Sky News Arabia hosting Rabdan Academy President Mr. James Morse at IDEX 2021

Sky News Arabia hosting Rabdan Academy President Mr. James Morse at IDEX 2021

In a special and exclusive interview on the higher education sector and defense exhibitions, Sky News Arabia hosted Mr. James Morse, President of Rabdan Academy. You can watch the interview in Arabic on the link:

Abu Dhabi, 25 Feb 2021

How can IDEX and NAVDEX exhibitions contribute to improving cooperation between countries and promoting the concept of peace?

First, I would like to congratulate the United Arab Emirates for organizing this very successful exhibition.

There is a Latin saying; “If you want peace, you must prepare for war!”, so this exhibition is seeking to prepare nations to deter and confront any threats or attacks, and create the climate for coalitions between nations in order to confront any danger that might undermine the peace.  Of course this is a government responsibility above all else, so the UAE is organizing this exhibition in order to enable the exchange of ideas, capabilities and available technologies, and through that, we hope that this exhibition will contribute to deterring our adversaries, and establishing and maintaining peace.

Please tell us more about Rabdan Academy, how can exhibitions such as IDEX and NAVDEX contribute to developing students’ experiences at various levels?

Rabdan Academy is a government academy, based in Abu Dhabi, which was established to help all institutions in the government and private sector work together for safety, security, defense, and emergency preparedness. The traditional separation between war and peace no longer exists, as the spectrum across cooperation, competition, confrontation and conflict has become blurred, so we face a spread of threats from nations, terrorists and organized crime that can manifest themselves in many forms.  So the entities concerned with defense and security must all work together and cooperate to establish their capabilities and build networks between organizations in order to be better prepared for crises and emergencies, so that the response to confronting such events is successful.  We must understand that the nature of the risk is changing all the time and preparing organizations and individuals to counter the risks is what Rabdan Academy does, noting that the best way to protect ourselves is through a joined-up cross government approach, bringing together all the institutions and agencies responsible for providing security and defense to achieve a successful national response.

For example, if we consider the Covid-19 pandemic and all the challenges it has imposed, all government institutions have had to work together closely in order to succeed in responding to the emergency situation. There must also be a response at a global level, with the participation of all institutions, including the police and security forces, which is assisted by the relationships formed at exhibitions like IDEX.

How do you evaluate the challenges and their relationship with the emerging forms of risk?

It is important to look at the full spectrum of security threats and challenges, as our adversaries can choose to use the ones that suit them and which they think will exploit a weakness in our defenses.  So while cyber and autonomous system threats have increased dramatically, that does not mean that these are the only threats and that we can forget about the traditional conventional threats.  Our adversaries can use many different capabilities and technologies in order to try to undermine our societies and launch attacks on us, and therefore we cannot exclusively focus on one type of threat and ignore the others. We must be able to respond across the full range of capabilities, and seek to avoid showing a gap or weakness in our ability to respond.  This requires a joined-up national response across the full range of government and non-government entities, and Rabdan Academy contributes to this by providing high-quality education and training for our young leaders, across the security and defense entities, and preparing them to respond in the future to challenges unknown today.