OPED23 A Framework against Terrorism
This OPED attempts to demonstrate a framework against terrorism. First some background:
The bottom line is that the world is a dangerous place, that terrorism is here to stay, that mitigation efforts need to be continuous and ongoing, and that given the open nature of our society it is impossible to provide 100% protection. However, if a comprehensive systems approach is utilized terrorist incidents will be exceptions and the terrorist threat can be "managed".
- The struggle against terrorism is not "a war". While the war metaphor might seem apt given the magnitude of the endeavor, it is counter-productive in the longer run. First, although military action is a significant and integral component, a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy will also have intelligence , diplomatic, civil defense or homeland security, economic, financial , law enforcement, and human rights components in addition to the military component. Second, the war metaphor tends to imply an end point, when in reality the fight against terrorism has no conclusion and must be an integral part of society. Third, the war metaphor might make people feel that the struggle against terrorism is only the responsibility of the armed forces when in fact every citizen has a role to play. Lastly, the war metaphor twists the terms of the debate which can have unfortunate and unintended consequences - examples might be a lessening of concern about our civil liberties that result in inappropriate actions (e.g. certain parts of the USA PATRIOT Act), or a stifling of the debate that is a vital and integral part of our democratic system (e.g. when any discussion over the direction the country is taking is shouted down by people as inappropriate while we are "at war".)
- The complexity of the counter-terrorism strategy with all its different parts places a premium on coordinating the various efforts.
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- Finally, in general the various components of the counter-terrorism strategy enumerated above must all posses the following characteristics:
- Appropriate funding for long-term viability.
- Multi-layered, redundant services to provide protection "in depth".
- Utilization of people with the appropriate levels of expertise and core competencies.
- Real-time detection and response.
- Resilient security that is adaptive and can respond to a changing threat environment.
- An emphasis on partnerships.
© SNi 04/17/02