Counter-Terrorism, and National Security
This talk will begin with a discussion of the integrated field of security studies, before proceeding to a discussion of the potential and peril of integrating security institutions.
Within a few days of September 11th, 2001, when 19 Al Qaeda hijackers successfully executed the largest terrorist attack on American soil, it became clear that many of the hijackers had crossed paths with American intelligence agencies in previous years. Yet, no one was able to connect the dots and stop the attack. The problem, quickly identified, was that intelligence agencies were siloed, and either could not or would not share the information which would have prevented the attacks. The 9/11 Report and other policy documents described this problem of connecting the dots in detail, and also identified a solution: bringing disparate pieces of intelligence, and the people who can best analyse them, together in order to stop terrorist attacks before they start.
Integration became the watchword of counter-terrorism and national security in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, among other Western democracies, and it has transformed the organizational landscape of national security and counter-terrorism. In the years after 9/11, the greatest institutional transformation in national security since the Cold War took place, all in the name of better information sharing. But was integration the right lesson? Does integration as an organizational principle work?
Veronica Kitchen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Veronica's current research focuses on national security and counter-terrorism, with a particular interest in integrated counter-terrorism institutions and mega-event security and has published several articles these topics (including one with KI alumna Caroline Dunton). She has also published a book about NATO, The Globalization of NATO: Intervention, Security, and Identity (Routledge, 2010) and has is leading a new research project on hero(in)es and heroism in global politics. Veronica was a Fulbright Scholar at Brown University, where she received her doctorate, and has an interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto. She is an active member of Women in International Security, and an executive member of the Canadian Network of Scholars of Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS). When not studying security, Veronica likes to run, knit, and read novels, unfortunately not usually at the same time.
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