It is not easy to get authoritative analysis on Spanish policy in English, in particular about foreign policy, which is obviously the most interesting for foreign readers. For that reason, the English pages of the GEES (Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos) are extremely valuable. I had of course the GEES in my feeds and I read many of their articles, but I had failed to notice that they also have an English section. As a matter of fact I only discovered it when I saw a couple of articles republished in the Brussels Journal. These are the stated Basic Objectives of the GEES, taken from their site:
The Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos (GEES), known in English as the Strategic Studies Group, is a private, non-partisan institution that conducts research and produces analysis on international security and defence issues. It is based in Madrid, Spain.
Since its founding in 1987, the primary objective of GEES has been to advise officials from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Spanish government on a wide range of foreign affairs and defence-related topics.
At the same time, GEES has laboured arduously to inform the Spanish public on strategic and international affairs. Indeed, no other think tank in Spain has had more influence on shaping the domestic debate over Spain’s role in the world.
As we mark our twentieth anniversary, GEES continues to provide common-sense insights from a conservative, center-right perspective. We are strong believers in the transatlantic alliance, and we strive to defend and improve the institutions of Western freedom and democratic capitalism, such as limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, and a strong defence.
More specifically, the basic objectives of GEES are:
* To research and analyze Spanish, European and international security problems in all their aspects: Political, strategic, military, economic, technological and industrial.
* To inform and advise the government and the general public on geo-political and geo-strategic issues that affect Spain, Europe and the transatlantic alliance.
* To facilitate the communication and exchange of ideas among peoples and institutions related to planning and implementing security policies.
* To produce reports, white papers and backgrounders on the above-mentioned issues.
Additionally, our Defence and Aerospace Industry Working Group is a specialized division within GEES that provides customized research and analysis for government and private-sector clients supplying products and services to military customers in Spain, Europe and North and South America. With extensive experience serving in national security posts, our analysts understand the special dynamics and complex issues involved in doing business in the aerospace and defence industry.
One of their latest articles is Today’s Islamist Radicalization in Spain. I summarise its conclusions:
In Spain, there has been a process of radicalization in the Muslim population. Fortunately this has been minimal and in chronological terms, rather late. However it has accelerated greatly in recent years.
Radicalization has obviously more greatly affected people from countries with larger Muslim communities (Morocco) and historically established communities (Syria). (…)
Arab-Muslim immigrants’ integration with the native population for daily activities such as children’s education, work, leisure, extracurricular activities, etc., must be supported in order to break the Manichean vision of “them and us,” which according to Salafist jihadist ideology, creates antagonism, hatred, and the desire for confrontation.
Special attention must be given to the spreading of jihadists’ networks and cells. (…)
Prisons have been and continue to be particularly attractive for proselytism. (…)
The “traditional friendship with the Arab world,” the understanding for “Arab causes,” and the old location of al Andalus on Spanish soil turn our country into fertile ground for present and future increased proselytism. In the most recent external message by Ayman al Zawahiri on April 3, he repeats his threats against Spain, and considers Ceuta and Melilla as “inseparable entities of Spanish crusaders.” Messages such as this one serve to keep the combatant flame alive. They act as reminders for followers that Spanish soil must remain a priority.
The new young Muslim community has not only arisen due to the family regrouping process and the natural development of immigrated families, but also due to the amounts of Moroccan minors entering illegally into Spain and settling down in our country. (…)
Spain must learn from other European countries and adopt clear measures for restraining the power of radicalized messages. They cannot worry that they are violating rights or sacrificing liberties. It is not about sacrificing rights. It is instead about protecting democracy and freedom; it is about fighting against the enemies of democracy and freedom that are in our midst and just outside our borders….
I am sure that GoV readers will enjoy the conservative, Atlanticist perspective of this Spanish think tank. Do not forget to add the GEES to your favourites, Bloglines or Google reader. Unfortunatelly, they do not have any specific RSS for the articles in English.
PS: The last article on immigration is also a must: Why Spain Lectures Other Countries on Immigration
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