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Tuesday, 06 September 2016 15:38

A Voice For The People

It's been said that the times
makes the person and 2016 is calling
out for Dick Anderson,
candidate for Lee County Commission
District 3.
Dick is devoted to his loving
family and is motivated to
work as a public servant to leave a
legacy for our children and grandchildren
that protects our unique
natural environment and provides
high quality educational and employment
Having worked in the public
and private sector, Dick brings a
balanced perspective in operating
local government as a business but
with the vision to ensure responsible
stewardship of our land and
water resources. Dick worked as a
Land Planner for Lee County Government
and WCI Communities as
well as for the Little Pine Island
Wetland Restoration and Mitigation
Strongly immersed in our
community, Dick has served as an
Adjunct Instructor at Florida Gulf
Coast University teaching courses
on Economics and the Environment
and has volunteered on
numerous organizations including
American Red Cross, Lee County
Chapter, Calusa Nature Center and
Planetarium and Edison Learning
Center Board.
Given that his opponent, incumbent
Larry Kiker is strongly
supported by U.S. Sugar and
developers relentlessly pushing to
increase the density and intensity
in Lee County, Dick offers an exceptional
opportunity for voters to
challenge the status quo and elect a
representative of the people not
special interests.
While Kiker has been noticeably
absent and ineffective in
the effort to address our dirty water
crises, Dick understands that it is
the state that has jurisdiction over
water quality and the overriding
need to hold the state legislature
and South Florida Water Management
District accountable by buying
land south of Lake Okeechobe
to store, treat and convey water to
the Everglades to alleviate the excessive
release of polluted water
that continues to destroy the
Caloosahachee and our coastal estuaries.
Kiker and the majority of
the Lee County Commission supported
an 85% reduction in
impact fees costing the county and
school board approximately $50
million over three years for necessary
infrastructure. Dick well understands
the need to balance the
budget with equitable revenues that
reduce the reliance on property
taxes. Impact fees are an important
source of revenue to ensure that
new development, not the existing
taxpayers, pay for the infrastructure
to accommodate growth. Furthermore
impact fees equals jobs as
the funds are used to pay the labor
workforce to build roads, parks and
Kiker's recent support of
the Grand Resorts on Fort Myers
Beach not only led to an
state ethics investigation but would
have given away Cresent Beach
Park and jeopardized beach front
homeowners with a half-mile sea
wall that would have exacerbated
coastal beach erosion.
Dick's primary reason for
running for the Lee County Commission
seat is to restore integrity
and honesty to local government
and serve as a Commissioner that
is accountable to everyone and beholden
to no one.
In his campaign literature,
Kiker states that preserving our
pristine environment is a top
goal yet, his actions are contrary to
what he says. In violation of the
public trust, Kiker and the majority
of the Board of County Commissioners
(BOCC) voted to raid the
Conservation 2020 Trust Fund in
the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 fiscal
years, in excess of $40 million
dollars, to balance the budget. In
the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the
shifted the 0.50 mils, designated
for Conservation 2020, to the General
Fund, effectively undermining
a uniquely successful program.
Dick Anderson was on the
original grass roots organization
that worked with our community to
support Conservation 2020 and he
well understands the importance of
revitalizing the program to conserve
our precious land and water
resources, enhance property values,
and provide open space for public
enjoyment and quality of life.
Shame on Kiker in receiving significant
financial support from Big
Sugar when he was elected in 2012
but, shame on us if he is re-elected.
Make the right choice.
Vote for Dick Anderson.
Ray Judah

