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More From the Progressive Counterterrorism Files: Brandon Friedman

In addition to Moira Whelan, here’s Brandon Friedman of VoteVets, an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, on the components of a progressive counterterrorism agenda. Taking what he calls a “long-term” view, Brandon is kicking around an idea for “an ROTC-like program throughout colleges and universities for the intelligence sector and State Department,” in order to build a public-service career path for, say, language skills and area expertise:

The thing about military ROTC is that after four years of fairly intense training, you get an officer corps that is much more technically proficient than if the military simply recruited officers the same way they recruit for the enlisted ranks. Right now, both the intelligence community and the State Department are willing to hire qualified people off the street, give them a year or two of training, and then send them off to foreign countries. Compare that to the military, where most officers receive four years of training before they even start the job. Then, after they graduate and start, they’re typically put through roughly another year’s worth of specialized training. That’s about three more year’s worth of training–for this specific job–that military officers get over their foreign service and intelligence officer counterparts.

To my point: I’m thinking that that’s three more years of language training our future counterterrorists could get. Of cultural training and immersion. Of instilling loyalty and a sense of national service. I just think it makes for a stronger, more qualified organization.

Most importantly, I think, by putting these programs all over the country, you expose college kids all across America to the work of both sectors. By doing so, you can begin changing the views many Americans hold with regard to “terror.”

It’s a long term idea, but I think it would begin forcing Americans to view “terrorism” in its proper context.

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