The war on terror gets longer

When I asked the Home Secretary today to comment on why we will, according to the PM, be at war against terror for a generation, and why it would end after one generation,??he told me it was likely to last "as long as the Cold War".

He said he did not himself use the pharse "war on terror", but he meant somehting similar by his words. There was no comment on why it will last so long, and no sense of strategy that could help bring it to a swifter and better conclusion.

??I am asked what should the government do?

How about:

1. Get proper control of our borders, to deny entry to potential terrorists. That means 24 hour surveillance at all main ports of entry and proper examination of passports and travel documents of people that give grounds for suspicion.Concentrate the security measures against those most likely??to be terrorists. Drop the farcical ID card scheme, aimed at UK residents rather than at visiting terrorists.

2. Use intelligence to build a comprehensive picture of who at home and abroad wishes to take terrorist action against us.

3. Use control of borders to deal with people leaving this country temporarily to train as terrorists abroad.

4. Accept we will not be able to invade and conquer all countries that harbour terrorists, and seek to tackle the problem here in the UK,?? not by invading overseas.

5. Register information about all people with previous convictions anywhere in the world, and have this information at ports of entry to control the movement of criminals. Also keep records of people under suspicion, to monitor their movements, and to allow questioning if their movements??strengthen the suspicious pattern of behaviour.

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3 Comments

  1. Tim
    Posted January 16, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    These are all reasonabale steps but don't we need to be a little more pro-active? The enemy, by which I mean an Islamic fundamentalism which wants to advance over the world as far as it is allowed to, will not stop attacking us just because we stop attacking them. However good our border controls and intelligence some will always slip through. I am not suggesting we launch Iraq style invasions everywhere but there are further questions to be answered: for instance, would it in principle be right for Britain to use its armed forces and intelligence services to assist anti-Islamist governments as the US has in Somalia? Though it sounds terribly Blairite to say it in today's world, as 9/11 showed, what goes on in other countries can have dramatic consequences for our security.

  2. edmund
    Posted January 16, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    A key point is also the training camps-if our own citizens can go and get trained in camps in Afghanastan, Iraq , Iran ect then it's a serious danger to our own national security.

    I don't think a recongition the rest of the world exists is "blarite" incidentally

  3. Ed
    Posted January 16, 2007 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Has the Home Secretary seen the film Brazil? Maybe he should watch it.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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