Recently, I became inspired to write an article on Risk Management while reading an article on the online version of the Washington Post. As someone in the security industry, Risk Management is a field that I find particularity fascinating. I know what you are thinking…risk management? fascinating? really?
The reason why risk management seems boring is because it is a huge field that deals with one of the things people fear the most: RISK. What I find fascinating about risk is that if managed smartly, it can be a good thing. In other words risk management is concerned with both the positive and negative aspects of risk.
At the heart of conducting a good risk assessment is asking the right questions. March Fisher’s (Senior Editor of The Washington Post) article entitled “In Tunisia after Arab Spring, Islamists’ new freedoms create new Muslim divide”, not only asks the right questions, but also gives security coordinators like myself; a good paradigm to study.
This question clearly highlights how sensitive the situation in Tunis still remains: Can and should Tunisia’s blend of Western and Islamic values and practices be maintained under the North African country’s new freedom, or has that freedom unleashed a religious extremism that threatens to push this land of 10 million people toward a new kind of dictatorship?
The article makes (2) great points that strengthen the question:
- In a country that is nearly 100 percent Muslim, a growing rift over religion threatens — in the view of the secular president of the new parliament — to throw Tunisia into “chaos.”
- “Now, our situation is so fragile and sensitive because we are caught between two forces — one that wants progress and one that wants to go back in time.”
For many security analysts, May 1st peaceful protests downtown were further evidence that Tunisia is continuing to move in the right direction. That being said we have also learned that the State of Emergency will be extended into the Summer and perhaps beyond.
Risk management is a continuous and evolving process. As Tunisia continues to transition into a new & more democratic version, we will continue to write our risk assessments in pencil.
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