SC 131 Regional Approaches and MD Field Study - Jordan/Amman
On Monday 18 December, Senior Course 131 was welcomed to Jordan by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Faisal Bin El-Hassan, brother of the King of Jordan. In the Joint Staff facilities of the Jordan Armed Forces, Prince Faisal addressed SC 131 and answered Course Members’ questions. Apart from ever-topical questions about the Israel-Palestine issue, other subjects discussed included the GCC and Iran, Syria, refugees, the role of NATO in the region, and even water and environmental issues. Most of the current problems in the Middle East were raised and discussed. In his answers, the Prince made many references to modern and ancient history to explain the different situations and relationships in the Middle East. It became very obvious to Course Members that not only military history, but also the history of language, religion and societies, is an essential key to understanding, discussing and proposing possible solutions to the different issues. Prince Faisal also spoke about the sense of identity, in relation to socioeconomic conditions, and underlined the importance of education. These two elements are key in the fight to eradicate the deep roots of terrorism. Jordan’s Armed Forces and their operational capabilities were also discussed, and mention was made of NATO’s Enhanced Opportunity Programme (EOP).
A second event took place at the Royal Jordanian National Defence College (RJNDC), where Course Members were welcomed by RJNDC Director BrigGen Nader Almhirat and were addressed by HRH Prince Rashid Bin El-Hassan, an NDC Ancien from SC 121 (2012-13). He is currently the Commandant of the Police Special Forces, and he used the opportunity to speak about the terrorism-organized crime nexus. He described the changing procedures of terrorists and commented on a video file taken as a case study to explain the difficulties of operations in tourist areas. He then answered Course Members’ questions. Following on from what his cousin had told the Senior Course in the morning, he dwelt on the key factors in the fight to eradicate terrorism and underlined the need for a whole-of-government approach.
The presentations afforded Course Members considerable insight into the situation in Jordan and provided a most effective complement to the lectures received in Rome. One of the Course Members commented off the record, on the way back to the hotel: “Jordan has been very generous as a host and very generous with knowledge.” This summarizes very well the group’s stay in Jordan. NDC Commandant LtGen Chris Whitecross expressed her thanks to the two Princes individually after their presentations, and to the Jordanian authorities for having dedicated so much attention to the visit of the NATO Defense College.