Q3.

Is the country’s national defence policy or national security strategy debated and publicly available?

3a. Scope of involvement

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

3b. Scope of debate

Score

SCORE: NA/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

3c. Public consultations

Score

SCORE: 0/100

Assessor Explanation

Assessor Sources

3d. Transparency

Score

SCORE: 25/100

Assessor Explanation

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There are former individuals of the Algerian government, the Deputy Defence Minister and the former Foreign Minister, who have issued statements about security matters. However, no evidence could be found that the government has spoken about defence policies, including measures and strategies it intends to undertake; there is no evidence that there is an active debate about it.

Former President Bouteflika, who was also Defence Minister, had not addressed the country directly since his stroke six years ago (1). In March 2018, Deputy Defence Minister Ahmed Gaïd Salah spoke vaguely about the security doctrine at an international symposium on “The Military Doctrine of the Revolution of November 1954.” In the speech, he said that the doctrine of the ANP is the same as that of the Revolution, namely the determination to be victorious over Algeria’s enemies. The Revolution of November 1954 refers to the beginning of Algeria’s War of Independence against France. According to a newspaper article on the speech, he mostly referred to the success of the armed forces during the war; he did not present a general strategy (2). In other statements, he mentioned that the fight against terrorism is a mission of the country, which will continue (3). He has also saluted successes in the fight against organized crime (4). Former Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel has also highlighted Algeria’s efforts in the fight against terrorism (5).

As there is no public debate on defence policy, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable. Statements from the Algerian government on defence and security policy can only be considered superficial. They have mainly focused on major security challenges to the country, i.e. terrorism and organized crime. In this regard, the government usually highlights the country’s historical experience in the fight against terrorism (1), (2). In 2017, the government announced that it had allocated USD 100 million for five Sahel countries (Chad, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Libya) for the fight against terrorism (3). For example, a debate on national defence spending could not be found. Additionally, the military magazine only broadly and abstractly addresses issues such as defence strategy (4).

No evidence could be found that there is a formal consultation process involving the public. For example, the Open Budget Service scores Algeria 0 out of 100 concerning the opportunity for the public to engage in the budget process, which naturally includes the spending on defence (1). There is also no evidence that the public is included in parliamentary events on defence issues, for example on terrorism (2).

No formal or genuine document on Algeria’s defence policy or national security strategy could be found during the research. The website of the defence ministry does not provide specific information on the national defence policy or security strategy. However, there is some information about the military’s fight against terrorism and organized crime on the website (1). The military publishes a monthly magazine, which has a section “Strategy and Defence” under which authors write in broader terms about this topic (see for example 2 and 3). In the government’s action plan for the implementation of the President’s program, the role of the PNA also is only broadly outlined saying that its mission is, “the securing of the country’s borders, the fight against terrorism, as well as the fight against contraband and cross-border crime.” The document also proclaims that “the Government will support the mobilization of the required means and resources, the professionalization and modernization of the National People’s Army, so that it has the necessary capabilities to safeguard national independence, defend the country’s national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, and protect its land, air and maritime space” (4).

More information on the Algerian defence policy can be found in international think tank publications (5) (6) (7). Numerous analysts have examined Algeria’s security and foreign policy, and have mainly focused on the country’s fight against terrorism and its non-intervention policy. Since its independence in 1962, the country has followed the foundational principle of non-interventionism. This is laid out in Art. 29 of the constitution, which states that “Algeria does not resort to war in order to undermine the legitimate sovereignty and the freedom of other peoples. It puts forth its efforts to settle international disputes through peaceful means” (translation of Porter, 6).

Plenary discussions in Parliament on defence policy are limited and selective they mainly focus on state budget issues. Review of legislation and cooperation accords takes place behind closed doors in the specialized 2nd Parliamentary Commission. The presidency has a consultative body on defence and security, the National Security Council (Art. 136 of the constitution) (1). It includes the president, vice-president, president of the National Assembly, chief justices of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, the attorney general, nine cabinet ministers, the chief of staff of the armed forces, the general police commander, and the heads of the external and domestic intelligence agencies as well as the criminal police (1). The discussions are internal and not made public. Nevertheless, there is some degree of discussion in the media (2).

Press releases on meetings of the National Security Council are generally brief, such as the March 9th session (“several matters were discussed”). However, according to private media, the discussions in the same session also included alleged corruption cases involving senior officials of the armed forces (3).

Because there is no public debate over national defence policy, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

Discussions in the parliament occasionally focus on major regional security threats, such as terrorism and illegal migration, but commonly deal with the state budget and defence-related legislation.

In 2018, the 2nd Commission was involved in reviewing the package of bills on the armed forces that were passed in July 2018 (1).

On October 20th 2016, the parliament held a debate session on migration and terrorism in Africa, in the presence of the Defence Attachés of South Africa, the Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe (2).

Also, on August 30th 2016, Jornal De Angola reported a parliamentary session during which the Minister of Finance clarified to deputies the priorities of the revised General State Budget (3).

There is no record of a formal public consultation process regarding defence and security matters in the last five years. Generally, there is little public information on legislative processes beyond the scheduled parliamentary sessions, and draft bills are rarely published on official channels. Public consultations have taken place about major pieces of legislation, such as the Criminal Code, the media laws or the Constitution, but the processes have not been transparent either (1).

For instance, in July of 2012, one month ahead of the elections Parliament approved a new National Defense Law to replace the 1993 law, as well as laws on the protection of the interior and the preservation of state security. However, the laws appear to have never been published. The bills are not accessible on official websites, and no updates on the process were made public. In its government program for 2017-2022, the MPLA established again as a goal the review of the 1993 National Defence Law (2).

Official information and documents on the defence policy or security strategy are available to the public only in part or abbreviated form. Neither the website of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Defence or Parliament, contain relevant documents, reports or legislation, apart from news and basic institutional information. Official information is regularly channelled through state-owned media (TPA, RNA, Angop, Jornal de Angola), however often in an abbreviated form and not free from censorship. The official gazette, Diário da República, contains all legislation, decrees and dispatches, but is not accessible online free of charge (1), (2), (3), (4).

Generally, the government has rarely engaged in official debates on defence sector policy. The public is reacting to the lack of information regarding defence policy and security strategy. The legislative and executive branches are hardly involved in any debate with the public about defence policy and strategy (1), (2), (3), (5). The BTI 2018 Burkina Faso Country Report points out that “accessing government information remains difficult” (1), (2). Media reports state that the people that the defence sector is supposed to protect have recently violently criticised their defence sector for its strong implication in politics (1), (2), (3). Among these actors are media, civil society organizations, local and international NGOs, universities and related research institutions (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7).

BTI (2018) reports “In 2015, the government passed a new anti-corruption law. However, enforcement is weak due to poor access to information… The Information Code grants journalists free access to sources of information, with exceptions for information pertaining to the internal or external security of the state, military secrets, strategic economic interests, ongoing investigations or legal proceedings, and anything that threatens people’s dignity and privacy. In practice, officials use these exceptions frequently, and accessing government information remains difficult’ (2).

