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Introduction to Technology II

“In this new state of things, the simplicity and solitariness of man’s life, the limitedness of his wants, and the instruments which he had invented to satisfy them, leaving him a great deal of leisure, he employed it to supply himself with several conveniences unknown to his ancestors; and this was the first yoke he inadvertently imposed upon himself, and the first source of mischief which he prepared for his children; for besides continuing in this manner to soften both body and mind, these conveniences having through use lost almost all their aptness to please, and even degenerated into real wants, the privation of them became far more intolerable than the possession of them had been agreeable; to lose them was a misfortune, to possess them no happiness.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality among Men.

When we last left off our discussion of the origins of the technological disposition we found its roots deep in the basic features of the human psyche. Yet this account cannot be the whole story. Certainly, not all human societies would be rightly described as technological, even though all of them practice at least some sort of craft-making, or some of the arts. In place of the disposition to rational control, in these societies, we see something different. The ancient Hebrew or the Native American tribes were not technological the way Western society is. In place of the disposition to rational mastery of man and nature, these societies are ruled by the spirit of reverence, or national pride, or the passion of righteousness or holiness or nobility. The emphasis is on some intense devotion to something outside of man, even, transcendent. This technological phenomenon, undoubtedly, had its inception in Western society. Yet it seems that modern technology also differs from ancient techne, not only in scale, but, decisively, in nature.

 Ancient science sought knowledge of what things are, to be contemplated as and end in itself satisfying to the knower. In contrast modern science seeks knowledge of how things work, to be used as a means for the mastery and control of nature, man, and for the pursuit of comfortable self-preservation of  all humanity. This was and has been the practical intention at the heart of modern science from inception.

If up to this point we have grasped somewhat the meaning of “technology,” and if we are to address the tragic condition of technology, which is essentially the problem of technology, we must have an understanding of what one means by a “problem.” The word problem comes from the Greek word problema, meaning literally “something thrown out before” us. A problem is any challenging obstacle, from a task set before someone to be done to the task of finding a cure for cancer. When we encounter a challenging obstacle we formulate them into question that become articulated tasks that challenge us to solve them, i.e. to do away with them. Now when a problem is solved, it disappears as a problem. The solution is usually is something we make, human convention, assembled from elements into which the problem is broken up. We formulate the problems into questions convenient for analysis and construction—we figure it out. Moreover, a solution to a problem never goes beyond the original problem as given, the solution must answer the problem in its own terms.

With this in mind, we may ask what then does it mean to treat technology as a problem, to ask about the problem of technology? Before whom is technology a problem, an obstacle? What desiderata does technology obstruct? Does technology pose a threat to human happiness or to justice or to self-knowledge? Could technology, understood as the disposition and activity of mastery, turn out to be the stone that crushed the master in his path? If technology is a problem, an obstacle, an imminent threat, could there be a solution? Is there a solution? These are the question this project aims to elucidate.

Finally, as noted before (and will be expanded in further detail in later essays), technology seeks man’s liberation from chance and necessity, both without and within. Technology, as the disposition of mastery, seeks freedom from a life of toil and lack, freedom from misery and sickness, freedom from the threats of death. We can positively formulate these goals by calling them, comfortable sustenance, health (physical or/and psychic), and longevity or the preservation of the self. In short, it seeks comfortable self-preservation. Yet, we may ask, are these wonderful things human flourishing? Do they provide the conditions for human happiness? Is there a clear notion of human happiness that guides and informs the technological disposition? And in what are these goals grounded, i.e. what is their foundation? Does freedom from chance and natural necessity liberate man from nature’s necessities? Does not man remain within the grip of nature, even qua master of nature? Are not the desires for survival and pleasure, for example, given to man by his own nature? If so, then mastery over nature seems to be more like service  to nature. Subjugation to the dictates of nature spontaneamente working within and finally beyond human control. Mastery becomes enslavement to instincts, drives, impulsions, passions(1).

On the other hand, perhaps technology can enable man to liberate himself completely from the clutches of nature, even his own nature. If so, then conquest of nature would simply mean the complete liberation of man from nature’s control. Modern science would not only be a tool, but would also create. This would enable man to freely and fully exert himself towards goals and ends he freely sets for himself. Man’s end and goals, like the means he use to attain them, would be of his own making.

