Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Part III
(Previous: Part I Killing with a Clear Conscience
Part II Dictator at the Door )
Rafael Dochao Moreno, principal administrator of the Euro-Med Partnership, when asked the question why Spain chose to launch the Alliance of Civilizations initiative at the United Nations rather than the European Union responded that the “Barcelona process is already an AoC…why do we need an AoC?” Moreno’s response reminded those of us who have been following the Barcelona Process what we’ve already known--that the Alliance of Civilizations is a key aspect for the European foreign policy. The Barcelona Process, introduced in 1995 by Spain’s Javier Solana, contained a social cohesion strategy which had a goal to combat religious fundamentalism worldwide. The Alliance of Civilizations is merely a vehicle for such activity. Right from the start, the AoC was intended to form the core of the global counter-terrorism strategy. Before the cartoon crisis (in which Spain’s Zapatero, Moratinos, Federico Mayor, and Solana so authoritatively rose to the occasion to turn crisis into opportunity), Spain’s foreign minister had introduced the idea of the AoC as a tool to combat terrorism. Incidentally, although no group has ever stepped forward to claim responsibility or offer rationale for inciting the cartoon crisis, blame was assigned to “religious extremists” along with the claim that they seek to provoke a clash of civilizations. There is only one group that has reaped tremendous political benefit from the cartoon crisis--it almost reminds me of the Reichstag fire.
In a previous blog post we examined the Club of Madrid’s 2005 counter-terrorism strategy. As I reviewed the conference pictures and list of participants, I noticed linkages to those who put forth the EU Social Cohesion Policy and the Alliance of Civilisations initiative. (Click on image to enlarge.)
It is not surprising then that the Madrid Agenda contains identical objectives to those of the European Union’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Europe’s counter-terrorism strategy was presented to the June 2003 Thessalonika European Council by Javier Solana. Solana’s counter-terrorism strategy, which was incorporated into the security strategy A Secure Europe for a Better World, addresses combating strategic terrorism as its primary objective. Recall in Part I of my counter-terrorism article that strategic terrorism has been attributed to religious beliefs in which one accepts an “exclusivist” truth claim. An examination of the EU counter-terrorism documents yields the same definition. But here we see the lion’s teeth of militarization. There is an interesting paragraph in the Thessalonika document which reads:
- “…the Danish Presidency decided to commission a group of Ministers' personal representatives to submit an analysis of the phenomenon of extreme fundamentalism and terrorism…The final report has been submitted and will be further discussed within the Council with a view to taking forward its recommendations.”
I of course was curious to read this report but have been unable to do so because a Decision of the European Ombudsman ruled that there were politically sensitive evaluations concerning a large number of foreign states. During my search, I was able to locate a research report published by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs which frequently quotes from the Extreme Fundamentalism and Terrorism Group (EFTG). It may give us a glimpse of some of the sensitive issues contained within this report. For example, I suspect we may find that the EFTG considers Israel an authoritarian regime:
- “In most fundamentalist transnational terrorist violence, the perpetrators tend to view the front line to be between Israel and the United States, on the one hand, and the Islamic world on the other. It involves the dispute about the US occupation of holy areas either itself or through proxies such as the authoritarian regimes of Saudi Arabia and Persia, or Israel. According to the report of the Extreme Fundamentalism and Terrorism Group (EFTG) the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have a very important positive impact on the struggle against extreme fundamentalism and terrorism.”
This is consistent with the Alliance of Civilizations’ statements as during the Doha debates Israel’s government was named an extremist regime. Regarding fundamentalism, the EFTG says:
- "Fundamentalism has been defined as an attitude where non-negotiable principles are introduced to politics from a transcendental source, holy texts or a divine discourse. “From the point of view of fundamentalism, religion expresses a divine order, which ideally embraces all life spheres. Although this may simply lead fundamentalists to encapsulate their own existence around their religious beliefs (“Quietism”), they will most often actively pursue the goal of seeking other life spheres, including political one, dominated by religious rather than secular principles.” Often fundamentalism has also meant a tendency to impose these principles indiscriminately on believers and non-believers alike.”
The European Commission’s social cohesion research report further demonstrates that religious fundamentalism will not be tolerated within the European neighborhood.
- "This third school of thought is referred to as 'civil society as the public sphere'. "Theories of the public sphere demand a return to the practice of politics. Not as an elite occupation in which the public takes part once every four or five years through elections, but as an ongoing process through which 'active citizens' can help to shape both the ends and means of the good society…Essential to the functioning of democracy, according to the line of thinking of this school, is that all sets of voices are heard. Inequality and discrimination are therefore seen as the enemies of the public sphere. Fundamentalism is seen as its most dangerous enemy, since fundamentalism does not acknowledge the existence of different truths nor does it respect other values, which makes it impossible to reach a consensus with other groups... The only similarity between European policy and this third school of thought is its aversion to fundamentalism."