Until recently, neither the national defence policy nor the security strategy was discussed in public. However, in the aftermath of the 2014 uprising, public debates over military strategy and policy, are still on-going, These public debates on military policy and strategy have strengthened because of the September 16, 2015, military coup attempt against the transitional government; thousands of people, political parties and CSOs have asked the military to hand over power to the transitional government (1), (2), (3), (4) On several occasions, the military has met with religious and traditional leaders to explain their strategy, policy and interests, These events were debated on media throughout the country and beyond. Unfortunately, most of these debates have not resulted in significant recommendations towards reforming and strengthening policy in the defence sector (5). Debates on the defence institutions significantly increased during the course of 2017 with the hearings of the leader of the September 2015 failed military coup and his allies (5).

Saidou (2017) writes “… according to Jean Pierre Bayala, retired magistrate-colonel, only the option of “States General” can allow a structural reform of the army. The decision to exclude civilians from thinking about the military reflects the reluctance of the military to open the field of defence to civilian control. As Augustin Loada and Mathieu Hilgers point out, in Burkina, “military and security issues appear as taboo areas in public space” (5).

The current national security strategy was adopted in 2010 covering the period 2011 through 2020; it is available online (1). However, given the fact that the country at present has an illiteracy rate of about 80%, and only 3% of the population has access to the internet (2), the real availability of the strategy is difficult to ascertain (2). The government does not release its information to the public easily (4). Usually, it holds press conferences to brief the population on its security policy only when attacks occur. Nevertheless, efforts are being made by civil society organizations (CSOs), national and international NGOs, and the media, which often makes security strategies available (3).

Saidou (2017) says “… according to Jean Pierre Bayala, retired magistrate-colonel, only the option of “States General” can allow a structural reform of the army. The decision to exclude civilians from thinking about the military reflects the reluctance of the military to open the field of defence to civilian control. As Augustin Loada and Mathieu Hilgers point out, in Burkina, “military and security issues appear as taboo areas in public space” (5).

The 2018 BTI Burkina Faso Country Report reveals some criticisms about the government, which does not make information publicly available (1). This inevitably demonstrates a lack of transparency. The law implements penalties whenever someone is found guilty of corruption, but the government has never implemented these penalties fully (2).

Saidou (2017) says “…. according to Jean Pierre Bayala, retired magistrate-colonel, only the option of “States General” can allow a structural reform of the army. The decision to exclude civilians from thinking about the military reflects the reluctance of the military to open the field of defence to civilian control. As Augustin Loada and Mathieu Hilgers point out, in Burkina, “military and security issues appear as taboo areas in public space” (3).

The National Defence Policy and the National Security Strategy are considered to be state secrets, meant only for the top ranking military officials at the strategic level, and are therefore not publicly available and have not been debated at all in the last year [1]. One senior military officer at the Ministry of Defence said the National Defence Strategy is the heart of the country, which is not opened up to everybody. According to him, the National Defence Strategy is taught only in military institutions and at the strategic level [1] [2].

The National Defence Policy and the National Security Strategy are considered to be state secrets, meant only for the top ranking military officials at the strategic level [1]. There is no evidence that they are debated at all. Thus, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The National Defence Policy and the National Security Strategy are considered to be state secrets, meant only for the top ranking military officials at the strategic level [1].

The National Defence Policy and the National Security Strategy are considered to be state secrets, meant only for the top ranking military officials at the strategic level [1].

Members of the executive may relay issues of national security to other branches of government and the public about recurrent military uprisings or counter-terrorism initiatives in the aftermath of the attack in Grand Bassam in March 2016. But there is little evidence that defence policy issues are forwarded by default to the NA for public debates. This is a narrow scope of institutional involvement. There is also no procedure in place for such information to be systematically released to the media to engage civil society in dialogue by way of interviews, op-eds or articles. As per the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018), access to defence policy issues remain largely muted and the NA appears ineffective as an oversight mechanism (1). According to the BTI 2018, “the many years of political instability and territorial division have made access to balanced information very difficult. Although the situation has changed since 2011, opposition media remain subject to threats and pressures from the government, especially during electoral campaigns…The most recent parliamentary elections (December 2016) reestablished a fully legitimate parliament, but the meager representation of the opposition reduced the possibility that parliament will become an effective institution of governmental oversight within the current legislative term (2016-2021)” (1).

As per the Accountability metrics of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPA) report on the NA, the president is the exclusive bearer of executive power and is the head of the civil service. The President’s accountability to parliament is ranked as a ‘No’ and the quality of government reporting to parliament is ranked as a ‘Not applicable’. Finally, the NA monitors national defence policy only when the finance bill is being examined (2).
With the adoption of the Military Planning Act (Loi de Programmation Militaire), part of a reform program through 2020, the MoD has signalled that improved planning of defence and national security issues will strengthen the country’s defence establishment. The vice president of Côte d’Ivoire, quoted by the government website, characterized the Military Planning Act in the following terms in July 2018:

“On 20 July 2018, Ivorian Vice-President Daniel Kablan Duncan indicated that the Military Planning Act enshrines the strengthening of the governance of defense and security tools. “This important law establishes the objective of strengthening the governance of our defense and security tools through a stronger planning and programming action, as requested by the President of the Republic, Alassane Ouattara, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces” (3).

The Military Planning Act also foresees a rebranding of the armed forces. According to the MoD website, this is not only an attempt to turn the page on the post-electoral crisis of 2010-2011; but also a way to make the communications about defence policy more fluid (4). According to the MoD website, “in this respect, the Minister of Defense of Côte d’Ivoire wishes to move toward a more adapted communication strategy which will focus mainly on the “improved knowledge of defense policy” and the “reinforcement of the links between the armed forces and the nation,” a continuation of the revamping and professionalization of the Defense forces by developing a more modern image of the Armed Forces…” (4).

Because there is no public debate on defence policy, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

The NA has been neutralized by years of political instability, a post-electoral crisis (2010-2011) verging on civil-war and the excessive concentration of power in the executive branch. There is little evidence that the NA discusses defence and security policy issues in-depth, that it participates in procurement decisions or that it significantly contributes to defence expenditure decisions. The accountability metrics of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPA) on Côte d’Ivoire’s NA describe the president as the exclusive bearer of executive power. The president’s accountability to parliament is ranked as a ‘No’ and the quality of government reporting to parliament is ranked as a ‘Not applicable’. In Côte d’Ivoire, the NA controls national defence policy only when the state budget law is being examined (1). According to the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018), despite the parliamentary elections of December 2016, the strongest effective check on the executive are the members of the security apparatus with de facto veto power on executive decisions (2). According to BTI 2018, “The most recent parliamentary elections (December 2016) reestablished a fully legitimate parliament, but the meager representation of the opposition reduced the possibility that parliament will become an effective institution of governmental oversight within the current legislative term (2016-2021). The elections could thus not reverse the structural annihilation of parliamentary oversight, a situation initially justified by the emergency situation in which the Ivorian state found itself in the post-2002 period…The strongest effective check on government likely remains the extra-constitutional veto players in the security apparatus. The judiciary can only insufficiently balance the hegemony of the executive.”

