The effort of US in collaborating with foreign governments and its people, in gathering of information that is with substantial and critical importance in governmental matters, is outlined in the National Security Strategy of 2006. In the enactment of the National Security Act on March 6th 2006, President Bush in his speech has affirmed that “the national security strategy is founded upon two pillars: as the first pillar is promoting freedom, justice and human dignity– working to end tyranny to promote effective democracies and to extend prosperity through free and fair trade and wise development policies.
The second pillar of our strategy is confronting the challenges of our time by leading a growing community of democracies. Many of the problems we face– from the threat of pandemic disease, to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to terrorism, to human trafficking, to natural disasters– reach across boarders”.
Summarily, the US National Security Act of 2006 adheres to collaborate with people of the world and governments to ventilate the call of action to achieve strategic political-economic programs, modernizing police-military operations, and promotions of religious and socio-cultural consciousness focus on combating the ills of society and the continuing threat to human security particularly on terrorism.
The US, in the aftermath of 9/11 attack, has closed its door from further vulnerability of enemy attack. While closing its door, it opened windows of realities that the ability to show dominance can also be likened to a lightning strike— as the terrorist launched the attack. At a glance, learning and recovering, the 9/11 incident assessed the condition on the flaw of intelligence on presumptive treachery.
Somehow the tragedy bring forth the opportunity to renewing and redirecting a foreign policy to impart as a global agenda to the United Nations to insatiably work together for a world order. Accordingly, “the 9/11 attacks forced UN member states to realize that they must cooperate over security issues that were once considered the exclusive domain of individual nation-states-since a breach of security in one state poses an increased risk to all.
In the years after the Cold War, the US had filled the security vacuum as the guarantor of world security, but al-Qaeda represents a new threat, which, as Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy, argues in his new book, Illicit, takes advantage of the advances in technology, communications, and liberalization during the 1990s, a development that requires more than one strong arm to protect many weak states. These transnational threats often call for cooperation between states that may lack a history of bilateral negotiations and have seemingly dissimilar foreign interests.
In this respect, the UN is well-suited to filling in the gaps…” (The UN's War on Terrorism, Melanie Colburn, November 21, 2005). The United Nations’ member states, majority of European and South East Asian countries, were moved and acted as a catalyst to the global agenda of US in positioning a converging point or benchmark multilateral cooperation on economic, political and enforcement of intensive anti-terrorism policies. In the Philippines, a broadened yet onerous implementation of the recently enacted Human Security Act of 2006, the provisions on anti-terrorism has phased in to a degree of disparity of enforcement.
As the war on terrorism heighten in the Southern Philippines’ communities in Mindanao region, incidence of alleged human rights violations impede exhaustive enforcement. The Philippines’ Human Rights Commission express its doubts to fine tune the treatment or interpretation of provisions on Philippines’ Human Security Act of 2006. In which specifications of the so-called terrorist acts are further studied on aspects of jurisprudence, combat engagement, extent of damage to life and property, as the existing Philippine criminal court procedures and penology may redundantly applies.
In the general terms and understanding of acquiring and processing of threat to human security and the interest of the state for a sound, prosperous and progressive political and economic well being, common crimes differ from a country at war with foreign enemies that covertly inflict hostility and chaos. The Muslim secessionists in the Philippines are utilized by foreign aggressors. In perception after the fact, the adversity of counter-terrorism does not negate human error on enforcement but fracture of opportunity to evaluate the value and impact of combat to the enemy at sight.
In which case, the area of intelligence cooperation does not only consider the fire power and clear presence of enemy but the geopolitics or political-economic base. With these premise, “the Intelligence Cycle is the process by which information is acquired, converted into intelligence, and made available to policymakers. Information is raw data from any source, data that may be fragmentary, contradictory, unreliable, ambiguous, deceptive, or wrong. Intelligence is information that has been collected, integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted.
Finished intelligence is the final product of the Intelligence Cycle ready to be delivered to the policymaker…” (A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and The World Factbook, CIA). It supports the situation that, whatever is happening to a particular country that is supportive to or collaborating with the US foreign policy on counter-terrorism, the result of acquired classified information have undergone intellectual prognosis and enacted by legislation of government entities.
Arranging Barriers, Expanding Sharing The resources entail and diplomatic ties are critical parameters in ensuring the gathering of information which the intelligence agencies all over the world rely on. Another crucial consideration is the prevalence of corruption in governments that amass the defense budget which hampers military and police operations as well as inferior qualities of information. In this regard, the intelligence communities are burdened in keeping abreast of the development.
A component of burden in a troubled exchange of information can bring domestic hostility in which the hostile forces can be the alternative source of vital information at expensive cost. The little wars become commercial avenue to gathering information and risk integration or tagged as espionage. The risk in engaging the clandestine operation, in order to collect vital information, from a country divided by its domestic or civil war was a rectifying experience of CIA operation in Middle East during the Iran-Iraq War, the Contras Deal in Nicaragua, Southern and Northern Korea, Northern and Southern Vietnam, Philippines, to name a few.
The Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) of the US campaign in the 1980’s and mid-1990 were viewed by political and economic analysts as the gross and expensive covert operation of the CIA in half of the world. However, the turn of the last decade of 20th century and until the 21st century, the hole in the CIA organization passed through a general surgery. And, yet another challenge of time passed by the American intelligence community in the 9/11 tragedy of terror.
