By Reza Javid

General Soleimani’s military acumen in fighting terrorists was ‘unmatched’, says American professor

January 2, 2021 - 19:51
South Alabama professor says General Soleimani's focus was primarily on fighting anti-Iran terrorism

TEHRAN - Nader Entessar, a professor emeritus of political science from the University of South Alabama, praises General Qassem Soleimani’s shrewdness in devising asymmetrical “warfare strategies” against terrorists, calling his abilities “unmatched”.

“His military acumen, ability to devise asymmetrical anti-terrorism warfare strategies, and bringing together unruly groups to work together were unmatched,” Entessar tells the Tehran Times.

“The United States has now ‘weaponized’ the term (terrorism) in pursuit of its foreign policy goals.  That is, practically any person, institution, or country that actively opposes Washington's global hegemony is labeled as a “terrorist” thus making it difficult to tackle the problem of terrorism in a meaningful way.” The professor also says Iran has been at the “forefront” of the war against Daesh and other terrorist groups to protect its security.

“In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran's security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity,” the American professor notes.   

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In 1972, a specialized Committee on Terrorism was set up at the United Nations, and member states made great efforts to provide appropriate definitions of international terrorism, but due to intense political differences, the actual definition of international terrorism and comprehensive conventions in practice was impossible. Security Council Resolution 1373 was the most serious attempt to define terrorism after 9/11, which evolved into UN Security Council Resolution 1535. Despite providing a definition of terrorism, countries approach it differently. What is the reason?

A: The definition of the term “terrorism” provided by the UN is a minimalist one designed to satisfy conflicting views on this topic.  Terrorism is first and foremost a political term that does to easily lend itself to a universally accepted legal definition.  One country's “terrorist” can be viewed as a “freedom fighter” by another country.  Furthermore, the United States has now "weaponized" the term in pursuit of its foreign policy goals.  That is, practically any person, institution, or country that actively opposes Washington's global hegemony is labeled as a “terrorist” thus making it difficult to tackle the problem of terrorism in a meaningful way.   

Q: How do you assess the role and position of Iran in the fight against terrorism in the region?

A: In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran's security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.  However, as attacks against major institutions/infrastructures and the assassination of some prominent Iranian officials in recent years have shown, a lot of work needs to be done to thwart similar foreign-assisted and foreign-funded terrorist acts.  It has now become clear that Iran's enemies have taken advantage of existing vulnerabilities and holes to carry out their terrorist acts against the country.  I am not sure exactly where the problem lies, but Iran needs to seriously re-evaluate its counterterrorism, intelligence, and counterintelligence structures. 

“In general, Iran has been at the forefront of fighting regional terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIS) and others that carry terrorist acts against Iran's security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.”Q: How do you assess the role and position of General Soleimani in the fight against terrorism, particularly ISIS, in the region?

A: General Soleimani's focus was primarily on fighting anti-Iran terrorism in the region.  This was clearly evident in General Soleimani's indispensable role in creating the necessary environment and conditions in containing and fighting Daesh (ISIS). General Soleimani's role as perhaps the single most important person in fighting anti-Iran terrorist groups should be emphasized.  His military acumen, ability to devise asymmetrical anti-terrorism warfare strategies, and bringing together unruly groups to work together were unmatched.  

Q: Given the conflict of interests of different countries, can we see the same action by countries against terrorism? What mechanism can equalize the performance of countries against terrorism?

A: As I alluded in my answer to the first question, getting countries to see eye-to-eye when it comes to combating terrorism is akin to forcing a square peg in a round hole.  Perhaps in a very broad definitional term, countries can agree on fighting terrorism, but in practical terms, it is a herculean task to expect countries to work together on this issue.  Terrorism has already become weaponized, and countries will continue to rely on this weapon to confront and contain each other in today's polarized world of international relations.





 

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