0000296 - Security-MC2 2:40 pm Page 19 THEWORLDTODAY.ORG...

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Wınnıng On Wıcked Issues PAGE 19 WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/IAMELLIOT/ THEWORLDTODAY.ORG FEBRUARY 2008 b RITISH GOVERNMENTS HAVE RARELY taken a strategic approach to national security, preferring instead to focus separately on issues of defence, foreign affairs, development and intelligence. Invariably, this has led to narrow strategies, which have centred on individual Whitehall departments, or created new agencies and units to meet emerging security challenges. In the wake of September 11 2001 for instance, the Security Service MI5 moved away from managing a portfolio of risks, which included organised crime, to focus almost entirely on the threat from international terrorism. Nearly all the service’s work on organised crime was passed to the Serious Organised Crime Agency, an Faced with the risks of organised crime, terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the public likes to believe that government is doing all it can to protect them. The idea that there might be inertia, or turf wars between departments charged with keeping them safe, is deeply disturbing. Now, the British government is publishing its ±rst national security strategy, a chance to assess the threats and how best to respond. NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY Charlie Edwards HEAD OF THE SECURITY PROGRAMME AT DEMOS AND AUTHOR OF National Security For The 21st century, Demos 2007
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amalgamation of a number of different organisations including the National Crime Squad and National Criminal Intelligence Service, which was established by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill of 2005. Current operations, policy decisions and legislation also prevent the government from taking a strategic approach. At present most of the Ministry of Defence’s time and resources are devoted to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, while the new OfFce for Security and Counter-Terrorism, based in the Home OfFce, focuses on counter terrorism, rather than wider security issues, as originally envisaged by the former Home Secretary John Reid.
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0000296 - Security-MC2 2:40 pm Page 19 THEWORLDTODAY.ORG...

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