But, then, what would make these goals and projects good, even good for us. Would not the setting of these projects by the unrestricted human will be anything but arbitrary? If history is any indication, we already know what to expect from the arbitrary positing of human will, not only on a political scale and social scale, but on a personal scale. That to live under one’s own arbitrary will with no guidance for what is genuinely good for oneself is really liberating, is hardly a self-evident proposition. On the contrary it would seem slavishly nihilistic.

See more here: Technology I


  1. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, pp. 77-80.

Introduction to Technology I


Our first step in understanding the problems of technology is to attempt to grasp what technology is—no easy matter. We must first start with the phenomenon as given, that is with the term itself. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, its meaning is defined as, “the practical application of knowledge in a particular area,” or “a capability given by the practical application of knowledge.” But these definitions seem to be merely superficial in that they don’t reveal anything substantial about technology. 

Etymologically speaking the term “technology” has its roots in the Greek word, techne, art, meaning craft-making as it relates to useful crafts rather than the fine arts, i.e. masonry and carpentry rather than poetry, painting, and dance; and logos, articulated speech, or discursive reason. However, the compound word, technologos, was not known to the Greeks. The closest thing the Greeks came to our notion of technology would have been something with the emphasis reversed, i.e. not logos of techne (an account about art) but a techne of logos ( the art of rhetoric). The art of persuasion was the a techne of logos, and, according to the sophists, a means of rationalizing political life free from the need of force(1).

Nevertheless, art and speech are intimately related. Humans, exhibit both of these capabilities, in view of the fact that man is the animal having logos (language). In the words of Aristotle, man as zoon logon echon, i.e. animal “having” (echon) language—understood as speech and discourse. What is uniquely different of human craft from animal making, is not instinctive or spontaneous. Human craft involves deliberating, calculating, ordering, thinking, planning—all manifestations of logos. A connection that Aristotle wisely discerned when he says techne is the habit of making involving logos (true reasoning), in contradistinction to the rational quality concerned with doing (praxis)(2). All craft making has a non-automatic element to it, but to be truly technical it must be guided by mind, savoir-faire, by expertise. It is this rational element that makes the various arts eminently teachable. Following up these clues, one might think that technology is the sum of the products of craft and industry, and, even more, the sum of know-how, skills, and other devices for their production and use.

     However, this is, at best, a partial view. Technology, especially modern technology, occupies itself not only with the bringing-into-being of machines and tools and other artifacts. It is certainly involved in the harnessing of power and energy—thermal, hydroelectric, chemical, solar, atomic. The drill for oil, the damming of rivers, the splitting of atoms provide not objects of art but an undifferentiated ready resource for all sorts of human activities, in both war and peace. Indeed, according to Heidegger, this aspect of modern technology is essential and decisive. Modern technology is less a bringing-forth of objects than a setting-upon, a challenging forth, a demanding made of nature: that nature’s concealed materials and energies be released and ordered as standing-reserve, available and transformable for any multitude of purposes(3). Not the loom or the plow but the oil-storage tank or the steel mill or the dynamo is the emblem of modern technology.

Illuminating as this may be, it is still falls short of the phenomenon technology. For technology today is not limited to the mastering and control of the external and natural world. It has now extended into the realm of what is most noble, man himself. There is burgeoning biomedical technology, usable for genetic engineering and the like. There is psychological technology that include various techniques of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology. There are abundant techniques of education, communication, and entertainment; techniques of social organizations and engineering (e.g. police and the army); techniques of management (e.g.factory or boardroom); techniques of inspection and regulation; techniques of selling and buying, learning and rearing,dating and mating, birthing and dying. In our modern age technology is ubiquitous, much wider and deeper than the mechanical. Technology is an entire way of being in the world, a social phenomenon more than a merely material one, characterized by the effort, through rational analysis, methodical artfulness, and correlative organization, to order all aspects of our world toward efficiency, ease, and control—to achieve the fullest control at the highest efficiency at the least possible cost and trouble. In short it is a way of thinking and believing and feeling, a way of standing in and toward the world. Technology in its full meaning, is the disposition rationally to order and predict and control everything feasible, in order to master fortune and spontaneity, violence and wildness, and to leave nothing to chance, all in the service of human benefit. It is technology, thus understood as the disposition to rational mastery, whose problem we hope to discover.