There is no evidence that formal public consultations on defence take place or that such consultations lead to findings that are later incorporated by the NA. According to sources, this lack of public consultations can be attributed to the excessive concentration of power in the executive and to the fact that the NA only debates defence or security policy during sessions dedicated to the State Budget Law (Loi de Finances). As in sub-indicator 3A, the 2018 country report of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018) states that public access to defence policy issues remains largely muted and that the NA is ineffective as an oversight mechanism because of years of political instability that have stymied the public consultation process (1).

“The many years of political instability and territorial division have made access to balanced information very difficult. Although the situation has changed since 2011, opposition media remain subject to threats and pressures from the government, especially during electoral campaigns. The most recent parliamentary elections (December 2016) reestablished a fully legitimate parliament, but the meager representation of the opposition reduced the possibility that parliament will become an effective institution of governmental
oversight within the current legislative term (2016-2021)” (1).

The public access to policy documents and information on defence or security strategy does not take place in practice. Hence, there is no evidence of public scrutiny of defence policy issues. Public access to information is enshrined in Article 18 of the 2016 Constitution. However, it is difficult to access. Article 18 states “citizens have the right to information and access to public documents under the conditions established by the law” (1).
According to the 2018 country report by Freedom House, the indicator for ‘Does the government operate with openness and transparency?” is ranked with a 1 out of 4. “Access to up-to-date information from government ministries is difficult for ordinary citizens to acquire, although some ministries do publish information online. In 2013, the National Assembly passed an access to information law, but enforcement has been inconsistent” (2). As with the sub-indicators above, the 2018 country report of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI 2018) states that public access to defence policy issues remains largely muted. “The many years of political instability and territorial division have made access to balanced information very difficult. Although the situation has changed since 2011, opposition media remain subject to threats and pressures from the government, especially during electoral campaigns….” (3). Information and documents on the defence policy or security strategy are available to the public only in part or abbreviated form. For instance, some information is available in the official newspaper which costs approximately USD 10. Also, information about security sector reform is available online (4), (5), (6).

According to our sources, there is no debate within the executive with a focus on defence policy. Any security or defence operation/strategy is not put forward for discussion (1), (2), (3). There is no discussion within the executive to harmonize the defence policy with other state policies (e.g. foreign policy). Even though Art. 4 of Law no. 21 (2014) states that the military policy document should be in harmony with other “specialized policies” (4). Although this implies that individuals within the executive might be speaking about the policy, there is virtually very little to no public debate or discussion, and the little debate that occurs would put those involved at immense risk if they adopt even a slightly critical approach (5).

According to sources, there is very limited debate from journalists and academics about defence strategic operations (such as the one in Sinai)(1). However, most of these debates are supportive of the military (2), (3), (4). Independent debate in Egypt about defence policy is not tolerated. If someone attempts to start a debate, like Egypt’s former chief auditor Hisham Geneina, they are very quickly silenced or prosecuted (5).

According to our sources, there has not been any kind of public consultation with regards to the defence sector in the last five years (1), (2), (3). There are no requirements within the relevant laws that call for defence or national security policies or strategies to be subject to a formal process of public consultation.

It is prohibited by law to publish documents on defence policy or security strategy. Law no. 14 (1967) prohibits the publishing or broadcasting of any information or news about the armed forces and its formations, movement, armaments and personnel, and everything related to the military and strategic aspects except after obtaining a written approval from the director of the military intelligence department (1), (2), (3), (4).

Ghana’s defence policy and security strategy are not publicly available (4). There is a purported defence policy, but it is treated as a secret document and neither publicly debated or available, even to mid-level military officers (1), (2), (3). Some policy objectives are indicated in the Ministry of Defence’s National Medium Term Development Policy Framework (NMTDPF) (5) and in the Ministry of National Security’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) (6), which are published by the Ministry of Finance. However, these objectives are vaguely defined and do not include a clear definition of the security threats that the country is facing.

There is no evidence of public debates in parliament and within the general public with regards to Ghana’s defence and security strategy. The debate is limited within the National Security Council (composed by President, Vice-President, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Interior, Finance, and top officials of the defence and security community) which provides the overall coordination of the national security policy (7). With particular reference to the activities of the Intelligence Agencies, the National Security Minister should submit an annual report to the parliament. However, issues of compliance have been raised (8).

Since there is no debate on defence policy, the indicator is scored Not Applicable.

There is no formal consultation process on defence policy or strategy (1), (2), (3).

There is reportedly a defence policy, but it is treated as a secret document, and it is not publicly debated or available to mid-level military officers (1), (2), (3).

In previous years, Iraq’s NSS developed in coordination with the UNDP-I, was widely discussed and praised as invaluable to wider NSS reforms in the country. Iraq’s Council of Ministers approved the NSS in March 2016. Evidence of parliamentary discussions concerning this framework was not found due to non-disclosure [SN] of sensitive matters of national security. NSS identifies an exhaustive list of national concerns such as administrative crimes, mismanagement and a system that overrides the common good of the nation by facilitating political party interests (1), (2). A former UNDP advisor familiar with Iraq’s NSS raises important questions about the practicalities of implementing such a strategy. As he argues, “this requires the Government of Iraq (GoI) to adopt a coherent “whole of government” organisational process that aligns ministerial planning” connected to both the capital and provincial power centres (1). An extensive review of local and international coverage offers no evidence to support involvement on the part of the state, leading watchdogs and ministries. Debates are selective in scope about defence policies and affairs. Television outlets stand out as the most consistent platform where defence discussions are happening. Whether the government relies on the existing NSS as a point of reference when planning defence strategy could not be corroborated but looking back at the country’s preceding NSS (2010 – 2015) (3)a mandate is under formulation but implementation remains questionable.
It is perhaps of relevance to reference growing attempts from religious actors and the wider clerical establishment (Marjaiyya) to seek influence in politics and state affairs, which have included critical matters of security and defence, through religious means (4).

Reaching a full and accurate understanding of the scope of debates committee members are engaged in is improbable, as the only available evidence is that published on official state platforms often commending the efforts of the committee. References to the NSS are almost impossible to find. However, parliamentary minutes, at least those made public, offer a clear articulation of security threats but as of late, discussions have focused on matters of interest to the PMF, gains and sacrifices on the battlefield, the presence of mercenaries (1), (2), (3), and greatly involve National Security Advisor Faleh Fayyadh (4). Evidence of suggests that his alliance with Iran has proven powerful enough to override the independence of Iraqi courts, which may also influence debates at the national security level little evidence of this being used to shape and attenuate defence policy exists. The robustness of these discussions has been questioned by parliamentarians that cite long and unnecessary adjournments in the second legislative chapter (5), bureaucratic disarray and parliamentary fragmentation as recurring problems.

