Appearing at a conference that looked under the Russia-NATO Council aegis at the role of servicemen in the anti-terrorism campaign, NATO secretary-general George Robertson asserted that the hostage-taking in Moscow revealed another symptom of an illness that has affected the entire international system.
George Robertson pointed out that the conference proceeded against the background of new acts of terrorism - in Mombasa last week, preceded by the outrage in Moscow's Dubrovka street. The anguish of the tragedy is still fresh in our memory, noted the NATO chief.
All the recent acts of terrorism hit many people and were perpetrated with the aim of causing a maximum number of victims amid the peaceful population. In his opinion, all of them were spearheaded not only against their direct victims but against the world community.
Sticking to his medical images, Robertson indicated that the cold war wound up with international terrorism having mutated, as a virus, into the main security challenge of the 21st century.
And if we want to meet this challenge effectively, we should transform our retaliation as well, said the NATO secretary-general.
Robertson said that apart from using non-military means - uprooting financial support for terrorism, coordinating work by law-enforcement bodies, toughening border check-ups and examining cargo containers more thoroughly, the military should intensify their role in the battle against terrorism.
In his opinion, this role can boil down to three main functions. First, the military can participate in staging protective measures to diminish the vulnerability of the civil population, the infrastructure, information processing systems and communication.
Besides, the military should be directly involved in carrying out progressive measures on uncovering, preventing, intercepting and doing away with terrorist activities, said Robertson. Thirdly, military units can help civilian authorities to minimize the aftermath of acts of terrorism and to bring the situation, in case such outrages are committed, to normal, believes the NATO secretary-general.
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