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The War on Terror
Terrorists are covertly active in many nations. The attack on 9/11/2001 was planned in Hamburg, Germany. We cannot invade, conquer, and occupy every nation where terrorists reside. As we are painfully aware, being an occupier is very costly in lives and money and its benefits in reducing the likelihood of terrorist attacks on this country are negligible. When we occupy nations, we create resentment which translates into increased terrorist threats against us. We must work smarter.
The War on Terror must be primarily an international police effort. We must cooperate with other friendly nations' police and intelligence organizations. In unfriendly nations and ungoverned areas such as Somalia, we must rely primarily on the CIA. As needed, we should make short term use of relatively small military special forces units and very selective air attacks. The costs of these efforts will be a few billion dollars instead of the trillions we have spent occupying Iraq and Afghanistan.
We should spend additional billions on internal security. We should better secure our airports, sea ports, nuclear facilities, chemical plants, etc. We should place more emphasis on internal detection of terrorist activities and the improvement of first responder capabilities in the event of a terrorist attack.
We're all aware of the recent disclosures that NSA has
a program to collect records of telephone connections. That data
can be mined to identify U.S. and foreign residents who may have
connections with known or suspected terrorists. A court order is
required to collect actual conversations. I am concerned about the independence and
integrity of the judicial oversight and about any possibilities that the
data would be used for internal personal or political purposes.
Other than that, I would not favor hampering the intelligence
capabilities of the NSA.