British Judge Lord Bringham Warned States Powers Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

British Judge Lord Bringham warned states powers intrude liberty privacy individuals justification fight a "war terror." Using specific cases examples countries studying (United States, Canada Great Britain) discuss extent intrusion rights privacy freedom occurred justified a democracy? This essay 2000 words (7-9 pages) Also sources needed paper.

The issue of national security has been a subject that has kept the headlines of the newspapers especially since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The events in the United States demonstrated that the world, as it was in 2001, was not prepared for a security breach that was unconventional in nature and modus operandi. Since then, the national security strategies have changed dramatically throughout the world. One of the most significant change if not the most significant, took place in the United States that considered itself a true victim of the terrorist phenomenon and decided to prevent further events to ever take place on American soil. From that point onwards, all measures that have been taken to prevent further terrorist attacks have been taken in the name of national security and strategic purposes. In this sense, "September 11, however, jolted Americans into facing the realization that national security involves much more than military strength and manpower" (Special Project National Security, 2005, p1624).

At the same time though, more than a decade later, although the population, and in particular the American one fully understood and accepted the so-called invasion of privacy debate over the right of the government to control whatever it considers of possible interest, from emails to correspondence and increased airport security checks, there are rising concerns regarding the possible abuses that may take place while acting in the spirit of national security protection. These abuses can be made especially by the government and in full cooperation with the other agencies that serve the purpose of protection of strategic interests. There have been numerous cases in which the government was seen as breaching the right to privacy of its citizens and in this sense increased debates over the way in which the government should act to both protect its citizens but at the same time to respect the basic principles of democracy and human rights have been started.

The current research discusses the way in which the government acts in protecting national security and how this affects individuals. It is important to discuss the extent to which this intrusion on rights of privacy and freedom has occurred and if so can it be justified in a democracy. The War on Terror has been a phrase very often used to justify different limitations of liberties, especially concerning travelling from and to the United States. A mere example is the extensive checks that take place in airports since 2001 and special attention is given to visa issuance and to immigrants. The research focuses on several key aspects in order to provide a comprehensive overview of the subject. Firstly, it takes into account the actual magnitude of the terrorist phenomenon in order to fully understand the rational and size of the threat facing democracies around the world. This is not to say that the magnitude of the threat may justify abuses, but rather it gives an overview of the issues being faced. Secondly, certain cases in which abuses have actually taken place in the past are discussed precisely to point out the existence of these abuses and how they fit in a democratic space. Thirdly, the research discusses the reactions of the population in regard to both these abuses and their relation with democracy.

The War on Terror has been a phrase used since 2001 to define the sum of threats that have affected the U.S. And may affect any other democracy. However, given the nature of terrorism which is not a palpable threat, but rather a constant lingering reminder on how threats no longer rest solely on blocks of power as it had been during the Cold War but are rather wrapped in the form of groups with pressure agendas for their respective governments, the measures that need to be taken in order to prevent these groups to affect the citizens of one country or another are as non-conventional as the threats are. At the same time though, it has been argued that the infringement of liberties does not necessarily help avoiding these threats.

The war on terror is asymmetric war, and most importantly a confrontation which may appear in some cases to no avail (Wardlaw, 1989, p 21-2). However, to answer a question related to the efficiency of the strategies underwent by the United States against terrorist groups implies an analysis with at least two focal points.

An important part of the war against terror is related to the practical, actual fight against terrorists on the ground in war zones such as Afghanistan or Iraq, among others. It should be pointed out that the war on terror no longer implies just Iraq or Afghanistan, but also countries which harbor terrorists such as Iran, or Sudan. In the first countries mentioned, the war is fought firstly on the ground, and recent successes in Iraq could suggest a positive outlook for this type of war. In this sense, as stated in all reports since the 2001 start of the war against terror, Al Qaeda has lost numerous important people which reduced in time their capacity to activate and strike. From this point-of-view, the strategy undergone by the United States and its allies can be seen as fruitful. Furthermore, the capturing of Osama bin Laden and hence the elimination of the symbol of terrorism was a crucial win in the war on terror from the point-of-view of the perception and as a moral boost.

For other countries such as Iran and even Sudan, the definition of terrorism is reshaped. It is important to note that terrorism in itself is yet to have a clear and final definition precisely because it can include many shapes and perspectives. In Iran for instance, the presence of Ahmadinedjan has been crucial because it set the outline for the official position of the country in terms of nuclear power. The purpose of the United States however is clearly not that of tolerating leaders that tolerate terrorists. In this sense, "The National Security Strategy prioritizes the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation to violent extremists. Counterterrorism operations have been an obvious priority since September 11, 2001. The United States has a clear interest in deterring terrorism; in order to do that, the national security elements of the federal government must have adequate authority to investigate terrorists and act once they are discovered" (Young, 2011, p26). Iran is essential then due to the potential nuclear power represents for a country which has many enemies and the most important of all being the United States.

The diplomatic aspects should be taken into account in this war on terror because, for instance, Iran poses a threat to the U.S. And its allies (Wilkinson, 2000, p 10). It follows different rules and this disregard for the western rules can also have repercussions on the traditional war on terror fought by the U.S. In Iraq. The lack of efficiency in terms of diplomatic approaches can be considered as a failure by the U.S. In this war on terror.

Finally, countries such as Sudan should be taken into account when discussing the war on terror and its considerations. This is largely due to the fact that failed states such as Sudan represent potential safe havens for terrorists who need to hide or prepare their attacks. However, should special programs and provisions be considered in order to help failed states not to succumb to terrorist pressures, countries such as Sudan would become direct supporters of the war against terrorism and would choose not to harbor them.

The second aspect to be taken into account is that related to the war on terror fought in the hearts and minds of people in Iraq. In this regard, it can be said that the U.S. is making slow but steady progress. Despite withdrawal of troops, the sense is that more needs to be done in order to limit the negative impact of the perceptions people such as the Iraqis have over the U.S. coalition that invaded their country a decade ago. These perceptions affect the way in which even the American population decides to view the war on terror and decides to accept limitations of liberties.

The situation presented above sets in perspective what the war on terror is and how the measures undertaken by the American government abroad have effect or not. This also sets the background for the discussion on abuses and how they are handled by the population and at the same time by the public opinion in general. Overall, the war on terror is being won in the sense that more and more countries adhere to its principles and support the U.S. led approach. At the same time though, the side effects of this practice are beginning to…

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