Saturday, 03 September 2016 08:45

Letters To The Editor

Hello Sun Bay Letters Editor.
I found this opinion piece that sheds some interesting light on the alternative
darling of the Democratic Party - Bernie Saunders. I am hoping you
will reprint it...................
No, Bernie Sanders is not a sellout — but it is pretty amusing that the nation’s
most prominent socialist just bought a third home.
There are no grounds for suspicion: Bernie is a kook, not a crook. It
seems an inheritance for wife Jane allowed the Sanders family to buy a
$600,000 summer house in North Hero, Vt., an area they’ve long loved.
The four-bedroom crib faces 500 feet of Lake Champlain beachfront; the
couple will use it mainly in the summer, spending most of their time at
their Capitol Hill rowhouse and another home in New North End, Vt.
The Sanders’ income from the Senate, Social Security and various small
investments is a bit over $200,000, enough to put them in the top 4 percent
— still safely out of 1 percent territory. Estimates of their wealth had
been around $500,000 before Jane’s windfall.
Call it the result of a life of modest living, albeit in decades on the government
payroll: It’s still proof that even a fervid socialist can do OK in a
nation he insists is dominated by the super-rich.
For all that his own success belies his political views, here’s hoping
Sanders enjoys the beach.
Ed Note: Thank you. Interesting submission. We have identified it as New York
Post editorial board piece. It is insightful.
The front page Sun Bay paper of Aug. 10 appeared to have a news article
about Clean Water, but after subjecting myself to the lengthy read, it
turned out to be more of a letter to the Editor, written by a former Beach
newspaper owner, Carl Conley. It appears on pg. 13 that Mr. Conley still
holds some personal animosity toward the incumbent commissioner,
Larry Kiker, whose name was even misspelled on his front page picture.
The entire article makes slanderous allegations against Commissioner
Kiker but is short on offering factual proofs. The exaltation of Kiker’s
opponent, Dick Anderson, (also spelled “Andersen” throughout Mr. Conley’s
letter) likewise fails to list credentials showing him to be qualified
to handle the many and varied responsibilities of the office of County
Commissioner, such as budget preparation experience. Perhaps you don’t
care about the quality of material you print with soybean oil and recycled
paper, but the people deserve better news based on facts and not political
opinion starting on the front page of a “news” paper!
Sincerely, Leon Moyer.
Ed. Note: Thank you for you letter. We appreciate all replies to material featured
in The Sun Bay Paper. We could like to note that Mr. Anderson has years of experience
working in government including writing comprehensive provisions for Lee
Country that helped maintain our environment. That information appeared in an
earlier Sun Bay article, We also note that Mr. Kiker, who is well known to this
newspaper, was a boat captain before entering the political arena and cannot boast
of the "budget preparation experience" you tout. Furthermore, Mr. Conley - who
was indeed the founder, Editor and Publisher of the Island Sand Paper for over ten
years not only knows Commissioner Kiker personally but actually endorsed him
during his first attempt to win public office as a beach councilman. Mr. Kiker
sought Mr. Conley's endorsement at the time and did go on to win the election.
Conley supported Kiker until Kiker's policies made in impossible for the Editor to
do so. In the last election - and a pattern being repeated in this one - Kiker is
backed by considerable money funneled to his benefit by Big Sugar and others
bent on using public resources at taxpayer expense both in terms of fiscal responsibility
and environmental stewardship. Kiker is very pro-development and has
been embroiled in controversy since becoming Commissioner. Many on the Beach
remember his opposition to our Beach Library and his submission to the proposed
development of Grand Resorts which fortunately was stopped by a concerted effort
of informed Beach residents. Many are attracted to power and Kiker holds
some of the reins at this time but that does not make good policy nor make those

