens of security. The speech of the opening of the borders was replaced by a more anxious and gloomy speech of the « perimeters of Security » and « Homeland Defense ». Politicians from all over the political spectrum have rushed to demonstrate their unfailing commitment to securing borders.
Instead of disappearing, the borders are mutating. Biometric visas, the twin hardening of border controls and the identity cards of foreign nationals are a manifestation of this. While the military role of borders is diminishing, their ideological and socio-psychological function remains considerable. One of the most contradictory aspects of the current transformations of the border has been the effect of diluting borders as economic obstacles, while at the same time being reinforced as obstacles to the movement of certain categories of persons. This is part of the borders fortification, as a phenomenon observed in the South of the Mediterranean; the « Fortified boundaries » are indeed asymmetrical physical barriers for the purposes of borders control. These limits are more formidable in the structure than traditional boundaries but less robust than the militarized borders. Their aim is not to eliminate the cross-border movement of clandestine transnational players but to impose costs on potential infiltrators and in doing so, deter or hinder infiltration. The political will to fight immigration has been combined with the establishment of « smart borders » (according to US official terminology) which must remain open to goods, capital and services. Without being passive, States have been central players in this process. The reconfiguration of borders in the EU and the US provides a perfect example of this continuous trend.
*(Spanish soldiers patrol the border between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, in northern Africa, Saturday October 8, 2005. Human rights group Amnesty International said it was illegal to expel African immigrants from the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco. Source: Michael Werz & Laura Conley, « Climate Change, Migration, and Conflict in Northwest Africa. Rising Dangers and Policy Options Across the Arc of Tension », center for American progress, Washington, D.C., April 2012, p. 11.)
The economic role of the current borders of the EU is considerable. The result was a multi-level European Union, based on logic of « frontierization ». These border policies are similar to the creation of a system of selective and specialized frontiers, « situated according to the objective pursued: economic integration, migration protection, external security « . Border fortification has increased sharply along the United States border with Mexico since 1993. The US Border Patrol has implemented four major operations that are massing agents and other fortification resources. Operations are Blockade/Hold the Line (1993) in El Paso, Gatekeeper (1994) in San Diego, Safeguard (1994) in Southern Arizona, and Rio Grande (1997) in Southern Texas. The response to 11/9 shows continuity with earlier US interventions, but with more drastic methods. In this context, arguments about the law have been used in an international struggle for power. Law has become a means of coercion. Any judgment on the legality is made under the prism of security. In this perspective, the operational paradigm would not be the maxim « necessity makes the law » but rather the necessity demanded that the sovereign be the law. Laws that were once seen as tools of internal governance have become « securitized ». Immigration law, once fueled by concerns about economic and humanitarian policy, is now the gateway by which future terrorists could slip across borders. Overall, security threats are real, but many quick-paced initiatives such as 11/9 issues had been part of a pre-existing political agenda. Whether it is because of real ties with security or because political opportunities are offered by the new national security environment, in all categories, law has become involved in the war on terror.
*(Deborah Waller Meyers, « US Border Enforcement: From Horseback to High-Tech », Task Force Policy Brief, n°. 7, Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future, Migration Policy Institute, Washington, D.C., November 2005, p. 10: http://www.migrationpolicy.org/ITFIAF/Insight-7-Meyers.pdf
Current trends in immigration and border security policies in Europe and the United States preceded the events of 11/9. Before these attacks, both sides of the Atlantic argued that there is a global link between immigration, integration and security. The « securitization » of immigration to the United States, much older than the current focus on terrorism, has increased significantly since the 1980s when it was used to help control the illicit drug trade, and accelerated in the wake of the 11/9. Since the 1980s, and particularly after the 11/9, national law enforcement agencies in countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom have acquired significantly increased powers, resources and prestige. Border security has not really been served by such an approach. Instead, the increased security of immigration policy has instead led to greater exclusion of legal immigrants, erosion of the immigrant rights, and the growing mistrust of the immigrant communities concerning the authorities. If the terrorist attacks on America, Madrid and London turned immigration policy towards a debate on national security, the United States continues to focus on the « external enemy » as opposed to the European position centered on internal threats. The so-called transatlantic gap is narrowing when we look at common ground on this issue.
Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic seize images of youth riots, human and drug traffickers, and terrorists. They do this to generate national support for the securitization of immigration policies, and clog the holes in the fabric of their civil societies. Their policy prescriptions have varied little but are nonetheless predictable: recurrent coercive themes are invoked to secure borders and expel or imprison clandestine, criminal or suspicious migrants. This coercive response is coupled with the requirement that those legally residing in Europe and the United States throw their headscarves, doing the oath of allegiance to the authority of government and accept the values of the postmodern societies in which they live. This coercive approach is characteristic of a wider integration policy at European level. Although border controls are certainly a matter of concern in Europe, many measures focus on the control of those living on European territory by requiring them to meet certain requirements in order to maintain their legal status. Gradually, but systematically, integration is transformed into a one-way process in which responsibilities are placed exclusively on the side of the immigrant. Non-nationals are obliged to « integrate » in order to have access to legal status and to be treated as members of the club. Integration thus becomes the non-territorial (functional or organizational) boundary defining the ‘inside’ and the ‘outside’, who is inside and who is outside, who has rights and who has only obligations.
The Algerian army conducts regular qualitative operations by targeting logistical networks and eliminating terrorists across the national territory. What is your opinion about the effectiveness of the Algerian army, which is fighting on several fronts?
Algeria has a clear interest in eradicating the threat posed by regional jihadists. Its knowledge and expertise have been helpful in counter-terrorism efforts in its neighborhood. Without the active cooperation of Algeria, the strengthening of security in the neighboring countries will be very difficult. The interweaving of smuggling and the presence of jihadists complicates the border security task. NATO’s military intervention in Libya has had a detrimental effect on border security in the east of the country and poses challenges to regional stability. Dropped in chaos and anarchy, Libya has become an « exporter of terror » further weakening the transition in Tunisia and the national security of Algeria has been deeply affected. Violence, racketeering, assassination, looting, etc. are part of Libyans’ everyday landscape. The country has become an arms bazaar. Lords of war, terrorists, and criminals dispute the control of vast territories. In the vacancy of power that followed the collapse of the Libyan State, a zero-sum game emerged in which a plethora of (armed) interest groups struggle for power and resources. To this explosive mixture is added the rise of Daesh in Libya and the increase of cross-border criminal and terrorist activities. The quantities of weapons seized by the ALN at the Algerian borders are worrying. In short, four interdependent trends of instability can be discerned which constitute the nucleus of the Libyan crisis and have the potential to hinder the peace process:
- The political process that has begun remains uncertain. The country is desperately divided into two rival governments: the National General Congress in Tripoli and the House of Representatives in Tobruk. Only the Government of Tobruk is recognized by the international community. The two governments represent the main political blocs of Libya. None really is able to take complete territorial control or attract popular support. Their rivalry goes beyond the simple Islamist dichotomy against the laity: it is essentially a struggle for access to power and resources. Military campaigns in support of each side have been launched: Operation Dignity (Tobruk) and Operation Dawn of Libya (Tripoli). In a country without a formal army – but where weapons are everywhere – the armed brigades executing these campaigns have gained significant political influence. Some of the most important political decisions in the preparations for the current crisis were made under threat. Indeed, weapons do not cease to express themselves with every blockage as minor as it is.
- Criminal activity is clearly linked to militia interests: not only as a source of income, but also as a means of maintaining control over the territory and preventing rival groups to gaining power and influence. It is therefore likely that crime will remain a fundamental element of the fragmented political situation in Libya. Moreover, as criminal networks thrive in the absence of strong state control, their existence neutralizes initiatives to establish a unified national government, thus creating a systematic barrier against long-term peace.
- The transnationalization and radicalization of Libyan local extremist groups are also worrying. Jihadism in Libya is fueled by developments elsewhere (Mali, Iraq, Syria, etc.) and by imported doctrines. In the field, this has resulted in a continuous attraction for combatants to join Daesh and expand its jihadist camp certainly benefits from the current government chaos, but its transnational agenda and methods will be difficult to contain even if effective state control is to be established.
- The play of external powers could aggravate the situation and complicate the task of reaching a political solution. Hence the uncertainty about the inter-Libyan dialogue currently taking place under the auspices of the United Nations and which enjoys widespread support from the international community as well as vast sections of the Libyan population exasperated and exhausted by the violence and fragmentation in their country. The nuisance capacity of the external powers is not negligible. Their presence in Libya is pressing and multifaceted; special forces, military and civilian councils, co-optation of local officials, etc. This complicates the task of Algerian diplomacy.
The challenges are enormous. However, Algeria is a leading military power. Its military are experienced and would like to have a better relationship with the United States. To be considered as the strength on which it is necessary to reckon in North Africa, the Algerians modernize their armed forces. Particularly since 1999, the Algerian armed forces have become very professional. On the one hand, the international conjecture was favorable; on the other hand, the political will of the President of the Republic A. Bouteflika was undeniable. The country has made considerable efforts to modernize its armed forces. The Algerian army moves from the 54th in 1994 to the 26th place in the world in 2016. The rapid modernization performed is part of a larger effort to improve its forces to face up to increasing threats of political instability and to the security in the region. This modernization was accompanied by improved training for the armed forces. The staff of the various defense services received quality training on the use of sophisticated equipment and in counter-terrorism operations. The army has considerably increased its combat capabilities and its control of new advanced technologies as well as its stock of armaments.
