|Phares Briefs Officials and Academics in Rome |
As part of his activities as a Visiting Fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, Dr Walid Phares delivered a lecture on the "Future of Salafi Jihadi Terrorism" at the Italian Institute of International Affairs in Rome, Italy's leading strategic think tank. Dr. Phares, who was introducing his new book The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, analyzed the global trends of the Jihadist movement, focusing on the Salafi networks.
The event was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Italian Armed Forces General Vincenzo Camporini and the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Stelio Nardini. Also participated in the debate Ambassador Alessandro Minuto Rizzo, former deputy Secretary General of NATO, Admiral Mario Rino Me from the Ministry of Defense, Stefano Silvestri, President of the Instituto Affari Internazionali, Carlo Jean, President of the Centro Studi Geopolitica Economica, Professor Khaled Allam at the Center of the Islamic Countries at the University of Trieste, Karim Mezran director of the Center of American studies, Girogio Gomel, Director of International relations at the Banca D'Italia, Marta Dassu, Director of the Aspen Institute of Italy, and other researchers and NGO representatives.
Phares reviewed the state of analysis on the rise of the Jihadi movement throughout the West in general and in Europe in particular. He led a discussion of the so-called lexicons proposed by several bureaucracies and proposed an alternative method of conducting strategic communications in Jihadi environments. "What is needed for European, and eventually North American, national security is a better understanding of the penetration strategies of the Jihadi-Salafi movements and thus a better design of the battle of ideas with their ideologies," said Phares. "If we give in and begin using the words their ideologues and strategists wants us to use or do not want us to use, then we will be defeated strategically."
After the debate Professor Phares held a meeting at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini Director General for the Mediterranean and the Middle East and Near East Diplomat Michele Tommasi. Roberta Bonazzi, Executive Director of the European Foundation for Democracy, also participated in the discussion. Dr Phares reviewed the global trends of the Terror groups in the Greater Middle East and their evolution across the Mediterranean. Ambassador Ragaglini explained the main Italian policies regarding Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and North Africa focusing also on the Arab-Israeli Peace Process.