CRBNe Threats: U.S.A. Non-Exempt
By R. Jackson MA Special Major, U.S.A.
Walden University Aug 14, 2015
This article reviews ideas pertaining to counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, violence reduction and strengthening democracy. Some original recommendations to increase safety and amend or create laws are provided as a basis for further deliberations.
The world could be drastically improved simply by sharing higher quality intelligence and improving distribution systems. Conflict detection, threat assessment, and early interventions to counter hate and prevent violence requires a new way of fighting and responding along with continuous improvement goals and periodic performance evaluations and deliberative adjustments based on input output analysis. Since 911-2001 the U.S. has spent over 4 Trillion at war and killed an estimated 225,000 people with as many as 79% being civilians (Griset & Mahan pg. 308). About 7804 soldiers, the bulk being U.S., in addition to the near 3000 killed and injured on 911 bring the staggering loss of life into the picture. With very high suicide rates among veterans of war, and future retaliatory acts from those that lost loved ones in these wars, the toll is likely to climb higher. Many painful lessons have been learned and exploited by opponents. The opportunity to accept responsibility, build greater international cooperation and adapt to face domestic and international threats is presented.
Corruption breeds disease, sorrow, impoverishment unnecessary violence and suffering. This corruption should not be confused with power because it is the anti-thesis of power. Resist corruption or condone destruction. It is your choice. Authority requires maintaining respect, knowledge, dignity and the ability to communicate. Without a commitment to being cooperative towards sustainable goals, authority is corrupt and only has as much force as people are willing to suffer. Power and force are not the same thing. Under this line of reasoning, the less corrupt one is, the more powerful you are- despite rank, despite status, but in consideration of the natural law of harmony. Where this law is not followed disease, unnecessary violence, sorrow, impoverishment and suffering will follow.
The global weapons fetish with chemicals, biological, nuclear, radioactive and explosive devices (CBRNe) is considered a major threat because weapons of mass destruction place the greatest number of people at risk. However, fast approaching natural resource management problems and rising health problems related to the "dirty industries" and all are basic human behavior problems presenting security risks. It is not possible we can use even a fraction of these CBRNe weaponry and survive. Thus, the problem is classified as both behavior and waste related. Waste is identified as a greater threat than terrorists because waste is what terrorists use to render mass violence and whether weapons of mass destruction get used or not, the harm waste does through accidents and insufficient manufacturing and life-cycle /storage practices is enough to warrant further reforms due the large scale risks the weapons present. Fukashima is a recent example of poor planning with the placement of a Nuclear reactor in a known Tsunami risk zone and how a “cultural of obedience” (Kurokawa, 2012) led to gross negligence resulting from incompetency were factors contributing to a major and ongoing widespread nuclear disaster. Since people are generally not very reliable and are error prone and bias driven (Douglas, 2000) (Bogner, 2003) it follows that weapons of mass destruction in anyone’s hands is a substantial risk.
Humanity possesses a huge arsenal and is constantly developing new weapons with mass destruction capabilities. Domestic laws and international treaties have in some instances been helpful in curbing, or slowing weapons development over the years, but those laws and treaties are unreliable for several reasons. For example, we have witnessed good intentions of the clean air/water act, and other treaties only go on to be grossly violated without any real international court or body that has enough objectivity and backing to make a real difference in how people behave. The Syria related gassing (which violated laws made post WWII), regardless of whom is ultimately responsible, is proof laws can’t be relied upon because they can and often are broken and selectively reinforced. If weapons and the knowledge to build weapons are available, we run the risk of seeing their use played out. Thus, the best we can do is containment and eradication combined with maximizing conflict resolution and or conflict management.
Emergency management is grossly under-prepared regarding responding to weapons of mass destruction (WMD) despite good intentions at Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The existence of nuclear power plants is threatening due to opportunities for accidents or deliberate attacks. Reductions and eventual elimination of nuclear power is therefore strongly recommended. Presently there are 437 plants in 30 countries 104 in the U.S. Theft, transporting, and black-markets present huge concerns regarding WMD (Levy and Sidel 2012 pg157-163) as does cyber warfare which has skyrocketed in the last few years.