 But whence comes such a disposition to mastery? Differently put, what is the source of the technological attitude? Again a terrible difficult question to answer. According to some its deepest roots are somehow tied to human weakness; necessity is the mother of invention. Need lies behind the fish hook and the plow, fear of the beast and men behind the club and barricade, and fear of death behind medicine. It is, according to Hobbes, fear of violent death that awakens human reason and the quest for mastery. But, as Aristotle rightly observed, to much fear can enervate the body and soul(4). According to Aeschylus’s Prometheus, only when men ceased seeing doom before their eyes were they able, with his aid, to rise up from abject nothingness, poverty and terror(5). On this view,the world’s inhospitality and hostility toward human need and aspiration inspires the disposition to self-help through technology.

Ecce, the master does not seek mastery just to escape from the cold.


Yet, on other accounts, the root is not primarily human weakness but human strength: huperefania, human pride rather than needy fear erects the technological attitude. According to Genesis, the first tool was the needle, and the first artifact the fig leaf, as shame (which in this context is perhaps nothing but wounded pride) moved the primordial human beings to cover their nakedness, right from the moment of their rise to painful self-consciousness(6). Pride lies behind the technological project of the city and tower of Babel, the humanity moved by the desire to make itself a name through artful self-assertion(7). It was Francis Bacon after all who at the beginning of modern era, himself moved by honor and glory, calls mankind to the conquest of nature for the relief of man’s estate, which project he regards as the highest and most magnificent human possibility(8). Ambition—the desire for wealth, power, and honor—prompts many a man of science and industry. Ecce, the master does not seek mastery just to escape from the cold. 

See Here: Technology II 


  1. See, Plato’s Gorgias 450C.
  2. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 1140a20.
  3. Martin Heidegger, “The Question concerning Technology,” in The Question concerning Technology and Other Essays, trans. William Lovitt (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), pp14-17.
  4. Aristotle, and William Ellis. A Treatise on Government: Or, the Politics of Aristotle. London: J.M. Dent, 1935. Print. pp 250.
  5. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, trans. David Grene, in Aeschylus II, The Complete Greek Tragedies, ed. David Grene and Richmond Lattimore (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), lines 250; 437ff.
  6. Genesis 3:7.
  7. Genesis 11: 1-9.
  8. Francis Bacon, The Advancement of learning Book I  and The Interpretation of Nature, in Selected Writings of Francis Bacon, ed. Hugh G. Dick (New York: Random House, 1955), pp. 193 and 150-54.



Our penchant for, and appreciation of technology’s comforts and conveniences, its relief from drudgery and want, have grown proportionally to its advancement and success. As technology has advanced in combating diseases, in producing an ever-increasing abundance of life’s material goods and an unending stream of innovations, so has our dependence and appreciation for it grown ever stronger. But this daemonium ex machina also brings with it affliction and deadly perils, and that dark side is something we have altogether lost sight of. Increasingly terrible weapons of war have become more and more terrifying. The specter of thermonuclear war is evermore present and seems more imminent than ever. We’ve let slip from our purview the fact that the machine can corrupt the garden as subtly as the serpent (1).
     This simple ambiguity about technology as a demonic force capable of vast good or catastrophic evil may seem to point to the fact that technology itself is neutral, and the only moral consideration is located in the intent of the individual using the technology. But upon reflection the problem becomes more complicated. Indeed, if the most pervasive and profound characteristic of the modern age is its ever-expanding conquest of nature, which seems now to be a permanent structure of the human condition, then the problem of technology can only lead in tragedy. Nevertheless, this is certain: the problem of technology is the problem of our time.
  We must then adequately confront this issue in its full theoretical and philosophical dimensions if we are to truly grasp our present situation, i.e. whether technology has “that which saves” within it or whether its condition is one of tragedy. The following series of essays will tackle the problem of technology from its inception to our present understanding of technology. This means that our discussion will begin with the emergence of modern technology, with its origins in classical Greek thought, and end with the destiny of modern technology. In between we will focus on different conception of human nature, of justice, on the supposed different modes of knowing, on Nietzsche’s will to power, and the Biblical anti-technological conception of the good life among many others. The reader is advised to keep in mind not only the most obvious questions (e.g. Is it moral or desirable to do what our technological capacities enable us to do? On whom devolves the right to decide this question? And how does one control the unanticipated or unintended consequences that may emerge from the exercise of this power, i.e. power to manipulate and control nature?) but also the deeper, and much larger, theoretical/philosophical questions that lurk beneath the surface concerning the rational coherence, the impact on humanity and our psyche, and the moral propriety of the whole modern technological project. Can modern scientific rationalism really give an adequate account of the world and especially the human world? Is the vision of nature and man that it imposes on us compatible with a truly human life? Does not the modern project for the mastery of nature violate some sacred or salutary limit on human power established by nature or God? As we follow along this project the reader is encouraged not to let these larger questions escape their direct attention.


