Magazine article The American Conservative

Deep Background

Magazine article The American Conservative

Deep Background

Article excerpt

It was said of the French Revolution that it ended up devouring its own children. Something similar is occurring within the United States national-security establishment, as extreme responses surface in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. In the National Security Council (NSC) there has been serious consideration of "temporarily" eliminating visa waivers for select European countries where there are large minority Muslim populations. Currently most Europeans can travel to the United States without first obtaining a visa, leading to concerns that "home grown" European terrorists can easily enter this country, obtain weapons, and stage a Charlie Hebdo in Times Square.

The drive to "do something" is based on the White House assessment that countries like France and Belgium are unable to manage their domestic terrorism problems, potentially permitting them to spill over against targets in the United States. Discussions in the NSC regarding options to limit travel have been strongly opposed by the Department of State, which does not have the resources to begin again issuing large numbers of visas at many of its overseas posts. Foreign governments would also be seriously upset by such a move and would undoubtedly retaliate against traveling Americans.

Charlie Hebdo has also revived consideration of what to do about the possible development of more "insider" terrorism inside the United States, exemplified by the Washington Navy Yard killings in 2013 and the shooting carried out by Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood in 2009. Possible steps to take to identify individuals who are considered "high risk" from a security point of view are again being considered, though the government is reluctant to describe its deliberations in those terms, lest it be accused of profiling. Internally, however, a number of federal security and law-enforcement agencies have begun to tighten up their vetting practices for employees who were either born or have family in what are now being referred to as "conflict zones. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.