Our national security needs a global perspective

Our national security needs a global perspective

Best soccer shoes this fall, the federal government is asking Canadians for their views on national security policy. Terrorist organizations based in other countries may be able to influence Canadians to commit acts of terror at home or nike magista opus black to join struggles abroad. Violence in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia affects how Canadian policy makers respond to domestic threats.

One example of the need for global and comparative perspective is with strategies to “prevent radicalization to violence, Building on a 2014 Security Council resolution, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki moon has issued a plan of action to prevent violent extremism. It recognizes the importance of human rights, the rule of law, economic opportunities best soccer shoes and empowering youth and women in preventing violent extremism. It also calls for the creation of national strategies.

Canada has been slow in moving toward such a strategy, though the government has recently committed $35 million over five years to establish an Office of the Community Outreach and Counter radicalization Co ordinator. This initiative provides an opportunity to learn from international experience.

A key component of many “countering violent extremism” (CVE) plans are interventions at the community level. In 2007, Denmark’s second largest city, Aarhus, created a “de radicalization” strategy aimed at engaging with individuals who might be at risk for radicalization to violence.

The program claims to have a soft touch: At risk individuals who have been identified by members of the community, teachers and social workers are invited to coffee by the police, who will work with them to locate social supports such as educational opportunities, mentoring or job training.

The Aarhus model is widely touted as being responsible for dramatically reducing the rate of youth leaving Denmark to join terrorist organizations as foreign fighters, and there has best soccer shoes been keen interest in replicating this approach around the world.

But international comparisons also show us that so called best practices aren’t always directly transferable. Different local histories, cultures and community dynamics can radically change outcomes in diverse contexts. The United Kingdom has one of the oldest national CVE programs, known as Prevent. The disproportionate rate at which Muslims are identified as “at risk” under Prevent prompted criticism that it is nothing but a surveillance program for Muslims. There have been reports of children as young as four years old being flagged.

As we create our own CVE strategies, Canadians can learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Local, community directed programs may be especially appropriate in federations, like Canada. Reflecting our political traditions, North American CVE programs may be particularly attentive to free speech and freedom of assembly. CVE programs must also take seriously fears of bullying in vulnerable populations.

Democracies are right to insist that terrorism and violence are never acceptable, but they also need to support communities that may be scapegoated and exposed to hate crimes and discrimination. Violent extremism comes in many forms, involving different types of people, and CVE programs should be best soccer shoes even handed in their aims and practices.

Kent Roach is a professor of law at the University of Toronto; Stephen Toope is director of the Munk School of Global Affairs; Carmen Cheung is a professor of global practice at the Munk School of Global Affairs best soccer shoes nike magista opus black.