After marriage therapy with bRaving Bipolar this past week a number of developments have occurred:
1. Time together is much more pleasant-she used to work most nights of the week, so my evening/night routines did not account for her being here, and threw me for an anxious and annoyance-filled loop, initially. I was more anxious about the money we were going to lose and annoyed at what I perceived to be my concerns taking a back seat to things out of my control, again. I am really enjoying having her home every night, even on the weekends. She works during the day on the weekend, but that isn’t too hard.
2. I finally finished two classes I’ve been trying to get through since January 1st of this year. I was “enrolled” in them through late Feb, when DDay 1 occurred, and I took a leave of absence. DDay 2 occurred and I extended my leave of absence. I was re-enrolled on July 1st and did almost no work; only quizzes, until about the first week of September. I asked for a 30 day extension for both courses and was approved; I did almost nothing again until 12 October. In 2 days and 2 nights I wrote 7 papers totaling 30 pages, and should have been 40 but for an active-duty Marine serving as my instructor. He talked to me over the phone about my long paper-the one I couldn’t get done to the page limit. After listening to me describe the structure, the major points, my ultimate opinion and where I was getting my source information, he decided to award me with an A (90%) and did not have me write the entire paper. I had about a third of it written, and had the sources to back-up my material. For the record, my topic was: The impact of UAVs on Counter-terrorism, and the legal circumstances of employing them to target American citizens abroad for kinetic effects. If you think that’s a mouthful and huge in scope, you should have read my opinion and the supporting evidence. I may eventually finish the paper and post all 15 pages of it.
3. Emotional intimacy is high. I can “feel” her emotions and I would assume she can feel mine. During the day, I don’t have so many uncontrollable obsessive thoughts about the affairs; they still occur randomly, but not as long and not as intense. We spend much more time together, and have little “routines” for things we do when we do. Like watching a show or movie-something to drink, charged battery for the tablet, working internet connection for the XBox, whatever.
4. Physical intimacy is leveling out. The last two times we’ve been physically intimate, I have perceived her as being in to it, and enjoying it (as in, she is enjoying it because she can be in to it). I asked the first time, and she initiated the second. It was a bit funny, she was undressing feet in front of me and I averted my gaze so she wouldn’t feel pressured or uncomfortable; she said I had such a cute, innocent look on my face. I replied that I didn’t want to look at her undressing and make her feel uncomfortable. She said something else, turned on a light in another room, turned off the light in our room, and pulled me on to the bed with her. *Fist bump*
Just for poops and giggles, here’s one of the papers I wrote this past weekend: a study of the United Kingdom’s CT law and how effective it is. I haven’t written a paper in about a year, so for the grammar nazi’s: I don’t give a flying shit. Additionally, this is a short paper-as required-so if you want a fairly general look at the UK’s counter-terrorism effectiveness, read below.
Terrorism is a strong force in the world today. It became a primary issue in the United States following the media’s coverage of the attacks on 11 September, 2011. In Europe, however, the United Kingdom has been battling terrorism since before the early 1900’s. Over this time the United Kingdom has developed a comprehensive but ineffective policy with respect to counterterrorism. To understand this, the policy must be examined to discern what the United Kingdom defines as terrorism, what agency is responsible for counterterrorism, and how effective the agency and policy have been against terrorist groups.
How does the United Kingdom define terrorism?
The two main laws with respect to terrorism are the Terrorism Act 2000, and the Terrorism Act 2006. The Terrorism Act 2000 has two subsets for defining terrorism and identifying acts that will be considered terrorism. The first subset defines terrorism as:
“the use or threat is designed to influence the government [or an international governmental organization] or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious [or racial] or ideological cause.” (National Archives, 2000).
The second subset identifies actions that can be considered terrorism if it:
“involves serious violence against a person, involves serious damage to property, endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action, creates a serious risk to health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.” (National Archives, 2000)
The United Kingdom’s terrorism legislation criminalizes several other actions related to terrorism, such as recruiting for a proscribed terrorist group, and training one’s self or others to commit terroristic acts. It also specifically states that “The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.” (National Archives, 2012). The Terrorism Act 2006 expands and revises some of the provisions of the Terrorism Act 2000.
