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How CANZUK Can Win The War On Terror

CANZUK International advocates the free movement of people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, but many will be concerned with the concept of opening our borders while terrorism atrocities continue.

A CANZUK alliance would be a significant force in fighting terrorism  (photo: Yuriy Dyachyshyn / AFP / Getty Images)

   Written by James Skinner

The most recent attack on an arena in Manchester, England, left 22 people dead and dozens severely injured. The youngest was an eight year old girl.

Prime Minister Theresa May raised the UK threat level to “critical ”, meaning another terrorist atrocity is expected imminently. Over 1,000 military troops have also been deployed around the UK as the hunt for a terrorist network begins, and counter-terrorism operations are expected to continue over the coming months.

It is therefore clear that such atrocities are becoming common in the western world, but how can an alliance of CANZUK countries help the fight against terrorism? Would citizens of these countries be at a greater risk, because free movement of people naturally means free movement of criminal activity?

You may be surprised to hear that CANZUK International’s proposals would mean the very opposite; greater security collaboration and greater national security for all citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Many are unaware that the CANZUK countries already collaborate on international security through the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance, comprising Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These countries are bound by a multilateral agreement to collaborate on, and share, signals, military and human intelligence, making it the most comprehensive and effective intelligence alliance in history.

At the most recent gathering of the Five Eyes countries in New Zealand, Prime Minister Bill English stated: “It’s becoming increasingly obvious, I think, that as you consider these supra-national threats like ISIS that you work together with other countries”, and with a combined budget of approximately $11 billion per year, the Five Eyes is not short of resources or funding for its operations.

It is reasonable to think that free movement would strain the operations of the Five Eyes countries, but not so when their capabilities are considered. As a former NSA Director once explained, “if a suspected terrorist boards a plane in Australia on his way to the United States, we know everything about him – his name, age, address, even his bank account number – before he even lands”.

Even with the introduction of free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the likelihood of terrorist atrocities occurring would be no more significant than they already are. In fact, their likelihood would be even less so, as free movement of CANZUK citizens would provide greater opportunities for diplomatic cooperation between these countries, and a greater pool of human resources to recruit from, making the Five Eyes operations even more effective.

Not to mention, free movement (as proposed by CANZUK International) would not develop along the lines of the European Union’s protocols, but along the principles adopted through the Trans-Tasman Travel Agreement. 

This agreement, which exists between Australia and New Zealand, permits the free movement of people while also granting customs and intelligence officers the discretion to refuse entry of “undesirables”. Those labelled as such are refused entry to Australia or New Zealand because of intelligence sharing protocols alerting customs officials of the entrant’s criminal history (for example, if they have served time in prison, are on a terrorist watch list, have affiliations with former or current terrorist organisations, etc). In other words, a terrorist boarding a plane in Australia would be barred from entering New Zealand before he even stepped foot on New Zealand soil.

This is nothing more than a common sense approach for freedom of movement, and what better way to combat terrorism than by sharing such free movement regulations, and increasing intelligence collaboration, between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

There is no doubt that despite our politician’s best (or sub-par) efforts to fight terrorism, the attempts of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Boko Haram to destroy western values will continue.

However, an effective way of hindering, and even destroying, such threats from these organisations has already proven its worth. The collaboration of the Five Eyes countries provides a useful starting point for a more comprehensive diplomatic alliance for the nations of the CANZUK Group, which would compliment the work of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

A safer, more secure world is therefore closer than we think, and all our representatives in parliament have to do is look to CANZUK for the answer.

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