This week’s CTCB State of Play Newsletter No 6 addresses hybrid power arrangements, opportunistic criminal activity in areas of reduced state sovereignty, and societal and police paramilitarisation. Soft power initiatives, diffused social hierarchies, and security voids seem to be contributing to the phenomenon of cultural militarisation and citizen militia formation.
It is interesting to note the sweeping presence of the war metaphor across the Shia, Western (on drugs, on cops, on minorities, on microbes, etc.), and ‘united’ nations of the world. Presentation and perpetuation of a state of war shapes public attitudes and makes normalisation of relations very difficult. This rhetorical tool renders the extra-judicial judicious on the basis of declared existential urgency. Such a process closely mirrors radicalisation into violent extremism, including the granting of approvals by terrorist organisations for their agent’s attacks on civilians. Adoption of the war stance by a state and its security forces may lead to long-term alienation of communities, and reciprocal radicalisation/militarisation.
A switch to hybrid security and neighbourhood, needs-based governance is suggested within the gathered materials. This is potentially the only realistic solution when the government is territorially or dimensionally weak.
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Hot Topics – Counter Terrorism (ctcboard.org)
Given trends in bottom-up, hybrid, and neighbourhood-based security, a rich understanding of human terrain and the ability to seek lasting partnerships with community representatives is critical. High standards in human intelligence (HUMINT) as well as Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) will be necessary for local threat management. The incorporation of a trained and dedicated intelligence analysis team to each threat type and space may be more productive for crime reduction and countering violent extremism than general clamp-downs and deterrence. As international conflict grows increasingly irregular, traditional intelligence analysis may enjoy a return to the fore, paired intimately with soft power institutions and cyber defence capability.