The Terrorism Act 2006 starts off with a revision of the original definition of terrorism, and includes other government organizations as possible criminal targets for terrorists to act against. With the explosion of internet, and social media during the first decade of the 21st century, the Terrorism Act 2006 also specifically includes the internet as a medium for communicating terroristic threats.
Who is responsible for counterterrorism in the United Kingdom?
The United Kingdom places the responsibility for counterterrorism in the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a sub organization of the Home Office. According to the OSCT website (2012) their responsibilities include “Supporting the Home Secretary and other Ministers in directing and implementing CONTEST…deliver aspects of this strategy directly, through legislation, guidance and funding…set the strategic government response to terrorism-related crises through the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) mechanism.” (Home Office, 2012). The Counter-Terrorism Strategy that the OSCT is charged with implementing centers around four principles: “Pursue, Prevent, Protect, Prepare.” (Home Office, 2012).
Pursue is centered around detection and investigation, with a focus on stopping terrorist attacks before they reach execution. The Regulation of Investigative Powers Act (2000) governs some of the investigation activities, such as covert surveillance, communications interception, human intelligence, and the protection and investigation of private electronic data. (Home Office).
The organizations conducting counterterrorism operations within the U.K., and abroad vary between federal and local. Within the U.K. the civil law enforcement generally investigates and apprehends terrorists. The British Security Service has the authority under certain circumstances to gather intelligence surrounding suspected or actual terrorist activities. The armed forces also conduct counterterrorism nationally and internationally. Nationally, the British military engaged the various forms of the Irish Republican Army in Ireland and Great Britain. Internationally, the U.K. armed forces are conducting counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan. The Guardian (2012) reports that “Up to 200 UK special forces servicemen are expected to remain inAfghanistan as a counter-terrorism unit after the formal pull-out of British forces in 2014.” (Wintour).
Terrorism within the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has spent a significant amount of the last 50 years fighting the various forms of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Alexander (2002) writes that “Irish terrorism in Great Britain (mainland Britain compromising England, Scotland, and Wales) began on October 31, 1971, with the bombing of the restaurant at the top of the London Post Office Tower.” (p 201). The IRA, and later the Provisional IRA fought for the independence of Northern Ireland. Catholics felt discriminated against and began acts of civil disobedience. The PIRA began attacks after a harsh response to the civil disobedience from the local Constabulary. The Council on Foreign Relations (2010) states that “Tensions rose and Britain deployed regular army troops to the province’s streets, ostensibly to protect the Catholic minority.”
Effect of Counterterrorism
The effect of counterterrorism in the United Kingdom has prevented attacks on the scale of what happened in September 2001. The Olympic Games occurred in London in 2012 without any major incidents. The military and law enforcement were placed on high alert, and anti-aircraft missiles were deployed around the city to prevent a sizeable passenger aircraft, or small aircraft laden with explosives, from approaching the area.
The counterterrorism policy has not been without incident, however. The bombings in 2005 were conducted by four men, who died as a result of the bombs being suicide devices and killed 52 people. Additionally, Hanman (2009) wrote about three men who were given unfair trials. The men, and their lawyers, were not aware of what they were accused of, nor were they aware of the evidence in use against them. These circumstances were created by the use of control orders, which grants a specific government official very broad power to act on intelligence to restrict a person’s civil rights.
The United Kingdom has good response organizations and methods, but is currently alienating the population by not being able to strike a balance between security and the threats to civil rights by the restrictions they impose. While the United States does not have the perfect counterterrorism policy either, both countries would do well collaborating on prevention techniques, and integration of intelligence with law enforcement.
Alexander, Y. (2002) Combating Terrorism: strategies of 10 countries. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.
Hanman, N. (2009) Control Orders. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/feb/03/civil-liberties-control-orders Retrieved on 15 October 2012.
Home Office (2012) About the office for security and counter-terrorism. Retrieved from http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/counter-terrorism/OSCT/ Retrieved on 3 October 2012.
National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2000. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/contents Retrieved on 3 October 2012.
National Archives (2012) Terrorism Act 2006. Retrieved from http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/11/contents Retrieved on 3 October 2012.
Wintour, P. (2012) UK special forces will stay in Afghanistan in anti-terror role. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/20/special-forces-stay-in-afghanistan Retrieved on 4 October 2012.