Arranging the barriers meant to re-assess, realize, recap the archive of historical missions of CIA and the American intelligence’ forces in general. The third world countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Middle East were the silent whisperer of world order but somehow caught between shrinking worlds of competing superpower nations. The barrier itself explains the clandestine operations of CIA—the way information was being processed as classified or declassified. The more secret that was, the more skeleton in Pandora’s Box. The skeletons in the closet of the CIA were remnants of the hiding.
The tombstones of defeated heroes in World Wars I and II, the failure of aborted missions from the expense of American people have long been exhumed in CIA catacombs and vault of horror. Finally, like rampage and opening of the iron wall in East Berlin to rendezvous with West, the rectification of human error from the organic and inorganic CIA personnel, from its electronic reading room to target mission zones, the CIA has recouped into certainty and openness to arrange the barriers and expand sharing of information to the rest of the world.
So as to say, “no one ever claimed that maintaining American principles was easy or even efficient. Churchill's bon mot comes to mind. But awkwardness and difficulty do not constitute a logical argument for changing the CIA's current public commitment to legitimate and reasonable openness. Openness flows from the nature of our democratic republic. Moreover, the fact is that declassification review of large amounts of highly sensitive intelligence information has been and is being done.
Where there's a will, there's a way. Secrecy should not be a habit, but a matter of principle, practicality, and plain old common sense”… (Arguing for Accountability: Openness in the CIA, Warren F. Kimball). Expanding sharing of information of the CIA has brought about confidence to the inquisitive people of the world and both emerging nations. The redirection of US foreign policy in economic and political spectrum, and even military sanctions or treaties is wrapped into new packaging.
The modernization in sharing of information or exchange in intelligence are greatly recognized and responded. New commitments in diplomatic ties, foreign relations and international confidence are drawn back. Unleash the Burden The US effort to crossing border is to knowing more of transnational issues and concern, as the challenges of 21st century surpass the development of societies through substantive progress of people in winning democracies, government reforms and empowerment, political and economic stabilization, crackdown on monopolies of free market and trade.
In today’s revolutionized advancement of information technology, electronic or micro-electronic equipment, the burden sharing and exchange of information departed the adverse condition of sourcing from unspecified and unfamiliar territories. The open source method to interpret, analyze and execute intelligence missions is no longer minimal in coverage and deployment. The people in communities and people in government have the ready and accessible macro-communication facilities to keep abreast in the global development.
Every government that is a member of the United Nations and emerging political economies has known the true enemies of democracy, security and peace. The extraordinary awareness of people in every nation understands that the woes and chaos brought about by religious cult, plunderer, secessionist and extremist are but a human suffering to survive a rotten economic base and ideologies of the dark ages. Expanding collaboration and global alliances to counteract the frailty and human suffering is every man’s struggle. The fight for poverty, famine as a result of war, terrorism brought about by identity crisis and ideologies, is a protracted war.
The capabilities of moving forward and persevered phase are to unleash the burden of distrust, anxiety, disobedience and leniency to uncertain realities. The technologies of the new age harness the natural abilities of people to safeguard their strategic gains from narrow to wide victories, restoring democracy from dogmatic tyranny, cultivation of economies and hold on strong political will. Confronting Challenges, Maintaining Collaboration The US is confronted with challenges after its cold war with the Soviet Union and recuperating from the 9/11 tragedy.
The US intelligence agenda of maintaining global collaboration might have been behind schedule. The war in Iraq might have had beaten the tardiness. Now, laying down the pact to the member states of the United Nations engulf the pressures from third world countries that needs the resources and financial aids in order to effectively collaborate in the most expensive war against terrorism. Citing suspected terrorist groups from Middle East and Europe dispersed to South East Asia, being cuddled by local Muslim secessionists, the Asians becomes the vulnerable targets being an ally and bearer of US foreign policy.
The US 2020 Project, under its Globalization Program on Year 2020, focus at uplifting the Asian economies envisions spurring economic and political liberalizations. “By having the fastest-growing consumer markets, more firms becoming world-class multinationals and greater S&T stature, Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues”. (National Intelligence Council's Report, US 2020 Project).
The civic-military programs and defense treaties between US and Asia enhances the US troops’ Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The VFA is a joint military procedural war exercise to upgrade combat and weaponry capabilities, in which added to that is to familiarize geopolitics within war zones of allied countries engaging in civil strife. Like in the Philippines, that has adverse enemies of the state from local communist banditry of the New People’s Army (NPA) to the Muslim ideologist of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Muslim secessionist, indeed needs the VFA.
Any other government from the third world, likewise a UN member, outlives the stance of strong ties with US. Parallel to that is to benefit from the US resources. In return is taking the risk and vulnerability from attacks of US’ enemies. At hindsight, the psychological and sociological impact to maintaining collaboration between US and other countries, and vice versa, is to isolate and identify the enemies of allied states, which are initially the terrorists.
In the overall economic and political spectrum, confronting the challenges to maintain collaboration is the pursuit of acquiring intelligence workable to ensure development of societies, good governance and world order. Thus, the intelligence cooperation can defeat the challenges and barriers between power competitions, burdens of hostilities, towards ultimate work for a nation that survived freedom and democracies from dogmatic exploits.
References History of the CIA, A World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Posted: 2007-04-15 12:04; Excerpt from speech, Pres. George W. Bush, National Security Act, March 6th 2006;