What is the price for na­tional and col­lec­tive se­cu­rity in an evolv­ing New World Or­der?

The Baltic Times - - COMMENTARY -

In an in­creas­ingly volatile post-cold War se­cu­rity or­der and era of au­to­cratic heads of state act­ing like rob­ber barons to their own cit­i­zens and dou­ble faced sav­iors to eth­nic mi­nor­ity di­as­pora in neigh­bor­ing states, never have early warn­ing and de­cep­tion ex­po­sure sys­tems and al­liances be­come more cru­cial for “civil so­ci­ety” states sur­vival.

Past con­ven­tional se­cu­rity par­a­digms, foun­da­tions and per­for­mance mea­sures have to some de­gree been in­sid­i­ously over­shad­owed by new age tech­no­log­i­cal war­fare and sabre rat­tling via cy­ber­at­tacks on key state en­ti­ties and busi­nesses, In­ter­net ac­tivism via Wik­ileaks and so­cial me­dia sub­terfuge via re­lease of con­fi­den­tial and/ or du­bi­ous in­for­ma­tion. Added to this mix, we have seen the rise of ter­ri­to­rial counter sovereignty claims and no es­tab­lished, agreed cy­ber space rules of en­gage­ment. A heady smor­gas­bord of po­ten­tial 21st cen­tury se­cu­rity chal­lenges, threats and coun­ter­mea­sures with less than ideal re­sponses.

Aus­tralia, post-world War II, ac­cepted thou­sands of Balts, Poles, Ukraini­ans and other Euro­peans seek­ing safe havens, where free­dom of ex­pres­sion, self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, right to ex­ist as master of one’s fu­ture, un­der­pinned by a se­cure en­vi­ron­ment with­out for­eign co­er­cion. These free­dom-seek­ing peo­ple en­vi­sioned Aus­tralia as a safe haven, a long way away from the harsh to­tal­i­tar­ian im­posed regimes and as­so­ci­ated im­pov­er­ished liv­ing con­di­tions that would ex­ist in their Euro­pean home­lands for decades to come. These same as­pi­ra­tions have again be­come prom­i­nent goals for past and present gen­er­a­tions in Eastern Europe and also more broadly across the world to rein­vig­o­rate, re­in­force and re-se­cure, as ba­sic free­doms, lib­er­ties and ac­cepted val­ues.

Glob­al­iza­tion, power base shifts, state spon­sored ter­ror­ism, al­liance and al­le­giance un­cer­tain­ties, and mass un­re­stricted peo­ple move­ment across con­ti­nents, has rapidly di­min­ished the past con­fi­dence in and un­der­pin­ning ba­sis of safe havens as an es­cape of last re­sort so­lu­tion.

As some coun­tries com­mem­o­rate the ces­sa­tion of World War II hos­til­i­ties in Europe some 72 years ago with mas­sive dis­plays of mil­i­tary might - hard­ware and per­son­nel, one pon­ders whether its salu­tary to re­visit the past in ref­er­ence to un­der­tak­ing eval­u­a­tions and san­ity checks on pre­vail­ing se­cu­rity sys­tems and con­di­tions. It’s timely to con­sider the se­cu­rity cir­cum­stances that coun­tries in Eastern Europe now find them­selves in. It’s timely to con­sider what se­cu­rity lessons and mea­sures of the past are still rel­e­vant to­day and what will work best, so as not to be backed into an un­vi­able no win cor­ner. Where there is a lack of tenac­ity, re­solve and con­fi­dence, a lack of con­stantly evolv­ing, eval­u­ated, ef­fec­tive and re­spon­sive se­cu­rity strate­gies and mea­sures, the list of palat­able op­tions and de­sir­able out­comes di­min­ishes, while the list of un­de­sir­able con­se­quences in­creases.

So­cial unity, vol­un­tary eth­nic mi­nor­ity as­sim­i­la­tion into the host state ethos, se­cure bor­ders, cus­toms con­trols, co­he­sive and ac­cepted na­tional visions and goals, min­i­mal cor­rup­tion lev­els, en­hanced sur­veil­lance, in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing and close scru­tiny of an­ti­so­cial and anti- demo­cratic ne­far­i­ous el­e­ments within so­ci­ety, are just some of the in­dis­pens­able el­e­ments of a vi­able, tan­gi­ble and re­silient na­tional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture. This begs the ques­tion of whether a bor­der­less, free move­ment, geopo­lit­i­cally di­verse and geo-eco­nom­i­cally dy­namic free trade fo­cused and glob­al­ized world or­der can work in syn­chro­niza­tion and har­mony with na­tional and re­gional se­cu­rity sta­bil­ity and al­liance part­ner­ship needs.

Less se­cu­rity adept and savvy na­tions with pop­u­la­tions con­tain­ing unas­sim­i­lated and un-in­te­grated eth­nic mi­nori­ties with un­cer­tain al­le­giances to the host na­tion’s ethos, laws, gov­ern­ing bod­ies and lan­guage have par­tic­u­larly chal­leng­ing in­ter­nal se­cu­rity dilem­mas.

Con­ven­tional mea­sures of se­cu­rity, de­fense and deter­rence e.g. bombs, bul­lets and troops that a na­tion or an al­liance of na­tions can mount and com­mit to se­cu­rity, is un­der­go­ing a dig­i­tal, dis­rup­tive, and per­son­al­ized rev­o­lu­tion. Never be­fore have in­di­vid­u­als and small groups of in­di­vid­u­als been able to con­ceal fi­nance sources and spon­sors, use the medium of cy­berspace, soft­ware pro­grams of­fen­sively and dis­rup­tively, to cheaply and in­sid­i­ously chal­lenge the power and au­thor­ity of na­tion states with so few tools of war and re­sources.

What does this mean for the Balts, Poles, Ukraini­ans, Nords and oth­ers?

Well, one per­spec­tive is that these half dozen or so na­tions strad­dling the east/west di­vide at a cru­cial bound­ary junc­ture in Europe, are in­dis­pens­able to the wider se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity of Europe and be­yond. These na­tions lo­cated as they are at the in­ter­face be­tween the giants of the west (in­clud­ing Ger­many, France and U.S.), and east (in­clud­ing Rus­sia and China) are more cru­cial to re­gional se­cu­rity than be­fore and more ca­pa­ble than their in­di­vid­ual mil­i­tary, eco­nomic and pop­u­la­tion sizes might first sug­gest.

Aus­tralia’s mem­ber­ship in the Five Eyes (An­glo ver­sion model) in­tel­li­gence part­ner­ship has worked well from a val­ues match and fit, with mem­ber coun­tries like the United King­dom, United States, Canada, and New Zealand. For any part­ner­ship or al­liance to work long term, there needs to be a de­gree of com­mon base val­ues and ethos in a cul­tural, spir­i­tual, le­gal, eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary sense.

This Five Eyes in­tel­li­gence part­ner­ship (An­glo ver­sion model) is just such a co­he­sive, com­mon val­ues and ethos al­liance, in essence formed to un­der­take early warn­ing sur­veil­lance ac­tiv­i­ties in re­sponse to Cold War de­mands for real time sig­nals in­tel­li­gence. Post Cold War, Five Eyes ac­tiv­i­ties were ex­panded to in­clude ter­ror­ist mon­i­tor­ing.

So, if com­mon fra­ter­nity, his­tory, chal­lenges in war and peace, re­gional se­cu­rity needs and in­ter­ests ex­isted and still ex­ist be­tween Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Canada, United States, and United King­dom is there a par­al­lel his­tor­i­cal, cul­tural, po­lit­i­cal, mil­i­tary fra­ter­nity com­mon­al­ity and ra­tio­nale for the Balts, Poles, Ukraini­ans and Nords to form a sim­i­lar uni­fied in­tel­li­gence shar­ing, sur­veil­lance part­ner­ship? A Euro ver­sion model of the Five Eyes An­glo ver­sion model that could re­in­force NATO’S first line of early warn­ing of threats, de­cep­tion ex­po­sure from all di­rec­tions, in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal, at the east/west in­ter­face.

A Five Eyes (Euro ver­sion model) – Poland, Ukraine, Lithua­nia, Latvia, Es­to­nia, or Six Eyes (in­clud­ing Fin­land) or Eight Eyes (in­clud­ing Swe­den and Nor­way) al­liance sur­veil­lance ver­sion, work­ing to mu­tu­ally re­in­force and en­hance re­gional se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion and sta­bil­ity. A col­lab­o­ra­tion with scope to share cer­tain agreed lessons learned, in­tel­li­gence and sur­veil­lance ma­te­rial akin to In­ter­pol op­er­a­tions, be­tween trusted part­ners of both Five Eyes (An­glo ver­sion model) and Five or Six or Eight Eyes (Euro ver­sion model).

Us­ing the lessons learned from the Five Eyes (An­glo ver­sion model) the terms of ref­er­ence or vi­sion/ob­jec­tives for the Euro ver­sion model Five, Six or Eight Eyes se­cu­rity sur­veil­lance part­ner­ship could in­clude the fol­low­ing terms of ref­er­ence (TOR).

