CARICOM countries need to prepare for fallout of US and Iran situation

A sug­ges­tion that CARI­COM heads meet as soon as pos­si­ble, and come up with a strat­e­gy to deal with any pos­si­ble fall­out or dan­ger­ous sce­nar­ios, re­sult­ing from the re­cent dé­tente be­tween the Unit­ed States and Iran.

It comes from Strate­gic Se­cu­ri­ty Con­sul­tant and for­mer Di­rec­tor of the Na­tion­al Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre, Com­man­der Garvin Heer­ah, who says Trinidad and To­ba­go should take the lead on this.

He warns that coun­tries around the world where US in­ter­ests are lo­cat­ed have now been made more vul­ner­a­ble, as a re­sult of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion be­tween Wash­ing­ton and Tehran.

“Iran has made a clar­i­on call to all of their sup­port­ers,” he states. “To all of their proxy forces—those are forces that are backed by the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment and their sym­pa­this­ers—to wage an at­tack on the US gov­ern­ment.”

He is urg­ing CARI­COM lead­ers to get to­geth­er quick­ly and come up with an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse to what could hap­pen next.

“You will find that peo­ple will be wrong­ful­ly ac­cused, wrong­ful­ly pro­filed, wrong­ful­ly in­ves­ti­gat­ed,” he warns. “We’ve seen that be­fore. Some of us ac­tu­al­ly have been the vic­tims of that when we’ve trav­elled in­ter­na­tion­al­ly based on that sort of pro­fil­ing, es­pe­cial­ly at in­ter­na­tion­al air­ports and sea ports. That’s a dis­ad­van­tage. It is some­thing that rolls out of these sorts of is­sues.”

Com­man­der Heer­ah says se­cu­ri­ty of­fi­cials in the Caribbean must take proac­tive moves and en­gage in strate­gies to en­sure the safe­ty and se­cu­ri­ty of their cit­i­zens, be­cause re­al threats al­ready may be em­bed­ded in their pop­u­la­tions.

“They must pay spe­cif­ic at­ten­tion to what might be the ex­is­tence of ‘sleep­er cells’. Or at least, in­creas­ing our in­tel­li­gence gath­er­ing to lis­ten out to the chat­ter that is tak­ing place, es­pe­cial­ly in the realm of the dark web.” He adds: “There is ev­i­dence that there are sleep­er cells in our re­gion. Be­cause of that, there can be that sort of per­son­al sym­pa­this­er type of ap­proach, where peo­ple may take it on­to their own as lone wolves, for in­stance, to treat with the is­sue.”

Both the US and Iran have re­port­ed to the Unit­ed Na­tions Se­cu­ri­ty Coun­cil that their mis­sile strikes against each oth­er were acts of self-de­fence.

And both have re­served the right to en­gage in sim­i­lar de­fen­sive ac­tion in the fu­ture.

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