Panel of Experts Draws on Military, Diplomatic, Academic, Legal and Research Experience to Explore Security Challenges at Olympics
Security concerns at the Sochi Olympics are a just one facet of security issues globally, and the current events provide a valuable opportunity to discuss the challenges and potential for the way ahead.
The Potomac Institute co-sponsored an event at the International Law Institute Feb. 20 titled “Olympics Security Lessons: From Munich to Sochi” to look at the many security challenges, including cyber and physical, as well as the legal framework through which to view the challenges.
Kim Phan, ILI Executive Director, opened the discussion by reminding the audience that geopolitical issues and terrorism continue regardless of events like Olympics, and that venues attracting world attention are favored by terrorist groups.
Prof. Yonah Alexander focused on two Olympics – 1972 in Munich and 1980 in Moscow – as examples of political issues and terrorism impacting international sporting events. He also cited the current events in Ukraine as a different kind of brutalization that deserves attention now. Prof. Alexander is Director, Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, and Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.
Read more: Olympic Security Challenges: Physical, Cyber, Legal and More
Economic Development, Security, Governance and Engagment Are All Vital Elements of Stability
Bringing stability to areas of conflict provides is challenging because of the many elements of power and diplomacy that are traditionally used. But BGen David Reist (USMC, Ret.) says combining economics with governance and engagement is the best solution.
BGen Reist asked an Iraqi Army general if he needed security for economic development, or economic development for security. The general’s response: “One hand alone cannot clap.” This reinforces that integrating all the elements of national power is the best path toward success, BGen Reist emphasized.
Read more: Stabilizing in Conflict: One Hand Alone Cannot Clap