A new investigation by the
Daily Express has found that the
massive Rotherham child sex exploitation
ring whose discovery
rocked England two years ago is
not only still in operation, but is as
strong as ever. Reports from social
workers, police, residents, and
abuse victims all said the same
thing: It’s still happening on an
“industrial scale.”
In 2014, an independent inquiry
led by Alexis Jay, a former
senior social worker, found that
men of Pakistani origin had
groomed at least 1,400 young girls
for sexual exploitation over the
previous 16 years. These girls, as
young as 12, were variously raped,
abducted, tortured, and forced into
prostitution. Keep in
mind, this happened—and is still
happening—in the heart of England,
not some far-flung banana republic.
The report, known as the
Jay Report, found “blatant” failure
by city officials and police who
didn’t prosecute the well-known
and well-documented crime ring
out of fear of being accused of
racism. So they hushed it up, ignored
it, and blamed the victims
It now appears that, two
years and millions of pounds later,
little has been done to eradicate the
predatory operation. Despite a follow-
up report published earlier this
year claiming that the sexual exploitation
was being addressed
“adequately” and that previous
failures were “isolated” events,
people the Daily Express interviewed
paint a very different picture.
Sex Trafficking Rings Across
A former social worker
who works with the victims said
there has been a slight improvement
in the city but that the scale
of the sexual exploitation is still on
an “industrial” level. A lawyer who
has represented dozens of the
young girls involved added that
there are now half a dozen “splinter
groups” in the town grooming
under-aged girls.
This same lawyer is convinced
that similar abuse is going
on in towns across England, and
that local police aren’t taking parents
seriously, just they didn’t in
Rotherham for years. This is corroborated
by reports that authorities
have arrested or prosecuted
men, mainly of Pakistani origin,
operating similar sex rings in 11
towns in England.
This new development
raises a number of concerns, one of
which is whether authorities continue
their inaction from fear of
being accused of racism for going
after these groups of predominately
Pakistani men. One
victim who was interviewed by the
Daily Express said she knew several
other girls who had gone to the
police and were told they were
being racist.
More Important: Ending Rape
or Ending Whining?
It wouldn’t be surprising if
this fear were still motivating officials.
In 2015, the group British
Muslim Youth called on Muslims
in Rotherham to cut ties with the
police because, they claimed, all
Muslims were being painted with
the same brush. The Muslim community
would “boycott” Muslims
who didn’t join with them. According
to the BMY, Islamaphobia had
risen to “unprecedented levels”
after the Jay report was published
in 2014, and Muslims were being
It’s entirely possible that
Muslims in general took some unfair
heat after a scandal like this.
But that doesn’t mean the government
and police don’t have a
solemn responsibility to speak
plainly about and take seriously allegations
of criminal activity, regardless
of the suspects’ profile.
This line of reasoning always
creeps up when criticism of
Muslims or Islam arises. Try to
talk about the dangers of Islamism
and its clear link to terrorism, or
the consequences of mass Muslim
immigration, and one is liable to be
branded a bigot and told one’s
making the problem worse by encouraging
a backlash against the
Muslim community.
The London Times, which
first broke the story of one of the
victims and her abusers in 2013,
was subsequently accused of being
racist because it impli-

cated Pakistani men in the scandal.
This confirmed the fears of some
Rotherham officials that many
would not welcome prosecutions
and arrests of Pakistanis.
These kinds of overreactions from
Muslim activists are exactly what
scares police and government officials,
discouraging them from investigating
and prosecuting crimes
committed by their Muslim immigrant
This Is a Widespread Problem
It isn’t just happening in
Britain. The same phenomenon can
be seen across the European continent.
German officials repeatedly
tried to cover up the mass sexual
assaults that occurred on New
Year’s Eve in cities across the
country. First, they tried to keep
what had happened out of the
news, then insisted it had nothing
to do with migrants or men from
Muslim-majority countries. When
it finally came out that the attackers
were, in fact, predominately
from the Middle East and North
Africa, German officials tried to
downplay the extent of the attacks.
To the German government’s chagrin,
news broke just last month
that there were many more assaults
than previously thought—more
than 1,200 victims and more than
2,000 attackers.
We can get an insight into
the motivations behind these kinds
of official cover-ups by looking at
a less well-known example. In January,
a left-wing German politician
was raped in a playground by three
men speaking Arabic or Farsi.
When she reported the crime to the
police, she lied and said the men
were speaking German.
Twelve hours later she went back
and told the truth, claiming she
hadn’t wanted to create “more hatred
against migrants in Germany.”
In all these cases, the truth
didn’t conform with the official
narrative about Muslim immigration:
that everything’s going swimmingly.
In reality, the
unwillingness of the government,
politicians, and police to confront
crime committed by the Muslim
immigrant population is a sign that
Europe has a deep and troubling
integration crisis on its hands. Europe
can’t integrate immigrants if it
doesn’t hold them to the same standards
as the native European population.
Equality Under the Law Matters
There are ominous signs
this failure of integration is being
transferred to the younger generation
of immigrants. In the Rotherham
case, it appears that it’s no
longer just older Pakistani men
who are targeting these young
girls. It’s now also the girls’ peers.
If European law enforcement
agencies give immigrants
from Muslim countries special
treatment, the consequences on all
fronts will only be harmful. It will
fuel far-right groups, allow crime
to go unchecked, and create more
strife between Muslims and non-
Muslims. It also infantilizes Muslim
communities by treating them
as too fragile to be held to the social
and legal expectations of their
new home.
This failure of integration
has been going on for decades and
is now reaching a fevered pitch.
Europe sowed these seeds of discord
long ago and now it’s seeing
the fruits. Many immigrants and
their families have done just fine in
Europe. But as we’re seeing almost
weekly, many have not.
Rotherham is a particular
disgrace because it shows that once
again multiculturalism trumps
everything, including the safety of
young girls. The shocking revelations
about Rotherham two years
ago should have resulted in a final
repudiation of European political
correctness. Sadly, it didn’t.
And some of England’s most vulnerable
residents are paying the
M.C. Oprea
A writer based in Austin, Texas.
She holds a PhD in
French linguistics from the
University of Texas at Austin.


