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Tony Abbott flies the flag for national security in response to terrorist threats, but what about other, greater challenges? AAP/Lukas Coch

National security debate misses big picture of ‘balanced’ response

Amid debate about expanded national security laws, political leaders have yet to explain why terrorism is a more important threat than other challenges such as climate change or domestic violence.
Tony Abbott’s proposed national security changes have the potential to exacerbate the underlying causes of violent extremism and further damage Australia’s social cohesion. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott’s national security changes are unlikely to make us safer

Australia’s response to terrorism must not be rooted in short-term political gains, but in a larger strategy that takes into account the problems leading to social disaffection.
Tony Abbott’s statement to parliament on national security is to come amidst a difficult time for the prime minister. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Abbott’s stoking of terrorist fears may be a political sideshow

Prime Minister Tony Abbott looks set to make a case for further sweeping national security changes in the wake of recent terrorist attacks and arrests. Speaking in advance of a statement to parliament…
French police storm the Jewish supermarket where hostages were held. Ian Langsdon/EPA

Charlie Hebdo attackers killed, now France seeks answers

The hunt for the two killers who attacked the offices of Charlie Hebdo is over, after a three-day chase and a standoff at a warehouse outside Paris. The two suspects were killed, and the hostage they took…
Did MI5 send Michael Adebolajo a friend request? Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Blaming Facebook for Lee Rigby’s murder is nonsense

The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of Parliament has now released its 191-page report into Lee Rigby’s murder. The report concludes that even though the ISC “discovered a number of errors…
With limited resources, some threats will slip through the net. David Holt

Lee Rigby murder was a terrible crime, but MI5 can’t win them all

With its vigorous, fractious media and political environment, the UK is a nation of second guessers. Nowhere is that more evident than in the response to the vicious murder of Lee Rigby. A parliamentary…
Mohammad Ali Baryalei is believed to have died fighting for Islamic State overseas. Proposed new laws could have provided for the targeted killings of people like him by Australian defence and security agencies. AAP/Youtube

Security bill opens door to targeted killings and broader control orders

The government introduced its third set of national security laws last week. The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2014 valuably empowers the Parliamentary Joint Committee of Intelligence…
Governments have generally invested much more in hard-edged military and policing responses than in smarter and more sustainable ‘soft power’ approaches to countering violent extremism. EPA/Bagus Indahono

Tough is not enough: ten smarter ways to counter violent extremism

More than a decade of security-based transnational approaches to combating terrorist activity and propaganda have demonstrated that these alone are ineffective. Sometimes, security measures can actually…

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