There is no quick fix for addressing all national security threats. Even if there were, it would still be challenging to keep up with the threat environment as it continually evolves at what seems to be exponential rates. The natural and manmade disasters of yesteryear are compounded with emerging cyber, technological, and other threats that once were only in the imagination of science fiction writers.
Unfortunately, the technologies that provide solutions to modern issues and needs are sometimes used to facilitate nefarious actions. For example, “big data” provide vast amounts of information that is critical for research, networking, and security, yet such data could also infringe on personal information, privacy, and security. Such technology develops quickly, with unintended consequences easily following.
Artificial intelligence is another technology that has various uses. Traditional threat detection devices like metal detectors have limited effectiveness in detecting modern non-metallic threats. However, security in today’s world requires a proactive and mitigative approach. Simply reacting when an incident occurs may be too late to prevent devastating consequences.
Of course, there is always a place for human intelligence in a national security strategy. Situational awareness and recognition of warning signs can help deter crime and save lives. Human trafficking and public health threats are just two examples where human intelligence is a key component to successful mitigation. To secure communities and prepare for potential threats, a combination of emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and human intelligence are needed.
This issue explores these national security issues and provides ways in which preparedness professionals in the public and private sectors can secure their communities and build resilience.