1. Choose an important security threat for a country of your choice. Is this threat best considered as a national security or a human security issue, and why? Given this decision, how should this security threat be best dealt with (taking into account known problems/ shortcomings)?
2. Knowing you are just finishing a Masters course subject in Strategy and Security in the 21st Century, a national newspaper has asked you to write an opinion-piece (op-ed) on an important security issue.
Nature of Terrorist Threats in Australia
1. Terrorists threat Australia: Australia is often referred to as the Commonwealth of Australia includes Australian mainland along with islands of Tasmania and other surrounding islands (Coaffee, 2008). It comprises the largest country in the Oceania and is the sixth largest country in the world according to its area. Australia’s security environment is quite protected and the government takes active role in the same. However, the country experiences probable threats from terrorism that has become a global challenge. There are various intelligent sources of information gathered and assessed, that indicates that there is immense scope to conduct terrorism activities in Australia by individuals or by group. General population in Australia have been warned and they are made aware to raise issue with National Security Hotline in case of any suspicion (Spalek, 2007). International terrorists groups have been applying extremists ideologies for motivation of lone or small actors for causing violence in their home countries. Terrorism groups overseas are constantly motivating and inspiring small groups to assume action and cause an incidence or plots and attacks which can be termed as terrorism incidence similar to those in Europe and USA.
Terrorists threats have risen sharply since September of 2014 where four terrorists attacks and 12 terrorists plots have been seen across the country. Mostly external terrorism influences has impacted terrorists small groups and lone actors causing threats to life and security across multiple world countries (Bellamy, 2007). Attacks till date has not remained confined to Sydney or Melbourne, rather there has been wide spread plots targeting other major cities as well. Violent ideologies of Sunni Islamist terrorists groups that has been seen across Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaida have been since ages provoking small groups in Australia. This has become one of the most critical threats that is acting in Australia, for which security agencies and intelligence needs to be constantly aware.
National and human security issue: Terrorism groups overseas and other small Islamists groups in the country are making relevant use of the internet in order to propaganda audiences. They primarily target people who are susceptible to radicalism as it is easier to lure them and such groups continues to grow (Dunn, 2007). There are multiple number of such groups that celebrates terrorism activities showcasing tactics and methods that has been used. Such kind of activities remains a national and human security threat for people of Australia. Especially in Australia such groups target smaller masses of people and operate in small group in great agility. Terrorists attacks are constantly aimed against governments and authorities as military, police and security agencies. In cases of other attacks terrorists groups target crowds or congress aiming to cause death or injury to individuals (Mythen, 2008). This causes fear amongst individuals and to public at large, hence such attacks are designed to meet objectives of creating disruptive events. Terrorism in Australia often conduct attacks in small groups or against multiple targets. Weapons and tactics involved causing such disruptions include low costs weapons, explosives or firearms. While terrorists might possess simplistic weapons such as knives, vehicles, matches for conducting lethal attacks. They often conduct attacks using homemade explosives form easily available materials that are sourced from legal and illicit methods (McCulloch, 2009).
National and Human Security Issue
Any event conducted to threat or cause fear or disrupt lives of individuals or cause harm to society is an act of threat to National as well as Human Security. Government in Australia is working in a coordinated manner with closed communities to be able to understand scopes of such attacks. The Government has taken active steps for the prevention of terrorism and combat the same from propaganda online. There has been several deaths that have occurred from such terrorism activities hence they act as a National threat where Governmental intervention is necessary (McDonald, 2008). Human security is the foremost duty and obligation of the Government and any act that takes away the same needs to be condemned. Thus, loss of immense number of lives in recent times in Australia have led to severe consequences so is a matter of human security.
Ways to deal with such terrorists threat Problems/Shortcomings: Government in Australia are taking advance steps and mechanism to prevent any act of terrorism (Burke, 2008). There are several programs conducted for early detection of any signs or symbols associated with the act of terrorism. As terrorism in Australia is primarily conducted through small or lone groups the primary challenge is to diagnose and detect such attacks. The Government has adopted a series of measures aimed at curbing of terrorists attacks by prevention of broadcasts of Islamists propaganda (Bush, 2009). Early intervention programs are being designed such that any act to promote terrorism can be detected using automated software for analyzing key words. Federal, state and territorial authorities have integrated cooperative arrangements for adopting appropriate security measures. The Government has indicated police and security agencies to function with critical infrastructure owners along with operators. Government is also indicating security measures amongst civilians by making them aware regarding any possible acts of terrorism that they might recognize around them (Cameron, 2013). Along with the Government, individuals needs to be aware regarding any possible act of terrorism that they might see around them. Government has also set a National Security Hotline number for reporting any kind of possible security threat that individuals might see around them. There are several local advisory agencies as well set up across the country for reporting any kind of security threats.
Apart from Government taking security related precautions individuals and social communities needs to also act on threats (Chalk, 2008). There are various numerous problems or shortcomings in order to handle security threats in Australia, primary being internet. With rise and advent of internet technologies and its widespread usage, people have wide access to the same. Through internet and videos locals, communities and groups can easily be motivated to act on terrorism. Such access to internet has acted as a most crucial source in propagating terrorism. Second aspect that has hindered Governmental expectations regards to preventable acts is, current trends reflects lone acts of terrorism or in small groups which are difficult to detect. Terrorists often do not carry any considerable attackable weapons that can easily be recognized, hence from a crowd it almost becomes impossible to detect a terrorists. Thirdly, terrorists often prepare explosives by themselves or make weapons to harm or injure individuals or groups. As such explosives or weapons are sourced from illicit methods it becomes impossible to diagnose them easily leading to further acts of terrorism. Though the Government is working in close cooperation however they are still facing immense amounts of challenges for overcoming any act of terrorism.
Dealing with Terrorist Threats in Australia
2. Strategy and Security in the 21st Century is critical for any country for its development and integration (Alagappa, 2009). Security acts as a threat for any nation, potential threats from non-state actors not only poses national security threat, it also disrupts traditional state sovereignty and authority. Every country’s national security is constantly adapting to anticipate and adapt to new challenges. Large plethora of sophisticated technology presents terrorists groups with immense opportunities. This enhances risks of people lives as cyber security has posed a new threat. Foreign policy and framework needs to be designed to meet national security approach (Yarger, 2008). Various countries globally are acting on terrorism and security threats that have amounted to a large amount of their expense. Especially in the 21st century, rise of Islamists militant groups and their rising power globally have posed considerable threat. Radical Islamists groups aim to propagate and raise such activities amongst Islamists worldwide. They provide sophisticated trainings, methodologies, techniques and newer tactics of attacks. They share training sessions online and prepare youths for revolting against Government, authorities and sometimes against other communities as well (Dillon, 2008).
Prosperous countries across the world as those in Europe and USA are facing challenges from such security and terrorism threats. In Australia, there has been a series of threats, which have risen in recent times. These attacks have targeted often large masses of people and smaller groups as well. This has created large amounts of fear and panic amongst people, who are now avert to resort to large gatherings during any occasions (Conway, 2008). Government has intervened and has adopted a large number of steps in order to curb such attacks and diagnose any terrorist groups. Government along with other state Federal bodies is adopting varied strategies to deal with increasing number of such challenges. Strategies for dealing with attacks of 21st century have been varied and incorporate a large number of tactics. As terrorists groups are designing number of new methods, federal agencies and intelligence are also designing tactics for analyzing such attacks beforehand (Drucker, 2007). Such strategies are designed using sophisticated methods and mechanisms such that any personnel aiming to conduct any such activities can easily be detected. Still terrorists manage to conduct attacks using vehicles, small guns, knives and other smaller weaponry. Government needs to conduct training sessions for changing views and thought processes of such individuals rather than adopting any other mechanisms. Rather than developing conspiring tactics, there should be more of intermittent methods that involves Islam individuals (Organization., 2007). Globally there has been an upsurge in point of view of such Islamists groups for various reasons. This leads to a number of challenges amongst various countries, who are facing war like situation due to such upsurge. In many countries terrorism has become a daily affair with rise in global deaths. Increasing deaths from terrorism in the 21st century has a long-term trend which has risen to 40,650 in recent times. Global Terrorism Index claims that almost 52% of total world deaths from terrorism is by ISIL group. Widespread terrorism activity in various countries along with lone wolf attacks have claimed over 71% deaths in countries globally. Economic costs associated with terrorism have also considerably risen amounting to a global figure of USD41.69 billion (Nolan, 2010). The world remains affected by far from such terrorism activities hence, they need to adopt a consensus mechanism and tactics to deal with complex terrorism challenges. This will not only help to overcome the problems and shortcomings associated with terrorism but also undertake a more progressive step towards the same.
Alagappa, M. 2009. The long shadow: nuclear weapons and security in 21st century Asia. NUS Press.
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Burke, A. 2008. Fear of security: Australia's invasion anxiety. . Cambridge University Press.
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Cameron, R. 2013. Introduction. In Subjects of Security . Palgrave Macmillan UK., 1-12.
Chalk, P. 2008. The maritime dimension of international security: terrorism, piracy, and challenges for the United States (Vol. 697). Rand Corporation.
Coaffee, J. &. 2008. Rebordering the city for new security challenges: from counter-terrorism to community resilience. . Space and Polity, 101-118.
Conway, J. T. 2008. A cooperative strategy for 21st century seapower. Naval War College Review, 6.
Dillon, M. &.-G. 2008. Biopolitics of security in the 21st century: an introduction. Review of International Studies, 265-292.
Drucker, P. F. 2007. Management challenges for the 21st century. . Routledge.
Dunn, K. M. 2007. Contemporary racism and Islamaphobia in Australia: Racializing religion. Ethnicities, 564-589.
McCulloch, J. &. 2009. Pre-Crime and Counter-TerrorismImagining Future Crime in the ‘War on Terror’. The British Journal of Criminology, 628-645.
McDonald, M. 2008. Securitization and the Construction of Security. . European journal of international relations, 563-587.
Mythen, G. &. 2008. Terrorism, risk and international security: The perils of asking'what if?'. Security Dialogue, 221-242.
Nolan, J. 2010. Global engagement: Cooperation and security in the 21st century. . Brookings Institution Press.
Organization., W. H. 2007. The world health report 2007: a safer future: global public health security in the 21st century.
Spalek, B. &. 2007. Muslim communities and counter-terror responses:“Hard” approaches to community engagement in the UK and Australia. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 185-202.
Yarger, H. R. 2008. Strategy and the national security professional: strategic thinking and strategy formulation in the 21st century. Greenwood Publishing Group.
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