Mass public opinion voices and pressures of the people have historically been catalyst of change and limit the extent power is exercised abroad. For example, it was the people that influenced the U.S. to end the Vietnam War and influenced the U.S. leadership not to conduct more extensive ground wars in the Middle East. However, large numbers of the public are under-educated and are increasingly taking up arms all over the world. Economies are propped up largely by polluting industries (classified as "dirty") with corruption problems and evidently violent populaces are hurrying towards consumerism on the stage of globalization. With rapidly shrinking biomass (Kaufman & Franz, 1996 pg.247), which is helpful if processing carbon dioxide gasses made by humans and other depletion related observations (such as droughts and loss of species) combined with concerns over dramatic increases in human populations- the conclusion that we live in a world in crises is no longer just an alarmist point of view, but a practical call to duty in the escalating fight for survival.
The cultural wars that dominate history (McEntire, 2009 Pg.50) dramatically changed as technology was introduced. Human behavior and conflicts are no longer limited to people hurting people, but have crossed into engaging chain reactions scientifically speaking. Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of Physicians for social responsibility and others observe, even if the materials are not detonated or used the damages are mounting (Caldicott,1994) and demonstrated by a host of environmental diseases and cancers. Dr. Helen Caldicott spoke at the State of the World forum in SF on the tendency of people to deny the state of the world because they are not equipped to process horrible news of their species pending demise due to the shattering of DNA which is ongoing due to tampering with the atom. Dr. Caldicott deduced denial is a basic mental defense mechanisms, which for some, prevents accepting the facts and offers refuge to hide behind. She characterized a global threat resulting from Nuclear technology alone as being pre-eminent to all other social issues faced because unless we address this problem, there will not be anything else left to fight for. Thus, the management of toxins are generally regarded as the primary domestic and international policy gap which would influence many other post development of arms rules and regulations. A simple shift in the values from non-renewables to renewables is in fact changing the landscape socially and economically, but far more can and should be done to accelerate the positive steps to ensure a brighter future.
Terrorism is the utilization of violent force to achieve objectives- a means to an end. The executors often reportedly derive pleasure, seek attention, manipulate through fear and this is unfortunately often reinforced by people that get involved in the conflicts and benefit from it in some way, usually monetarily though jobs, arms sales and other trades such as redevelopment. McEntire (2009 pg. 93) asserted in part that using violence to fight violence can’t always be supported with evidence as leading to actual resolutions or increases in peace, especially when ideological disagreements are at play. “In most cases it [violence] has only brought more problems to those seeking a better way of life. Terrorism creates a vicious cycle of violence (Combs, 2000 pg24).” However, the cycle of violence can be interrupted based on how responses to threats of violence or violence are managed.
Counter-terrorism methods have adapted since 911, but are still in relative vacuums depending on administrations and the training and tools available to the workforce. The ethno-centricities and cultural nuances within the U.S. Government driving international actions are clearly in need of further examination and more comprehensive reforms to improve results for better internal and external policies. Making progress against professed and identified enemies requires constant upgrades in skills and methods applied, which should not be delayed, especially since some failed methods have had the counter effect of producing more enemies, and opponents- not less. It is important to consider the interests of any opponent to U.S. interests and to review significant internal conflicts within the U.S., to listen to the sentiments of the U.S. populace and opinions of the international community to reduce threats to the future of the U.S. A brief survey of the responses since 911 shows a learning curve where some mistakes made by the U.S. government and local police are repeated and internal threats and voices have surfaced demanding reforms. To govern well those demands must be treated and responded to.
McEntire (2009 pg. 47) suggests the greater political cultures reflect the preferences of citizens the less terrorism there will be. Recommendation: improve feedback mechanism and functions to improve surveys of needs to better determine who gets what through creation and adjustments to laws. McEntire (2009 pg.45) on Lozada quoting Alberto Abadio, “much of modern day terrorism seems to generate from grievances against the rich countries.” However, so far much larger losses of life occur in developing countries among those contending over control- often in regions where the U.S. has little to no interest other than humanitarian aide and in fairness there are real limits to the policing the U.S can and should perform.
