Analysis of the National Security Strategy

Con motivo de la aprobación el pasado 30 de mayo de la nueva Estrategia de Seguridad Nacional (ESN), el INCIPE reunió este miércoles en un Desayuno de Trabajo a un grupo de especialistas de diversos ámbitos para intercambiar consideraciones acerca de este documento. El conferenciante invitado en esta ocasión, el Almirante José María Terán Elices, formó parte del grupo de expertos encargado de la redacción de esta nueva Estrategia.

Aunque es continuista respecto de la anterior Estrategia Española de Seguridad, aprobada en 2011, el documento introduce importantes matices en los conceptos utilizados y presenta algún cambio en cuanto a la propia organización del mismo.

As far as content is concerned, the new Strategy seeks to promote a genuine national security system (Section V of this document) to develop what should be a state policy. Chapter V is, therefore, the heart of the Strategy and seeks to correct mistakes made in the past. The creation of the National Security Council, a collective body of government headed by the chief executive, aims to assist in the direction of the National Security Policy. According to the document, meetings are planned to be held every two months. This governing body is also responsible for promoting the second level strategies which are vital today, such as cyber-security.

As for the title of the document, the current Strategy, which has achieved the approval of the two major political parties, includes the most accurate and standardized national security, in line with other countries around the region. In the first chapter, where the definition of security is addressed, the term resilience is also included, which is understood as the ability to resist and recover from crises. In addition, the previous slogan, everyone’s responsibility, was replaced by a shared project, which is more inclusive and is a call to various players, including civil society. As far as the wording of the document is concerned, the new document is intended to be more accessible to encourage wider dissemination.

The priorities of Spain (EU, the Mediterranean, and Latin America) are set out in the second chapter, and the risks and threats facing Spain, are in the third. There are two new concepts added to those that already appeared in the Spanish Strategy 2011: espionage and maritime vulnerability. Chapter four outlines plans of action to address those risks.

Following the presentation of the document, various issues were addressed in the debate like the nature of security understood as a public service or public good; the definition of risk and threat (Chapter III of the ESN); different concepts with a shade of meaning that could be misconstrued; and that national security interests were specified which are not implicitly contained in the document.

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