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Conference Report

Once and For All! Strategies to Prevent the Rise of ISIS 2.0

CONFERENCE REPORT - On 02 November 2018, the Euro-Gulf Information Centre (EGIC), together with its partners, the Centre for Security Studies at the Metropolitan University Prague and PERICULUM-Human-Machine Nexus and International Order of Charles University, organised a High-Level international conference in Prague (Czech Republic) titled: 'Once and For All: Strategies to Prevent the Rise of ISIS 2.0'. The conference brought together analysts, policy makers and military strategists combating terrorism ground for a full day of discussions on lessons learned in the struggle to defeat jihadist groups militarily as well as politically, and on preventing the re-emergence of similar groups in the future. More than 100 attendees, from the diplomatic, political and academic communities gathered in the Martinický palác for the event.

The first panel was opened by Member of the European Parliament from the Czech Republic, Tomáš Zdechovský, who highlighted the necessity for the European Union to keep its guard high in the fight against terrorism. Subsequently Dr Mitchell Belfer, President of the EGIC, stressed the importance of multinational alliances and of practitioners and theorists working more closely together in counter-terrorism emphasising the Bahrain initiative in forming the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). The second panel, on the military solutions against terrorist groups, featured a keynote by Lahur Talabani, Director of the Zanyari Agency, Kurdistan’s military intelligence. Talabani detailed the lessons learnt on the frontline of the war against ISIS, reiterating how the military solutions are necessary but not sufficient to prevent the rise of ISIS 2.0., advocating for socio-political and socio-economic answers to radicalised youth, stressing the need for closer cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi institutions and pleading the international community to remain engaged on the issue.  

The panel further included Dr. Alessandro Politi, Director of the NATO Defence College Foundation, based in Italy, and Prof. David Des Roches, from the Near East and South Asia Center for Security Studies at the National Defense University, from the United States. Prof. Des Roches provided details about how the military techniques evolved to be able to confront non-state groups like jihadi organizations and addressed the changing role of the United States in the fight, underlining the importance of the political will and public opinion consensus to maintain the US’ global engagements. Dr. Politi instead talked about political tools for the post-ISIS region, both in terms of combating the ideology behind the violence and in terms of developing inclusive and bold political strategies to move beyond the phases of violence and civil wars.

The third and final panel included Dr Rachel Bryson from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change who detailed the results from a recent research on the effects of de-radicalisation and the know-how on countering violent extremism that is available to policy-makers around the world and Prof Oldřich Bureš from the Metropolitan University Prague who zoomed in on the prevalent de-radicalisation policies in the European Union.

This article is part of a series of publications related to our upcoming event "Once and For All! Strategies to End the Scourge of Isis", that will be held on 02 November 2018, in Prague.

A special EGIC collection of articles and analyses will be distributed during the event.
Click on the link below to find out more about the event and read other publications. 

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