First rule of war: know your enemy.

The recent terrorist attacks in France have caused many Western Governments, including the UK, to consider passing Mass surveillance laws. Ray Corrigan says that mass surveillance won’t prevent terror attacks. He says that intelligence gathering doesn’t work like on tv dramas, where computers sift through data and show us who and where the enemy are.

In real life however, the vast amounts of data make it like trying to find a needle in a haystack while constantly adding more hay. He is correct, the problem isn’t that we don’t have enough intelligence, it is that we don’t have it about the right people. Sun Tzu said ” if ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”

Unfortunately we in the West are led by people who don’t appreciate our culture and refuse to identify it’s enemies. In the US President Obama won’t say that we are at war with Islamic Radicals and says that the War on Terror is over. He even goes so far as to apologize to the world for actions we have taken that, according to him have caused extremists to launch violent attacks.

The West won’t be effective at detecting Terrorist plots unless we identify the enemy as Islamic extremists. Once we know the enemy we can focus our Intelligence services on Islamic nations, groups and individuals. Strict travel bans from terror supporting nations should be enforced. Immigrants from Islamic nations espousing Jihad should be immediately deported upon detection. Finally naturalized citizens who go off to fight for Islamists groups should lose their citizenship and banned from returning. These steps would be more effective than collecting data on millions of people with no connection to Jihad.

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