Bush School Dean weighs in on Belgium attacks, U.S. security

By  | 

After the attacks in Belgium, U.S. officials provided extra security at American airports, train stations and subways. ISIS took responsibility for the attacks, and that had some Americans questioning how the U-S is being protected.

Dean of A&M's Bush School Ryan Crocker said Tuesday the U.S. has strong communication among agencies.

"Post 9/11, we have worked really hard on our intelligence and security capacities, and above all, our ability to coordinate among agencies and services," said Crocker. "We've gotten very good at this. The Europeans, sadly, have not. I would say the Belgians are behind where we were on 9/11, so they are going to have to do a lot more, and we're going to have to do a lot more to help them as a NATO ally."

Crocker also says the U.S. has protected itself by being an open society.

"The Arab and Muslim residents and citizens of these countries have not been integrated into their societies," he said. "The Molenbeek District in Belgium, where it is believed that these attackers came from as many of the Paris attackers came from, is really a ghetto. It's an Arab ghetto. We don't have a Molenbeeks in this country, and even more than our very good security and intelligence services, that's probably our greatest strength. We are an open society. We're America. What we care about is are you an American, not where you came from."

The Alexander Hamilton Society at Texas A&M held a panel discussion at the Bush School Tuesday evening about what lies ahead for future Middle East policies and decision making. Crocker was one of the panelist that weighed in.

Crocker served as an ambassador for the U.S. to six countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.