Saturday, 03 September 2016 08:13

Airman Perseveres to Compete in Ultramarathons

Fla., - Inspiration for the modern
marathon, a 26.2-mile race, stems
from military origins. Legend tells
of a Greek soldier who ran from
Marathon to Athens to deliver
news of the defeated Persian army.
More than two millennia later, one
airman is writing his own story.
Air Force Master Sgt.
Michael Dupertuis, the aircrew
flight equipment superintendent for
the 6th Operations Support
Squadron here, is part of a select
group of athletes driven to compete
in the sport of ultramarathon running.
An ultramarathon is any race
that is longer than the traditional
marathon length of 26.2 miles; typically,
they run between 30 to 100
Though he tackles the distance
now, Dupertuis never
planned to become a serious runner,
let alone an ultramarathon athlete.
“The Big D Marathon in
Dallas, Texas, was eye-opening.
By about mile 18 my body started
breaking down,” Dupertuis said,
recalling how unforgiving the
pavement had been.
After he completed his first
traditional street marathon, Dupertuis
said he never intended to continue
running. But he did.
His interest in running
began while stationed at Moody
Air Force Base, Georgia, where he
says he was introduced to trail running
during daily physical training.
“I’ve always enjoyed being
outside and running in the woods,”
Dupertuis said. “It’s quieter, less
crowded and lets me enjoy the
wildlife and terrain around me.”
First Ultramarathon
Dupertuis said he continued
trail running after he changed duty
stations. The more he ran, he said,
the more he enjoyed the sport.
With the support of a nearby trail
running community and his family,
Dupertuis attempted his first ultramarathon.
“I started running ultramarathons
because I wanted to prove
to myself and others that I could,”
Dupertuis said. “I had already run a
marathon, and I figured that 50
kilometers wasn’t much further.”
But, he said, his first ultramarathon,
a 50-kilometer event,
started off on the wrong foot -- a
failure he believes to be the result
of inadequate preparation.
“I was going back out to do
the last eight miles and I tripped;
caught my toe and my legs
cramped up,” he said. “Everything
cramped up and I was exhausted. I
pushed through because my wife
and kids were going to be at the
finish line. I wanted to show my
kids that if you push, you can finish
anything you start.”
Longer Races
Dupertuis explained it took
him three-and-a-half hours to finish
the last eight miles of the race.
However, despite his defeat, he
was determined to try again. To
date, Dupertuis has logged two ultramarathons
and many shorter
long-distance races. His longest
run so far is a 100-kilometer ultramarathon.
“I found the 100K because
I was looking for a 50-mile race,”
Dupertuis said.
Dupertuis explained that
the race website advertised a medal
for everyone that finished, but
something more attractive caught
his eye.
“Those who completed the
100K would get a big ole’ belt
buckle, and being me, I decided to
run 12 more miles,” he said.
Dupertuis explained that
except for a brief period of doubt
around mile 30, his 100K performance
significantly improved from
his first ultramarathon.
“I felt good the whole time; I was
just enjoying it,” Dupertuis said.
“The last 16 miles were nothing
but rain and I loved it. Running in
the dark with only a headlamp,
slopping through the mud, made
me feel like a kid again.”
Extensive Conditioning
Dupertuis said his accomplishments
are largely the result of
extensive conditioning, which he
said is key to completing an ultramarathon.
“During the week, I run
twice a day and cross-train with
weights,” Dupertuis said. “On the
weekends, I do a pace run on Saturday
and a long run on Sunday.
The idea is to run on tired legs so
your body is used to it during a
For new runners, the feat of
an ultramarathon may seem out of
reach, but Dupertuis encourages
others to start small by building a
strong base and gradually adding
distance as he did.
“I didn’t start running until
Master Sgt. Dupertuis introduced
me to trail running two years ago,”
said Peter Raspitzi, a friend and
neighbor. “Running up and down
the hills was difficult at first, but
now I train about once a week with
Raspitzi explained that although
he has completed a few
short-distance races, he plans to
leave ultramarathon running to his
neighbor, who he describes as exceptionally
“I think his drive and determination
are what make him so
successful,” Raspitzi said. “I told
him he was out of his mind to run
an ultramarathon, but he was determined
to prove that he could.
When he puts his mind to something,
he does it.”
Alannah Don
6th Air Mobility Wing