The Algerian army is among the most organized in the region of North Africa. It has considerably increased its capacity for control and the mastery of modern armaments technologies. It is ranked 25th in terms of the ability to master modern defense technologies and the use of complex electronic systems. Between 2000 and 2004, attack aircraft accounted for 27 % of total arms sales worldwide. And this is the case of Algeria with the aircrafts that it bought from Russia. Algeria also develops its defense industry by forming joint ventures with companies from several countries such as Germany, Serbia, etc. The country seems determined to guarantee dissuasion against any possible threat, in particular from States. Indeed, to navigate in the troubled waters of international relations, to guarantee its safety and to guard against any strategic surprise, Algiers is multiplying its defense partners and has begun a process of modernization of its air, naval and land forces. For, as the Algerian army acknowledges in April 2015, « History has demonstrated over the centuries that the strength of the nations is profoundly dependent on the power of their army which plays an efficient role in the preparation of conditions conducive to the emergence and perpetuation of the strong and modern State« .
*(Source: Jean-Pierre Filiu, “Could Al-Qaeda Turn African in the Sahel?, Carnegie PAPERS, Middle East Program, n°. 112, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC, June 2010, p. 8.)
In addition, the military forces of Algeria have a sophisticated training and extensive experience in counterterrorism tactics obtained during the « black decade ». Repetitive visits by top European and American leaders attest to this interest. Despite the very localized and sporadic terrorist attacks, Algerian security forces succeeded in preventing armed Islamist groups from revitalizing Algerian National Police is supported in its fight operations against terrorism and contraband by various bodies such as the Military Police, Special forces, Para-commando regiments, the special Intervention Detachment, Intelligence services, as well as the National Gendarmerie and the special units of the Directorate-General for National Security (DGSN). These various services contribute to the security of borders and to the fight against crime and cross-border smuggling.However, in the face of the empowerment, atomization and connection of the local-foreign and criminal-terrorist cells, institutionalization of the different services cooperation was necessary. The decision of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to connect the Surveillance and Security Department (DSS which replaced the DRS) to the Presidency at the end of January 2016 is likely to boost and foster the synergy of players, services and devices that strengthen the operational efficiency of services.
If the Algerian army and the intelligence services obtain convincing results in the fight against terrorism, on the political level, Algeria is going through a deep crisis with an absent president and mismanagement of the affairs of the State characterized by multiple scandals. Is the situation of Algeria with this current crisis tenable?
Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves declined dramatically at a disturbing rate, from around $200 billion in 2013 to $114 billion at the end of December 2016. On December 4 of the same year, the Governor of the Bank of Algeria warned that « the maintenance of reserves at these levels depends on the improvement of oil prices, the reduction of imports and the continued stabilization of the Dollar « . The World Bank’s forecasts are pessimistic in locating the amount of Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves by 2018 at $ 60 billion. However, there is no fatalism. The situation could be reversed. There is a considerable leeway. But a political will is essential, requiring firm decisions and structural reforms.
But because of the weakness of neighboring States in the Sahelian security equation, the Algerian policy considers the treatment of the dysfunctions of these States as high priority;
- Tunisia passes a chronic vulnerability phase due to the nature of the transition period. The Tunisian army is limited in its resources and equipment, and lacks experience in the treatment of armed groups.
- In the South, securing the border with Mali depends on the conclusion of a political settlement to the crisis of the Azawad Movement, so as not to become a refuge and stronghold of armed groups.
- In the case of Libya, it has become a crisis arc and an « exporter of terror ». The country suffers from the absence of the State, the disintegration of society, the multiplicity of armed militias, and became the theater of wars by proxy that still nourish civil war.
