Below two counter-terrorism challenges are discussed. The first priority challenge category is described as competing interests obstructions to justice and freedom. The second priority challenge category is described as physical capacity and abilities to inflect mass violence going largely unabated and poorly accounted and controlled.
Competing Interests/ Incongruence Reinforces Violence
Competing interest, explained by selective attention (Rice, 2001) and by hierarchy of needs Schultz, 1996) and processes of cognition such of compound variables which impacts how people focus and or are distracted, is raised because from the analysis of history, it is observed that bias and non-reliable methods used in intelligence gathering, processing and sharing (U.S., 2004 ) not only challenges the prevention or responses to violence, but raises serious questions about how militaries and secrete services operate. To be effective, sufficient controls are needed to produce internal validity, minimize contamination and increase overall trust in the reliability of the products and services. Evidences of weak national and international strategic approaches outlined in numerous laws and reports that attempt to counter violence reflects incongruence, presents inconsistencies and shows redundancies. Often no measurable outcomes can be correlated with stated goals listed in various terrorism/ anti-violence reports.
Interests such as international cooperation, limits of physical resources, budgets, administrative stances, public pressures, all exert great influence on what is and what is not done and when with regard to how violence is predicted, prevented, or otherwise managed. While competing interests in their purest and pervasive forms will never be eliminated, such interests should be controlled for as a part of any planning to build continuity in the national or international community pertaining to violence prevention methodology.
Steps taken to reduce probable and actual violence in communities should include actively teaching and demonstrating peace-making strategies such as conflict resolution. For example, the more guns and more people- the propensity for violence goes up. Lower education and lower wages leads to higher poverty (U.S. Department of Labor, N.D.). Higher poverty leads to greater conflict (Laureate Education, 2010). The less guns there are the less mass violence is observed (Rogers, 2012). We also know that in regions where violence is high certain indicators existed prior to spikes meaning we have a great deal of lead knowledge to predict and interrupt violence (Slutkin, 2013). What appears to be lacking are agreements on the types of interventions used and when.
The prioritization and decision making surrounding violence prevention and suppression is subject to corruption such as profit making and simply selective attention with so much going on and only certain items being brought into the attention of state level decision making- often out of sequence and not in the best context with reliable information upon which decision can be made. The result are ineffective policies and gaps between intent and actual procedures, and a type of evolving process where the same mistakes can easily be replicated due to a lack of sufficient and stable more empirically based standards and practices. To address competing interest with regard to areas best not left to the whims of the day, universal peace keeping agreements with much more significant enforcement powers to ensure greater violence prevention and accountability should be established. However, with U.N., NATO and the more formal existing bodies being heavily biased and untrusted by many opponents, those forums are not the only solution. A well formed and supported International Court could be a solution provided there is enough buy in and controls build in to prevent such an arena from answering to dominant parties or corrupted interests. Otherwise, knowledge and combatting the foes that work to dim the light of knowledge can best be overcome in democratic processes and the masterful use of lobbying directly to law makers and the mass public to organize ground up (Riverstone, 2013) influence in various forums to ensure the most vital items are treated and not denied or drowned out by competing interests- such as those profiting from conflicts.
Physical Limits to Mass Violence
Limiting the physical capacity/ability to conduct mass violence is the second priority challenge based on the sheer destructive technologies, weapons, wastes including chemical biological radioactive nuclear weapons of mass destruction (CBRN-WMD) (Levy & Sidel, 2012) (Garcia, 2008) and incidental exposures due to unsustainable dirty industries currently present in many developed and developing nations. Whether caused by natural disasters or lone wolf crazy attacks (McEntire, 2009), terrorist attacks from internal or external sources, state enemies, or human errors leading to accidents and/or exposure incidents (Schlosser, 2014): as capacity and ability grows to deliver harm so do the numbers of victims and potential victims. Detection strategies using research and collecting evidence thru various inputs and combined with measurable advances in enforced non-proliferation treaties such as the Non-proliferation Treaty (Mahan & Griset, 2013) can help limit the ability of harm people can inflict on one another. So can arming people with tools to make a living in more productive ways and rigorously preventing disease. Increasing empathy and knowledge about optimal development and living in harmony generally promotes peace and cooperation. Without adding the scorn of intentional wars, people on earth already have significant issues such and potential rearranging of the North American Continent (plate dynamics), global warming, water/food issues, and health issues. The greatest numbers dying in the U.S. already are doing so because the manner in which lifestyles are exercised permits some gross abuses to continue. Drugs, alcohol, violence, and various crimes resulting from capacity and the availability of depletive opportunities verses optimal ones is linked to a form of mass violence. Preventing disease and lowering incarceration rates can increase the quality of life. Less opportunity, poorer nutrition, lower education, lower wages, worsening health, and even lower life expectancy or mortality rates can all be combated to counter mass violence, protect expanded equal opportunities, and institute greater harmony. Evidences point to breakdowns in constitutional machinery in the U.S. and growing corruption ( CIA, n.d.) and dependencies on unsustainable industries and widening debt in the U.S. (Mikesell 2014) due many factors. The over emphasis or selection of violence based options versus peace based options can be controlled to some extent by limiting physical capacity to acquire weapons or materials responsible for violence and by educating on peaceful options and skills to resolve conflicts. Since industry is presently designed and reinforced based on products and the service of peace are widely discarded from being vital except in academic and some diplomatic circles, a paradigm shift must occur within government and within cultures in general to promote peace as a powerful mechanism to resolve conflicts in order to save lives. A great number of people must be re-trained and a new market for sustainable enterprises needs reinforced with more capital investments and reformations in policy, in industrial activities, and in societies attitudes. Altogether sustainable approaches that help define healthier notions of success are slowly catching on, but must be sped and more broadly distributed through social strata. Greatly limiting arms, chemicals, and the dissemination of information that leads to the development of such harmful instruments of destruction can help limit access as can stronger laws and controls, but vigorous monitoring and strict intolerance for threats and productions of weapons should be universally promoted, but not contradicted by demonstrations made by our own weapons and defense related programs here in the U.S.
In a perfect world the U.S. would not be the global cop, but perhaps a new world order, one which is quickly emerging as principles that have consolidated wealth profoundly (Shin, 2014 ), can recognize the primitive nature of ornamental governments and simply agree to reorganize not based on national grounds, but on global priorities that keeps the planet maximized for a more prosperous future we can all depend on instead of running towards materializing the fantasies of dooms day rituals discussed in the sacred texts of Judaic religions.
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McEntire, D. A. (2009). Introduction to homeland security. Understanding terrorism with an emergency management perspective. New York: Wiley
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National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the U.S. (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. Retrieved from http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/
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Shin, L. 2014. The 85 Richest People in the World Have as Much Wealth As 2.5 Billion Poorest. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2014/01/23/the-85-richest-people-in-the-world-have-as-much-wealth-as-the-3-5-billion-poorest/ on July 26, 2015.
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