Evidence of wide-spanning and inclusive discussions can be found concerning the country’s preceding security strategy 2010 – 2015 (1), and the security strategy before that, ‘Iraq First’ (2007 – 2010) is available online (2). The latest strategy (2) ratified by the council of ministers in 2016 (3) has generated very little discussion online, limited to a small circle of figures who appear to have had a direct hand in architecting the NSS (3), (4). One source describes Iraq’s latest policy as “a starting point for the shaping of the peace that is expected to follow the defeat of IS” which also hinges on wider plans, formulated in partnership with the UNDP, to reform Iraq’s Security Sector. As a UNDP report underscores nationwide surveys were conducted jointly with the Iraqi Central Statistical Office and UN agencies and a participatory approach driving the formulation of the NSS (5), (6).
However, existing coverage reveals little evidence of public consultations with government defence figures, concerning defence and security strategies. Academics, whose recommendations and views are widely cited in relevant articles online, are offered a space to debate and advise on defence matters and policies which is not afforded to the public. Western academic institutions, have in large part helped to foster academic rigour. While this is necessary for the formulation of policies, is not a measure of interaction between the Iraqi state and the public. Orchestrated leaks from defence and security institutions serve to inform the public, but full clarity on the existing implementation of the NSS is lacking. Furthermore, there is no evidence that consultations are held with various security actors, let alone public actors could be found. Recently, the Green Zone was partially (7) opened for public visitations but in the past has been stormed by protesters as a symbol of corruption which seats the elite (8) but the move as was more accurately described by a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad as “a temporary, let’s-see-how-it-goes situation” (8). As one researcher explained to TI, “Iraqi officials are protected by the Green Zone, which citizens cannot enter” (9)m arguing that urban segregation further denies citizens the chance to engage with officials on national security matters.

Through largely limited press reports and governmental publications, transparency on defence developments exist; however, with regards to the NSS, these efforts have done little to boost transparency. Defence and security documents which the public has access to are often leaked, as a military expert interviewed for the assessment confirmed, this type of information is ‘protected’ by a non-disclosure provision but is not the only factor to explain the absence of transparency and clarity over the NSS or relevant mechanisms. As he explained, “the failure stems from a number of factors; the absence of a clearly defined approach to the implementation of the NSS, interpretative judgments by political rivals, external meddling, publication bias and the policy of non-disclosure” (1). Further evidence of this, as MPs including Kazem al Sayadi, has hit out at the central government for its weak ability to manage internal affairs and ensure the security of all its citizens (2). Even in light of existing discussions over the country’s national security strategy, no institutional framework has been presented nor active steps that reflect state commitment towards instituting an official defence policy. Official announcements are often unscheduled, further evidence of the absence of official transparency requirements. For example, Iraq’s various security and intelligence agencies, each one publishes statements that have at times conflicted with the positions or announcements made by other security actors.

Defence and security strategies are not generally publicly debated, particularly those relating to the armed forces or the security agencies. Executives sometimes speak about defence policy/security strategies to the media, and in public statements, yet they do so superficially and without providing the public with in-depth information. A closer look into public debates shows that the Parliament is involved in some public debates related to the police and cyber-security [1]. However, very limited aspects of defence and security under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior, such as the Public Security Directorate including the police, have been publicly discussed in past years. The only example that is worth mentioning is the involvement of the Parliament in decisions regarding the minimum educational requirements for a Police Officer to be promoted to a second lieutenant [2]. Research into parliamentary news, local newspapers, and reports, show that there is no evidence of public debates taking place around defence/security strategies, except for some superficial decisions. Due to the lack of an effective Ministry of Defence, parliamentary questions around defence do not receive responses in Parliament. Civil society organisations rarely discuss security or defence strategy. According to sources, defence strategy in all aspects is not available, and cannot be debated in public as it is considered secret [3,4].

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because formal public debate around defence is non-existent [1,2].

There is no formal consultation process around defence and security in Jordan [1,2].

Some information around defence is available to the public, such as that of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology on Cyber Security [1]. There are some media and/or press commentaries on national security, however, these are superficial and mostly discuss national security in relation to Jordan’s geopolitical context or to the struggle against terrorism, rather than actual defence strategies [2, 3]. There are many limitations regarding discussions and information related to the armed forces, due to the existence of laws that make such discussions illegal and punishable, such as the 1971 Protection of State Secrets and Classified Documents Law, the 1992 Defence Law, the 1998 Jordan Press Association Law, and the 1999 Press and Publications Law [4]. Additionally, in December 2016, a military court banned the publication of any data or news related to the armed forces due to external threats (such as ISIS). This criminalised the debate and discussion of any information related to the armed forces [5, 6].

Defence and security strategies are debated by the executive branch and Parliament. The public participates in these debates through traditional media outlets and social networking websites like Twitter but these debates can often be shallow. Intense discussions rarely last longer than two weeks at a time but they always get revived later on by opposition figures, social media or the media, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). Kuwait has at least six security-related debates over the years three years, which is not a small number for a country of 3.2 million (6).

These discussions do not include a 5-year procurement plan as that does not seem to exist in Kuwait and parliamentary discussions of defence strategy and spending tend to be private, according to officials, activists and journalists (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). So the public does not hear usually hear lawmakers or officials linking their arms procurement to the security threats that they are facing, but they do articulate the threats Kuwait is facing clearly, and the military’s budget is disclosed.

Officials, lawmakers, the public and activists do not routinely discuss or comment on the country’s use of its defence capabilities or the soundness of its defence spending, mostly because its army is small and insignificant. It is also not involved in any armed conflict save for its very limited participation in the Saudi-led Arab coalition against the rebels in Yemen.

These comments are usually just private complaints about Kuwait’s continued military weakness, which started after the Iraq invasion in 1990, the aforementioned sources said.

There are public consultations on defence and security policies but only from public actors that are very supportive of the Government or ones that are at least funded by the Government, and even their input is not usually incorporated into new defence policies or decisions, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5and 6).

Documents on defence and security policies are not available to the public, officials and activists said (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). Kuwait’s state news agency, KUNA, publishes brief stories about some defence and security decisions but all of these stories are terse announcements of some arms deal, or some conference, random occurrence or workshop, with no details about the politics or logic behind these decisions.

In the past year, defence policy and security strategy have not been debated nor established. However, government officials have expressed individually and on separate occasions the need to set a strategy (1). For example, President Michel Aoun promised to start discussing a national defence strategy following the parliamentary elections of May 2018 (2). The international community has urged the country to set a strategy for its national defence (3).

