Norwich University has been selected as one of seven locations around the country to open national centers for the study of counter-terrorism.
Norwich president Richard Schneider welcomed senator Patrick Leahy to the campus of the military college along with several business leaders and university faculty. Leahy secured a quarter-million dollar grant to get the new counter-terrorism center off the ground.
"I worry that we are not able to move quickly enough, fast enough, to detect it, to stop it from happening," Leahy said of the terror threat. Norwich already has a program certified by the National Security Agency that teaches computer security and cyber warfare. But the technology that's becoming an important aspect of national security is not just about computers. Soldiers in the field will put it to use. The new Center for the Study of Counter-Terrorism and Cyber Crime will develop ways to use high-tech devices wherever the war against terror is fought, producing what Schneider called "much greater capability (and) not only to the military fighting person, which I think will be the first person to receive the benefit of this." He said smaller, portable high-tech devices will benefit everyone. "If you can picture communications in a chip on your shoulder. That also can be used by firemen, for example, or other first time responders domestically... Nano technology basically takes existing technology and shrinks it."
Norwich officials say it hasn't been decided yet exactly where on campus the Counter-Terrorism center will be located, but they hope to have it up and running by April.
Leahy, who opposed warrantless searches and other measures that he feared would undercut constitutional rights, says the new center will help ensure the nation's freedom, not undercut it. "We've been well-protected by our constitution for 225 years," he said. "We'll continue to be protected by it. But that doesn't mean we sit back and do nothing. This is an example of doing something and doing something well worth while."
Schneider said the new center on counter-terrorism will help win the war, and is expected to remain as long as it takes.