Recommendations to Speed Conflict Resolution:
Intelligence Gathering: Meta data can help identify conflicts. Conflict analysis and deliberations to develop solutions to dissipate or end conflicts before violence erupts is critical.
Performance Analysis: Solutions should be assessed for impacts and then tested once selections are made based on overall objectives when time allows to select best most effective options.
Universal Best Practices: Better physical safeguards and improvements to Emergency Management, which is grossly lacking could make a difference in the event of mass attacks.
Joint missions: Where possible aiding local authorities or joint missions through the U.N. or NATO is preferred because it helps to diminish the interventionist complaints and may lead to great trust internationally.
Mass Education: Promoting skepticism and critical thinking combats terrorism traits which tend to exhibit rigid inflexible thinking patterns that judge things in simple good or bad – right or wrong terms.
Knowing the Environment: Intervening to address social grievances to lower dissonance may lower risks for retaliatory attacks. Allow opponents forums to present grievances and issue genuine replies to resolve the problems to prevent war. End the non-negotiation stance.
Slutkin recently conducted a study (2013) showing very interesting results which expressed violence acts like a disease and spreads in regions it is evident making this a breakthrough for scientists and first responders because violence is more easily predictable. Meta-data research will give us more objective pictures of the trends and dramatically broadens the ability to gather intelligence as well- to reduce bias in studies and broaden sources while increasing the range of observation and time periods studied. If we can follow conflict, we can know where violence may ultimately be heading. Thus, violence is becoming easier to detect and should therefore be easier to intervene at earlier conflict stages. Using violence to condemn or halt violence is like using wood to fight fire. Instead we need to learn to prevent and contain and treat violence like a disease which it is.
Recommendations to reduce Violence: Cut off aid and resources that support violence including implementing weapons sales bans. Flood regions of conflict with positive competitive option and incentives which include nonviolent resolution processes. Make the peacebuilding processes public versus closed door sessions where and when possible. Implement national and international non-violence programs at every chance. Eliminate the use of Depleted Uranium munitions and ban their use entirely along with other classes of munitions. Create strong penalty systems for companies that make and sell information or war related goods and halt exemptions and licensures entirely- including spy wear. Where gains can’t be made with destruction of existing weapons, doubling efforts to halt production should be vital priority, especially biological weapons. The theory is the less materials there are the less probability for errors and their use. Strong incentive programs for enforcement of non-proliferation and strong disincentives must be developed. For example NPR (2015) reports China is modernizing it’s nuclear program and raised the important question of whether that could spark a new arms race.
Making Institutional Changes
Riverstone-Newell (2013) skillfully observes methods to drive power from bottom up using the local courts as venues to lobby local changes and education on strategies that help invoke local bill of rights resolutions that often get elevated to the states from that point.
Recommendations to reform governments: Build local and international coalitions to have a mass movement of people pressuring local governments to reform from the bottom up. To among other things develop and pass laws around these concepts;
Common Good Act (future legislation)
Establishing limits to greed and dominance by implementing fairer economics such as equitable taxation codes and higher hourly wages, revise labor codes to define full-time as 32 hours instead of 35 work hours per week to improve quality of life and provide more available jobs in the marketplace, limit debt lines and obligations and lower interest rates allowable on debt. Combat modern forms of slavery. Integrate useful social relation standards / concepts from Principles of Equality located at specialagenttraining.cfsites.org
Proposed stronger limits to violence. Impose stiffer penalties for violent offences. Revise several patriate act provisions as recommended by Jackson in his Ready or Not 2015 paper and immediately declare the war on terrorism over as the war was formerly first established to be limited to pursuit of 911 perpetrators. This will immediately restore liberties and free up resources which can be applied to address other risks presently faced.
Revise limits to preventable suffering rules around how the world must respond to famines and disasters and list specific activities private industry can and cannot be engaged in which causes human suffering such as arms development and manufacturing. This will create a more universal definition to the term toxin and govern how waste goods are managed internationally.
Introduce limits to ignorance, waste, hoarding and inaction and link to concepts contained in an earlier Ethics Panel proposal available at specialagenttraining.cfsites.org
Limits to power and forces/ weapons for state and non-state actors.
Revisit Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty from which U.S. withdrew 2001.
Revisit International Criminal Court from which U.S. did not join.
