Security & Counter Terror Expo2014-02-21 08:18:43

An interview with Counter Terror Expo Speaker Dr. Jamie Patrick Shea

Q: What is your involvement with the Counter Terrorism and security markets?
A: Counter-terrorism is one of my key responsibilities, especially NATO's Defence Against Terrorism programme of work where we develop technologies and projects to counter-terrorist threats; for instance technologies to detect and jam improvised explosives devices, aircraft and helicopter survivability, harbour security and non-lethal weapons.

Q: What are you speaking about at CTX?
A: How NATO evaluates the evolving threat of terrorism and how we can use our resources in the most cost-effective manner to fight the increasingly decentralized and fragmented nature of the terrorist threat.

Q: Why have you chosen to speak about this at Counter Terror 2014?
A: It is in my view the best platform bringing policy makers together with the industrial and technological community and representing a truly global audience where almost everyone has something useful to contribute.

Q: What do you consider to be the main counter terrorism and security risks around the world in 2014?
A: The increasingly decentralized nature of terrorism which is no longer focused primarily on Afghanistan-Pakistan but has spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa and no longer follows the centralized hierarchy or command structure, which characterized Al Qaeda back in 2001. How to stay ahead of the curve when the intelligence picture can change so quickly? Moreover, how can we avoid losing all the know-how, techniques and good practices that we have built up over the years in operations, such as ISAF in Afghanistan, while increasingly sharing the counter-terrorism responsibility with the local actors in the front line of the terrorist networks? Another aspect is the rise of the lone wolf or self-indoctrinated terrorist and the way in which Syria is attracting recruits from all over Europe who could return and pose risks to our own societies in the future.

Q: What are the key points of the speech?
A: The need to learn the lessons of our engagement in counter-terrorism over the last decade. What did we get right, what did we get wrong? Where are the major threats coming from? Where should we prioritize?
How can we best do capacity building to help local actors take the lead in countering the local terrorist threat?

Q: What one thing would you want your audience to take away from your speech?
A: The sense that we cannot afford to demobilize in the fight against terrorism, simply because we are withdrawing from overseas missions like Afghanistan and have become tired or disillusioned with foreign engagements. The threat of terrorism is still very much there and we will need to continue to improve our techniques and keep the Jihadists on the back foot. I will try to suggest ideas for how we can do this without necessarily committing to large scale foreign interventions such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

Dr Shea will be talking on NATO'S Priorities in Countering Terrorism post-Afghanistan

Dr Jamie Patrick Shea
Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges

Jamie Shea is NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. He has been working with NATO since 1980. Positions included Director of Policy Planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations, Public Diplomacy Division, Director of Information and Press, Spokesman of NATO and Deputy Director of Information and Press, Deputy Head and Senior Planning Officer at the Policy Planning and Multilateral Affairs Section of the Political Directorate as well as Assistant to the Secretary General of NATO for Special Projects. Jamie Shea is involved with several prominent academic institutions and acts amongst others as Professor of the Collège d'Europe, Bruges, Visiting Lecturer in the Practice of Diplomacy, University of Sussex, Associate Professor of International Relations at the American University, Washington DC, where he also holds the position of Director of the Brussels Overseas Study Programme, and lectures at the Brussels School of International Studies at the University of Kent.

Jamie Shea is a regular lecturer and conference speaker on NATO and European security affairs and on public diplomacy and political communication and lobbying. He holds a D.Phil. in Modern History from Oxford University (Lincoln College), 1981. Amongst his many associations and memberships, Jamie Shea is Member of the Advisory Board, Security and Defence Programmes at Chatham House, Member of the Policy Council at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and Founder and Member of the Board, Security and Defence Agenda Brussels.

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