Security tasks not limited to army, Turkish chief of staff says

Security tasks not limited to army, Turkish chief of staff says

Security tasks not limited to army, Turkish chief of staff says

Gen. Necdet Özel and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan observed the drill in İzmir. AA Photo

Armies are not the sole defenders of countries in today’s world as previous security issues have shifted from military threats to economic, social and technological risks, Turkey’s chief of staff said May 29 at a military drill in İzmir.

“I think that national security strategies should be built on the fact that security is not the task of security forces alone in the contemporary and future security environment,” Gen. Necdet Özel said.

The conventional decision-making and planning process in the struggle against asymmetric risks and threats are no longer sufficient, according to him.

“Although the conventional risks are reduced in the new world order, we are witnessing that the numbers of new threats are rising, including terrorism, regional and ethnic clashes, violence-based racism, organized crime, probabilities of the use and spread of weapons of mass destruction, ill-intentioned cyber actions and economic and social instabilities,” he said.

“This has caused inadequacies for states in implementing structures and philosophies that are based on protecting countries on land, sea and air,” he said, highlighting that “non-visible” threats that are difficult to confront with existing defense systems had supplemented conventional threats. According to the general, these threats are military, semi-military and non-military.

The one-dimensional threat environment of the past has been replaced by multifarious, hard-to-guess structures with many uncertainties, Özel said.

 “Thus, the viewpoint that Cold War-era strategies are no longer valid is gaining currency,” he said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz also observed the drill, the Efes 2014 military exercise, at İzmir’s Doğanbey Gulf near the town of Seferihisar.

A sum of 8,500 soldiers from the air, naval and land forces are taking part in the exercise.

The drill has proved the Turkish Armed Forces’ perfect level of joint operation planning and practicing, Özel said in praising the army. “I can proudly say that the Turkish army is one of the best in the world in terms of night operations and capacities,” he said.