Archive for February, 2017

Trust, Travel Bans and Homeland Security

by James Forest

Revised February 28, 2017
(originally posted February 11, 2017)

How does an effective system of security work in the real world, beyond political and media punditry? Ask a professional in law enforcement, military or the intelligence community and you’ll hear an overwhelmingly common response:  security is built and maintained on relationships of trust, at every level. Healthy, trusted community and police relationships are key to maintaining peace and order, and for intelligence gathering on crime and security threats. Trust is critical for interagency cooperation and information sharing between local, state and federal agencies. At the national level, the different agencies and branches of government must trust each other implicitly in order to work together toward the overall common objective of ensuring security for the the nation and its interests. And at the international level, trusted relationships are vital for military cooperation, intelligence sharing, cross-national crime and terror investigations, diplomacy, economic security, energy security, cybersecurity, and so much more. These are all components of an effective security system for any country.

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Predicting the Next Terrorist Attack in the U.S.

Based on the historical record and current threat analysis of available evidence, some projections can be made about the next major terrorist attack in the U.S.

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Clarification about the Links between Islam and Terrorism

Much as I’ve wanted to avoid this debate about Islamophobia and current members of the presidential administration, as a research and educator in terrorism studies there are some things I need to point out.

1). Islamist extremists have been blowing up themselves and others in dozens of countries for the last half century, including our own. Nobody I know or care about is trying to minimize this reality. That said, mis-diagnosing the nature of this threat as one that applies throughout all of Islam – and formulating polices based on false perceptions – is dangerous and ill-advised. Criticisms of those misperceptions are not “libtard apologists for Islam” or any such nonsense. Many experts in security studies and counterterrorism have been pushing back against the Islamophibic primarily because they want to see a more effective counterterrorism approach, one based on evidence and thorough intelligence analysis rather than fear and hysteria.

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