Uber Technologies Inc. may come
out ahead by failing to win court

You might expect a disease
that can kill 95 percent of its victims
would be on everyone’s radar.
But in the case of visceral leishmaniasis,
that’s not the case.
Known as Black Fever, the
affliction remains on the World
Health Organization’s list of neglected
tropical diseases. Why?
Well, because it affects “the
poorest of the poor,” said David
Poché, director of field research at
Genesis Laboratories. Transmitted
by adult sand flies that bite cattle
and whose larvae feed on their
feces, it affects 400,000 people
every year and, even with available
treatment, still kills as many as
30,000. (Malaria, by comparison,
was contracted by 214 million people
last year, killing 438,000.)
More than 90 percent of
new VL cases occur in India,
Brazil, Bangladesh, Ethiopia,
South Sudan, and Sudan, but Poché
said the disease is spreading. VL
and other forms of leishmaniasis
are “subtle diseases” that kill untreated
individuals slowly—sometimes
over the course of multiple
years—meaning there’s still “not a
perception of urgency” among infected
individuals and the medical
community, said Mark Wiser, a
professor in Tulane University’s
department of tropical medicine.
Estimating the growth of
VL and other forms of leishmaniasis
is challenging because of its
slow-burn progression as a disease,
as well as its rapid appearance in
specific locations, Wiser said. Although
mortality has decreased in
some areas, recent conflicts in the
Middle East and an increase in
Syrian refugees caused spikes elsewhere.
Poché worked with colleagues
from Texas A&M’s department
of wildlife and fisheries
sciences to study how the insecticide
fipronil can be used to kill the
sand flies that spread VL. Their
findings, published on Thursday in
the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical
Diseases, showed that when
used on cattle, single annual