As part of the 2007-2013 Cohesion Policy, member states are bound by agreement to implement European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) guidelines. As mentioned earlier, the European Defense Strategy’s focus is primarily on combating strategic terrorism. To do so, Solana has created a military-industrial complex having the following characteristics (to name only a few):
- The theatre of operations is global.
- Military assets that operate far beyond European borders.
- Capacity to conduct offensive in addition to defensive war.
- In the event not all member states are in agreement, draw upon a nucleus of states comprising a permanent structured cooperation.
- Strategic missions will be organized through coalitions of the “willing and able.”
- A civilian-military crisis management approach (CIMIC). CIMIC is a plan which places the civilian population subject to military authority.
- Crisis management through EU Battle Groups
- Overcome the divide between military and criminal intelligence.
- Involve gendarmerie forces in all types of police missions: crowd control, maintaining public order, conducting intelligence work, criminal investigations, counter-terrorism, etc.
- Establishment a citizens’ biometrics database (Schengen Information System, aka SIS II and Visa Information System). These systems were developed in secrecy without consultation of the European Parliament.
- Gather intelligence through satellite capabilities and the Torrejon Satellite Centre.
- The Galileo Navigational System provides the ability to conduct precision urban warfare (see An Evaluation of the Military Benefits of the Galileo System).
- New EU-NATO framework - Ensure escalation dominance in the essence of Berlin-Plus.
- Ability to conduct network-enabled warfare: co-operability with US armed forces having ability to “plug into” US networks.
- Use of NATO Response Forces in crisis management.
- Provide military capabilities to the UN. Would include a reserve or an “extraction force” provided to support a UN operation.
- Activate Western European Union Recommendation 666 which places above assets into control of the High Representative (Solana) in the event of a crisis.
The new EU-NATO relationship has tripled European capacity for power-projection. The Prague Summit Declaration , a blueprint for EU-NATO co-operation, reinforces Solana’s social cohesion platform:
- We reaffirm that security in Europe is closely linked to security and stability in the Mediterranean. We therefore decide to upgrade substantially the political and practical dimensions of our Mediterranean Dialogue as an integral part of the Alliance’s cooperative approach to security. In this respect, we encourage intensified practical cooperation and effective interaction on security matters of common concern, including terrorism-related issues, as appropriate, where NATO can provide added value. We reiterate that the Mediterranean Dialogue and other international efforts, including the EU Barcelona process, are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
- Endorse the agreed military concept for defence against terrorism. The concept is part of a package of measures to strengthen NATO’s capabilities in this area, which also includes improved intelligence sharing and crisis response arrangements.
NATO’s military concept for defence against terrorism coincides with Solana’s civilian-military approach as NATO’s framework directs:
- “Act…in support of the international community’s efforts against terrorism.” [Recalling that the Alliance of Civilizations social cohesion program is the core of the counter-terrorism strategy.]
- “Developing an overreaching international strategy for defence against terrorism.”
- “religious extremism is likely to be the source of the most immediate terrorist threats to the Alliance…”
- “Counter Terrorism, primarily offensive measures.”
- “…winning the trust of the local population through Psychological Operations and Information Operations is vital.”
- “Within most NATO nations, civil authorities, such as the police, customs and immigration authorities, finance ministries, interior ministries, intelligence and security services, are the primary agencies involved in dealing with terrorism and military forces will need to operate in support of, and in close coordination with all of these agencies. The Concept therefore states that NATO must harmonise its procedures and efforts with civil authorities within nations in order to maximize its effectiveness against terrorism.
This is a tremendous amount of power to be placed in the hands of one individual. Many of us have often heard that a picture is worth 1000 words. For a visual representation of the EU Security and Defense Policy and to grasp Javier Solana’s power, watch this Center for International Peace Operations presentation. (I would recommend you download it as it is likely to soon disappear.) So what kind of actor is the EU? Again, this picture speaks volumes.
One living in other parts of the world may read this and mistakenly believe that this is only a European problem. This cohesion strategy is global and is intended to be realized through the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations initiative. For those of us living in the United States, this past week we were made aware of the FBI’s formation of a vast biometrics database as well as the Dept. of Homeland Security’s domestic satellite-surveillance program. I am certain that these systems will “plug into” the Schengen biometrics system which is referred to as Big Brother. What many have long feared, I’m saddened to say, has arrived. Indeed, Big Brother is now here.