The Ministry of Defense presented yesterday in Quito the updating of defense policies that will govern Ecuador in the coming years. This document, also known as the ‘white paper’, had not been revised since 2006.
Drug trafficking, the emergence of transnational criminal gangs and terrorism are the new concerns that States have and based on that, the road map that will be followed to guarantee internal peace and national sovereignty was prepared.
The book was delivered by Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin, Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner, with the military leadership as a witness, and is concatenated with the decree on National Defense Policy signed last Tuesday by the head of state.
In 2006, one of the main concerns of the State was the closeness of the Colombian internal conflict and the attempts to involve Ecuador in it. With the peace agreements between Colombia and the irregular groups, the scenario changed and armed dissidents arose and with these the violence in the northern border area.
“There are new actors that are considered a real threat to the States, which are non-state actors but have power and challenge even the existence of the monopoly of the use of force of the States and their immense power to stability and the law that it rules the countries, “warned Jarrín.
What innovations are there in the new edition of the white book in relation to that of 12 years ago? Ecuador plans to begin to prevent situations of crisis and conflicts. There will be constant preventive analyzes to define the origin and causes of these potential conflicts to neutralize them before they happen.
The Armed Forces will also apply a continuous plan of dissuasion, demonstrating the improvements and joint strategies of all military branches. “It means exercising influence and demonstrating strength and power to control conflicting situations,” the minister said.
But this book does not seek only to trace the guidelines to respond by force to threats. It is also a document of trust, so that neighboring countries know what Ecuador thinks and its aspirations in terms of defense and thus avoid misunderstandings.
The second president declared that national defense is a priority issue on the government’s agenda and that the only policies that should govern military life are those that serve the purposes of peace, stability and democracy. “Any attempt at ideologization or politicization must find, as has already happened in this institution, resistance and rejection,” emphasized Sonnenholzner. (I)