The revised role of security establishments across the globe is necessary to address the mistakes and highlight the risks of business as usual. These institutions must undertake a corrective process, rewarding the behaviors it is seeking and punishing, through impeachment if necessary, any corruption or incompetence. This is necessary in order to maintain independence and restrict the military influence and approach that has been present over the last few years.
In Jordan, like other countries, this process is ongoing. The recent changes in Jordan’s most important security institution demonstrates that Jordan is very serious about undertaking a corrective process, and that the GID play an integral role as the key pillar of Jordan’s national security.
It is reasonable and expected for the change process to be quite secretive, given the strategic importance of the institution, but the courage to admit mistakes must be lauded, as it is the first step to address the problems and solve them. It also delivers a clear message to public officials that impeachment is the response to mistakes and incompetence. It must be clear that they will be held to account for their performance and their actions.
The GID has always played a major covert role in the fight against terrorism across the region. It has always operated as a black box with its internal operations kept very secret. Over the last 20 years, however, the work of GID has been highlighted in various books and publications in the US, including in some Hollywood films. The GID is always referred to with respect and a little fear, which is due to the professionalism and effectiveness that it has demonstrated. The internal adjustments it is currently undergoing are essential in maintaining this level of operation, and boosting the morale of its personnel.
While the GID has recently been accused of direct involvement in the political fray, in the broader context of the centralization of power over the last few years, it is not the only institution which has been caught up in the weakening of consecutive governments and Prime Ministers, due to the murky decision-making process and the lack of clear mechanisms to direct the institutions. In fact, the changes present an opportunity to undertake reforms within the establishment in order to clarify the decision making and direction mechanisms of the executive in order to increase transparency and accountability.
Over recent years we have seen several mistakes in Jordan and the political scene has been dominated by conspiracy theories, especially regarding international and regional relations. A similar mentality is growing regarding internal politics. Jordan needs to take a strategic approach to international relations with an open-door policy with all countries, especially in order to restore the relationships with historical allies. Any previous damage can be mended through mutual strategic interest, especially through our strongest institutions. GID, especially with recent changes, is extremely well position to restore and strengthen relations with key countries.
The ongoing process of revision and improvement within the institutions and government of Jordan must be ongoing in order to correct the mistakes and incompetence of the past.
Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh