Academic journal article Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table

Globalization and Its Effect on National Security

Academic journal article Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table

Globalization and Its Effect on National Security

Article excerpt


There has been much criticism, complaint, argument, and finding fault with national policies of past and present. That is easy to do. But the past cannot be changed. It can only be taken as lessons for the future, which can be changed. Innovative, logical, and reasonable ideas for effective solutions to the world problems posed by global migration and its effects on national sovereignty, global terrorism, human rights, environmental deterioration, and national and international security must be sought.

Mistakes have been made in regard to immigration laws and policies. But laws are never written and formed until something has occurred that requires legal attention. Comparing the present time with the world 50 or 100 years ago, it is clear that major changes have taken place in world population, world migration movements, trade, technology, and the membership of the United Nations. Each of these changing factors has brought us to the world we have today.

National security is not simply securing a nation's borders and maintaining the power of its military, but also includes protecting and maintaining a nation's infrastructure, the workability of its foreign policies, investments, economy and technology, the civil rights of its citizens, trade and work availability, healthful environmental conditions, suitable laws and policies regarding immigrants, asylum and refugee seekers and, of course, its national sovereignty. The interrelationship of these factors and others such as human trafficking, terrorism, globalization, and global poverty entails deep analysis and concentration for scholars and governments in the 21st Century.

Two very strong factors predominate and have global significance to national security in the 21st Century. The first is the demographic movement of people and the second is the great increase the global world is experiencing in threats and attacks by various extremists, particularly those termed "threats from within a nation". The extremists take advantage of large scale demographic movements and use (abuse) the immigration policies and laws established by the United Nations and individual nation states. The debate facing the world today is how to counter terrorism, have a pliable national and international security system, legal and workable immigration laws and policies, and still protect the rights of the community as well as that of the immigrants.

Unfortunately, measures to enhance national security are indiscriminately decried by politicians, immigrants, and activists as threats against human rights and civil liberties. Such concerns have validity and must be discussed. But wrong decisions can have serious consequences. It is clear from the 9/11 attacks and the worldwide threats that terrorists have imposed that not only the intelligence system, but also the immigration policies and laws are an integral part of our national security plans and, in fact, of global security. One of the disturbing things we learned from 9/11 and the 9/11 Commission report is that there was practically no communication between the security system and the immigration department nor did either party know anything substantial about the other's policies and laws. The protection of our civil liberties requires the communication of information and interaction between not only federal, but also state and local systems.

Global Migration/Demographic Movements and national security

Kofi Annan, in his address as the outgoing Secretary General to the United Nations General Assembly on 6 June 2006 made the following statement in reference to the "Role of Governments in a world of Global Migration."

   We are in the midst of a new migration era. Given the large-scale
   movement of people in the 20th Century and into the 21st Century
   around the world, how should governments maintain a national
   security unity out of such diversity? (UN 2006)

According to Kofi Annan's message and the United Nations Statistics Report, international migration numbered 191 million in 2005--more than twice the amount recorded in 1970. …

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