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Security experts should not publicly berate our security and intelligence agencies; it is unethical and unprofessional


In the wake of last week’s terror attack in neighboring Ivory Coast, it was just a matter of time before our so-called Ghanaian security experts ventured out to evaluate the nation’s preparedness in dealing with a similar attack on our shores should it occur.

As would be expected, they wasted no time taking down our security and intelligence agencies, denigrating and diminishing the gallant men and women of these outfits and inexplicably questioning their ability to prevent a terror attack.

Last week, one of the experts out-rightly dismissed the capabilities of the agencies and just on Wednesday another noted that he had visited hotels in Accra and Kumasi and found security arrangements there grossly inadequate.

Given the rise of global terrorism and the quest worldwide to defeat the threat it poses to societies everywhere, it is unwise for security experts to publicly berate security and  intelligence agencies. It is not only unprofessional, it is also unethical. Security experts are supposed to work hand in hand with intelligence agencies to combat terrorism.

If you listen long and hard to the these experts, you would think that our intelligence agencies are in a medically induced coma and therefore aren’t sure of where they are and thus incapable of making informed decisions.

These security experts are what my American friends call Monday Morning quarterbacks, people who think they know more than those who are in the field  doing the actual work.

I have no qualms about criticism directed at any government agency that is found wanting and sloppy in discharging its duties. Criticism, by and large, keeps government agencies on their toes, in addition to being the one certain way to ensure accountability and transparency.

However, to take jabs at our intelligence agencies who, despite not having all the resources to fight terrorism, are leaving no stone unturned to keep us safe is grossly unfair and it constitutes a disservice to them and to the nation. It is absurd to judge an agency when it has not yet had the baptism of fire to showcase its terror fighting skills.

These attacks are not only misplaced, they are also not warranted at this stage. At least, it will be in the best interest of all if the security experts held their fire until the right time. I doubt if Ghanaian security experts are privy to the strategies and preparations of our intelligence agencies aimed at preventing terror, hence their relentless verbal assaults. No intelligence agency worth its salt divulges its methods, strategies and preparations. This information is kept to the chest.

The world has a huge problem on its hands; terrorism isn’t a new dynamic. It has been around for centuries except that this time, it is widespread, more pronounced and lethal. Terrorism is not just confined to target nations, nations who are directly in the cross-hairs of terrorists.

Any nation, big or small, rich or poor, can be a target of terrorism these days, irrespective of its ideology or foreign policy pursuits. Nations around the world, as a direct consequence, brace for terror attacks at any given moment.

Intelligence agencies across the world are working diligently and cooperating more broadly with each other to prevent terror attacks. But no matter how adequately prepared intelligence agencies are, there is the element of surprise, a variable that advantages terrorists.  Terrorists thrive on this variable to wreck havoc on civilian and government targets.

Our intelligence agencies are certainly not the vaunted CIA or FBI or M-16. They don’t have the deep pockets and infinite resources their western counterparts have. Nonetheless, they are our best defense against the forces of evil and terrorism. Theirs is a difficult task and they should be encouraged and supported in every possible way. Heaping scorn on them is defeatist and counter to every value we hold dear.

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