The Tactics Institute for Security and Counter-Terrorism launched in 2019, an independent, non-partisan, think tank bringing together experience in social services, cybersecurity, legal expertise and a pool of experts with procurement, military operations, and regional studies expertise. Tactics provides contextually sensitive support for decision-makers whilst also aspiring to open new public debates on security policy.
Aiming to make a significant contribution to the discrediting of violence as a means of political struggle by supporting security options that bolster open, pluralistic, and cohesive societies governed by the rule of law, Tactics Institute used its first months to establish itself in key European parliaments.
In April, Tactics Institute held its inaugural public event in the UK parliament, looking at the role of the war in Yemen on trends in radicalisation.
The panel at the Westminster event included Wesam Amer, an expert in social media, terrorism studies and radical movements and visiting researcher at Newcastle University; Tina Bencik, Prevent Officer at Kensington and Chelsea council, specialising in safeguarding; and Neil Denton, an independent community mediator and experienced practitioner in conflict transformation who has worked with communities and individuals around the world.
In May at the French Senate, Tactics Institute hosted a working breakfast seminar, “Instability and Mistrust in the Gulf Region: Exploring Confidence-Building Options”.
The event was hosted by Jean-Marie Bockel, former Secretary of Defense, Member of the French Senate and President of the Senate Parliamentary Friendship Group France-Gulf countries.
The Chairs were Emmanuel Dupuy, President of IPSE, lecturer of geopolitics at the Institut d’Etude des Relations Internationales and researcher in geopolitical issues for various institutions linked to the French defence policy; and Stella Athanasoulia, former Foreign Affairs Analyst at BBC News and Research Assistant at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Senior Advisor at Tactics Institute
The keynote speaker in Paris was Professor Joseph Bahout, non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment in Washington DC, Professor of Middle East Politics at SciencesPo Paris, and a permanent consultant to the Policy Planning Unit (CAPS) of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Seminar explored the state of affairs in a turbulent period for the Gulf region, assessing the transforming role of Saudi Arabia and emerging normative, ethical, and strategic dilemmas for Europe, especially as the kingdom expects to take centre stage at the G20 Summit in Jeddah in autumn 2020.
A second central London event was held in June, a public discussion titled ‘Integration as a tool for Security and Social Cohesion’.
Throughout the summer months, Tactics prepared its first major report ‘Social Exclusion and Radicalisation in the Balkans’. The report brings together a range of experts on radicalisation and regional experts to explore the latest solution-focused thinking on this major issue.
The report was launched at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in November.
Tactics Director Thomas Charles was one of four speakers at the event in Strasbourg attended by Members of the European Parliament and other dignitaries. Joining him on the panel were report contributors Professor Felipe Pathé Duarte, geopolitical analyst and Assistant Professor at the Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Homeland Security in Lisbon; Brigadier General Metodi Hadji-Janev, a security analyst and Associate Professor at the Military Academy General Mihailo Apostolski in Skopje; and Yavor Raychev, security and counterterrorism analyst and PHD candidate in international relations ay the University of Granada.
The other contributors to the report, which will be available soon electronically and in print, were Professor Tatyana Dronzina of the St Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia and Dr Safet Music, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Defence in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Introducing the report, which also includes consideration of current trends in radicalisation in western Europe and in particular the United Kingdom, the speakers provided insights into the phenomenon of radicalisation and how it differs across borders, as well as considering the similarities in a problem which requires a coordinated European response.
The event also saw valuable contributions from a number of MEPs representing a range of member states as well as representatives of non-member states.
Throughout 2019, Tactics has provided regular analysis of global events and developments and looks forward to continuing this work in 2020 and we seek to open up the political and public discourse on security options that promote open, pluralistic, cohesive societies governed by the rule of law in which everybody has a stake.