Term Paper: Criminal Justice - Intelligence Does the Projected

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Criminal Justice - Intelligence

Does the projected space warfare/ballistic missile threat to the U.S. homeland justify a National Missile Defense, a Global Collective Strategic Defense, or some other solution?

The issue of protecting the United States cannot simply be accomplished by a single pronged effort because of the complex nature of the threats that face the nation. From the growing threat posed by the Chinese Communists to the infiltration by terrorist groups, the issue of national defense must take into consideration both massive threats from powerful nation states to virtually unpreventable attacks launched by groups whose only allegiance is to a religion or a movement. Therefore, to understand the methodology that should be employed to protect the U.S. from the space warfare, ballistic missile threats and alternate uses of ballistic missile warheads that are presented to the nation is a function of understanding the origin of the threats and the capabilities of those who would seek or do presently seek to attack the U.S. Defending the United States from missile attack is ultimately the responsibility of America alone and cannot be abdicated to another body such as the United Nations or NATO and yet, attempting to face the threat alone could prove disastrous for the country.

The first of the major types of threats that is posed to the United States comes in the form of ideological adversaries in China, Iran or other similarly belligerent and potentially hostile nations. According to a recent article in The New American a Bush administration official is quoted as saying "We know the Chinese will enhance their nuclear capability anyway, and we are going to say to them, 'We're not going to tell you not to do it.'" ("U.S. Has," 2001, p. 13) Thus, the inevitability of a growing threat from China seems apparent. In many ways, China is driven to increase its nuclear capability as a response to the impact the United States had on the communist former Soviet Union. American opposition to communist dogma has been so clearly established that China has taken strides to strengthen itself both in terms of defensive capabilities and in terms of first strike technology. For example, China has amassed one of the world's most formidable caches of weaponry that is impressive not only in destructive power but is massive in size as well. Perhaps more threatening than the Chinese missile technology is the advances made by the nation with respect to its growth in technology, resources and long-range weaponry. Over the last decade China has made tremendous strides in its space program. To many observers, this action is simply a prelude to China's ambitions for hegemony in space. During the Clinton administration China was able to acquire significant amounts of satellite and aerospace technology thrusting the nation into an era of advanced capabilities that do not bode well for the great Western powers.

With threats posed by fighting forces that have no affiliation to a specific nation but rather seek to destroy their enemy by any means possible including suicide, Islamo-fascists and other terror groups have presented an extremely complex problem for national defense. It has long been the goal of such groups as Al-Qaeda to acquire a nuclear weapon and with the increased availability of such weapons it seems less a matter of if, but a matter of when. The Pakistani proliferation of nuclear WMD technology has made the goal of nuclear acquisition for terrorists closer than ever before. But the threat from these groups does not likely come in the form of intercontinental missiles although that is possible. Instead, the threat lies mainly in smuggling and detonating a bomb in one of the vital sectors of the United States that would damage the economy and/or cause massive casualties. Thus, a missile defense system would do little to protect the nation from the growing threat posed by fundamentalist groups that hate the U.S.

With the issues outlined it is clear that protecting the U.S. from attack requires more than a solution that focuses on delivery of missiles from one area or another. Rather, the nation will need to create a network of protections that include missile defense, international cooperation and a degree of coordination between the two that includes international intelligence. With the aid of allied nations, the United States could more easily construct a missile defense system that protects not only America but provides an umbrella of protection for U.S. allies as well. Further, with an integrated network of nations sharing security concerns and exchanging intelligence information, the U.S. could create a series of road blocks and snares to prevent the use of weapons by terrorist organizations.

2. How can intelligence be used to nullify terrorist organizations over the long-term as a threat to U.S. Homeland Security without compromising U.S. civil liberties?

Answering the knotty question of how to balance security while maintaining and protecting the civil liberties of U.S. citizens involves assessing the methods by which intelligence could and should be used. In addition, the question has a philosophical aspect to it that addresses the fears of many people who would gladly exchange liberties for the safety and protection of themselves and their families. However, to answer the question for how intelligence can be used to thwart the activities of terrorist groups requires careful explanation to assure that despite the fact that intelligence could be used to prevent terrorist acts the question of whether or not it should be used is not ignored. After all "[W]e don't want to trade a situation in which no one gives priority to safeguarding our civil liberties for one in which a Potemkin review board gives reflexive approval to government actions that unreasonably encroach on constitutional liberties." ("In Defense of," 2004, p. A24) Using intelligence to nullify terrorist actions is absolutely possible because of the immense capability that the U.S. has to gather information and track personnel and yet, the behavior required by the government to carry out precisely those acts is often at odds with the principles and fundamental ideals upon which the United States was founded.

Intelligence can be used as a weapon against terrorist organizations in myriad ways. Specifically, federal and local governments can track the movement of persons, purchases made with credit cards, communications, and affiliations and can build all of this information into a profile. Once assembled, the government has the ability through powers granted by the Patriot Act to search, seize and hold individuals suspected of terrorist activities. These actions can most certainly prevent certain acts from taking place that would intend harm against the American population and in many cases intend harm upon Western civilization.

Tracking the movement of individuals in the nation is one of the most powerful intelligence tools the government can use. Gathering information about where its citizens go, when they go, with whom they associate and the purposes of those meetings gives detailed intelligence about growing threats. This information can be used to track suspected criminals and prevent attacks.

Communications can be monitored in a number of ways and coordinated in massive governmental databases. E-mail message interception, cell phone transcript logging, internet search examining and monitoring home and business telephones as well as monitoring conversations that take place in homes, churches, mosques and places of employment provide the government with virtually unlimited access to plans of terrorists. This information not only provides insight into the activities planned by those being monitored but also provides leads and connections that implicate others with similar ambitions.

Other activities that can be used to identify suspicious behavior and to help track the location and affiliation of individuals can be accomplished by the use of credit card transaction tracking. Enormous repositories of information about financial transactions can be tracked and stored at intelligence gathering facilities in a virtual world. This information can be used to evaluate whether actions being taken by individuals pose a potential threat to the U.S.

The search and seizure of individuals and property is both frightening and important. The government has the power to hold a citizen and question him without representation if the individual is deemed to be an enemy combatant. A great deal of effort has been made to prevent such actions from taking place even to the point of asking the Supreme Court to intervene. In the end, the U.S. Army has agreed to provide those being held with a hearing in front of a military tribunal virtually guaranteeing that control is maintained over the citizen until the government sees fit to free the person.

It is clear that there are difficult trade-offs required for achieving security. Long-term security can be maintained while certain liberties are encroached upon only if the government has set in place a body designed specifically to protect civil liberties. Such an institution is proposed but its powers will need to be substantial in order for it to overcome the government's thirst for more control.

3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the intelligence efforts of the major participants in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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