Open Minds and History Key to Understanding Terror, French Expert Says

By Joseph Straw


“…everything was written. Nobody took care of it. Why? Not because nobody read it—I think nobody read it—because it was too early, but when it happened nobody was prepared because nobody prepared themselves in case it happens,” Bauer explained. “…we don’t say that what we foresee will happen, we just say may happen, and we need to be prepared because prevention is not a way to avoid crisis, it’s a way to survive a crisis. And that was something the president very well understood.”

Bauer argued that risk management requires acute awareness of regions and issues that are likely to pose problems in the future. Not only can these issues be spotted through intelligence collection, but scholarship and robust analysis can even help governments focus intelligence collection based on risk.

Most important in the intelligence and risk analysis fields is a deep knowledge of history, and an openness to ideas and threats that fall outside strict Western ideological constructs, Bauer argued.

“In criminal or terrorist matters, what we regard as ‘new’ is actually what we have forgotten,” Bauer said.

♦ Photo of Alain Bauer


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