fipronil treatments could reduce
sand fly populations by more than
90 percent. Using a model, the researchers
showed that monthly
treatments could eradicate the flies
within two years. Their work was
funded by the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation.
Because of the lack of information
about the proportion of sand flies
that feed on cattle, and the proportion
of eggs laid in cattle feces,
they had to use a probabilistic
model to study the potential impact
of the insecticide. In their simulations,
they found that the timing of
insecticide application as it related
to the sand fly life cycle was also
important. Sufficient planning
would be needed to apply the insecticide
at the right time to avoid
the compliance issues that prevent
drugs from being effective. The researchers
hope to start a field trial
to gather more data about how
fipronil could limit sand fly populations.
Unfortunately for those affected by
the disease, which causes fever,
weight loss, and anemia, frequent
insecticide treatment of cattle that
live in close proximity might be
too costly.
A drug to treat VL, miltefosine,
was approved by the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration in
2014 and is available at little or no
cost in India—specifically Bihar,
which has a vast majority of that
country’s VL cases, Wiser said.
(The insecticide study’s model was
based on Bihar.) But Poché noted
that in Bihar, one of the poorest
areas in India, testing is costly.
Transportation is an additional barrier,
as is the fact that drugs like
miltefosine have to be taken for 45
to 60 days, said Rajesh Garlapati,
senior vector ecologist at Genesis
Once fever goes down, “people
neglect to take the whole course of
treatment. They act as reservoirs
and spread disease,” Garlapati said.
Other leishmaniasis drugs come
with toxic side effects, and the
prospect of developing a more
practical treatment is unlikely,
Wiser said. He contends there is little
incentive for pharmaceutical
companies to invest in the necessary
“Rich people get cancer, so
developing an anti-cancer drug,
you know people can afford to buy
it. If it’s a disease that only poor
people get, it’s a little bit different
story,” he said. “Drug companies
aren’t particularly interested because
the people with the disease
don’t have a lot of money, so they
can’t make a profit on these

As some of you may have
heard, we will be closing Town 
and Country Liquors after 27
years on Ft. Myers Beach. Our
lease in set to expire at the end of
October of this year. It will not be
renewed. Many things have
changed both on and off the island
over the years that have influenced
our decision to end this chapter of
our lives and start a new one. We
have been blessed to serve the residents
and visitors of Ft. Myers
Beach for so long. Your loyalty is
how we managed to survive 27
years. You are the reason for our
success and we can't thank you
enough. We have built many
friendships since our beginning
here back in 1989 and it will be
hard to leave all of you. We will
still be here for you at least
through September as we discount
and liquidate our inventory and we
would appreciate your continued
support. Stop in and take advantage
of our discounted prices. We
wish everyone on this beach the
best over the coming years.
Thank you

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 18:39

The Music Scene In & Around The Beach

Fort Myers Beach is a place
where you'll constantly be filled
with things to do.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016 09:25

