Simulating Complexity-Based Ethics for Crucial Decision Making in Counter Terrorism

Simulating Complexity-Based Ethics for Crucial Decision Making in Counter Terrorism

Cecilia Andrews (University of New South Wales, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-022-6.ch052
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“Counter-terrorism refers to the practices, tactics and strategies that governments, militaries and other groups adopt in order to fight terrorism.” Counter Terrorism (CT) is a complex system driven by political, stress and time pressures that contribute to the enormous difficulty that involved people face in making sustainable ethical decisions. This chapter proposes a systems planning approach for enhancing the sustainability of crucial ethical decisions in CT. First, we describe the need for enhancing crucial ethical decision-making using some recent cases. Next, we evaluate the relevance and utility of a systems planning approach in providing such enhancements for CT. We develop the “ideal state” for tools and techniques to be used for crucial ethical decision-making in CT. We propose the POWER systems planning framework as a model for advancing towards this ideal state Finally, we consider how games and simulation could be used to envision and inform, aid synthesis of and support evaluation of decision-making through the POWER model.
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Risk Management In Counter Terrorism

A number of components exist for a risk analysis of terrorist threats across a number of models. The higher order components are Intent and Capability. Intent comprises motive or desire, objectives (purpose) and expectance. Capability comprises technical, knowledge, methods, social factors (such as group and organization), resources and skills (Holliss, 2002). Risk analyses are made at both the strategic and tactical level as to the likelihood and impact of a threat being realized, given intelligence factors derived from Intent and Capability.

When it comes to terrorism, Intent is the key factor in deciding the nature of the threat. Intent of points of view is embedded in the very definitions of terrorism (ASIO Act Amendment Bill, 2002; Hocking, 2003; Wikipedia, 2004). Terrorism is not something defined by its process, or even its agents and their knowledge or resources, but it is violence defined by its purpose. It is a conflict rooted in belief — whether political, religious, economic or social.

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