National Security Policy and Civil Liberties

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National security policy and civil liberties

In order to achieve an effective and rational security policy while maintaining constitutional guarantees and liberties at the same time is a hard task to undertake. A long –lasting debate has existed concerning matters of balancing the citizen’s liberties and rights against national security. There are always difficulties in ensuring that a rational policy is attained without violating or neglecting the constitutional provisions for civil liberties. In most cases, constitutional provisions are neglected in order to gain a national security policy (Fenwick & Howard, 2004). Civil liberties are the freedoms and rights that accord an individual, particular rights like; freedom from forced labor and slavery, rights to life, rights to security, liberty, and many more. These civil rights are in the constitution and in some other cases, there is a lot of tension when dealing with cases where such liberties must be kept and at the same time, national security is to be maintained (Farber, 2008).

In cases of attacks, for example, the minorities are seen to be undermined in the expense of fighting the enemy. In such times when there is a crisis in the country, it is usually said that the ‘laws are silent’, it is at this point that national security‘s supremacy dictate over liberty(Bianchi, 2004). This is seen in Rehnquist book when he said ‘national emergencies shift the balance between freedom and order toward order- in favor of the government’s ability to deal with the conditions that threaten the national well-being’.

It has, therefore, been hard to safeguard people’s rights when there is a danger to the national security. Many people have suffered in cells and prisons even though innocent. This arises when there is great danger and no real culprits are got (Wells &Cohen, 2004). Suspects have always been at the receiving end, and their rights have been breached in the expense of the security of the whole nation. Considering the case of the World War I and II, there was a restriction of the civil liberties of the American citizens so as to silence political decisions of criticism and to preserve national security.

In order to achieve liberalism, liberty is seen as a precondition of national security, similarly, a particular degree of personal safety and national security is indispensable in order to realize personal freedom. Interrelationship between security and liberty in times of political discourse is, however, portrayed as one-sided; hence, personal freedom has been overlooked and more emphasis put on national security and personal safety (Farber, 2008).

The major strategy that is put in place in order to reduce this tension faced in maintaining civil liberty and maintaining national security at the same time in case of attacks, for example, is enforcing of human security approach; this is the best approach because it entails thriving into achieving both justice and security. With this approach, it will be realized that national security promotes civil liberties because it preserves a society where freedom and rights are exercised.

Another way of reducing this tension is by increasing the state’s powers. By so doing, citizens are protected from both physical harm and oppression by the state. In this case, human rights and civil liberty will not only result into individual benefits but also national security. According to Gross Emanuel, he says ‘ the rule of law and respect for civil liberties and human rights constitute major components of national security’ it is, therefore, evident that if these factors are undermined, adverse effects on national security may be experienced.

Finally, this tension can also be reduced by ensuring that the government does not introduce a legislative measure that is not suitable or completely stop interfering with the civil liberties of the citizens if it can accomplish their aim without interfering..

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