Terrorist attacks (and how to stop them)
As far as terrorist attacks in non-conflict areas, Europe, USA, Far East etc, are concerned we need to become better at prevention. Again easy to say, but in this case much easier to put into practice. It amazes me how many times after an attack the police are able to immediately identify a number of suspects – people who are on their ‘watch lists’ i.e. are already in the country and have been identified as potential terrorists. Let’s do much more to prevent these people moving from suspect to perpetrator. How? Stronger surveillance. This needs more police, but that’s OK because it helps to solve the unemployment problem. I can already hear the cries of ‘interference with civil liberties’. But if that’s the price for reducing the risk of being blown up, I’m ready to pay. The only people who really have a problem with it are the potential terrorists, and they gave up their civil liberties when they chose their career path.
The problem of preventing terrorists travelling into a country is in some ways easier, but probably would be regarded, initially at least, by most people as inconvenient and a pain in the a***. I’d expect more outrage than the dreaded loss of civil liberties (which says something about how we really feel about civil liberties?). Everyone who wants to travel from one country to another, even if the countries have an ‘open borders agreement’, would need a passport AND ‘I’m not a terrorist’ certificate. How would this be obtained? By a detailed examination of the person’s background and activities. This certificate would have to be renewed: every three years? Sound like a lot of work? Yes, but another solution to the unemployment problem. Would this eliminate terrorism completely? NO, but it would go a long way towards doing so. How can I possibly be so confident? Because, and this is the beauty of the system, the onus is on everyone to prove they’re not a terrorist, no longer on the security services to find out who is a potential terrorist.