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sea levels — and nearly one-third of a metre has occurred in the past century — will displace 300 million people worldwide and put half the cultivated land of countries like Bangladesh under salt water. Paradoxically, many countries spend many times more on physical immigration barriers than on funds to help eradicate the migratory causes or to counter the environmental pollution in the first place. Yet, our responses will go on being reactive and behind the curve — not preventive and ahead of the game — as long as we perpetuate parochial thinking, practise barrier tech- niques and pull out band-aid solutions. of giving the resources, the structures and above all the authority to that global institution to get to grips with the problem effectively. Whatever the ultimate level of authority granted or degree of cooperation agreed, any strategic approach demands a more top-down emphasis, with a large degree of acceptance and subordination by those lower down in the pursuit of the greater good. It requires a grand vision and a single plan, designed to meet a common objective with finite resources. Detailed implementation of such a plan may be tailored to circumstances and institutions but only within a common rubric. That plan must have authority and the people overseeing it the teeth with which to bite. The strategic thinking necessary to prevail in the face of these interrelated security challenges needs to be similarly interrelated and much more pluralistic. This begins with ever-closer coopera- tion between law- enforcement and national-security agen- cies. It also requires full cooperation from a range of other govern- mental departments, including the military, acting in concert with business. The attacks in the United States reinforce the call for an integrated approach involving diplomatic, military and economic elements. This holistic approach mirrors the nature and complexity of the problem, and other international security issues are not dissimilar. While coop- eration between organ- isations will pay divi- dends in specific instances, that alone can only achieve so much. This is because of the scale and bureaucracy of the various agencies and institutions involved, their traditions and vested interests. A top-down approach does not mean to say that input from the ground is irrelevant. On the contrary, infor- mation from the grass roots is vital to prevent planning in a vacuum. Yet those on the ground cannot hope to see the bigger picture because of the context in which they operate and may be unaware of more influential fac- tors that are coming into play. Strategy should be a guide to what takes place — and, more importantly, to what is likely to take place. Moreover, as a result of limited resources, part of that guide should be a clear indication of the priori- ties that everyone must follow. Sadly, what often appears in strate- gic plans are straight lines of broad intent, extrapolating current developments with targets of 10, 20 or 30 per cent over the next 5, 10 or 15 years. Those targets are replicated by individuals at lower levels without real understanding of the grand vision. The faces of terrorism: It is no longer possible to separate terrorism from money laundering or organised crime from drug trafficking In attempting to create an effective strategic framework, the question of greater global governance must be addressed. This is not a popular subject in many quarters. Yet the longer politicians fail to address this question, the more powerless they will likely become, the more instabil- ity will result and the more painful the eventual transition will be. While there is naturally great suspicion of any supranational body, especially one that is non-elected, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a global strategy ultimately needs some form of global supervision. This is not the same as global government. In practical terms, it is a case One of the greatest challenges to implementing an effec- tive strategy is to shift focus from short-term crises and annual performance criteria towards longer-term thinking on a higher plane and with a more rounded perspective. Short-term deficits may well have to be accepted in order to gain long-term benefits. While this is hard for share- holders to accept, it is not impossible for governments — even with five-year mandates — to implement. As with

Winter 2001/2002

NATO review


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