This sub-indicator has been marked Not Applicable because Lebanon had not begun debating the national defence strategy when the GDI research was conducted (1). Currently, the economic situation of the country has occupied the priorities of the government (2). After each time a unity cabinet is formed, it issues a formal statement of “least worst” common denominator priorities which includes basic assumptions tied to national security challenges facing the country. This enables the government to speak about defence affairs and the need for a strategy without laying out the steps leading to debate and operationalize the defence priorities in a formal strategy. Nonetheless, the LAF maintains a non-public CDP 2018-2022 that represents a minimal level of engagement between the executive branch and the military on defence, albeit inconsistently and without a public debate (3) (4).

Lebanon does not have a national defence strategy. Thus, there has been no formal consultation with the public (1). During the last consultations held by President Michel Suleiman between 2008-2012, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were disengaged and showed little interest in the discussions held between political parties (2).

Lebanon does not have a defence strategy to share with the public. The last failed discussions were done during a national dialogue meeting under the former President Michel Suleiman’s reign (1). However, a draft strategy, set by former President Suleiman as a result of the dialogue, was published online (2). The Lebanese Armed Forces have produced no less than two substantial documents tied to capabilities development and just shy of a formal national military strategy (as opposed to a national defence strategy). Both of these Capabilities Development Plans (CDP) – one covering 2013-2017 and the other covering 2018-2022 are endorsed by the president, prime minister, speaker of parliament, and the minister of defence. While these documents have been shared with major donor partner nations, they are not readily available to the public at large (3) (4).

The government has adopted a formal defence and security policy. It began with the Supreme Defence Council adopting a draft National Defence and Security Policy in December 2014. The policy is made up of two components. The first elaborates on the government’s concept for the employment of military forces. The General Statute for Members of the Armed Forces, adopted by parliament in 2016, deals with this first aspect.³ The second outlines a series of reforms for the armed forces [LOPM], which was adopted by the National Assembly in May 2015.
The LOPM provides for USD2.3 billion of investment for the armed forces and is set to recruit an additional 10,000 personnel between 2015 and 2019. As cited in 3B, the LOPM was debated in parliament. But the majority of media discussion relating to the policy came after the law was passed, indicating that public debate did not have much influence in determining what the policy should be.¹ ² ³ ⁴
A Malian journalist said that the general understanding of military policies among the wider population is limited.⁵ However, as part of the ‘Accord Pour la Paix et la Reconciliation au Mali’, the government has created local consultative security committees to discuss the security challenges in their region and to make recommendations to the executive.⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰ Each committee comprises representatives from religious associations, civil society groups, women’s groups, youth organisations and traditional leaders. In March 2017, the government organised a large conference to discuss how the country should ensure peace, unity and reconciliation, following on from the Algiers peace agreement.⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰ The conference involved participants from trade unions, religious associations, the armed forces, the police, civil society groups, women’s groups, youth organisations, the private sector, local development organisations, groups working with refugees and traditional leaders.⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰
Other smaller forums have either taken place or are planned in Mopti, Kidal, and other parts of the country to discuss how the country will overcome the present insecurity.⁶ ⁷ ⁸ ⁹ ¹⁰
These discussions show that individual members of the public and civil society organisations are involved in broader debates about national policies relating to ongoing security challenges. However, public debate about specific military strategies is comparatively muted.

The LOPM clearly outlines the problems facing the army and elucidates the five-year spending plan. The legislation stipulates that the equipment purchased and the recruitment of extra soldiers will better enable the FAMa to combat jihadist groups operating in the northern regions of the country. These aspects of the LOPM were debated in parliament before they were ratified.³ ⁴ The LOPM was also debated and scrutinised by the committee.⁵

As part of the ‘Accord Pour la Paix et la Reconciliation au Mali’, the government has created local consultative security committees to discuss the security challenges in their region and to make recommendations to the executive. Each committee comprises representatives from religious associations, civil society groups, women’s groups, youth organisations and traditional leaders.
In March 2017, the government organised a large conference to discuss how the country should ensure peace, unity and reconciliation, following on from the Algiers peace agreement. The conference involved participants from trade unions, religious associations, the armed forces, the police, civil society groups, women’s groups, youth organisations, the private sector, local development organisations, groups working with refugees and traditional leaders.
One of the recommendations that emerged from the conference was that the government should consider opening talks with Malian leaders of jihadist groups, Iyad Ag Ghaly and Amadou Koufa.⁵ This suggestion was publicly rejected by President IBK, highlighting the limitations of such forums.⁶ The Bertelsmann Stiftung notes that Mali’s dynamic CSOs and community-based activists are continuing to emphasise the need for military reform and greater discipline, and accountable governance, in light of the ongoing security threats.⁷ Nevertheless, it concludes that issues discussed by citizens or championed by civil society organisations are not necessarily transferred onto the political agenda.⁷
Other smaller forums have either taken place or are planned in Mopti, Kidal, and other parts of the country to discuss how the country will overcome the present insecurity. A member of the CDSPC told the assessor that the committee regularly works with organisations such as the US-based National Democratic Institute to organise public forums and to facilitate dialogue between CSOs and defence actors about the country’s security strategy.⁹ The NDI has an ongoing programme on Mali.¹⁰ One such event in 2015 brought together about 50 participants, from Bamako, Gao and Tombouctou to discuss the importance of CSOs in overseeing the programme of security sector reform.⁸

The majority of media coverage of the detailed plans within the LOPM came after the law was passed, indicating that public debate did not have much influence in determining what the policy should be. But details of the plan were widely discussed in the national media, ensuring that the public was informed about the policy. However, the assessor found only two instances of the full text of the LOPM being published online, one of which was three days after the bill had been ratified.³ ⁴ Most laws are available on the Journal Officiel website, but the assessor was surprisingly unable to find a copy of the LOPM here.

The defence policy or security strategy has not been debated at all in the last year, neither by the executive, the legislature, nor the public:
– No mention of a debate in any form in Moroccan media (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
– No mention of a debate in any form in Parliament (within or outside the Commission on Foreign Affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad) (7)(9)(10)(11)
– No mention of a debate of any form in the regional press (12)(13)(14)
– No mention of a debate in any form within Government (11)

No mention of a debate prior to the past year was found. Moreover individuals within the legislature and public had reportedly spoken about the defence policy or security strategy: On 25 May 2017, Hakim Benchamach, President of the House of Councillors and current Secretary General of Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), had reportedly spoken about the reform of security policies at the opening session of a seminar on “Parliamentary Oversight of Public Policies in the Security Sector”. At the same seminar, Mustafa Mannouzi, president of the Moroccan Center for Democracy and Security, had reportedly regretted the fact that monitoring the work of security services is still reserved domain of the King. Other public actors have been discussing reviewing the Kingdom’s defence policy or security strategy, although this debate is inconsistent.

The defence policy or security strategy has not been debated at all in the last year, neither by the executive, the legislature, nor the public:
– No mention of a debate in any form in Moroccan media (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)
– No mention of a debate in any form in Parliament (within or outside the Commission on Foreign Affairs, national defence, Islamic affairs and Moroccan residents abroad) (7)(9)(10)(11)
– No mention of a debate of any form in the regional press (12)(13)(14)
– No mention of a debate in any form within Government (11)

No evidence of a formal consultation process on defence policy and security strategy in Morocco was found.

