needs of business. This is, however, beginning to change with the rapid development of electronic commerce, the need for information security and, since 11 September, the realisation that the impact of failure falls heavily on many economies.
Major businesses can offer a great deal as they operate beyond national boundaries, are relatively good at protect- ing their intellectual property and usually incorporate the latest technologies. They also have resources.Yet they need to be a proper part of a two-way flow of information and the strategic planning process. Automatic demands for information, some of which may be business sensitive, will not encourage participation. A distrust of sharing informa- tion with a law-enforcement community, which believes in the right to prosecute in all circumstances, will again fail to open doors where it matters.
When big business and government come together to discuss matters affecting national security and law and order, there can be a misappreciation of intent, particularly among activist groups. It is therefore important to reveal the full purpose of this relationship and to demonstrate the relevance between the fruits of the strategic exchange for local communities. Ultimately, action against the drug crops in Colombia or the people smugglers in Albania can have a greater effect than more policemen on the streets of provincial towns. It is surely the politicians’ role to argue the case.
In order to meet the growing number of security chal- lenges in the new millennium, a continuation of past poli- cies and old practices will not suffice. The problems are simply too politically intractable, too thematically interre- lated and too economically costly. Good intentions built around closer cooperation and sharing — particularly in the face of a major tragedy — will not be sufficient or sus- tainable over the long term. What is needed is an unre- stricted, comprehensive and transnational strategy that focuses attention beyond the immediate and towards the horizon. Forecasting the future will always be fraught with pitfalls but that is not cause for ignoring discernible trends and developments in a rapidly changing world, any more than trying to adopt isolated policies in the hope that events will pass by.
It is a double tragedy that it has taken the events of 11 September to galvanise world efforts in tackling a problem that is not new but is symptomatic of the dangers of non- state actors on the modern stage and the impotence of nation states to defend themselves adequately. The neces- sary shift in emphasis towards surveillance and stealth and away from tanks and trumpets will have significant impli- cations, and not just for the traditional arms sector. International security has entered a new era.
COMBATING NEW SECURITY THREATS
LE&NS Global Forum
NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson was the keynote speaker at the inaugural, annual Global Forum for Law Enforcement and National Security (LE&NS), which took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, in June 2001. In a pre-recorded video address, Lord Robertson spoke of the increasingly blurred lines between military security and policing and urged both the adoption of innovative approach- es to modern security challenges and increased gov- ernment spending to be able to pay for them.
The LE&NS Global Forum was formed with three aims. These were: to be a vehicle for discus- sion and analysis of key issues affecting security during the next two decades; to act as a bridge between law-enforcement and national-security agencies from around the world in the pursuit of common goals against increasingly transnational threats; and to offer an opportunity for the public and private sectors to share ideas and propose joint solutions for addressing security challenges.
The inaugural LE&NS Global Forum made four key recommendations. These were: to raise aware- ness of modern threats; to highlight relevance of the strategic case; to invest in global institutions; and to develop cooperation, particularly in intelligence sharing, between the public and private sectors. The second LE&NS Global Forum takes place in London in June 2002 on the theme Security Governance to meet New Challenges — Creating Partnerships, Finding Solutions.
For further details, see www.lensforum.com
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