Security. Peace. Freedom to exist without fear of terror. Fundamental truths that exist at the very heart of good government. Fundamental truths which are under threat on an almost hourly basis.
In a globalised world where individuals can move freely between countries, internal security and external security have a symbiotic relationship where one determines the success of the other.
Maintaining this relationship has become a substantial drain on the resources of nation states, particularly those who expose themselves directly in both militaristic and diplomatic actions in those rogue nations and regimes. Exerting this influence leaves them vulnerable to reprisals, both in their spheres of influence and at home.
There are however, mechanisms in place between the various countries in the world to both combat the increasing threats and to disseminate information across the various law enforcement agencies which operate in each nation.
At no previous point in history has there been such vulnerability in international security with truly international threats manifesting themselves around the globe. Terrorist organisations seemingly operating without borders and using increasingly covert methods of spreading their messages of fear.
Intelligence, both for and counter plays an increasingly large part of the international response to these sorts of threats. Anticipating and countering threats before they occur forms a vital part of this, saving lives and preventing tragedies.
Mutual defence treaties need to be maintained to prevent the rise of a larger foreign power with hostile intent and to provide a check against further acts of terror. 27 mid-size nations defending the interests of a small client nation have a greater chance of stopping a bigger nation exerting its agenda, being hostile or otherwise.
The mere presence of these sorts of treaties and international agencies keeps the complex spider web of international interdependency working.
But with every success using these methods, there are failures like Orlando, Paris and Amsterdam.
Terrorists and criminals hiding in plain sight, integrating themselves surreptitiously within minority communities until the need arises to perpetrate their acts.
Far too often, these individuals exploit legislation designed for altruistic methods, such as the European Union’s free movement of individuals within its borders doctrine. Organisations like Islamic State have used the smokescreen of the immigration crisis and the Syrian civil war to place individuals from their organisations into these countries, exploiting the compassionate nature of the European Union. For every altruistic act, there are those who wish to exploit it, for nefarious and corrupting aims.
Migration of individuals from these at risk countries, is being closely monitored by agencies both foreign and domestic but one has to ask the question, where do we draw the line? When does the terror threat become so severe that we pull up the drawbridge and look to our own security?
It is a political issue that speaks to the heart of every community within the European Union. When does the Union allow too much terrorist activity to occur for it to remain a viable secure entity?
It is a vital issue in government and has been drawn to the heart of the EU referendum debate in the campaigns of both the Brexit and Remain campaigns. Dire prognostications of doom have been made, should the vote lean towards the exit door with assumptions being made that our security services will be unable to cope with ongoing international threats without the support of our partners within the European Union. What they fail to state is that the bulk of the organisations designed to counter these threats do not depend on Britain remaining in the European Union, they are instead internationally independent agencies. The failure of the Brexit campaign to explain this obvious distinction explains why the Remain campaign are winning the security argument.
But in utilising these sorts of sentiments, they are engendering a climate of fear to what should be a legitimate question: Can the EU provide for Britain’s future security, when it perceptibly cannot manage its own?
In a globalised world, we cannot simply baton down the hatches and expect to survive the storm unscathed, we must take a positive assertive role in preserving our own security. International Co-operation and intelligence resource pooling enables us to do this and should form the bedrock of what we do to counter external threats.
Relationships of this nature thrive on co-operation between nations and although the EU referendum may result in us leaving this political union, our greater spirit of co-operation with our neighbours in this area should continue as it is mutually beneficial for all.
© R Simmons. All Rights Reserved.