  1. Genesis 11: 4-9, see also Leo Marx, The Machine in The Garden 


The Story of Technology


Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus 
Oedipus: “You pray to the gods?  Let me grant your prayers.”
Tiresias: “So, you mock my blindness?  Let me tell you this.  You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with-who are your parents?  Do you know?  All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood, the dead below the earth and the living here above, and the double lash of your mother and your father’s curse will whip you from this land one day, their footfall treading you down in terror, darkness shrouding your eyes that now can see the light!” 
Chorus: “Pride breeds the tyrant violent pride, gorging, crammed to bursting with all that is overripe and rich with ruin…. Can such a man, so desperate, still boast he can save his life from the flashing bolts of god?”
Oedipus:“O god-all come true, all burst to light!  O light-now let me look my last on you!  I stand revealed at last-cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the lives I cut down with these hands!”
Oedipus: “You, you’ll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused!  Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know!  Blind from this hour on!  Blind in the darkness-blind!….What good were eyes to me?  Nothing I could see could bring me joy.”  




Introduction to Technology I
Introduction to Technology II

Problemata I

Problemata II


Nature Of International Terrorist Organization

The Nature of International Terrorist Organizations 

By Stefan Sandor  

The nature of international terrorist organizations have become more complex in our time enabling them to survive and surpass the challenges and pressures of governments, either regional or further remote.  Therefore, in contradistinction to the classical approach of combating terrorist organizations by treating them as complicated systems, I argue that governments should combat terrorist organizations from a complex system approach. This would entail the proliferation of nonprofit organizations and networks,  with emphasis in disseminating humanitarian ideals, and providing access to resources and economic support to disenfranchised groups.

I. Complex systems

Throughout the natural and artificial world one observes phenomena of great complexities.  Complex system is a concept that is very well known in the disciplines of physics and biology.  Extensive research, in these disciplines, have shown that although the basic components of many systems are quite simple, in the aggregate the system displays complexity and a vast amount of spontaneous behavior.  In contradistinction to the second law of thermodynamics which implies that initial order is progressively degraded as systems evolve, many systems exhibit quite the opposite behavior, transforming initial simplicity or disorder into greater complexity. Thus, a complex system is a group or organization which is made up of many interacting parts. In such systems the individual parts, or agents,  and the interactions between them often lead to large scale behavior which are not easily predictable (if they are at all) from a knowledge only of the behavior of the individual agent. Unlike in a complicated systems where much of its characteristics are predictable, linear and reducible to cause and effect, the components of a complex system interact in ways that defy a deterministic, linear analysis.

