Saleh Al Maaitah Who Says: UAE’s Leadership Confirmed the Urgency of Fighting Terrorism and Hate Speech

The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) held lecture no. (662) entitled "National Security: Between Conventional Threats and Cyber Warfare" on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. The lecture was delivered by Staff Major General (Ret.) Dr. Saleh Al Maaitah, who is an academic, lecturer and strategic analyst from Jordan. The lecture was held at 19:30 p.m. in Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall at the ECSSR complex, in Abu Dhabi. It was attended by an elite group of specialists, researchers, media professionals, and other interested parties.

Al Maaitah commenced his lecture by expressing his sincere thanks and gratitude to the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) and to His Excellency Prof. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the ECSSR, for inviting him to deliver the lecture. He commended the vital role played by the Center in terms of enriching scientific research and serving the society. He expressed his great appreciation for the outstanding status of the ECSSR as a prestigious scientific institution.

Al Maaitah reviewed the various concepts and the pillars of national security that vary according to strategic thinkers, institutions and national defense academies around the globe. He pointed out, however, most definitions revolve around the notion that national security is the state's ability to interact, adapt, and respond within the strategic environment (local, regional and international) to protect its resources, lands, and national interests (in times of peace and war). He said that security is a collective responsibility that starts from the individual person and goes all the way to the leadership. He added that security is linked to development and that there is no development without security.

Al Maaitah pointed out that national security is also closely associated with community development, and that education is important to meet the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and artificial intelligence. He stressed the need to strengthen national identity of citizens because it is the fence, the shield, and the strong link between the components of the society. He added that it is especially important to promote the culture of creativity, innovation, and excellence by motivating and supporting innovators as well as by empowering women to fulfill their important role in society.

In this regard, Al Maaitah commended the efforts exerted by the United Arab Emirates to support its national security in these areas. He referred to the policies and strategies set by the State to promote education, consolidate national identity, enhance the role of women, and promote a culture of tolerance.

In this context, Al Maaitah pointed to the important visit of Pope Francis to the UAE, because it supported the values ​​of coexistence and peace. He said that the UAE has played a major role in expanding the dialogue at the global level. He stressed that the wise leadership of the United Arab Emirates has confirmed the urgency of fighting terrorism and hate speech.

Al Maaitah discussed the most important threats facing national security. He pointed out that as far as national security threats are concerned, they assume two forms, conventional and non-conventional threats. Conventional threats encompass economic, social, political, military, cultural, and geographical considerations. Non-conventional threats include fourth and fifth generation warfare, cyber warfare, psychological warfare, and challenges to intellectual security. He confirmed that there is a need to establish a clear national strategy for developing the powers of the state to face such challenges, and for preparing appropriate scenarios and plans to address these threats. He also confirmed that the issue of national security must be outside the circle of bargaining.


Al Maaitah spoke about the issue of national safety, stressing that national safety is built by the state, based on its available resources and capabilities, and without external assistance. He added that national safety is more advanced than national security and that the elements of national safety are based on three core components: geographical area, people, and authority.

Al Maaitah concluded his lecture by saying that there is an essential importance for the home front in ensuring national security. He confirmed that today’s threats do not stem from conventional wars and foreign invasion only, but also from the challenge of maintaining the cohesion on the home front,  securing it against division at all levels within society, while recognizing challenges and risks early on in order to design adaptive and response strategies.