Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by OldRedCap, May 14, 2005.
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I watched and enjoyed The Power of Nightmares and took it for what it was: a polemical piece of agitprop. It wasn't a balanced argument in any way, but I suspect the director didn't intend it to be. I'm so glad I pay my licence fee...where is the right-of-centre publicly funded equivalent on the BBC?
All the liberal left w@nk fantasies are there... a neo-conservative conspiracy (although in reality the neo-cons are as divided as any other ideological faction), the CIA arming the Afghan jihadists in '79, the need for a new enemy after the collapse of the USSR, and so on (yawn). It's Mike Moore on a diet and with bigger words.
Personally, I'm as suspicious of politicians as the next sentient being, but I like to remember "Hanlon's Razor" when confronted with allegations of conspiracy:
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
This laxidazical attitude towards the threat of terrorism is going to lead to britains 9/11 and that's what it will take to wake people up to the threat. I know plenty of people who think we are in no danger, just waiting for the day that they cough up what used to be there lungs after a terorist NBC attack. Then they will realise.
Britain's 9/11 ? A bomb outside Canary Wharf perchance ? Or maybe some incendiary devices in city centre pubs in Birmingham ? Possibly a bomb in a shopping centre in Omagh ? Too late, we've had all these and more. Only the US wasn't involved (well, apart from allowing fund raising to go ahead) so we all kept a sense of proportion.
The purpose of terrorism is to terrorise. What decades of IRA terrorism taught us was to get on and ignore the SOBs while trusting the security apparatus to get it right most of the time. If we go hysterically overboard like the Yanks then the terrorists win.
As for chemical weapons, the quantities needed to kill any appreciable amount of people are far too large to transport around easily. Any such incident would kill far more through panic than the substance itself.
Britains 9/11 will come just the same, if we have spend billions or spend nothing. It's difficult to convince anyone to spend money against a threat they can not see, when all other government departments come cap in hand each day with real people with real needs.
at a conservative extimate we have spent about Â£100M since 9/11 on protective and prevention measures. As a fellow taxpayer, I for one would be interested to hear how much more you think should be spent, what on? and where the money should come from?
The US equivalent of the NAO has just discovered that perhaps they had not been spending as wisely as they could
Overview of Department of Homeland Security Management Challenges
Perhaps we should give some credit to the hard pressed civil servants on Marsham Street for keeping their powder dry. In January a Â£10M Scientific R+D program was announced to meet a spreadsheet of multiple Civil Security requirements.
This will inform OR activity in coming years an may perhaps refelect that UK took a more considered view of TW@T than their US cpounterparts.
The Security Sevice got something like an immediate 50% increase in budget and something like 10% per year more for 3-5 years.
We should take some solace from the fact that the Security Service and Special Branch have been able to continue to detect and deter these people here in the UK, inflicting attrition that puts other countries to shame.
Perhaps this again is a reflection that we have spent more wisely?
We should not overlook the fact that much of the intelligence to inform these operations starts with leads from members of the public, inculding Britains minority communities.
I am not saying that the government are doing an great job here, some of the civil service cuts the chancellor recently announced have even touched some of the departments with Civil Security responsibilities.
Even if we are muddling through, I would suggest that the Civil Service are doing it with more consideration and application than many of our allies.
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