II. Hezbollah and ISIS as complex systems

Hezbollah is known as  the most organized and business savvy terrorist organization that relies on global groups engaged in drug, arms, counterfeit trafficking and money laundering for funding and support.  With globalization, Hezbollah, and many other terrorist groups have “internationalized their support and operations, brokered formidable alliances, and present complex transnational threats that put security and prosperity at risk around the world”(1).  According to the article The Terror-Crime Nexus by Celina B. Realuyo, Hezbollah has significant support, beside the land of its inception, i.e. Lebanon, in Iran and Syria. From its infancy, Hezbollah obtained substantial amounts of financial aid and support from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Furthermore, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Counterterrorism,  Hezbollah operates terrorist cells in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  According Realuyo, there is a nexus between Hezbollah global facilitators of terrorism and crime. These facilitators can be individuals, groups, and even institutions. The used car trade-based money laundering scheme is an example where one finds the three agents mentioned above, i.e. individuals, groups, and institutions. The scheme operates in the following manner. Money from within  Latin America, is sent to Colombia where it is used to produce and grow coca plants. Cocaine is sent from Colombia to European markets via Africa. The drugs are sold in Europe. Proceeds are mixed with legitimate used car sale profits (used cars shipped from U.S.) in Africa and sent to Lebanese banks through exchange houses.  Some money from these exchange houses are diverted to Hezbollah and some are sent to Lebanese banks, from where once again some are sent to Hezbollah and some are returned to the U.S. to purchase more used cars to be shipped to and sold in Africa, where the cycle continues on.  Thus, the acceleration in technology, in telecommunication, the internet, transportation,  combined with globalization resulting from accelerated changes on all fronts, political, economic, social,  has allowed for the convergence of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and terrorist-crime networks to capitalize on global resources, markets, capital, and “facilitators” which in turn have allowed them to pursue their political and profit agendas, respectively.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) is also among the converging terrorist-crime networks ( more specifically it is an insurgency that nevertheless acts as most converging terrorist-crime network) that capitalize on global resources, supply chains, markets, and facilitators. Like Hezbollah, the scope, pace, and impact of ISIL’s activities is not limited to the Levant and Iraq region, but focuses on international objectives, i.e. on activities that endanger national security and prosperity across the world. Its aim is to establish a global caliphate through a world wide war. It is also clear that its main objective is to acquire territory, i.e. a caliphate can only exist if it holds territory. We can say that its raison d’etre is to sustain itself and expand. ISIL cannot exist underground, territorial authority is a must and a requirement. Arguably, if you take away its command of territory most of its oath of allegiance would not be binding, its would lose its legitimacy among the islamic extremists.

If we look at its financing it is similar to other terrorist-crime networks. ISIL’s major source of revenue comes from illicit oil smuggling, donations from deep pocket donors in the Gulf and elsewhere, kidnap-for-ransom payments, efforts to access the antiquities black market to sell looted ancient artifacts, and more (2). ISIL financing also crosses international borders and leverages the international financial system, e.g. the formal financial sector, banks, and alternative financial transfer mechanisms. Similar to Hezbollah, ISIL uses pre-existing crime networks to facilitate its aims and goals.

ISIL is also orchestrating well through the information and communication technology in its different means. Despite all the efforts to curtail their influence it still remains strong in YouTube, Facebook, and especially on Twitter. Through these social media tools and other websites ISIL is able to send its message world wide. ISIL’s expected goals are,  to show their religious beliefs and to justify their attacks religiously, to show their strength virtually and on the ground, and to recruit more followers. Perhaps, one way to counteract this is to proliferate social media with negative images of ISIL and related groups, e.g. atrocities committed by ISIL, territorial loses, humiliating defeats of ISIL, and the like.

It is clear that terrorist groups have become more network-centric and complex where the predictability of the interacting parts and their relational behavior has become very difficult.

Moreover, ISIL and other terrorist-crime networks will soon start recruiting private military contractors and consulting firms. One such contractor is Malhama Tactical a jihadi private military contractor and consulting firm that seems to be going global (3). A heavily armed and expertly equipped group of men, with body armor and ballistic helmets that promote their battles across online platforms, a relentless marketing scheme that seems to have paid off. The outfit’s fighting capabilities and training programs have become renowned among the jihadi admirers, e.g. Syria, Iraq, and abroad. This is but another component of the vast and complex system of terrorist-crime networks interacting in ways that defy a deterministic, linear analysis.

 It is clear that terrorist groups have become more network centric and complex where the predictability of the interacting parts and their relational behavior has become very difficult. The urgency is how do we combat these complex terrorist-crime networks with somewhat indeterminate predictable behaviours.