Consolidate varies treaties such as Partial Test Ban- expand to disallow computer simulations, Nonproliferation Treaty- a total ban on WMD would eliminate the guise of domestic power use and enter the international community on the same playing field. Solar, wind, various renewable oils, and geo-thermal power will replace energy needs albeit some medical uses need to be carefully examined. Options to not participate in treaties must be removed and an enforcement power determined. Meet monthly versus every 5 years. WMD armaments needs to be eliminated entirely. Expecting opponents to agree and expecting them to willingly abide by rules is naïve. Thus deliberations around disarming must be ongoing. Reinforce the Nuclear Weapons Convention. The Start treaty requires reductions to nuclear weapons between U.S. and Russia, but one missile deployed by one or the other would start a huge chain reaction. The treaty alloys 1,550 nuclear warheads each country (Levy and Sidel, 2012 pg162). This number is still far more than would be needed to kill everyone on the planet along with most life according to many scientists, thus from a preservation and threat assessment approach it still impractical to permit. The fissile materials as of 2010 were 3,900 tons enough for 350,000 nuclear weapons (Levy and Sidel, 2012 pg163). Elimination of Nuclear Power will eliminate the waste problem and the larger problems of monitoring which because very risky as we move into the future because more and more nations want nuclear power.
Proposed System Error Protection Rights (Anti-Fraud)
Based on repeated scandals that rock the economy in estimated 10 year cycles as markets ebb and flow, tougher rules are needed to limit the extent people can exploit or be adversely impacted by those errors made in systems. The error protection/ anti exploitation clauses worked into the constitutions would provide limited protections which could include a fixed rate of exploitation and notification requirements so that those whom were first to benefit from exploiting errors can only do so for a limited time and fixed amounts and only if they notify the point of authority so that a remedy may be designed. This incentive encourages people not to be silent and to not expect to do things like break the bank of England, which was accomplished successfully by George Soros in his famous and legal penny Stock trading event. Under this system the mortgage crisis, and countless scandals would not have been allowed to take place, which unfairly tend to hit middle and lower classes. This insurance for investors program is a step further than present securities laws and consumer protection rules permit because at the opposite end new rules should also limit the differential treatment extended to persons and corporations, remove exemptions to businesses and government, and place caps and requirements on wealth in a variety of ways.
Keeping Democracy Healthy
A system that allows voters or special interests demands to prevail, which in politics is understandable, is not always the right decision. Sometimes business or the masses get it wrong and the hallmark of a leader, is to exercise leadership, which at times means redirecting the herd if they are heading in the wrong direction. This final point, concerning very real limitations in politics is not easily resolvable. A majority rule system that does not account for minority voices can be vulnerable to major social tensions, which may at times be violently expressed. Many nations work out representational democracies and keep the peace by balancing power between various parties within single districts. Changes to Robert Rules of Order, to allow for more representation than a mere majority rules system, which I argued over 20 years ago, remains a consideration to minimize conflicts and better demonstrate democracy if ever practiced. Furthermore, as the world increasingly becomes unified in the process of globalization, devising appropriate ways to account for inputs into political processes that help us increase credibility and demonstrate respect for the dignity of those that may differ from us is critical to stability, insofar as it may be reached given complex interdependencies.
Bogner, M. (2003) p.9. Error is behavior, A.P.A. Washington D.C:
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Caldicott, H. (1994). Nuclear madness. New York: Norton.
Douglas, N. (2000). Enemies of Critical thinking: lessons from social psychology research.
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Griset, P. & Mahan S. (2013) Terrorism in Perspective 3rd ed. Los Angeles: Sage
Kurokawa, K. 2012. Fukashima in a Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Nation Diet of Japan: Japan.
McEntire, D. A. (2009). Introduction to homeland security: Understanding terrorism with an emergency Management perspective. New York: Wiley.
Riverstone-Newell, L. (2013). The diffusion of local bill of rights resolutions to the states. State and local government review 45 (1) 14-24. Sage. DOI :10.1177/0160323x12473123 downloaded at Walden University Feb 6, 2015.
Slutkin, G. 2013. Violence as a Contagious Disease. Retrieved 07/19/2015 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207245/