Contrary to expectations, the question of security became even more important when the Cold War ended. During those days, countries had been drawing closer to one of the camps led by the USA or the Soviet Union, guaranteeing their political, territorial integrity and security in the process. As the bipolar world fell apart, countries’ national integrity also began falling apart. Their dissolution sometimes came in the form of ethnic or nationalist differences and sometimes with religious factors.
That’s exactly what happened in Yemen. As in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Syria, the number one problem requiring a solution is national security.
National security is traditionally described as a state defending its territorial integrity against attacks and threats. Bearing in mind that Yemen is facing threats from within and without, the country needs to produce security policies to ensure its territorial integrity and develop a security strategy involving how those policies can be implemented. National security must be one of Yemen’s most basic policies: Other policies concerning social justice, the economy or education must be produced in line with national security.
The new cabinet under Khaled Bahhah must first accurately identify existing risks and threats in order to ensure national security. These risks and threats must be set out in national security documents jointly produced by the government and official security units.
There are three dimensions to the national security that the government needs to focus on; military, political and economic security.
Yemen should reconstruct its army to ensure that the country can be protected against an external threat. To this end, the weapons technology and their capacity should be improved, the security personnel should be educated about developing risks and the army should be fully ready to defend the country should there be an attack. These efforts are only a few of the elements that will ensure military security.
Needless to say, putting into practice a national security document depends on sufficient funds and time. For this reason, the most important complementary factor for Yemen’s national security will be its economic security. If an adequate economic structure can be built in Yemen, the dependence of the state on external sources will decline and the international obstacles preventing the nation from developing policies to ensure its own security will be minimized. Supported by a strong economy, Yemen will be able to reinforce its military capacity and ensure that it is only minimally affected by possible financial shocks and therefore avoid economically-related political conflicts.
In order to build financial and national security in Yemen, political safety must be secured before everything else and political security can be guaranteed only when the state is strong in the political arena. For this a stable governmental structure and a political regime that represents all the citizens are required. A prime minister or a minister that fears being dismissed at any moment will not be able to develop and apply long-term security plans. For this reason, it is of paramount importance that the entire Yemeni nation respects their state.
One important point that the Yemeni leaders should bear in mind is that the real driving force behind the needed loyalty of the Yemenis towards their state will be the morality of society.
If a society becomes dominated by a mindset focused only on getting rich at all costs, if a rebellious and aggressive nature is praised and if individuals abandon values such as respect and altruism, the people cannot be expected to be loyal to their state. Loyalty to the state can develop only on the basis of a certain set of moral values. If that morality disappears and degeneration becomes prevalent in a society, loyalty to the state will be irreparably eroded.
Religious beliefs are the basis of the morality and qualities mentioned above. Indeed, what happened during the Cold War made it clear that there was no possibility for the continuance of faithless nations. For this reason, a national security policy to be built for Yemen should definitely include religious and moral elements. The three main threats to the security of Yemen are sectarian divisions (Sunnis and Houthis), a radical interpretation of Islam (Al-Qaeda) and a separatist movement championed by the socialists. The security policies to be developed for these three threats should include not only political and military measures but also a long-term education program. This program should not be restricted to the schools alone, and should be made available through radios, television and newspapers and must raise awareness of the following facts:
1) Muslims should be united according to Islam.
2) It is illegal according to Islam for Muslims to fight Muslims.
3) It is illegal according to Islam to try to damage or seize the property of others just because they hold other beliefs, or to make an attempt on their lives for that matter.
4) The existence of God is a clear fact, also supported by scientific evidence. Islam encourages science and art, and attaches the utmost value to women.
5) The materialist views have no scientific basis whatsoever.
As has been shown historically, peace and stability in a society can be ensured only when democracy is lived to the fullest extent and when individuals from all walks of life respect and trust their state. A Yemeni society made of individuals that live by the principles of the Qur’an will be in an atmosphere of the utmost peace and security.
Adnan Oktar's piece on National Yemen: