Intelligence gathering Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:25:56
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The primary objective of intelligence gathering ¦is to deal with future danger, not to punish past crimes. This rings especially true in the world of terrorism. Although you are not seeking to punish past crimes, you cannot discount their usefulness when attempting to understand the future. Information is endless in terms of quantity. There are no limitations to the resources that can create useful and viable information. Perhaps the best source of information is that which comes from human sources. However, in law enforcement the use of undercover officers and informants is limited.

The costs and risks associated with such operations are exponential. Also, many of the terrorist groups and organized hate groups are closed societies and are difficult to infiltrate. To invade Iraq without preparing to deploy immediately and instruct properly the forces necessary to establish order, protect the inhabitants rich cultural legacy, and safeguard the material infrastructure of government and the health system is hardly to evince concern for real people as distinguished from abstract ideas. (Thomas 2003 4).

Nor is а determination not to tally at least the civilian Iraqi dead and maimed, the collateral damage, as it were, of liberation. Nor is leaving Afghanistan in shambles the better to pursue а war of choice and opportunity but hardly necessity in the Middle East, Nor is willed amnesia about the fate of the Central American countries where, in the name of democracy during the Reagan years, neo-conservatives championed war rather than fostering compromise and leveraging the social change that might have given substance to democratic forms.

But all of these acts and omissions are entirely consistent with а cynical power-sharing compromise with the hard proponents of an unadorned chauvinism. And they are consistent as well with а sentiment that administration realists and neo-conservatives appear to possess jointly, which is indifference to what liberal humanitarians deem essential: due regard for the opinion of our old democratic allies and due concern for the lives of the peoples we propose to democratize. (Thomas 2004 11).

Therefore, much of the information gathered comes from traditional sources such as reports, search warrants, anonymous tips, public domain, and records management systems. This information is used to populate various investigative databases. When investigating а crime or developing answers to ongoing patterns, series, or trends, law enforcement personnel often rely upon numerous databases and records management systems. One predictable yet little remarked consequence of the outrages committed in America on 9/11 has been an upsurge of academic interest in the study of terrorism.

The number of US institutes and research centers and think thanks which have now added this subject to their research agendas or, in some cases, have been newly established to specialize in this field has mushroomed. In Britain and other European countries the increase in interest has been more modest: some universities are now beginning to recruit specialists in terrorism studies to teach the subject as part of the curriculum of political science or international relations.

Yet throughout European academia there is still а deep-seated reluctance, if not outright refusal, to recognize that studying terror as а weapon, whether by sub-state groups or regimes, is а legitimate and necessary scholarly activity. Most of the standard British introductory texts on politics and international relations make no reference to the concept of terrorism, or if they do it is only to dismiss it on the grounds that it is simply а pejorative term for guerrilla warfare and freedom fighting. Equally remarkable is the neglect of the use of terror by regimes and their security forces.

The omission of а reference to these phenomena in the introductory texts is all the more startling in view of the fact that throughout history regimes have been responsible for campaigns of mass terror, of а lethality and destructiveness far greater in scale than those waged by sub-state groups. (Mary 2003 25) It takes little imagination to see that the events of September 11 delivered а profound shock to Americas sense of its relationship with the outside world. Commentators inside and outside the United States strove to find words to express their sense of the enormity of the attacks.

The attacks were а wake-up call for Americans. They constituted the end of American innocence, а final blow to Americas privileged position of detachment from the messy and violent conflicts that blighted less favored countries. America had now once and for all entered the real world of international politics, its illusion of invulnerability finally shattered. An important assumption behind these reactions was that Americas stance toward the outside world could and must change as а result of these events.

American isolationism (in so far as it still existed), its tendency to act unilaterally, indeed its famed exceptionalism itself must inevitably give way to an acknowledgment that the United States was just like any other power. What precise policy implications might flow from such recognition was as yet unclear; it was enough that the events of September 11 constituted а turning point in American foreign relations. The world, it was said repeatedly, would never be the same again, and neither would America. Simulation exercises of terrorist situations which have occurred can be extremely useful.

Lessons can be learnt. Response patterns and negotiating positions have to be viewed in the broader context of government policy-making. Problems shown up by simulation can be examined with а view to solution are policy-makers prepared for а potential crisis or not? Communications breakdown, working at cross purposes and the impact of critical disorganization are regular difficulties. Terrorist tactics and strategies change and this can strain the capabilities of the authorities to respond effectively. (John 2004 33-36).

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