III. Insufficiency Of  Past Approaches To Terrorist Groups

Most of the approaches in dealing with terrorist organizations have been concentrated at finding and eliminating the leader of these organizations. Furthermore, in response to the threats posed by terrorist groups, the CIA and other intelligence agencies have simply enhanced the existing hierarchical structures. The most significant organizational change made, by the intelligence agencies within the US government since 9/11, was to add yet another vertical layer to the existing hierarchy by creating a directorate of national intelligence.  The intelligence community’s policy has been to create an entity that would wield ever greater central control to combat the complex system of international terrorist organizations.  This approach to combatting terrorist organization has shown to be deficient in predicting the trajectories of these terrorist-criminal networks and their behavior. The failure is due in part to the fact that these terrorist-crime network are complex systems and therefore, are not predictable in a mechanistic way indicative of complicated systems. The behavior of these inter-related nods of networks are unpredictable. The bulky hierarchies and massive sizes of the intelligence agencies, the slow decision process representative of such hierarchical agencies, their necessary inflexibility, and their bureaucratic behavior undermines their ability to successfully deal with complex systems of networks where quick decision making is needed and resilience to cope with unexpected outcomes is necessary. What is needed is a more nuanced approach in dealing with the complexity and indeterminacy of terrorist-crime networks.

IV. New approach

In order to deal with complex systems governments must employ an approach that is efficient, effective, and resilient, i.e. an approach which has the ability to cope with strategic shock and is quick at adapting to rapid and turbulent changes. Thus, resilience is one of the most important prerequisite for governments to operate effectively in a complex environment. In dealing with complex systems a government ought to be proactive in shaping the future, rather than trying to estimate the cumulative effects of complex systems and predict them.

The Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli in his work The Prince could not have said it better when he wrote “it has appeared to me more convenient to go after the effective truth of the thing rather than the imagination of it” (4). In effect Machiavelli argued for the shaping of habits which are conducive to freedom form chance and nature, and hence the effectual truth is in the results they produce.  By approaching the complex global environment from a Machiavellian perspective, governments will be more apt in dealing with the complex systems of terrorist-crime organizations and networks. The best way to approach the complexity problem is through international governmental and nongovernmental organizations and networks. The building of networks by governments will allow them to shape the behavior and outcomes of complex global environments, while international organizations, more specifically the non-governmental organizations, will deal with the unsuspected changes and strategic shocks arising from the complex nature of terrorist-crime networks.

Advances in information technology have empowered leaderless groups unified more by pursuit of a common goal than any kind of central goal.  These networks are particularly helpful in shaping  outcomes and facilitating movements, as seen in the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi where networks played a significant role. Governments should build networks that tie together civilian and military personnel from United States and other democratic governments that support the fight against terrorism. Civilian and military personnel can work together to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. In countries where illicit actors, e.g. Hezbollah, ISIS, etc. seek out governance gaps, socio-economic vulnerabilities, and other character weaknesses to conduct their nefarious activities,  military personnel can help and ensure completion of civic improvement projects, e.g. school building, roads, provide medical and disaster relief facilities.  Thus, military and civilian interactions, complemented by the aforementioned actions and by reaching out to civilians in these areas with niches coveted by terrorist, will ultimately give rise to a proliferation of social networks and physical networks which will more than likely endorse democratic ideals. Arguably, these networks will not only shape the outcomes of the parts within the complex interrelated system of networks but will also improve the response time to attack, the intelligence-process, and overall relation with the populace.