All these factors make the security of the Algerian borders a more pressing question than ever and at the same time have imposed on Algeria alone the responsibility of assuming the majority of efforts to secure its borders with its neighbors. The Algerian army has confirmed that the security and stability of the region depends to a large extent on securing borders with neighboring countries, which requires the deployment of military units in these areas and involves diplomatic activity focused on mediation to bring the views of the parties to conflict closer. As the editorial of the magazine El-Djeich (February 2015) affirms: « At the regional level, ensuring the security of Algeria as well as the stability of the whole region, is based on two fundamental axes. The first, which is safety, is based on the deployment of military units and security forces equipped with all the means and equipment necessary to secure borders with neighboring countries and prevent any infiltration of terrorists or circulation of arms, particularly in this context of security degradation in the region. A role that the ANP (ANP = National People’s Army)accomplishes with firmness and determination in parallel with the fight against smuggling and organized crime, the protection of the national economy and the fight against illegal immigration, in terms of its security, health and social consequences. The second axis, diplomatic, which is reflected through the initiatives of mediation and rapprochement of the points of view between the belligerent parts, leaded by Algeria with a view to achieving national reconciliation in those countries, coordinate and cooperate with them in the field of counterterrorism, with an emphasis on the timely exchange of information. This coordination and cooperation have made that the situation in the region more secure and stable, thanks in particular to the method of action and consultation within the framework of the Operational Joint Staff Committee (CEMOC) as well as within the bilateral framework. As a follow-up to this action, the ANP, […] continues to fulfill its operational missions in this region with determination and professionalism, in order to tighten the noose on terrorist groups, limit their movements, dry up their sources of finance and armaments until they are totally eradicated. »
The cohesion of a society is closely linked to its ability to cope with a multitude of risks and threats arising from both the environment and its own organization. Building and maintaining security and social peace depends fundamentally on the characteristics of political systems, because the character of the political institutions of a country exerts a powerful effect on the risk of failure of the State. The mutation in our understanding of security is not only empirical, it is also conceptual. The conceptual logic of security has evolved considerably over the past few decades. Violence hampers education, health, personal security and therefore personal productivity, pursuit of business opportunities, trade and exchanges, development and economic growth, material well-being and subjective human happiness. Violence affects activities such as trade, foreign investment, the insurance sector, tourism, etc. The link between security and development has become so obvious that there is no need to speculate on the transformative power of development. But what kind of development is appropriate for peace? This fundamental issue is at the heart of the debate on the link between underdevelopment and armed conflict. The potentialities of Algeria are enormous, but in a raw state, which must be transformed into capacity for action. The weakness of Algeria is economic. A good economic health is an indispensable condition for an active diplomacy.
However, the Algerian case must be understood within the framework of the prospects of democracy in the aftermath of an internal conflict. Studies indicate that the challenges of rebuilding war-damaged States are greater and often less easy than ending the struggle itself. After the end of fighting, peace dividends are not automatic. The atrocities of the « black decade » have left a weakened State in their wake, a ruined economy, human suffering and large-scale disturbances. The cost of violence goes far beyond the material dimension. It is both direct and indirect. Indeed, armed conflicts involve enormous costs of different types on individuals, society and the State. First, the direct costs of war are military expenditures. Then there are the costs linked on the consequences of the war during the conflict – loss of human lives and destruction of human capital, human injury and suffering, destruction of infrastructure, economic and social disturbances, etc. Finally, the costs after the end of the conflict as the impact continue even after the cessation of hostilities. Even long after the war ended, people are killed or maimed, mainly due to the destruction of public health infrastructure and displacement of population, etc. The crisis in Algeria is essentially political, and the solution can only be political.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is Dr. Tewfik Hamel?
Dr. Tewfik Hamel is an Algerian researcher in military History and Studies of defense for CRISES (Center of Interdisciplinary researches in Human and social Sciences) in the university Paul Valéry in Montpellier (France), and consultant. Research fellow at the Foundation for Political Innovation (2008-2009), Tewfik Hamel is a member of RICODE (Network of interdisciplinary researches « colonization and decolonization ») and of the reading committee of the review Géostratégiques (geopolitical Academy of Paris). He is also editor of the French version of African Journal of Political Science (Algeria), corresponding member of The Maghreb and Orient Courier (Belgium) and member of the Cabinet of Council Strategia (Madrid).
Tewfik Hamel is the author of numerous publications in collective works and in major specialized magazines in France and in Arab world (Global Security, National Defense Review, Geoeconomy, Geostrategic, STRATEGIA, Review of the Common Market and the European Union, Materials for the history of our time, NAQD, Magazine of Political Studies & International Relations, etc.). Author of reports on the Geo-strategic situation in the Middle East and North Africa, its latest study is « Hybrid security threats: what answers to the crime-terrorism junction? » National Institute of Studies of Global Strategy, Presidency of the Republic, Algiers, 2017). His article in the Global Security review has be published in the US under the title « The Fight Against Terrorism and Crime: A Paradigm Shift? An Algerian Perspective ».
Published in American Herald Tribune July 03, 2017: http://ahtribune.com/politics/1759-tewfik-hamel-terrorism.html
In Palestine Solidarité: http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.040717.htm