The nature of the globalized world has altered dramatically the traditional perceptions of state, government, society, and security. The maintenance of human security has become a task that is indeed difficult, even more tedious than it was before, as problems evolved to become more complex and broader in scope. Traditional responses to traditional security issues may in fact not attain the same effectiveness and success as it had before, because the domestic and international climate has transformed to be one that is more unpredictable.
The concept of security has become expanded indeed, as there are several challenges that have to be faced by governments and societies; threats to this security emerge from something more profound and overwhelming – terrorism. Although terrorism is an old concept, something that has been present and observable since time immemorial, contemporary terrorism has change the way security is viewed in this new century. This hence serves as a strong justification and rationale for the adoption of new state intelligence stratagems.
The volatile and increasingly complex security situation in the domestic front and in the international community necessitates the actualization of responses that has to innovate from what was before sufficient. Since the identification of the enemy, which are terrorists, and the maintenance of peace and order is becoming a difficult and protracted even un-guaranteed undertaking, it means that the government has to be more vigilant in its fight to ensure the welfare of the nation.
Intelligence operations have to be revitalized so that there would be quicker, more efficient, and more precise prediction and prescription of what is going to happen and what should be done. The success of security operations is always reliant on how much the involved parties know; with the enemy being terrorists, the adversary therefore is a clandestine and unpredictable group, which can only be averted through sophisticated means of gathering information. There are several challenges facing the expansion of intelligence operations in the United States.
One is that intelligence gathering can of course have its opposition from those who would argue that this means of security measure is contradictory to the laws of the state. For instance, wiretapping has been a hot issue, as some would contend that this practice would violate individual freedom to communicate and to freely interact. The counterargument of the government would be that this mechanism can track conversations of terrorists thereby averting any future acts of coercion from these groups and preventing possibly disastrous outcomes.
But of course, there are debates as to whether it is just and fair to sacrifice freedom, which is the most basic value of our democracy, for security. And, opposition groups to this issue are arguing that there are no guarantees or safeguards that individual citizens would be protected from government actions that may invade on privacy. The answer to this remark is that it is necessary to sometimes sacrifice liberty in order to provide an environment and society that is safe from threats and violence.
Another problem of intelligence operation expansion is the sheer scope and size of the problem which would require massive technological, financial, and manpower investments. Keeping track of security would not be an easy and cheap process, as operations would need top technology gadgets and machines; more importantly, it would be vital to have competent manpower and of course budgetary considerations can present problems.
Presently in the country, the government and the military has met criticisms on the amount of the national treasury that is being allotted to the war on terror. Expansion of operations would mean additional funds to support manpower and technological needs; these funds can be impossible especially with a Congress that is growing more hesitant on diverting money to such issues. Also, the intelligence expansion would necessitate passing of laws and legislation that would pass through a tough Congress.
To institutionalize the operations would be especially tedious, as there would be countless debates on the topics of individual human rights, because of the need to include surveillance as important aspect of the policy, and budget, which can be quite arguable in these times of financial pressures hounding the country. The intelligence operation expansion means inter agency cooperation, which can present advantages and disadvantages. The clear advantage of inter agency links would be information sharing and capacity building which can enhance the efficiency of the operations.
It would mean that there would be concerted efforts that can produce more reliable information, as shared capacities would be synthesized to streamline the process. A disadvantage would be accountability system and other problems that would be created by this building of complicated networks, which can lead to tangles in the process. This refers to the bureaucracy approach that may emerge from interagency links, which can prove to be tedious and choking, as there would be many managers dictating the system of operations.
The Executive Power is unavoidable increased in this new security strategy of revitalizing state intelligence, as it would mean that executive agencies would have to make important decisions with regards to security, as they would hold the pertinent information that was gathered. Also, it would mean that intelligence agencies, which is supervised by the Chief Executive – the President, can have the power and authority to gather information through means of wiretapping and scrutinizing private and personal documents.
In order to do this, then the President should be granted the capability to obligate compliance and to order the implementation of these intelligence strategies. It can bypass the actions of the legislature and the judiciary, creating a stronger executive branch. This increase in executive power has met support and criticisms regarding how it is consistent with constitutional provisions. The argument for it is that the executive has the power to intervene in cases of threat to national security and interest, which is the situation that the country is in today.
Also, it is not violative of individual freedom if it would mean that the individual right to live would be promoted through such policies regarding security. Others who are opposed to the method of security operations would argue that the individual right to privacy and property is a very basic human right that can not be overturned by the government. Also, executive power has to be limited, as it is how the state is constructed – to ensure that there is a system of checks and balances through maintaining three co-equal branches of the government.
An increase in executive power would mean a quasi-dictatorship that is against the democratic principles of the constitution. Intelligence operations expansion is on one hand important because it would be a response to a threat that is complex and unpredictable. If the society wants to be protected from terrorism, then strategies that come with intelligence operations have to be allowed to be implemented. On the other have, there are doubts and criticisms in response to this, like how it would impact on individual liberty and on the constitution.
I am for the expansion of intelligence operation, as I think that there are ways to harmonize the need for heightened security operations and the maintenance of constitutional provisions and our democratic-ness. At the end of the day, if human security can be guaranteed by adopting previously unaccepted policies, then it can be acceptable if there can be assurances that there would be proper and responsible government execution. References “Intelligence Rivalries and Civil Liberties”.
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