Documents on the defence policy or security strategy are not released to the public at all (1)(2)(3). No documents about defence policy or security strategy are available on the websites of the Moroccan Government and Parliament.No mention is made anywhere else on these websites that these documents might be available either on another website, or upon request (be it soft or hard copies). As a point of comparison, select documents pertaining to other sectors of government activity (housing, environment, transport, fishing, agriculture, tourism, education…) are released to the public.

Defence and security policy is debated by the executive, the legislature and the public. Niger has a strategy for development and security (SDS Sahel-Niger, 2011) (1), which follows the president’s position stated in the Renaissance programme. It is an integral part of the Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES 2012-2015) and the Strategy for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth (SDDCI Niger 2035). Its mechanism of implementation relies on a sector-piloting committee (CMP) coordinated by the prime minister. The programme includes State, civil society and development partners. It also involves the following actors: the High Authority for Peace Consolidation (HACP), the High Commission for 3N, Technical Ministries, Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations and other state structures, civil society organisations and development partners (1). The new Security and Defence Policy (PNSD) is under consideration and is to be adopted in 2018 (2). In December 2017, the National Center for Strategic and Security Studies (CNESS) organised the national forum for security and defence to reflect on the new PNSD. According to local media, it was the first forum of this kind because it included representatives from the government, defence and security forces, but also political parties as well as representatives from “different social sectors of the country” (2). Various aspects of the defence and security policy are regularly brought into the debate by the legislature through the Security and Defense Committee of the NA (see question 2). Finally, security and defence policy is also regularly debated in the local and international media through interviews, articles, press conferences etc. (see question 6) (3,4,5,6,7).
There is ample evidence that defence & security strategies are debated within the government of Niger, in the NA as well as in the public domain (interviews, op-eds, articles). There are also public media debates on the international military in Niger (France, US).

Two principle issues seem to be at the heart of the security and defence debate, involving civil society organisations, the legislative and the executive: the defence expenditure and international military presence. The latter has become particularly important in the media after the October 2017 Tongo-Tongo ambush, which resulted in five Nigerien and four American deaths (1). The increasing defence and security budget, which passed from 15% in 2017 (2) to 17.56 % in 2018 (3) is another issue. Civil society actors contested the adoption of the 2018 finance law, and they organised a series of mobilisations (4). Through November 2017 to March 2018, demonstrators claimed the law to be “anti-social” and protested against the international military presence (5,6). The legislative and executive responded to mobilisations by multiplying interviews and organising press conferences, where they explained the importance of international military presence as well as a necessity to increase military spending regarding the security threat (7, 8, 9, 10).
However, regardless of the intensity of this debate, other important topics are discussed far less. These include issues like procurement risks (for example, links between nature of the threat and specific decisions on procurement) or the implementation of military operations. It is difficult to say to what extent the debate focusing primarily on “security expenditure”, and foreign presence could be seen as a “distraction” from other issues. This finding also reflects the historical development of Niger’s security and defence forces, as well as the novelty of the current conflict situation that is taking place in the Sahel region.

There are formal public consultations on defence policy and the security strategy. However, it is difficult to establish with precision to what extent defence policy and security institutions incorporate their findings. There are at least three possible channels through which such consultations may be possible.
The first one is associated with the activities of the High Authority for the Consolidation of Peace (HACP). This is a government institution that was created in 1995 and reports directly to the President of the Republic. It is charged with dialogue, mediation and the implementation of peace accords (1). Among other recent projects, through 2015 – 2018 the HACP initiated and led projects in the Diffa region marked by the Boko Haram insurgency as well as on the Malian border aiming to reinforce dialogue and confidence between the security forces and the local population (2).
The second channel can be associated with the National Centre for Strategic Security Studies (CNESS) created in 2015. It is an advisory unit, a “think-tank” for security and defence policies directly responsible to the presidency. Its governing body is the Orientation Council that decides on essential proposals regarding security policy. Though CNESS is dependent on the military, it is assisted by the Scientific Council, which includes national non-military researchers who provide opinions on scientific programmes (3). Therefore, CNESS could be considered as one of the channels for public consultations.
The third channel is the National Observatory on Security Governance, which was inaugurated in January 2017. It was designed to act as a civil society think-tank for the control and monitoring of the security governance in Niger. A security official from the Ministry of Interior attended the organisation’s launch (4). However, its actual input to the formulation of security and defence policies could not be established. 
Finally, it should also be noted that in December 2017 the National Centre for Strategic and Security Studies (CNESS) organised the national forum for security and defence. The forum reflected on the new security and defence policy the PNSD, which is to be adopted in 2018 (5). According to local media, it was the first forum of its kind because it included representatives from the government and defence and security forces, as well as political parties and representatives from the “different social sectors of the country” (5). 
Compared to previous years, there has been an evident effort to improve public consultation processes on security and defence policy in Niger. Given that the work of the institutions (CNESS and National Observatory on Security Governance) mentioned above has only taken place recently, it may be too early to judge whether their findings have contributed to policy formulation.

The overall defence objectives are stated in the Constitution, which is publicly available (Article 66). It states that Niger’s armed forces are responsible for the defence of the integrity of the national territory against all external aggressors, it is charged with maintaining peace and security and upholding all the laws of the country (1). On a broader level, the strategy for development and security (SDS Sahel-Niger, 2011) is available online (2). The new security and defence policy (PNSD) has not yet been adopted, but the process of its development has been inclusive rather than exclusive (3). The first outlines of security and defence policy are presented in the third chapter of the Presidential Renaissance programme for 2016-2021, which is also publically available (4).
However, information and documents are not always accessible on all aspects of the defence policy or security strategy. This is especially the case with bilateral cooperation regarding armament acquisitions or deployment. However, this kind of information may be available from reports of international think-tanks who are active in Niger (e.g. see GRIP report on international military presence in Niger (5), ICG reports (6) or from foreign government websites (7,8)). Furthermore, international media may also publish specific information (8).
Finally, it should be also underlined that since the Tongo-Tongo October 2017 ambush, which publically revealed an important American military presence in Niger, political and military elites have been more willing to engage in a public debate on security and defence issues, therefore improving the government’s transparency and communication strategy (9, 10).

There is no evidence in the form of media reports or other publicly available material to indicate that the defence policy is debated. References to the national defence policy strongly indicate that it has not been debated in ten years (1). There is no legal instrument that empowers the parliament to either approve or reject policy and crisis management concepts for the military in Nigeria. Policy documents such as the national defence policy are usually sent to the parliament for informative purposes only.

Because there is no public debate of national defence policy, this indicator has been marked Not Applicable.