One of the weaknesses of intelligence community is its inability to deal with strategic shocks and sudden changes due in part to its bulky hierarchical structure and slow decision-making process. International organizations, especially non-governmental organizations, have the ability to reach further than governments can. According to Kim D. Reimann, numerous studies have shown that NGOs are an ideal alternative to approaching international problems because their “ability to reach poor communities directly, their cost-effectiveness, their more flexible, and innovative approach to problems, their ability to increase popular participation in projects and their emphasis on self-help” (5). Not only are NGO effective at reaching communities directly and more flexible, but they are also in a better position to perceive changes in environment symptomatic of terrorist-crime exertion. The peculiar nature of NGOs can be joined together in a symbiotic relationship with government agencies to deal with problems that arise from the complex interrelated behavior of terrorist-crime networks, and ultimately eliminate such networks. This would imply, not only that governments should endorse a more emphatic pro-network policy but also a decentralization of power to other multiple agencies within the government. This would require the intelligence community to change from a vertical structure where power is concentrated at the top, to a more horizontal structure where decision-making power is given to multiple agencies, with different degrees and nuances of power in the decision making process. If more power is given to military personnel working in conjunction with NGOs to deal with problems arising at ground level.  This approach encourages greater initiative at all levels of command. In World War II German military adopted with great success this approach to decision-making. Junior officers in the German military were empowered to make decisions on the spot, because they had a better and more direct feel for the situation on the ground.  This meant that every officer had to understand not just the orders but also the intent of the mission. Thus, this approach, i.e. the network’s ability to shape outcomes and to penetrate societal levels along with NGOs reach in communities, joined with government agencies,  will be able to deal with the complexity and chaos of  terrorist-crime networks and organizations.  

These are not without possible negative effects. Attempting such an approach accountability becomes more difficult especially in a world where human beings  seek accountability. People want to know who is responsible for certain actions and who should be accountable for the consequences of those actions. In this approach where greater access is given to more individuals in the decision-making process pinning down how is responsible accountable for actions taken on a global scale becomes more difficult. Perhaps, we should ask ourselves if this is a worthy payoff, i.e. to sacrifice some accountability for greater security and peace. Another possible outcome to this approach is that as accountability becomes more difficult to determine responsibility will decrease. People will be less likely to take responsibility for certain actions since they are less likely to be held accountable for those actions. These are possible outcomes we must take into consideration. Nevertheless, this new nuanced approach should be complemented with an approach that empowers Islamic women.

V. Empowering Muslim Women

Muslim women are a key element in strengthening counterterrorism efforts. According to our recent Council on Foreign Relations report, research shows that women are well-positioned to detect early signs of radicalization because their rights and physical integrity are often the first targets of fundamentalists.

To see more on this see the following article which lays out a pretty convincing argument to empowering Muslim women.


(1)  Realuyo, Celina B. “The Terror-Crime Nexus: Hezbollah’s Global Facilitators” Prism 5.1 (2014): 116-29. Print.

(2) Levitt

(3) Foreign Policy “Jihadi Private Military Contractor”

(4) Machiavelli, Niccolo, trans. Angelo M. Codevilla. The Prince. New York: Vai-Ballou Press. 1997. Print.

(5) REIMANN, KIM D. “A View from the Top: International Politics, Norms and the Worldwide Growth of Ngos.” International Studies Quarterly. 50.1 (2006): 45-68. Print.

NATO Publication


Immigration a right, or a privilege?

by Stefan Sandor

“Respect for moral obligations constitute the rightness of a right.”

Immigration is a privilege not a right. When we say that “we have a fundamental right to do such and such” we are invoking more than a mere right. We are invoking a right arising from actions and activities that are inseparable from the human existence and identity of our individuality. It is not merely about what we are free to do, but more about what we are substantively required to do in order to preserve our human existence and identity. Therefore, all unalienable rights are grounded in the obligations and responsibilities pursuant to human self-preservation. We, as humans, are obligated to fulfill these obligations, and every one of us has the right to fulfill those obligations without state interference, provided that the respective behavior is in conformity with the standard of action that constitutes the human existence and identity of each and every one of us. Respect for moral obligations constitute the rightness of a right. We shall call this the principle of moral rightness. There is nothing inherent in the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country that suggests one has a fundamental right to do so, or that the foreign country has a moral obligation to receive the respective individual/s. Moreover,  since all individuals have a moral obligation to their own self-preservation when taken in the aggregate as a single unite, e.g. a nation, the principle of moral rightness is transferable to the whole, i.e. the sovereign nation. Thus, ad idem with the individual a nation has a fundamental right to preserve its existence and identity, even when it requires that it slams shut its door to immigration.  We can conclude that the right of a sovereign nation to exclude and alien is absolute and the acceptance of aliens is a privilege bestowed on them not a right by the receiving country.

