Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Kandahár

RARELY have there been so many reasons to think about the country’s security policy. This week’s killing of a soldier in Kandahar, the recent murder of two mountain climbers by the Pakistani Taliban, and the arrest of a group of paragliders in Iran for alleged espionage prove that both terrorists and totalitarian regimes pose a threat to Slovak citizens.

RARELY have there been so many reasons to think about the country’s security policy. This week’s killing of a soldier in Kandahar, the recent murder of two mountain climbers by the Pakistani Taliban, and the arrest of a group of paragliders in Iran for alleged espionage prove that both terrorists and totalitarian regimes pose a threat to Slovak citizens.

On the other hand, law-enforcement agencies themselves can become dangerous, as evidenced by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the surprising extent of monitoring by American spies, suspicions of abuse of public funds in the military secret service and efforts by local police to force journalists to reveal their sources from inside the intelligence community.

Sadly, as in so many other cases, all of these events have led to little debate. Is the current supervision of spying agencies appropriate? Are there sufficient barriers against the abuse of power? Does a country as small as Slovakia need to have so many different types of security services, or should it leave some to allies and focus on several core activities? Shouldn’t members of parliament at least have some idea about how the budgets of the Slovak Information Service and the Military Intelligence are spent?

A new draft law on the intelligence agencies is already being circulated among lawmakers. Despite several changes, it does little to enhance outside control over what spies actually do and how they spend their money, which seems to be a crucial step. If the secret services are to excel at fighting the bad while leaving the good alone, they need to have someone looking over their shoulder.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Rules for hiring foreigners are simpler. For exceptions

Despite positive changes, employers still point to some barriers preventing more effective and simpler recruitment of foreign workers.

Some problems with Foreigners’ Police continue.

For a Decent Slovakia protests to resume on Friday

After a summer break, organisers of the protests that have drawn masses to Slovakia’s streets stated that their – and the citizens’ – demands are far from being met.

For A Decent Slovakia march on June 22, 2018, in Bratislava.

News isn’t negative because journalists are cynical

The problem is caused by the demand side.

What is it like to study at a foreign college? Students explain to high-schoolers

Some Slovak students who study abroad already have work offers.

Students during the workshop