References to the national defence policy in the media by the executive or the senate are isolated. Such discussions tend to focus on threats faced by the nation, but these mentions are not substantive or comprehensive and are mainly concerned with perceived threats, and usually occur after recent attacks and security threats (1). The media and CSOs often question the effectiveness of the military leadership; given their failure to arrest the insecurity in the country. Policy documents such as the national defence policy are usually sent to the parliament for informative purposes only.

Although the Senate defence committees have the power to hold public hearings, there is no evidence that such hearings fully engage with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the wider public. Media reports indicate that there has been no review of the national defence policy or strategy in ten years. The national defence policy is not widely available nor does it contain significant input from the public, CSOs or media. There is evidence of the Senate Defence Committee holding public meetings on the security crisis and security strategy of the military in controlling terrorism in the northeast (1).

The House of Representatives Defence Committee has the power to hold public hearings and exercised it on August 1, 2017. These hearings fully engage with CSOs and the wider public in that they are allowed to make representations either orally or in writing.

Nevertheless, the House Committees do hold public hearings into the national defence issues. The problem is that because of the poor interface between the House and the executive it cannot be conclusively stated that any recommendations or findings are considered in the formulation of the national defence policy; particularly, as the NASS discussions occur independently of the executive policy formulation process. “The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, Abubakar Kyari on Monday, disagreed on Boko Haram’s actual level of control of territory in Borno State. At Monday’s special town hall meeting on military issues and security that held in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital” (2).

The websites of the defence agencies do not contain any documents on the national defence policy. The MOD website has no publications on the national defence policy as well (1).

However, two key defence policy documents, National Security Strategy & NACTEST, are publicly available, though they are somewhat dated now and were approved by the previous administration (2), (3). The public can now formally request for copies of the document from the office of the NSA. The National Security Strategy 2014 remains available to the public. There is a National Counter-Terrorism Strategy document which was revised and published in August 2016. It is unclear the degree to which they guide current defence decision making (4).

There is no reference to a debate concerning defence or security on the al-Shura website (1). According to our sources, there is no public debate at all concerning defence strategies or policies except through normal news outlets. The news works as an information mechanism, but not as a tool to initiate a debate or justification to the public (2), (3). Media reports which mention defence connect it to foreign policy, such as strengthening military co-operation with India (4), the sultan meeting the US secretary of state, British-Omani army co-operation and training, and Oman’s neutrality in Yemen war (5). Thus, although some information is available on Oman’s defence relations, the news is published by Oman News Agency, a government body and remains formatted as press releases without analyses or critique (6). In June it was reported across Omani media outlets, the Muscat Daily and Oman Observer, that the sultan issued Royal Decree No 17/2018 for a “law on weapons, ammunition, and explosives related to military and security apparatuses” like the other media references to defence and security it remained descriptive absent of debate (7), (8). Policies presented through media are nominal and vague, lacking details; no debate is present on defence policy or security strategy. Additionally, there seems to be no formal debate at all within the al-Shura over defence issues in the country.

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no formal debate or consultation around defence policies or strategies within Majlis al-Shura, the semi-parliament in Oman. There might be a little information about Oman’s strategy, but these remain superficial and only information revealed through government-run Oman News Agency is available on the media (1), (2), (3). According to our sources, there is no public discussion on the key defence policies or security in Oman. There is a high level of self-censorship with regards to defence and security issues in Oman in the media industry, which makes it difficult to initiate any debate (5), (6).

There is no formal debate or consultation around defence policies or strategies within the Majlis al-Shura. There might be some information about Oman’s strategy, but this remains superficial and information is only revealed through the government-run Oman News Agency, which releases it to the media (1), (2), (3). According to our sources, the absence of public debate is a result of the tight restrictions installed by the executive, who undermines any interference by other bodies (al-Shura council) or shut any media that tries to initiate a serious discussion about defence. It is seen as a threat to the executive (4), (5).

The defence strategy and policy is not available to the public. According to our sources, these documents are hard to obtain and treated as confidential documents (1), (2). However, some defence and security news is published on the Ministry of Defence website, for example, meetings with other heads of state to discuss defence ties and allied military visits, however, news items are vague and are written by the Oman News Agency (3). Some royal decrees on security and defence are publicly available: No.12/2011 on cybersecurity and crime (4); No.4/2017 ratifying civil defence cooperation between UAE and Oman originally signed in 2016 (5); No.16/2018 amending military judiciary law (6); and No 17/2018 royal decree for a “Law on weapons, ammunition and explosives related to military and security apparatuses” (7). Therefore, some information and documents on defence decisions are available to the public but are presented vaguely, and key documents on defence policy and security strategy are not made available to the public on the grounds of national security (8).

In Palestine, there is no national defence strategy. However, there is a sectoral security strategy from 2015 that contains the basic principles of a national defence strategy (1). This strategy focuses on the relationship between the Palestinians and the security apparatus. The 2017-2022 strategy describes the relationship between the citizens and the security agencies (2). However, it contains no action plan or direction on how and in what capacity the strategy will be implemented. Moreover, it has not been publicly debated thoroughly. According to many sources, the security strategy was only debated briefly (3), (4).

The security challenges facing the security sector are discussed in various fields. Sources discuss the challenges facing the work of the security forces, through workshops, reports, and studies that have been conducted in previous years to discuss issues of concern to the security institutions. (1). These conferences and discussions constitute one of the subjects considered in the development of strategic plans for the security sector (2).

There are no public consultations or deliberations on any issues related to either defence or general laws (1).

Not many reports on the defence or security sector are available, and few can be found on official websites (1), (2).

In Qatar, evidence shows that there is no public debate of the country’s defence policy or security strategy. However, some representatives of the Executive talk about defence policy and strategy to the media, without providing any details. According to two major military figures in Qatar, there is a defence strategy and policy in place, but it is debated only within the military and the Emir office. A key Qatari figure informed us, “the strategy is a confidential document that must not be debated and available publicly.” However, other figures stress that sometimes it is necessary to provide media outlets with limited information about Qatar Defence Strategy, in order to inform external parties of the strategy. [1,2] The discussion around security and defence is limited and there is no reference to any debate within the parliament, or detailed information about the policy. An example of this is when Dr Khalid Al-Attiyah (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State and Defence Affairs), whilst discussing security issues in Qatar and the region, talked about Qatar’s relations with the West, without specific references to defence strategies or policies [3]. On a different occasion the Minister of Defence discussed the illegality of the siege on Qatar, and Qatar’s relationship with other Gulf countries [4,5]. He also commended the armed forces, describing them as very distinguished and the best forces in the region. However, these remarks and comments do not amount to a national defence policy or national security strategy, and there is no evidence of parliamentary debate around defence.

There is no public parliamentary debate of defence policy or strategy in the country and for this reason this sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable.

There is no public parliamentary debate of defence policy or strategy in the country and for this reason this sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable.