Who has The Power to Receive or Exclude Aliens within a Nation?

“That the government of the United States, through the action of the legislative department, can exclude aliens from its territory is a proposition which we do not think open to controversy.”

The power to receive or exclude aliens falls within the powers of the Executive and the Legislative branch. More specifically the power of Congress  “to exclude aliens from the United States and to prescribe the terms and conditions on which they come in” is absolute, being an attribute of the United States as a sovereign nation. “That the government of the United States, through the action of the legislative department, can exclude aliens from its territory is a proposition which we do not think open to controversy. Jurisdiction over its own territory to that extent is an incident of every independent nation. It is a part of its independence. If it could not exclude aliens, it would be to that extent subject to the control of another power, i.e. to a foreign power. The United States, in their relation to foreign countries and their subjects or citizens, are one nation, invested with powers which belong to independent nations, the exercise of which can be invoked for the maintenance of its absolute independence and security throughout its entire territory” (1). Moreover, the powers over foreign immigration is delegated through Article 1, section 8, clause 4, e.g.”to establish a uniform rule of naturalization,” to the Congress. Thus, not only does a sovereign nation have a right to exclude aliens simply by applying the principle of moral rightness to the nation as a single entity, being a fundamental sovereign attribute which is of a philosophical and political character and therefore subject only to narrow judicial review, but it is a power specifically vested in Congress by the constitution. Now how is the Executive involved.

The President must exercise the powers delegated to the executive branch, but he/she must also refrain from executing any powers not delegated by the constitution to the executive branch. Article 2, section 3 lists the powers delegated to the executive branch among them the clause that, “he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” The president must “take Care” that these laws enacted by Congress be executed; that would include the uniform rules of Naturalization and Immigration. Among these rules are, 8 U.S. Code, section 1182 (f) and section 1187, which give the president specific powers over immigration.

The federal immigration law Section 1182(f), states that, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as

“President Trump was principally relying on his inherent constitutional authority, without any doubt.”

he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate” (emphasis added).

Section 1182(f) plainly and extensively authorizes the president to issue temporary bans on the entry of classes of aliens for national-security purposes. President Trump was principally relying on his inherent constitutional authority, without any doubt. In fact, in doing so, he expressly cites Section 1182(f), and his executive order employees the same language of the statue, e.g. finding the entry of aliens from these countries at this time “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.” There is no doubt President Trump acted within his constitutional authority.

Supreme Court Cases Cited and Precedents

Chinese Exclusion Case (Chae Chan Ping v. United States), 130 U.S. 581, 603, 604 (1889); see also Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698, 705 (1893); The Japanese Immigrant Case (Yamataya v. Fisher), 189 U.S. 86 (1903); United States ex rel. Turner v. Williams, 194 U.S. 279 (1904); Bugajewitz v. Adams, 228 U.S. 585 (1913); Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941); Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U. S. 753 (1972). In Galvan v. Press, 347 U.S. 522, 530–531 (1954), Justice Frankfurter for the Court wrote: “[M]uch could be said for the view, were we writing on a clean slate, that the Due Process Clause qualifies the scope of political discretion heretofore recognized as belonging to Congress in regulating the entry and deportation of aliens…. But the slate is not clean. As to the extent of the power of Congress under review, there is not merely ‘a page of history,’ . . . but a whole volume…. [T]hat the formulation of these policies is entrusted exclusively to Congress has become about as firmly imbedded in the legislative and judicial tissues of our body politic as any aspect of our government.” Although the issue of racial discrimination was before the Court in Jean v. Nelson, 472 U.S. 846 (1985), in the context of parole for undocumented aliens, the Court avoided it, holding that statutes and regulations precluded INS considerations of race or national origin. Justices Marshall and Brennan, in dissent, argued for reconsideration of the long line of precedents and for constitutional restrictions on the Government. Id. at 858. That there exists some limitation upon exclusion of aliens is one permissible interpretation of Reagan v. Abourezk, 484 U.S. 1 (1987), affg. by an equally divided Court, 785 F.2d 1043 (D.C.Cir. 1986), holding that mere membership in the Communist Party could not be used to exclude an alien on the ground that his activities might be prejudicial to the United States.