The global war on terror has raised debates between liberals and realists on the position of ethics in intelligence operations. On the one hand, liberal ethicists insist that the conduct of intelligence gathering to counter terrorism must not violate the security rights of citizens. On the other hand, proponents of realism consider national security to be of greater importance than ethical principles governing individual freedom. This article tries to present an alternative point of view by examining the consequence of ethical criticisms of intelligence activities on the Indonesian government’s counterterrorism measures. It proposes two approaches to understanding the connection between ethics and intelligence: examining the nature of the terror threat, and looking at the sociopolitical situations which affect the role of the state’s security agencies. Arguably, securitizing intelligence by enforcing an ethical reconceptualization of intelligence roles increases the challenges facing Indonesia’s intelligence operatives and damages the effectiveness of the government’s counterterrorism policy.
- policy effectiveness
- war on terror