TOR - mu­tu­ally agreed se­cu­rity ob­jec­tives and per­for­mance mea­sures; in­ter­op­er­a­ble safe­guard mech­a­nisms to pro­tect each part­ner’s data, in­for­ma­tion and in­ter­ests; re­cip­ro­cal shar­ing of agreed in­tel­li­gence on ne­far­i­ous and ma­li­ciously in­tent ad­ver­saries; mon­i­tor­ing of sig­nals rel­e­vant to peo­ple of in­ter­est e.g. on Un-re­stricted move­ments or sanc­tions lists; mon­i­tor­ing ma­li­cious cy­ber and transna­tional crime ac­tiv­i­ties; de­vel­op­ing a Who’s Who list of ma­li­cious cy­ber space ac­tivists etc. The “knock on” ben­e­fits could in­clude greater se­cu­rity co­he­sion and co­op­er­a­tion; more ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient ex­po­sure of in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity threats and ter­ror­ist links be­tween na­tions; rais­ing se­cu­rity aware­ness amongst the cit­i­zenry and con­se­quently el­e­vat­ing real time com­mu­nity re­spon­sive­ness lev­els; fos­ter­ing joint and/or mul­ti­lat­eral projects, re­search, anal­y­sis, re­port­ing, pub­lish­ing of pa­pers, rais­ing me­dia at­ten­tion to threats, etc.

An alert, well-in­formed and savvy cit­i­zenry, at­tuned to se­cu­rity changes and chal­lenges, tak­ing an in­ter­est in se­cu­rity at per­sonal, com­mu­nity and na­tional lev­els, is far bet­ter pre­pared to act de­ci­sively and res­o­lutely when called upon to do so and far less prone to de­cep­tion at­tacks. In fact, such a cit­i­zenry base is an in­dis­pens­able ally to the smaller co­hort of pro­fes­sional se­cu­rity prac­ti­tion­ers tasked with pro­tect­ing the na­tion more for­mally.

The price of na­tional se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity has never been small, and the price of hop­ing for the best in the ab­sence of de­ter­mined se­cu­rity ef­forts has al­ways been un­ac­cept­able. If the last 100 years of Euro­pean his­tory is any guide to go by for se­cu­rity pol­icy mak­ers and prac­ti­tion­ers, a Euro ver­sion model of Five, Six or Eight Eyes sur­veil­lance and in­tel­li­gence se­cu­rity part­ner­ship, mer­its se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion as a pos­i­tive se­cu­rity game changer. There may al­ready be in­di­vid­ual sur­veil­lance, in­tel­li­gence, sig­nals and se­cu­rity best prac­tice el­e­ments within the in­ter­face na­tions, wait­ing to be en­hanced, in­te­grated and co­or­di­nated for­mally in a Five, Six. Or Eight Eyes (Euro ver­sion model).

The im­pacts of just a few se­cu­rity fail­ures such as the Bali bomb­ing (2002), down­ing of Malaysian Air­lines Flight MH17 (2014) and ma­li­cious cy­ber at­tacks in 2007 against Es­to­nia, sig­naled for coun­tries in the South Pa­cific and Eastern Europe re­spec­tively, that se­cu­rity mea­sures in the south­ern and north­ern hemi­spheres need sig­nif­i­cant enhancement.

While no se­cu­rity al­liances, in­clud­ing those that have been tested in “blood, sweat and tears” over many decades can pre­vent ev­ery se­cu­rity breach/fail­ure, ex­pose ev­ery de­cep­tion, ev­ery time, they can when op­er­at­ing ef­fi­ciently, ef­fec­tively and res­o­lutely, re­duce the fre­quency and sever­ity of se­cu­rity breaches/fail­ures /de­cep­tions and at­tacks. Such se­cu­rity al­liances can make an ad­ver­sary’s task of fo­ment­ing un­rest, breach­ing data and in­for­ma­tion sys­tems se­cu­rity, in­sert­ing ma­li­cious codes and moles and gen­er­ally cre­at­ing con­di­tions for in­sta­bil­ity, dis­rup­tion and sub­terfuge, far more costly, less ef­fec­tive and far less re­ward­ing.

Gre­gory Jarosch is a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment (AIM), Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Project Man­agers (AIPM) and most re­cently have been added as an Alumni (Masters level) of the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Col­lege (NSC), Aus­tralian Na­tional Uni­ver­sity (ANU), Can­berra, Aus­tralia.

Gre­gory Jarosch

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