Cops Alone Can't Stop Terrorism

Statistically, the odds of
being caught up in a terrorist attack
in Europe are still vanishingly
small. But the Bastille Day killings
in Nice, the attack in Ansbach, and
the brutal slaying of an elderly
French priest in his church near
Rouen have punctured any remaining
sense that the threat from terrorism
is remote or receding.
Saturday's machete attack on two
female police officers in Charleroi,
Belgium only adds to that sense of
London's police chief,
Bernard Hogan-Howe, wrote in a
blog post last week that an attack
in Britain is a question of "when
not if." So far, the response seems
to be to throw a staggering amount
of armor at the problem.
Last week saw a new 600-
man counter-terrorist police force
introduced to the streets of London.
From their gray Kevlar body
armor to their high-speed BMW
motorbikes, London's new police
are a long way from the traditional
gunless British bobbies: Their arsenal
includes a Glock 17 pistol and
a Sig Sauer MCX carbine gun.
Trained to operate on water and abseil
down buildings, they are
equipped with battering rams and
special ballistic shields.
Britain isn't the only country
arming itself to the teeth to
fight the terrorist threat. In Germany,
the government has ended a
national taboo that dates to World
War II by ordering soldiers to prepare
to join counter-terrorist efforts,
while France is quickly
becoming the kind of police state
Donald Trump can only dream of.
From the beaches of St. Tropez to
London's shop-lined Oxford Street,
combat boots and assault rifles are
mixing in with flip-flops and beach
All of this armament is understandable.
But there is another
approach that deserves more attention
Programs to detect and prevent
radicalization work further
upstream. Hundreds of such efforts
are now in progress in cities all
over the world, deploying a wide
range of tools and strategies. They
will increasingly be required to
counter what French philosopher
Bernard-Henri Levy recently called
"the uberization of opportunistic
mass terrorism."
If policing is about finding
a needle in a haystack, these efforts
are all about the haystack. "We
tend to think that this is such a
unique, new and exotic challenge
and in some ways it is -- the ideological
component especially -- but
actually what a lot of people at the
municipal level say is that this is
another social challenge that can be
mainstreamed into our social work
and our work with young people,"
says Jonathan Birdwell, head of
policy and research at the Londonbased
Institute for Strategic Dialogue.
Such programs have been
around for years. They vary in
scale, approach and even how they
define the problem, and so it has
been difficult to get a handle on
what works and doesn't. That is
starting to change.
In May, more than 200 delegates
met in Antalya, Turkey, as
part of the Strong Cities Network,
which connects local officials
fighting violence and provides a
database of programs and best
practices. This includes information
on city-wide approaches such
as Rotterdam’s Anti-Radicalisation
Approach or the Montgomery
County Model, but also training resources
for initiatives such as Montreal’s
Center for the Prevention of
Radicalization Leading to Violence
and resources for front line practitioners
such as the UK’s Prevent
Training Catalogue.
Inspiration and guidance
sometimes comes from the unlikeliest
of places. Dr. Seiny Boiukar
Lamine, the mayor of Kolofata, in
northern Cameroon, spent 50 days
in captivity after being abducted by
Boko Haram. He escaped and devoted
himself to helping his community
build defenses against the
group, setting up "vigilance committees"
in towns and villages, establishing
links between local
committees and government forces
and seeking international support.
In the Colombian city of
Medellin, once known as the
world's most dangerous city, local
authorities reduced the homicide
rate by 90 percent -- also through
creative community engagement
and in part by building libraries
and transport links and tackling
poverty and isolation in areas
where the drug cartels had found
easy pickings.
The idea that Cameroon
and Medellin havesomething to teach Colorado and
Manchester may seem a stretch,
but those working in counter-extremism
say there are some broad
lessons to be applied.
First, city-led programs are
often better than nationally led
ones. "If there's anything we
learned," says Strong Cities Network
manager Rebecca Skellett,
"it's that initiative is about being
locally designed, locally owned
and locally led."
While Britain's much-criticized
Prevent program was ahead
of the curve in some ways, it discouraged
local innovation. It also
blurred the line between security
intervention and community engagement,
leading to criticism that
it was discriminatory and counterproductive.
That speaks to the second
lesson: "Soft state" functions
should as much as possible be separate
from security services. "If
you are trying to build the trust of
the community and running programs
with young people as a way
of giving them something positive
to do and a safe place to talk about
these issues, you don't want one of
the facilitators to be MI5," Birdwell
says, referring to Britain's internal
security services.
In a recent survey of youth
activists involved in countering extremist
messages, less than half
thought that law enforcement
should be included. While many of
those targeted by these programs
have little confidence in local or
national government, engaging in
the community through sports, cultural
events, educational programs
and peer-to-peer groups is seen as
highly effective.
A third lesson is the importance
of a multi-agency approach,
involving community leaders,
schools, religious leaders and nongovernmental
organizations. The
pioneer in this has been Denmark,
which has produced more foreign
fighters per capita than any other
European country except Belgium.
The so-called Aarhus model,
named after its second city, engaged
community police, social
services, youth workers, therapists,
and, crucially, returning fighters
and former radicals who became
trained mentors, to dramatically reduce
the number of foreign fighters
and extremists. The approach has
also been adopted in the capital,
"To me, it is not a question
of emphasizing either policing and
intelligence or the local or municipal
effort. It is about mutually reinforcing
the two where it makes
sense," Frank Jensen, the lord
mayor of Copenhagen, told me in
an e-mail.
A fourth lesson is the importance
of social media in disseminating
something most Western governments
do poorly if at all. Islamic
State is a multi-channel social
media powerhouse; Western governments
are nowhere in their response.
The Institute for Strategic
Dialogue just published results of a
year-long pilot study on the impact
of counter-narratives. Researchers
tracked the impact of 15 videos by
three nongovernmental organizations
-- in Somalia, the U.S. and
Pakistan -- to discourage engagement
with violent or extremist
groups. The content, approach and
target audiences varied, but the
slick counter-narrative videos
proved powerful, receiving over
378,000 video views and 20,000
total engagements. A handful of respondents
in the study asked for
help to leave their extremist group.
These programs have a
long way to go and remain underfunded.
The most comprehensive
counter-extremism programs seek
not only to prevent radicalization,
but also to reintegrate radicalized
individuals with exit programs, especially
important as increasing
numbers of younger offenders are
spending time in prison. Cities
should never underestimate the
power of mentors and former jihadis
in getting the message across
to young people, as programs in
Denmark, Britain and elsewhere
have shown.
These efforts can't replace
the new robo-cops policing our
streets, but they may ultimately do
more to make us safer.
This column does not necessarily
reflect the opinion of the editorial
board or Bloomberg LP, The Sun
Bay Paper and its owners.
Therese Raphael

