Kidnapping and planned homicide in any country are acts of specialized terrorism. In Haiti, such acts have become common practice. Almost every single day you wake up, you hear on the news that someone gets executed point-blank or kidnapped, creating a situation of constant fear in the population. Something must be done and must be done NOW to secure the nation so that investments (foreign and national) can start pouring in the country.
These criminals -kidnappers and murderers -in Haiti are domestic terrorists; we need to call them what they are. Therefore, dealing with them requires bold actions which must be part of a national security strategy apparatus.
Let us be clear on one thing: President Martelly campaigned on the urgency to revamp our agonizing economy by encouraging investments and creating jobs, which is awesome. But, sorry to say it, that will not happen if we cannot secure the country. Investments and criminal activities do not mingle or cohabit. Whenever crimes become a matter of normalcy within any territorial space, investments flee. That is just the way it is. So to attract and keep investments within our borders, we have got to win the war on crimes.
President Martelly must develop a comprehensive strategy to fight domestic terrorism and attract and prevent investments from fleeing to other countries competing against us for cheap labor. What must he do to address this national security issue which is poised to be one of the most pressing challenges of his administration?
To address this national security issue, President Martelly must:
1. ask the help of the international community to train a National Security Force (NSF) with the objective to dismantle the criminal cells and capture the criminals dead or alive.
a. Such specialized elite force will be composed of 500 or 1000 well trained and equipped military personnel.
b. The force will have an Intelligence Unit to infiltrate the criminal cells and collect pertinent intel in terms of their locations and their activities so they can be stopped before they hit their high value targets.
c. To lower the cost of training this force, they could proceed with the recruitment of Haitian citizens who had served in foreign militaries.
2. restructure the Interior Ministry and refocus its mission to respond to all threats with the potency to compromise or endanger our national security -fighting drug trafficking, kidnapping, organized crimes and secure the nation.
a. The National Security Force should fall under this agency, which should be run by people with expertise in intelligence and national security. These people will constitute the team to advice the president on issues pertaining to national security.
In conclusion, candidate Martelly promised during the campaign to revamp our economy by encouraging investments (foreign and national) and creating jobs. There is no way such promise could become a matter of reality if he does not develop and implement a national security strategy to dismantle the terrorist cells, capture these terrorists dead or alive and secure the country. We cannot let these terrorists control the country and terrorize the population. Fighting terrorist activities is not the job of a police force, especially not of one as limited, ill-trained and ill-equipped as the one we have. Stopping or killing these terrorists requires that we place ourselves ahead of them, and such must be the president’s biggest national security priority. You do not play with terrorists; you capture them either dead or alive.