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2008-04-02
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Modern Counter Terrorism

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Tagged As: Military, Politics, and Society

Even the most stalwart liberal must recognize the need for improvements and reform in national security to address the needs of modern threats. Some will argue that measures like the Patriot Act go too far while others claim it's not far enough. There is always the crazy balance to consider between personal freedoms and privacy against the protections offered by "police state" security and invasiveness. Such an axiom has long been a part of American heritage as Ben Franklin once said, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

Take it as a given that the Cold War is over (ignoring for a moment Russia's present actions that may bring it back) and that it is no longer a world of democracy versus communism. There are no clear lines to draw in the sand to delineate where malice, evil and hatred lie. The fact of the matter is that those who would do our society and way of life harm walk amongst us, hidden in plain sight. For a moment, put aside opinions about the current executive administration, the legislature and the deployments of soldiers.

Food for thought:

  • Tightened border control
  • More authorizations for access to perform data mining on voice and data networks
  • Increased judicial review of evidence prior to permitting counter-terrorist operations
  • Allowing different levels of government access to intelligence - e.g. state governors or city mayors are privy to relevant information from the NSA/CIA/FBI
  • Engage the public to participate through television and reward programs
  • Increasingly stringent identification requirements on a national basis
  • Expanding national intelligence to incorporate more local resources - e.g. EMS responders that "see inside homes" make reports
  • Improving public training on awareness - e.g. teaching public servants (like EMS) what to look for or teaching threat awareness in high school
  • Media campaigns designed to "convert" in-country sleeper cells away from their cause
  • Reduced time restrictions for Freedom of Information Act releases to permit public scrutiny

From an ideal perspective, what sort of solutions would offer positive gains in bolstering the security of America without turning the nation into gestapo-esque police state? Furthermore, even if a solution is an effective counter-measure to domestic terrorism, why is it a bad idea to implement it?



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