This book contains the results, recommendations, and best-practices from the NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW), “Human Factors in the Defense Against Terrorism: The Case of Jordan” organized by the Atlantic Treaty Association in partnership with the Italian Atlantic Committee, the Middle East Media and Policy Studies Institute and NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions.
The threat posed by terrorism demands international cooperation on an unprecedented scale. To protect its interests, NATO must use its unique ability to mobilize and organize members and nonmembers alike. Recognizing this, NATO's 2010 Strategic Concept makes strengthening partnerships with countries in the Middle East a key priority. To that end, after the Wales Summit in 2014, Jordan was recognized by NATO as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, and NATO later signed an agreement to provide a Defense Capability Initiative in Jordan.
This Workshop brought representatives from the Jordanian government together with officials from international institutions, NGO's, and think tanks to address critical issues involved in counterterrorism and preventing radicalization.
Perhaps the most pressing challenge in the fight against terror is that terrorist organizations have developed uniquely effective recruitment tools. Terrorist groups such as ISIS have successfully indoctrinated followers from all over the world, expanding their reach far beyond the Middle East. It is imperative that the international community adapt to respond to this looming danger.
With this in mind, the Workshop featured 5 panels to explore the complex processes of radicalization. The discussions centered around the technological and psychological aspects of terrorists' recruitment techniques, particularly regarding social media and other information-sharing platforms.
The panelists then developed several innovative strategies for preventing, and even reversing, radicalization. The result was a multifaceted body of recommendations, from enhanced information sharing at the institutional level, to the development of counter-narratives on social media. Importantly, the participants emphasized the need for greater cooperation and leadership from NATO and the EU.
In sum, this workshop provided a key strategic forum, allowing experts to identify the reasons for terrorist organization's success in recruitment. Additionally, it encouraged an exchange of best-practices among key players, which will lead to better policies in the future.
Senior Program Officer
Atlantic Treaty Association