UK group assesses Islamism as a major security threat
Latent risks can become patent threats. What marks the change of a risk into a threat is usually the emergence of a factor which has been misjudged. It has been the reduction of traditional threats (aggression from nation states) combined with the increase of possible risk factors (most notably, Islamist terrorism, but there are many others) which has so destabilised world affairs and increased uncertainty. Linked to these changes is a loss in the United Kingdom of confidence in our own identity, values, constitution and institutions. ‘This England that was wont to conquer others’, wrote Shakespeare, ‘hath made a shameful conquest of itself.’ This is one of the main factors which have precipitated risks into threats. As long as it persists, it will have the power to do so again.
Islamist terrorism is where people tend to begin. The United Kingdom presents itself as a target, as a fragmenting, post- Christian society, increasingly divided about interpretations of its history, about its national aims, its values and in its political identity. That fragmentation is worsened by the firm self-image of those elements within it who refuse to integrate. This is a problem worsened by the lack of leadership from the majority which in mis- placed deference to ‘multi-culturalism’ failed to lay down the line to immigrant communities, thus undercutting those within them trying to fight extremism. The country’s lack of self-confidence is in stark contrast to the implacability of its Islamist terrorist enemy, within and without.
Then it presents other threats:
- Geostrategic new problems: which have not been assesed and truly considered even if there are other problems mixed with them. The weakness of the UK Navy is one of them.
- The old surfs the new: the old Jihadi theories spread through the world, using every method at their disposal to spread, including modern Internet.
- The politics of climate change represent unexpected pressures: They are not only consuming government resources but they are also arising unexpected conflicts of interest inside nations and between them.
- The problem of Russia is re-emerging: growing Russian nationalism has two essential components: its wealth in oil and gas and its comtempt for the soft West.
- Multilateral institutions are weakening: but nonetheless, they are still supported by Western countries.
And it concludes:
The deep guarantee of real strength is our knowledge of who we are. Our loss of cultural self-confidence weakens our ability to develop new means to provide for our security in the face of new risks. Our uncertainty incubates the embryonic threats these risks represent. We look like a soft touch. We are indeed a soft touch, from within and without.
We need to remind ourselves of the first principles which govern priorities in liberal democracies. Defence and security must be restored as the first duty of government. The trust and mutual obligations between government, people and the defence forces must be reasserted. Our common understanding of and allegiance to the United Kingdom must be restored. We have a powerful history and a sound constitution, fit for the state’s essential role as the ultimate guarantor of the individual’s safety, freedom and security.
Really interesting and on the target. I would only have added another threat: that posed by Communist China…
Related news: UK faces threat from British Muslims returning from Afghanistan. The British commander said he had seen evidence that terror groups based in southern Afghanistan were plotting with Muslim extremists in Britain to carry out attacks in the UK. He suggested the traffic between Britain and Afghanistan may flow in both directions, with some British Muslims returning from the region and posing a domestic security threat. British Muslims are part of the Taliban militia fighting against UK security forces in Afghanistan, the top British commander said.