Meeting at the National Defense College

Jawad Anani. (Photo: Jordan News)
(Photo: Jordan News)
Upon an invitation from the Royal Jordanian National Defense College (NDC), I gave a lecture on Wednesday, August 15, to 125 officers. Two other lecturers were present. The first was Bakr Khazer Al-Majali and the other was retired air force commander Gen. Mahmoud Rdaisat.اضافة اعلان

Majali, a well-known documentarist and a military historian took to task the philosophical tenets of the Arab Revolt and its renaissance project. He explained the philosophy of Sata Al-Husary, who was among the pioneers in calling for pan-Arab nationalist project, which rested on the two pillars of history and language.

Majali also elaborated on the fact that the philosophical power of the pan-Arab nationalism was formulated and developed by Christians, particularly Lebanese and Syrians. Yet he believed that King Abdullah I had the zeal to establish an enlarged Arab project made up of Greater Syria, Iraq, and the Hejaz which had been a part of the Hashemite reign.

Gen. Rdaisat focused in his lecture on the administrative dimension, criticizing the civil public sector’s inertia and even lethargy. He called for the military style and spirit to be implanted in the various civil public sectors departments and institutions.

Underlining the importance of strategic planning, he called for a far-sighted plan which would be implemented by democratically-elected government and watched by a robust and proactive Parliament made up of strong political parties. To him, that was the main message embodied in the “Reform Documentary Papers” authored by His Majesty King Abdullah II.

I was the first speaker and my task was to analyze Jordan’s need for a new paradigm of planning. To me, the accusation that Jordan has run its affairs without a theory or a well-enunciated methodology is a far-fetched value judgment. Jordan’s economic philosophy traveled through time from a physiocratic approach to mercantilism, to a neoclassical private-sector approach, to neo-Keynesian big-push planning, to globalization, and now we are inching towards a private-public participatory approach.

Jordan is braced for better days. My perspective sees that Jordan is poised to benefit from its expanding resource base (minerals, down-stream fertilizer chemicals, efficient renewable sources, and one of the best potentially trainable labor force). If an absence of wars gives our region a long enough breather, Jordan will serve as a terra media for all neighboring countries, and will be a regional international hub.

My fear is not only to face our apprehensions and drawbacks, but to miss the moment and fail to leverage the great opportunities to be made available in the coming years.   

In the Q&A period, I got more than my fair share of the queries and comments from the students. They were from Jordan and other eight countries.
The faculties revealed by the students, and the spirit and zeal of the NDC’s commander, the teachers, and the staff qualify them to make this college the best regionally and one of the best internationally.

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