There is no defence strategy or policy available for the public. Such documents are treated as highly sensitive and confidential. [1,2] However, other strategies that do not include the armed forces are published, such as the cyber security defence strategy. [3,4]

The defence policy and security strategy have not been publicly debated within the last year. Defence policies and strategies are rarely communicated to the public (1), (2). At times, the government makes announcements or statements on new policies or decisions; however, debate on these is censored and not public. Authorities have jailed individuals for criticising the country’s security policy (3).

The central government does make public references to the Ministry of Defence’s strategy; however, it announces actions that have been approved. There is no indication that they are debated by relevant bodies such as the Committee on Security Affairs within the Consultative Council (4).

Whereas in the past, high-ranking princes may have had more independence in crafting and leading defence policies, since 2015 Mohammed bin Salman who serves as the country’s minister of defence, as well as head of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, has increasingly consolidated and centralised government authority, including in the defence sector (5). Other key institutions such as the Ministry of Interior and the Saudi Arabian National Guard are directed by young royals who owe their standing to Mohammed bin Salman and are deferent to him (6). Defence strategies appear to be almost unilaterally decided by the crown prince and his father King Salman (7), (8).

An expert on Gulf affairs substantiates this theory, “defence and security policies are driven almost completely by MBS. He is arbitrary and headstrong and not prone to take the advice of military analysts or experts. The Council for Political and Security Affairs was established immediately upon the death of [former king] Abdullah, and it was designed to undercut Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef by putting all military and security under the scrutiny of MBS. It was a ruthless and clever tactic, and it worked. It meant by the time that MBN was defenestrated in 2017 his power base was effectively undercut” (9).

There is no open debate about Saudi defence or national security policy, therefore this sub-indicator is not applicable (1), (2).

As there is no formal consultation process with the public on defence policy in Saudi Arabia, this sub-indicator is not applicable (1), (2).

Information on the defence policy and the national security strategy has traditionally been released to the public infrequently and on an ad hoc basis. Recently, however, there has been a small uptick in the government’s communication of its defence policy and greater openness about its overall strategy (1), (2). This coincides with the broader reform programme being implemented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which includes plans to localise 50% of military procurement by the year 2030, as well as the establishment of two military industry bodies, the General Authority for Military Industries and Saudi Arabian Military Industries (3), (4). The government has also been more vocal about the war it is pursuing in Yemen, a choice that appears to be designed to ramp up public support for the war (5) This information is nonetheless very broad in nature, with scarce details or specific released to the public.

GAMI, established in August 2017, acts as an industry regulator, issuing tenders and licenses and approving contracts, while SAMI, formed in May 2017, contracts directly with foreign companies. According to a regional consultant who has worked with the Saudi defence sector, the two bodies will be involved in procurement processes across various Saudi military and defence bodies such as the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the Royal Guard, the Presidency of State Security and the Ministry of Interior (6). Industry analysis publication Intelligence Online further stated that both SAMI and GAMI will be steered by inter-ministerial committees led by Mohammed bin Salman (7). Thus far, beyond information released on GAMI’s key “objectives” at the inauguration of the body (4), as well as press releases relating to SAMI’s deals with foreign contractors, there has been no information released regarding the operation of these two bodies, and no documents on defence policy or security strategy released to the public at all. However, regional experts and commentators have pointed to the significance of these two bodies in the new Saudi military architecture; notably, SAMI’s directors include high-ranking government ministers and political authorities, such as its chairman, Ahmed al-Khateeb (8).

According to our sources, the legislative council have on many occasions debated the defence and security policy, however, these debates were not in-depth and lack many aspects such as recommendations and publicity. Besides that, the nature of the debate remains outside NGOs and media outlets(1,2). The Assembly of Peoples’ Representatives held multiple general sessions to hear the Ministries of Defence and the Interior (3). Various issues have been debated with the Minister of Defence in particular, on the disposition of its department to ensure public safety, the strategy adopted in this framework and the national service (4). Also, the Defence and Security committee held hearing sessions with Ministers of Justice, Interior, and Defence to discuss various threats to public safety (5).

According to our sources, there is a variety of levels of discussion that range from superficial to real debates on serious issues( terrorism). These discussions lack clear recommendations and follow up. Therefore, the debates do no cover all defence and security aspects(1,2). Before the Defence and Security committee, various issues have been discussed with the Ministers of Defence, Interior and Justice including terrorism, measures taken to manage the return of Tunisian fighters abroad, intelligence, national service, measures taken to protect national borders, measures taken to improve the salaries of the pilots of the air force, etc. (3). Level of defence spending is discussed in a general way without addressing the details (4).

There has been public debate on the legislation regarding the declaration of a national emergency, specifically about the MoD announcement of the need for reformulating or adopting a new law regulating the declaration of national emergency (5).

According to our sources, until today, the experience of Tunis is to keep discussions and debates on military and security within the official and governmental institutions(1,2). There is no formal consultation of the public and there is no evidence that such consultations exist (3).

Some information relating to the security strategy is made public. The National strategy on combating extremism and terrorism which contains some elements about how security forces plan to combat terrorism is available online (1,2,3). However, official information and documents about defence policy could not be found. The website of the Ministry of Defence contains a section dedicated to access of information and administrative documents but there are no published documents concerning defence policy on this website (4).

There is no evidence of any public debate over the country’s national defence policy or a national security strategy debate in the UAE (1). The debates and discussions taking place within the FNC’s session focus on restrictions over internet use, mixed marriages and environmental matters. Defence and security policies are confidential and not available to the public or researchers (2), (3).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no evidence of the national defence policy or the national security strategy being debated in the parliament because such debate does not exist (1), (2).

This sub-indicator has been marked as Not Applicable, as there is no evidence of the national defence policy or the national security strategy being debated in the parliament because such debate does not exist (1), (2).

In the UAE, documents on the defence policy or security strategy are not released to the public at all. Official government websites, particularly the Ministry of Defence, do not publish any information about defence policies or strategies (1). There is a high level of self-censorship over the publication of any of defence documents or triggering debate over them (2), (3).

Country Sort by Country 3a. Scope of involvement Sort By Subindicator 3b. Scope of debate Sort By Subindicator 3c. Public consultations Sort By Subindicator 3d. Transparency Sort By Subindicator
Algeria 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 25 / 100
Angola 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 25 / 100
Burkina Faso 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cameroon 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100
Cote d'Ivoire 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 25 / 100
Egypt 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Ghana 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100
Iraq 25 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100 25 / 100
Jordan 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 25 / 100
Kuwait 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100 0 / 100
Lebanon 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100
Mali 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100
Morocco 25 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100 0 / 100
Niger 50 / 100 50 / 100 50 / 100 25 / 100
Nigeria 0 / 100 NA 50 / 100 25 / 100
Oman 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100
Palestine 25 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
Qatar 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100
Saudi Arabia 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 25 / 100
Tunisia 50 / 100 50 / 100 0 / 100 25 / 100
United Arab Emirates 0 / 100 NA 0 / 100 0 / 100

With thanks for support from the UK Department for International Development and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have contributed to the Government Defence Integrity Index.

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