The Army's Training and
Doctrine commander challenged
military, industry and academic
leaders attending the Mad Scientist
Conference, Monday, Aug. 8 and
Tuesday, Aug. 9, to think differently
about the future.
"There's a preoccupation
with trying to predict the future,"
said Gen. David G. Perkins,
TRADOC commander. He challenged
the group assembled at
Georgetown University to describe
the future --
not predict it.
"That sounds like a nuance,
but actually it's a significant nuance,"
Perkins said. He explained
that describing the future requires
having a well-rounded understanding
of the environment. It means
understanding the changing variables
and not "hardwiring" a solution.
During the conference,
these "mad scientists" are tasked
with describe the strategic security
environment in 2050. The Mad
Scientist initiative is co-sponsored
by the Chief of Staff of the Army's
Strategic Studies Group,
TRADOC, and the Georgetown
University Center for Security
This is the second year a
group has met in Georgetown for
this ongoing intelligence initiative.
Speakers include Chief of Staff of
the Army Gen. Mark Milley, along
with the editor of Popular Science
Magazine, the president of FutureScout
LLC, the director of the
Australian War Research Center
and representatives from universities
across the country.
Perkins told the group that
he's not looking for innovative
ideas. What he wants is innovation,
which he defined that as turning
critical thinking "into valued outcome."
The Army has no lack of
innovative thinking, he said, but
because of bureaucracy and an allor-
nothing mentality, it's often difficult
to follow through on
innovative ideas. In business, many
companies with innovative ideas
have gone bankrupt, he said, because
they couldn't bring those
ideas to market.
One of the things that characterize
innovative companies is a
high rate of collaboration, he said.
That's what the conference is all
The military often has an
"obsessive-compulsive nature to
get everything digital," he said.
"What happens is we miss opportunities
to shape the future. We get
consumed with responding to the
A different way of approaching
the future would be to
ask the question, "What puts the
U.S. Army at an advantage?"
"We don't do as good a job
thinking two moves ahead, especially
if we're successful," Perkins
said about the military. He said
success tends to hardwire a tactic
or technique and make it permanent.
But the enemy adapts.
For instance, he said the
U.S. has the best targeting capabilities
in the world. So enemies decide
not to be a target. They don't
wear uniforms; they don't assemble
in large formations; they blend in
with the population; and they go
Any technical innovation is
only temporary, Perkins reminded
his audience. The enemy will soon
"Technology has become
the most transferrable of our capabilities,"
he said. Years ago, stealing
a trade secret required taking
blueprints and reams of documents.
"Now all you need is a thumb
As an armor officer,
Perkins said he has long appreciated
the protection afforded by the
M1 tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
"I'm used to getting my protection
from tons and tons of
armor," he said.
Advanced protection for
combat vehicles is one of the capabilities
that TRADOC leaders believe
will be critical in 2050.
"The problem we're seeing
now is, with the proliferation of
ATGMs (anti-tank guided missiles),
chemical-energy munitions,
shaped charges … is that the cost
curve as well as the physics (are)
working against us," Perkins said.
"It's much easier to develop new
ways to penetrate the armor."
Changing penetrating
charges is relatively inexpensive
compared to producing new armored
vehicles, he said. The adversary
can update more quickly and
at lesser expense. The old paradigm
of "more and more armor"
may be outdated, he said.
"Better think of a different
way to protect," he said. What's
needed are capabilities, rather than
things, he said. He challenged the
group to avoid some of the "traps"
that discussions of the future often
fall into.
Army News Service


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