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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Business Times, May 5, 2013
 

Despite the fact that the dust has barely settled from the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon last month, the power of communication and dialogue has never been more clear. Whether it was communications between international intelligence organisations prior to the events, or inter-agency cooperation during and after the manhunt for the perpetrators, the Boston bombing has proven that dialogue is more important than ever.

In high-pressure situations, effective communication can be the linchpin for success; but ineffective communication and poor dialogue can lead to failure. Both of these outcomes happened during the overall events that make up the terrorist attacks in Boston last month. The successes can nearly all be attributed to well-executed dialogue between groups or nations, and nearly all of the failures can be attributed to poor dialogue or a total lack of dialogue.

In 2011, two years before the attack took place, there was a pivotal moment that shaped the nature of the events that would take place at a time that seemed an eternity away. No one knew that Tamerlan Tsarnaev or his younger brother Dzhokhar were up to anything nefarious, and it is likely neither of them were actually engaged in planning their 2013 attack at that time.

However, there was one organisation which was on the lookout: the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB is essentially the current equivalent of the KGB, responsible for intelligence and threat tracking both at home and abroad. The main difference between the two organisations is that the FSB co-operates with the American intelligence agencies the CIA and FBI in a way that the KGB would never dream of doing.

It was the FSB who first took notice of the older Tsarnaev brother. In 2011, the FSB saw that Tamerlan had undergone a drastic change since 2010 – he was becoming more and more devout in his Islamic beliefs and increasingly radical in his world view. Fearing possible terrorism in relation to his connection with both radical Islam and Chechen separatists, the FSB decided to engage in a dialogue.

The FSB believed that Tamerlan – who was living in the US at the time – was planning a trip to Russia to join an underground group. They contacted the FBI in the United States to warn them of the possible threat. This is exactly the type of dialogue that should be encouraged, and at first it seemed as if this communication would lead to a positive outcome. Tamerlan was interviewed by the FBI and placed on a watchlist by the CIA, but the interview did not find any terrorist activity. This is where the dialogue broke down.

A request for further information from the FBI to the FSB was denied, and with the dialogue lines broken, there was no way for the FBI to further its investigation. This led to Tamerlan figuratively being let free – as he was never in direct custody of any government organisation – and being able to go about his business undisturbed.

Whether further FBI investigation would have led to an arrest prior to the bombings is impossible to know. However, one thing is clear: There were at least some people in the FSB, FBI and CIA who knew about the Tsarnaev brothers prior to their attack, but had to let their suspicions fall by the wayside because of the broken communication lines between the US and Russia. It is evident that moving into the future, keeping communication lines open between national intelligence agencies will be as critical as it ever has been in preventing terrorism.

Of course, dialogue did not totally fail us in the wake of the bombing. While beforehand, a breakdown in dialogue led to the perpetrators being unwatched as they planned their attack, afterwards, the dialogue between state, national and international organisations was unprecedented and surely helped to not only capture those responsible, but save the lives of some victims.

Well-coordinated
Police agencies ranging from university and local to state and federal were in constant communication, and engaging in further dialogue with the FBI and the CIA to track the brother’s movements, uncover their past transgressions and find their whereabouts to make an arrest. This brilliant coordination led to the assailants being either killed or captured within just a week of the attack.

When executed properly, dialogue can be the key to success in almost any scenario. Whether it be criminal investigations, international relations or simply communication between two individuals, without dialogue we are simply lost at sea.

The Boston bombings have shown that dialogue is a double edged sword, powerful and swift when there are proper lines of communications open, but in the event that communications break down, the prognosis is frighteningly bleak. Looking ahead, we must not overlook the events leading up the bombings; we must learn the lesson that important information must be kept at the forefront of all parties which need it, and to do that you must engage in dialogu

 

The writer is founder and chairman of Horasis, a global visions community


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