The Global Threat to Human Security & the Security Dilemma we all face.
Updated: May 9
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When putting your Risk Assessment and Threat Analysis together, you will need to put some thought into the Global Threat to Human Security and the Security Dilemma that everyone faces. Another thing I’ve learnt over the years is that the world can be a scary place. There are many things we come into contact with that can cause us harm. Just think of all the things you do on a daily basis to keep yourself safe. You may wear a helmet while riding your bike or a seatbelt while driving your car. Many homes are even outfitted with security systems to keep out intruders. Airports also make you go through many levels of security to keep you and other passengers safe while traveling. All of these safety measures are important because people are coming into contact with one another more frequently than in the past. New technology, communication, and the emergence of more independent states has allowed human activity to become intertwined worldwide. While this global contact is in large part positive, it does bring with it a darker side. A complex environment has evolved where in addition to all of the good things globalization brings with it there are also serious threats to human security, such as terrorism and violent crime. You will need to consider the Threat of Terrorism in your Threat Analysis Let's take the example of getting a security system to protect you, your family, and your personal property. Unfortunately, as we come into contact with more people because of the advances in communication and travel, there becomes the potential of other people who want to claim your stuff for their own. This is a scary threat indeed and, thus, there is the need for the security system. Now imagine this threat on a global scale. The violence and threat of violence that accompanied the emergence of modern states led to the pervasive emphasis on military power as the highest priority of states. The fear of losing territory or being eliminated was very real. As this fear spread, there emerged a security dilemma. The security dilemma, also referred to as the spiral model, refers to a situation in which actions by a state intended to heighten its security and keep its citizens and property safe, either by increasing its military strength or making alliances, can lead other states to respond with similar measures. Thus, as each state increases its military strength or makes alliances with other countries, tensions and the risk of conflict greatly increase. States try to produce a global image of strength and security, but this can be interpreted as aggression by others, even though no side desires the wish to be drawn into using military force. Increased security, however, also comes with a price and may actually lead to the increase of more crime. While a person's life and property may be made safer, governments have been of the mindset that in order for that to happen, short-term restrictions on civil and political rights are essential. Thus, many governments find themselves on a slippery slope that leads to more durable infringements on democratic freedoms. These infringements can lead to the creation of terrorism. While there is no universal definition of what terrorism is or what a terrorist looks like, there are some qualities that all acts of terrorism have in common. First, all acts of terrorism are designed to create fear. Terrorists seek to frighten people in distant places in order to exert pressure on governments. Terrorism is essentially a form of psychological warfare that can last for generations. It's also common that terrorist acts are closely associated with ideology and the increase of globalization. Globalization is a major factor in global terrorism. In many ways, terrorism is a product of resistance to change brought about by cultural, economic, political, military, and even environmental globalization. One such example is what is going on in Hong Kong right now. You will also need to take into account the Rise of Violent Crime This rise of globalization has not only created the formation of highly organized terrorist groups, it has also led to the rise of violent crime. While the security dilemma attempts to address threats from outside sources, such as another country's military, it doesn't do a strong job at addressing crime from within its own borders. For instance, it doesn't address other factors that may lead to the increase of crime. For example, poverty increases, and population increases are two factors that increase the likelihood of violent crime. As poor individuals are packed into cramped urban areas, feelings of hopelessness increase and become a breeding ground for crime because it is seen as the only way to survive. Also, ethnic conflict and civil wars, combined with easy access to guns, provide fertile grounds for gang violence to flourish as well. When considering the Global Response to Crime; on the whole, many countries are ill equipped to effectively respond to global criminal activities. Few governments have the resources to effectively control global crime, especially in light of reduced government budgets for public services. Furthermore, divergent views among countries about crime and different priorities render effective collaboration among states difficult to achieve. Despite this grim view of global security, there are some things that the global community has done to try and combat crime. The International Criminal Police Organization, or Interpol, is a global clearinghouse for police information based in France. Interpol collects and analyses data, supports global crime investigations, organizes operational working meetings among countries, and organizes regional and global conferences on a wide range of criminal activities. There is also the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, which is a global agreement between many countries aimed at reducing crime through global cooperation. Review New technology, communication, and the emergence of more independent states has allowed human activity to become intertwined worldwide. While this global contact is in large part positive, it does bring with it a darker side. The increase of globalization has created a security dilemma among nation states in an attempt to create a global image of strength and security. However, the increase of security often comes with trade-offs, such as personal liberties, which can lead to the rise of terrorism. The increase of security also does little to address things such as poverty and population increases, which often result in the rise of violent crime. The increase of state security is a complex issue and while it may have the unintended consequence at creating crime, organizations, such as Interpol or the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, have attempted to try and battle crime on a global scale. (Sourced from lessons delivered by Jason Nowaczyk who is a social studies teacher)